Real Property Appraisal: A primer

A reverse mortgage can be a step towards financial freedom for some people. A very important step in this process is to have your home appraised for it’s current valuation. Because this value is critical for your financial success, working with experts will ensure that the information you get is accurate and gathered professionally.

The reverse mortgage process involves a number of important parties who each fill and important role. In addition to the financial institution that is involved, you will likely work with a real estate professional to help guide you through the process. A title company will also do their part by making sure each step of the process is properly completed.

So, who fills the role of ensuring that the purchase price and the appraised property value are consistent? The appraiser, of course. You can expect a fair appraisal of your property to be applied to the reverse mortgage process. We will keep you informed as we move through the appraisal process. We will have one of our expert Pennsylvania certified appraisers work closely with you and keep you informed.


The first thing our experts at The Appraising Group do is inspect your home to get information about its current state. One of our appraisal pros will come to your home and take notes on the condition of the property, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, any amenities you have in order to create a fair appraisal. A sketch of the floor plan is one way that some inspectors like to graphically describe a properties layout and size. Of high priority are any notes on defects, problems or other issues that an assessor feels would impact the property valuation.

After the in-person inspection the next step is to determine the value of the property. This is done by applying multiple analytical approaches to arrive at the true property value. Those we most commonly employ include: the paired sales examination, the replacement cost evaluation, and an income method.


Understanding your community it part of being an appraiser. They know the ins and outs of what features are must haves for people in your area. If your home has these items, they can add significant value to your home. Our experts use the information specific to your home and consider the recent sales of homes like yours. They use these closely matched homes and use the sale prices as a jumping off point. They can them make adjustments based off of the specifics of your home. This combination helps create a true value for your home.

Let’s say that a home recently sold and the sellers have completely finished the basement so it can be use as living space. Your home has a basement, but it is unfinished. When your home is appraised, the evaluator will likely deduct the cost of the basement from the comparable home when creating a valuation. However, if your home is the one with the finished basement, the evaluator would then add that value to the price of the comp.

We at The Appraising Group are experts at estimating the value of specific real estate elements in Pennsylvania. This type of approach to valuing a home is often applied when a home is being appraised for purchase.


During this approach and appraiser looks into local construction costs, labor costs and other building fees to investigate the cost of building a property similar to the subject property. This number can then serve as the max cost of what this property might sell for. This is the least commonly used method.


Another way to find homes valuation is when your appraiser gathers information about how much it costs to rent a property in your neighborhood. They can compare the income generated by your property and compare this information with the specs of similar rental properties to arrive at a valuation.


By integrating data from all or some of the approaches, your evaluator will create an estimated market value for your property. This information is used by your financial institution or lender to create the stipulations of the reverse mortgage payout. By working with your lender and your appraiser you can ensure that you get the most value out of your home. The experts at The Appraising Group guarantee that the market value is fair and balanced.