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I am frequently asked, “What makes a good comp?”  In appraising it is important to make sure that your comparables (comps) are similar to the property being appraised (aka subject property). Location should be the first consideration when choosing comparables. Then, comps should be similar to the subject property in terms of sales price, age, gross living area, site (land), location, style, condition, room count, and amenities (i.e., basement, garages, decks, patios, fireplaces, etc.).

For mortgage appraisals, lenders typically require appraisers to use three closed sales and two other listings (these two can be pending and/or active) as comparables. Lenders now require that two of the sales be closed within the last 90 days. The comps should bracket (one on either side with the subject in the middle) the subject property’s major characteristics in terms of sales price, age, and Gross Living Area (GLA).   Continue Reading »

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“Isn’t It Ironic…Don’t You Think?” No, this is not a tribute to Alanis Morissette. I was thinking about the home-selling process. When homeowners prepare to sell or refinance their home they often spend a great deal of time and money on aesthetic improvements to make their home more appealing…and rightly so. The irony is that when they move into the appraisal process those aesthetic improvements often don’t add a great deal to the value of a house in a “good marketable condition.” Continue Reading »

Hello world!


 This is my first post. The purpose of this blog is to answer questions about real estate appraisals and the real estate appraisal process. I want it be a forum for industry professionals and lay people to discuss issues that affect the Westchester and NYC real estate markets.  General questions and comments are welcome!

Come back soon to hear more!