I am looking at an appraisal on my desk right now where the appraiser drove from Fresno to Mather to complete the appraisal. Google Maps estimates the 178-mile trip would take 3 hours and 10 minutes (that’s only one way – 356 miles roundtrip). This distance is a very long way to go for a standard tract home inspection, yet technically acceptable so long as the appraiser truly knows the local market. Keep in mind the roundtrip in gas would’ve cost about $45.00 based on 30 mpg.
In this case it’s questionable to think the appraiser understands the local market. There is no mention of “Independence at Mather” being a PUD with a monthly HOA fee. In fact, the appraiser says there is no HOA fee. There is no mention of the neighborhood being located within close proximity to the Sacramento Speedway or Mather Airport (formerly an air force base that is a Superfund site). The appraiser probably didn’t know portions of the neighborhood were formerly military barracks before new houses were built by SHRA and KB Homes. The appraiser was likely not aware of Aerojet, the meat rendering plant nearby, the limited amount of commercial properties and future plans with the Anatolia area. The appraiser most likely was not aware that Mather is not a city or CDP, but rather an area of Sacramento County.
I don’t bring this up to toot my own horn, but only to say that it’s important for an appraiser to know the local market well. This is called geographic competency. When you hire an appraiser, ask him if he has experience in your area and if he understands issues that may impact real estate values in the local neighborhood. Unfortunately there is very limited control over hiring a local appraiser for a loan, but home owners, attorneys and agents can still pick their own appraisers for estate settlement, divorce, bankruptcy, pre-listing, tax appeal, etc…
Questions: How do you think it might impact value on an appraisal report if the appraiser does not know the local market? If you are an agent, do you find most of your appraisers lately have been local, or are they coming from far away?
If you have any questions, or real estate appraisal or property tax appeal needs in the Greater Sacramento Region, contact Lundquist Appraisal by phone 916-595-3735, email, Facebook or subscribe to posts by email.