You bet an appraiser needs to know an area, but they also need to understand the residential market and many other elements that surround a purchase. If you need the name of one of the best professionals in Northern Virginia, let me know.
Margo Lockard, Associate Broker
ERA Elite Group, Realtors
703-359-7800, x 310
As the other 11 agents said, yes, an appraiser does need to have a very good knowledge of the area, particularly when appraising land. We have sold a lot of land ini Great Falls, both as listers and as buyer's agents and would be happy to provide a couple of names of appraisers we would trust.
Feel free to call or email.
Office of Jan and Dan Laytham
Great Falls, VA
It is always best to go with a local professional. I'm going to assume that you are buying cash as the appraisal process would be handled by your lending institution. And it sounds like you don't have any Realtor representation as a local Realtor could give you this informaton. I just want to make sure that you know the right questions to ask the county and lot owner. What is the zoning (does it fit your use), are public utilities available (if not what are well and septic options), if septic is required when is "Perc" season in your area...our county only allows Perc tests at certain times of the year to make sure the drainage specs are on target....is a second drainfield a county requirement...if so is there enough room on that lot for your proposed building and the 1st and 2nd drain fields..have you contacted the county to make sure there are no outstanding issues on the property.
This may be more information than you wanted but is just a start on the right questions to ask before purchasing a lot. Good luck to you!
I would say get an appraiser who works with banks who do land and construction loans; they will be the most experienced. Good luck
A good place to start looking would be a lender active in exurban areas. Try Middleburg Bank, at least for openers.
You received some great advice already from my colleagues here.
I would just like to ad that if you choose a realtor, make sure that he/she PHYSICALLY sees the land you plan to purchase, as well as is knowledgeable about the other lots sold in the area.
Just like no home is the same, no lot of land is the same as some may have irregularities or other features that only seeing the land in person will reveal. Barely preparing a CMA based on recent sales (taken from the computer) does NOT present the true value of the property. Sometimes a computerized CMA does NOT present even an estimate of the value of the property.
The same goes for an appraiser. The appraiser will see the land physically, but he/she needs to research the other lots as well to be able to compare in an intelligent way, especially if the appraiser is not local.
Not sure why you need an appraisal, if it is for a sale or get an idea of what the land is worth, an agent could also pull up sales and give you a CMA for less. if it is for a purchase, the bank would need to order it, they would not be able to use your appraisal.
But here is an excellent appraiser:
http://www.appraisalsguaranteed.com/ Has his other contact info :)
If you're paying with a mortgage, an appraisal will be required so leave that to the bank, but also get value opinions of your agent and a local builder who is buying property in this market place.
I hope that is helpful. If you are not working with an agent because, perhaps, it is a friend or family member selling the property, still get those opinions... I can provide a value opinion for about half the cost of an appraisal and I know Great Falls pretty well...in fact, my family used to own much of Great Falls. Beach Mill Road was called that because my great grandfather and his brothers ran the saw mill on that road... (its not there anymore, don't look for it).
It would help; but if the appraiser is an expert appraiser you should be in good hands.
It has been in my experience that appraisers will consult with local Real Estate agents and other professionals in the County to verifty the information they have collected.