Need An Appraisal

An appraisal is a valuation tool used by mortgage lenders to verify a property’s worth for prospective financing. The mortgage industry relies upon a qualified independent real estate appraiser to guide them in their financing decisions. But is this the only reason to get an appraisal? Many homeowners, assessor’s offices, attorneys, buyers and sellers require and utilize real estate appraisal reports for a variety of needs.

PMI Removal

Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI is the supplemental insurance that most lenders are required to purchase when the loan amount is more than 80% of the value of the property (LTV loan to value). This insurance premium is often folded into the monthly mortgage and paid by the new home owner.  After a rise in value and/or payment to principal goes below this 80% level PMI is no longer required. Congress passed a law in 1998 (Homeowners Protection Act of 1998) that requires lenders to remove the PMI payments when the loan-to-value ratio conditions have been met. An appraisal is required to determine the property’s value. The cost of the appraisal report is recovered in just a few months of not paying the PMI.

Property Tax Assessments

Challenging the tax assessment has become a necessity in many parts of the country. Unfortunately, most people go into these challenges unarmed. They may pull some information from the Internet to support their claims, but have no real basis for their claims.

A real estate appraiser can provide the accurate answers to the question of value. While it may not be economical to commission a full appraisal to save a few hundred off your tax bill, often an appraiser can do a limited appraisal for much less, yet with the same conclusions and integrity. An appraisal from a qualified appraiser would be a step in the right direction in any dispute with your local tax assessor.

Estate Planning – Gifting

In times of loss, it is often difficult to think of the various steps that must be taken to resolve the issue of estate valuation. In order to determine the fair market value of a property owned by the estate, a real estate appraisal report is required.  This is a necessary step to ensure proper tax filings and equitable disposition of the estate to the heirs. A valuation of real estate for estate purposes is often done as of the ‘Date of Death’ and requires the skills of an experienced appraiser.

You may also consider gifting your home or other real estate prior to your death. You can ‘gift’ your real estate directly to an heir or to an Irrevocable Trust.  Either way, you will need to ascertain the fair market value of the property before the gift is committed.

Allow us to prepare your real estate appraisal and know that Frank Ciotta & Associates is willing and able to defend the valuation we provide in a court of law if necessary.


In unfortunate circumstances, such as divorce, the marital residence is often the largest asset and central point of an equitable distribution. Appraisals are required so both parties receive a fair and impartial valuation of the property.    An appraisal by a qualified and independent third party professional is often required by state law to determine the value of the home or other real estate assets.  At Frank Ciotta & Associates we have performed many property valuations for divorce matters.

Feasibility – Land Utilization Studies

Real estate appraisals are often required when townships and municipalities are planning certain uses of land, rezoning, implementation of housing developments and traffic infrastructure projects, to assist with cost benefit and feasibility studies. The appraiser’s responsibility to deliver an accurate appraisal report is a necessary response to the question of fair market value.