Geographic WHAT?!?!

The Coyle Group - Geographic Competency - Philadelphia AppraisersYou may have heard the term Geographic Competency as it relates to appraisers. It’s been a hot topic in the appraisal industry for the past few years. It basically means that an appraiser has to be knowledgeable and capable enough to produce accurate and reliable appraisals within a specific geographic area. The appraiser should also have access to data about a geographic area. It’s the coupling of local knowledge and accurate data that can make the difference between a reliable report and one that’s not worth the paper it’s printed on.

As the appraisal market began to change over recent years, many appraisers found themselves expanding their coverage areas in an effort to stay busy. For some appraisers this meant working in areas with which they were not familiar. This often resulted in reports that were poorly supported and wildly off the mark.

If an appraiser finds themselves in a situation where they do not feel Geographically Competent, they have a few options. All are designed to protect the user of the report from getting inaccurate information from the appraiser.

1) They can decline the assignment

2) They can obtain the knowledge necessary to become competent to appraise in a certain area

3) They can seek assistance from another person who is Geographically Competent in that area

Over my 15 years of appraising in the Philadelphia market, agents have shared stories about appraisers coming from miles away to complete appraisals. My favorite is a tale of an appraiser from Parsippany, NJ who drove two hours (both ways) to complete an appraisal in Philadelphia. That’s insane! Not to mention that after time and travel the appraiser was literally working for peanuts!

But keep in mind that an appraiser doesn’t have to live close to a property in order to be competent to appraise there. Most appraisers are capable of appraising in several different counties or even states. I have an appraiser friend who lives in Lower Bucks County and routinely appraises homes at the New Jersey shore. It turns out that he has a house down there and actually worked in that market for several years. He’s competent to appraise there even though he lives in PA.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are not sure if the appraiser has experience appraising in your area, talk with them about it. Interview the appraiser. Ask about their experience in your area. The answers you receive could save you from a “bad” appraisal.

Do you have any stories about appraisers traveling far and wide to look at properties? If so, please share them.

 

The Coyle Group’s team of Philadelphia appraisers is a leading provider of appraisals for Estate/Probate, Divorce, Bankruptcy, Tax Appeal and Pre-Listing appraisals.  If you need a guest speaker at your next sales meeting, please give us a call.  We would welcome to opportunity to speak to your group and field any appraisal related questions you may have.  For more information please visit our website at www.TheCoyleGroupLLC.com  You can also contact The Coyle Group at 215-836-5500 or appraisals@coyleappraisals.com

 

 

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Ignore the Groundhog, Check this Out!

The Coyle Group Philadelphia Appraiser - GroundhogAfter what seems like an unrelenting barrage of snow storms, ice storm, polar vortexes, days off from school and the dreaded 2-hour delay, I have some hope to offer.  This is not hope derived from some rodent (yes, a groundhog is a rodent) in a town in the middle of Pennsylvania.  This is hope in form of a visual aide based on historical trends.  Sounds enticing, huh?

Just as we know Spring will come to Philadelphia, we also know that with the warmer weather comes The Spring Selling Season!  This is the annual phenomenon where Buyers and Sellers come out of their wintry hibernation and start moving real estate.  It’s a great time of year for agents and appraisers alike.

In an effort to provide all with hope, I’ve prepared this graph of the Average Sale Price in Philadelphia from January 2000 to January 2014.  The graph clearly shows a growth trend over the past 14 years.  You can see the build-up from 2000 through the peak in the summer of 2006.  You can follow the market downturn from 2006 through 2011.  In 2012, the market appears to begin a slow turn around and incremental movement in a positive direction.

The Coyle Group Philadelphia Appraiser - March Trends 2014

Click on the graph for a larger version.

I’ve highlighted the month of March for each year in yellow to help illustrate my point.  Nearly every year, March marks the beginning of an upward swing in the market.  The red line is a trend line that was added to provide even more hope and good vibes.  Almost every year, the red line shoots up dramatically after the yellow March column.

I’m sure the same will happen this year.  So be hopeful!  The Winter will end, Spring will arrive and the Philadelphia Spring Selling Season will start very soon!

The Coyle Group’s team of Philadelphia appraisers are a leading provider of appraisals for Estate/Probate, Divorce, Bankruptcy, Tax Appeal and Pre-Listing appraisals.  If you need a guest speaker at your next sales meeting, please give us a call.  We would welcome to opportunity to speak to your group and field any appraisal related questions you may have.  For more information please visit our website at www.TheCoyleGroupLLC.com  You can also contact The Coyle Group at 215-836-5500 or appraisals@coyleappraisals.com

 

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2014: Year of Recovery

Happy New Year!  I’m confident that 2014 will be the year of real estate recovery, in the PhiladelphiaThe Coyle Group Philadephia Appraisers 2014 region.  With that optimistic statement out of the way, let’s get down to reality.

While I do expect markets to appreciate (yes, remember that word), I don’t expect to see a huge upswing in value.  Instead, I expect that we will return to nice, steady, predictable increases in value.  Think in the range of 2-4% per year.  Sure, there will be some areas in the Philadelphia market that will outperform but, for the most part measurable, healthy growth will be the new norm.

What will keep values from ramping up like back in 2004?

Inventory is relatively low.  However, there is a huge shadow inventory of foreclosed properties that banks will start releasing to take advantage of the healing market.  In fact, a trend that I’ve noticed in the past few months is that more and more banks are pumping money into rehabbing their stock of foreclosures in an effort to get top dollar.  In 2014, it’s pretty likely that foreclosures will compete rather strongly with conventional sales in some Philly markets and the surrounding suburbs.  This, along with the typical Spring listing surge, will influence supply.

Agents tell me that there are plenty of buyers waiting in the wings.  However, interest rates are expected to increase.  This will keep some buyers sidelined, especially the first-timers and low-income groups.  This will influence demand.

It all boils down to Economics 101, supply and demand.  It always does.  I think that each will be kept in check by the other and that growth will occur, it just won’t be a rocket ride.  That being said, I expect a pretty healthy Spring Selling Season as eager Sellers and Buyers enter the market.  This should facilitate an evenly paced recovery with real legs.

What are your predictions for the 2014 Real Estate Market in the Philadelphia region?

Best of luck in 2014!

The Coyle Group’s team of Philadelphia appraisers are a leading provider of appraisals for Estate/Probate, Divorce, Bankruptcy and Tax Appeal.  If you need a guest speaker at your next sales meeting, please give us a call.  We would welcome to opportunity to speak to your group and field any appraisal related questions you may have.  For more information please visit our website at www.TheCoyleGroupLLC.com  You can also contact The Coyle Group at 215-836-5500 or appraisals@coyleappraisals.com

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2013 Philadelphia Region’s Most Expensive Homes

Let’s face it, 2013 is pretty much over.  With Christmas falling on a Wednesday and New Year’s Eve and Day following shortly thereafter, there are only about 8 “real” work days left.  So, it seems like a perfect time to take a look back at the 2013 real estate market.  In particular, let’s take a look at the ultra high-end sales in the market.*

The Philadelphia Metro Area (Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Bucks County, Delaware County & Chester County) had its fair share of heavy hitters this year.  In total there were 20 sales over $3,000,000 and there are currently five sales pending over that amount.

The Coyle Group - Bucks County MansionBucks County posted a $3,300,000 sale with the property at 6356 Meetinghouse Road, in New Hope.  In this case, the price gets you a 20-year-old, 12, 376 Sq Ft, Colonial situated on 92.78 acres.  A perfect little “country” getaway home for New Yorkers.

 

 

The Coyle Group - Villanova MansionIn the Villanova section of Delaware County there was a $4,000,000 sale at 265 Abrahams Lane.  What’s interesting is that price was achieved at auction, down from the original $7,695,000 list price.  Looks like a pretty good deal for the 12-year-old, 10,268 Sq Ft, Mansion sitting on 9.90 Main Line acres. 

 

The Coyle Group - Philadelphia Rittenhouse Mansion

 

At $4,200,000 cash, the “McIlhenny” Mansion, at 1914-16 Rittenhouse Square was the highest sale in Philadelphia.  This mansion faces Rittenhouse Square and is built on five property lots.  The 8,600 Sf Ft structure was listed as being “in need of complete restoration.”  Kind of pricey for a fixer-upper but, that being said, there is nothing else like it in Philadelphia.  New owner Bart Blatstein just received the “go ahead” from the planning commission for renovations to the historic property.

 

 The Coyle Group - Chester County Mansion

Saddle up!  If you like privacy, views and horses, and you happen to have $5,000,000 lying around then you could have purchased the property at 2300 Hilltop View Road, in Chester County.  This 27-year-old, 10,061 Sq Ft, Converted Barn sits on 143.70 acres.  This is a true equestrian property with 14 stalls, paddocks, indoor riding ring, tack room and abuts 800 acres of preserved land. 

 

The Coyle Group - Montgomery County MansionThe honor of being the most expensive home in the Philadelphia Metro Area for 2013 goes to 648 Creighton Road, in Villanova.  This Tudor Mansion is over 80 years old and boasts 13,464 Sq Ft of living space situated on 3.13 acres, in Lower Merion.  This is a classic Main Line residence with a $5,700,000 price tag to prove it.

 

 

The Coyle Group’s team of Philadelphia appraisers are a leading provider of appraisals for Estate/Probate, Divorce, Bankruptcy and Tax Appeal.  If you need a guest speaker at your next sales meeting, please give us a call.  We would welcome to opportunity to speak to your group and field any appraisal related questions you may have.  For more information please visit our website at www.TheCoyleGroupLLC.com  You can also contact The Coyle Group at 215-836-5500 or appraisals@coyleappraisals.com

* Only sales advertised in the MLS were included.  No private sales were used.  Photos are courtesy of TReND MLS.

 

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Why is an appraisal needed during Bankruptcy?

During bankruptcy the debtor (the person or entity defaulting) is required by the court to demonstrate the worth of their assets.  Since the debtor’s real estate holdings are, oftentimes, their largest asset a real estate appraisal is required.  In Pennsylvania, a bankruptcy appraisal by a State Certified Real Estate Appraiser is the official means of verifying the true value of the debtor’s property holdings.  In New Jersey, the appraiser must be either Licensed or Certified by the State.  The appraiser is an impartial professional who is qualified to analyze the property and provide a credible opinion as the value of the real estate assets. 

Selection of the appraiser can be made by the debtor or by the debtor’s attorney.  Regardless of who engages the appraiser, it is important to be sure that the appraiser has prior experience performing bankruptcy appraisals.  Not all appraisers have the knowledge or expertise needed to competently provide these valuations.  Also, it is also beneficial to find an appraiser who is comfortable testifying before a court, if necessary. 

Just as important as selecting the right appraiser is selecting the right appraisal format.  As with many things, you get what you pay for.  Appraisals are no different.  They come in many different shapes, sizes and price points. 

There are Automated Valuation Models (AMV) and websites like Zillow that will provide you with a low cost or no-cost valuation of a property, no appraiser needed.  They are usually less accurate and will likely not stand up in court.  Thus, you get what you paid for. 

Then, there are Desktop and Drive-By Appraisals provided by Certified/Licensed Appraisers.  These are limited scope reports that are more affordable; however, they lack the detailed reporting of full appraisals.  The may also not be the strongest performers in a court situation.

Lastly, there is a Full Appraisal, either on an appropriate form or in a narrative format, completed by a duly Certified/Licensed Appraiser.  In court, a full appraisal from a reputable, qualified appraiser will demonstrate the value of the property in the most credible manner.  It may cost a little more but, it could prove invaluable during the bankruptcy proceedings.

At The Coyle Group, our appraisers work regularly with home owners and attorneys during the bankruptcy process.  We understand that bankruptcy is often an emotionally trying time.  Our appraisers are acutely aware of the unique needs and the time sensitivity of the situation, and strive to make the appraisal process to go as smooth as possible for those involved. 

Should you have any questions about our Bankruptcy appraisal services or valuation in general, please feel free to call or email us, 215.836.5500 or appraisals@coyleappraisals.com

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