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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11881
Experience:  I have practiced law for 25 yrs. with an emphasis on real estate, business law, criminal defense and family law.
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Hello! I have several fairly urgent questions regarding appraisal

Customer Question

Hello! I have several fairly urgent questions regarding appraisal of a property held in my deceased mother’s estate.

First, a very brief background: I have two brothers (ages 52 and 56, respectively) filled with malice towards me (their only sister, age 51). The older brother is now executor (previously he initiated hostile motions for guardianship of our mother, contempt of court action against me, and a will contest). He is--and this is not an exaggeration-- a pathological liar and has a pathological need to see himself in power. This makes it very difficult to have any meaningful conversation with him.
The will contest was settled with the stipulation that I have first option to purchase the house and acreage; this option expires 1 July 2013. I am seriously considering this purchase.

My brother had the property appraised in February 2012 for the Fair Market Value, as of the date of my mother’s death, 31 August 2011, as required. The appraisal report was based on the land survey (by the appraiser’s son) and a very cursory inspection of the land by an 82 + year-old appraiser who cannot walk the property. His mind is sharp, but he is physically lame and walks with a cane. He and my brother have had personal and business relations for many years.

The report, I believe, correctly indicated that the property consists of:
--house, garage, and shed on
--123.64 acres
--comprising woods (largely unmanaged, predominantly hemlock),
and
--approximately 14 acres in active agricultural use (“rented” (for $0.00/yr) to a local farmer for crops)
--3,490”river frontage (west branch of Fish Creek)

QUESTION #1: The appraiser did not use a standardized appraisal form, nor does the report contain much of the information requested in such forms. I wonder about the value and validity of the report, especially if I were to obtain a properly conducted appraisal to challenge this appraisal.

QUESTION # XXXXX: The appraisal report indicates that the appraiser is “NYS Licensed Real Estate Broker; NYS Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser.” Would this qualify him to appraise the acreage, or just the buildings on it? In additional there is no notation in the report of what method was used to appraise the house and property (e.g., cost vs. comparison).

The report makes no mention of the numerous details of the 30+ year-old house which are of concern (e.g., shingles blown off and replaced with broken shingles; windows not closing properly, deck requiring re-staining, shower stall requires sliding door, to name a few).

I question the accuracy of the appraiser’s estimate of a pond size of “four acres +/-” (on the low side).
There is no mention of numerous permanent or seasonally wet areas which would have no value for development. I would guess these areas to approach 10 acres in total.
There is also no mention of a considerable areas of very steep land (along the creek and ravines with brook) which would not be suitable to development. QUESTION #4: Is this a valid report?

Last week the appraiser came to the house to conduct a “new”appraisal as required by the settlement. The appraisal was conducted from the living room, where I spoke some of my concerns. The appraiser’s most clearly stated response was that he would “increase” the amount of wet land reported, by 4 acres (from zero).

The appraiser had previously appraised the entire property at $1000 per acre with no regard to the features of the land.

QUESTION #5: Would it be worth my while (and expense) to obtain a properly conducted appraisal to challenge the report obtained by the executor? I.e., let my brother rely upon a shoddy, incomplete appraisal which I would challenge with a more complete report.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and Welcome to JustAnswer, My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provided you with Excellent Service

 

 

Was the appraisal submitted by your brother accepted by the Court ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I doubt it. I don't know whether he has received the finalized version yet.

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply, Martha,

 

All your questions can be combined into 2 questions; (1) Is the Appraisal valid; and (2) Is it worth your time and expense to have another Appraisal done.

 

 

Answers

 

 

1. Whether or not an Appraisal is valid in your situation will depend on whether or not the Judge accepts it without anyone objecting to it. If nobody objects, the Judge might accept it as valid because the Appraiser's qualifications allow him to do appraisals.

 

2. It would be very much worth your time and expense to have another appraisal done. The appraisal will cost a few hundred dollars, but it will translate into a substantial reduction in the amount you will pay for the property. The appraisal should include the method used in appraising the property and on which he found the value of the property. As you said, this was not done by the Appraiser. Since the price you pay for the property will include the value of the structures on the property as well, there should have been a description of the structures, their age, and present condition, and this also was absent from the appraisal. Therefore, by including these in your appraisal, the Judge will necessarily take your appraisal more seriously and attach a lot more weight to yours than to that obtained by your brother. Actually, once you submit your appraisal to the Judge, he will probably not put any weight on the appraisal submitted by your brother. Therefore, if I were in your position, I would not hesitate to get another appraisal as soon as possible and submit it to the Judge before he makes a ruling in which he accepts your brother's appraisal. In fact, you might save yourself a lot of trouble in hving to set aside your brother's appraisal if you object to it now and inform the Judge that you are engaging another Appraiser to do a formal appraisal of the property,

 

_____________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Please be kind enough to rate "Excellent Service" so that I receive credit

for assisting you,

 

 

Bonus and Positive Feedback on survey is very much appreciated,

 

 

 

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be of assistance,

 

 

ANDREA

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Hi, Andrea. Thank you for your response. You clearly absorbed my rather lengthy query as your thorough and cogent response leaves me with no unanswered questions at this time.


Oh, sorry--correction--one more question. My inclination is to approach the court as you suggested, but on my own. I have difficulties knowing how and when my attorney is working on my case. I know it's not cool to take actions without conferrinf with one's attorney. I would tell her what I plan to do, but do I really need to have her billing me for something that seems rather straightforward?

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

You do not have to incur additional legal expenses for this. If I were in your position, I would call the attorney's office, and leave a message with her secretary that I would be getting an appraise return call is unnecessaryr for the property. I would also tell the secretary that the attorney need ot call me back and that I was leaving the message simply to keep the attorney informed.

 

In this way, you have informed the attorney of what you are doing, you told her secretary that a return call is unnecessary, and you cannot, therefore, be billed for any phone call. Please be kind enough to rate my service to you as "Excellent service" , otherwise I will not receive any credit for assisting you,

 

_______________________________________________________________

 

 

Please be kind enough to rate "Excellent Service" so that I receive credit

for assisting you,

 

 

Bonus and Positive Feedback on survey is very much appreciated,

 

 

 

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be of assistance,

 

 

ANDREA

 

 

 

 

Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11881
Experience: I have practiced law for 25 yrs. with an emphasis on real estate, business law, criminal defense and family law.
Andrea, Esq. and 7 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for another cogent and clear response. Just to clarify, what are your thoughts about my communicating directly with the court, and informing my attorney in the same way you described?

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Sometimes the Court will not hear a party when they are represented by an Attorney, it all depends on the Judge. If I were you, I would go ahead and get the appraisal. You do not need Court approval to get another appraisal. You are an interested party and, as such, you are entitled to know exactly what the property is worth so that you do not overpay.

________________________________________________________________________



Please be kind enough to rate "Excellent Service" so that I receive credit

for assisting you,

 

 

Bonus and Positive Feedback on survey is very much appreciated,

 

 

 

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be of assistance,

 

 

ANDREA

Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11881
Experience: I have practiced law for 25 yrs. with an emphasis on real estate, business law, criminal defense and family law.
Andrea, Esq. and 7 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thanks very much for your responses. Of course I will rate you a smiley smile (excellent). Look for bonus as well.


Best regards, M


 


 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

 


Thanks very much for your responses. Of course I will rate you a smiley smile (excellent). Look for bonus as well.


Best regards, M

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome, Martha, Thank you for the "Excellent Service" Rating and the Bonus, I appreciate it greatly,

 

If you have questions in the future, please feel free to ask for me by typing my name at the beginning of your question, like this,

 

 

"For Andrea only .........."

 

 

 

 

Thank you once again for allowing me the opportunity to be of service,

 

ANDREA

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Martha, Thank you so much for the second "Excellent Service" rating and the Bonus, You are again both kind and generous and I appreciate it greatly. I would have thanked you sooner, except my computer was not working properly and it was only two weeks old. I thought it best that I return it now, rather than have them tell me later that they would not take it back,

 

Once again, if you have any additional questions or I may be of assistance in the future, please feel free to contact me by typing my name at the beginning of your question, like this,

 

"For Andrea .......... "

Thank you once again for allowing me to be of assistance,

ANDREA

ps If you have a minute, please let me know how the property appraisals are received by the Court,

 

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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq.
Attorney
1170 Satisfied Customers
I have practiced law for 25 yrs. with an emphasis on real estate, business law, criminal defense and family law.