Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What is Value?

It's not surprising that much like good help, good comps are very hard to find! I don't envy appraisers right now.
With our market on the rebound from a small downturn, comps from the past 3-6 months stink. Well, at least for sellers it does. Trying to establish value is difficult because what exactly does a person value? Someone may see improvements as a waste of money because they don't like specific paint colors, granite selection, or magenta carpet. Some people like to be able to make the changes they want and not have the price of the house increased.
One of the interesting things I see being considered is the replacement cost of the dwelling as well as the land. One of the "problems" I have with that is a true value of the replacement cost of land. If your house burns to the ground, you lose the house, not necessarily the land, right? So in the absense of good quality comps, is the value of the land being increased to overcompensate the lower house price?
Over the past year or so, I have seen more and more appraisals coming in right at contract price. How convenient! I even had one deal done that was a desktop appraisal with an older home renovated that wasn't even close to the comps as far as upgrades and it came in right at contract price. So, in essence, the appraisers are allowing homeowners to set the value of their homes by using what they believe is "fair and just" and they are appraising it for that set value. I find that quite interesting! What do you think?

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