As of this writing, I am seeing what I believe to be the ball bouncing on the bottom. I primarily work in Lee County Florida doing residential appraisals.
Each report is reflecting stability and in some areas increases. Cape Coral is definately on the rise. Will it stick? Nobody knows. For now it looks like a good time to jump in and buy.
This is the time of year when I serve as Special Magistrate for the Lee County Clerk of Court, Value Adjustment Board.
Trim notices are out and deadlines near for filing a petition for assessment appeals. Once filed, it is best to talk to the Property Appraiser's Office if possible. Many petitions are resolved and no hearing is necessary.
If you still think you are correct, follow the instructions for evidence exchange with the Property Appraiser. Again, often disputes or corrections can be resolved with no hearing.
It is not easy to win at the hearings if you do not have good evidence. Local Realtors and Real Estate Appraisers can help you gather evidence. Remember, these hearings cost tax payer money, if you do not have evidence which is at least convincing, it is best to withdraw the petition.
So often I feel petitioners rely on sympathy rather than evidence. As the Special Magistrate, I can not consider whether I sympathize or like the petitioner. Evidence, especially with residential needs to be based on actual sales. Remember the sales should occur prior to January 1st of 2011.
If you follow the instructions at www.Leeclerk.org you may have a chance to lower your taxes. Good luck and remember evidence is everything.
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This link is a site called TruliaVoices where general real estate information on our area can be located.
Insuring manufactured homes which have undergone extensive renovations is often a problem. This is a post I made some time ago. I thought I would re post this for manufactured home owners in the Ft. Myers Beach and Bonita areas. There are many older homes in these parks which have upgrades not recognized by the insurance companies. This is my previous posting.
Many owners of manufactured homes whether on leased sites or fee simple run into problems getting insurance for enough to cover the loss of the home. Insurance companies strickly go by the book price which is very low for the older homes. Most owners have done extensive remodeling and upgrades which the insurance companies do not take into consideration. Having appraised both leased parks and fee simple manufactured homes in the area, it is apparent that most are no longer the original home. Owners who have a problem getting the correct amount of insurance can ask their agent if a certified appraisal would be accepted. An experienced appraiser applies and economic age rather than actual and also can make adjustments for upgrades. Typically insurance companies will accept the appraisal and insure based on the replacement cost indicated on the report. In the Southwest Florida area, there are few appraisers qualified for leased site parks. I was fortunate to spend 4 years with a specialist in this type of appraisal. I have the park data necessary to complete these assignments. If you have issues with the value on your insurance, talk to your agent and see if it is worth the price of an appraisal to get the correct replacement cost of your home.
I appraise manufactured homes in these areas: Sanibel, Bonita, Naples, Fort Myers, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda.
I haven't made posts in some time. With the implementation of HVCC, I find myself needing to seen on the internet. This is the new age appraisal process. I have had customers for years that are no longer allowed to contact me for orders. Instead we are selected by Appraisal Management Companies. Appraisals in Ft. Myers, Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres kept this appraiser busy full time. As of May 1st, we are now a number on a list.
How many orders have I received? Since HVCC, I have received 3 orders from appraisal management companies. I have received FHA orders as my customers can still use me. Most of the appraisals I have done since May 1st is for manufactured homes to correct insurance coverage, estate appraisals and other litigation appraisals for bankruptcies, divorces etc.
What I hear from other appraisers is the same. The mortgage companies are also affected by this legislation. The result has been low quality reports done by appraisers who are not in the Ft. Myers area at all. The work is poor quality, and the mortgage companies have to pay more for them. If they need to send the report to another source, they have to order another one.
We can only home the legislators will hear the outcry and change HVCC to address these issues. While lender pressure is not welcome, and I understand the need for legislation. HVCC has had consequences which make matters worse. Banks are now using only on staff appraisers. This is a conflict for sure. Banks also own some of the appraisal management companies. Seems like another conflict.
Pending sales are stacking up in the Southwest Florida MLS. We need these to close. Our recovery is in sight. HVCC is snuffing it out.
In the mean time, litigation appraisals and manufactured home appraisals will keep this appraiser independent. Call your representatives and tell them, HVCC needs to go.
Need an appraisal? Call me for Fort Myers, Lehigh, Cape Coral, Captiva, or Port Charlotte, I can' help you with anything but mortgage financing.
Having served as special magistrate for the Lee County Clerk of Court for 2 years, I have seen many petitioners denied because they did not have the correct evidence to win the petition. Many times it appears they have a good case, however no knowledge of what is evidence. It costs the tax payers a lot of money to pay people like me to hear and review the evidence provided by the petitioners.
Although it is a conflict for me to perform appraisals for this purpose in Lee County, I can offer advise to help determine what is evidence for reducing your taxes. Check out your trim notice and refer to www.leepa.org for instructions and forms.
For up to date information regarding mortgages, appraisals, and legislative updates, I recommend going to www.gotmortgagequestions.com
This site will keep you up to date on Real Estate trends affecting the Ft. Myers, Naples and Port Charlotte markets.
I invite comments from local Realtors, Appraisers, and Lenders working in Ft. Myers, Cape Coral and surrounding areas.
Florida votors passed Amendment 1 last week which allows portabilty of Save Our Homes. This is already generating phone calls to local Realtors. Home owners who have been in the same house for many years can now make a move without the huge increase in taxes. They can take the savings with them.
Prices in most areas of Southwest Florida are very attractive and those who could not make a move were unable to as they would loose the often large savings on property taxes. Now they are free again. This should kick off new activity in the area.
I urge the local Realtors to contact persons they sold home to 5-10 years ago and see if they are ready to move. This is a great opportunity for these residents to take advantage of the low prices and lower taxes. Property taxes for the upcoming tax year should be lower for most areas.
Amendment 1 also doubles the homestead exemption to $50,000.
I congradulate Florida voters on making the right decision at the polls. Existing home sales in the area should pick up in the near future.
Appraising in Southwest Florida has been a rewarding and interesting profession. As pricing has become more attractive, activity is coming back. 2008 should be a return to a normal market in Ft. Myers, Cape Coral, and Naples. Lehigh still has a way to go as inventory is still high and sub prime loan defaults are most common. Condominiums are overbuilt and will require more time to become more in balance. Manufactured Home Parks should have a good season due to the affordability for seniors.
Contrary to what we hear, financing is available. In these uncertain times, it is important to hire an appraiser which takes the time to offer fresh data in their reporting. Many just hit the clone button and transfer stale data which is meaningless in this fast changing market. I hear from other appraisers about the problems with reviewers. I have noticed that if the correct information is given in the first place, reviewers are not a problem at all. When they do ask a question, it is valid. Closing delays are the result of inferior reporting and lack of comments and details.
Every time a reviewer makes a request, I consider it a learning experience for comments which are necessary to give an informative report. I also respond immediately so my customers will not have delayed closings. It is important to keep up to date on the requirements in problem areas such as Lehigh Acres and Cape Coral. Lenders will write there, but need additional comparables and listings in the report. If the data is complete and current, they are less apt to deny the loan.
As other appraisers complain about reviewers and their unreasonable requests, I have to wonder why they feel this way, and why so many problems. I believe that the customer who is loaning large sums of money, has the right to ask questions, and require more information than ever in our reports. It is not unreasonable just responsible. Reviewers are looking out for their clients well are and so should all of the Southwest Florida Appraisers. If tighter guidelines had been in place during the boom, there would be less problems now.
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