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
--comprising woods (largely unmanaged, predominantly hemlock),
--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.