Month: February 2019


Ghost in the Appraisal?

I am currently completing an appraisal for a new home built on an infamous and reputedly haunted site in Manteno, IL. So far no paranormal activity, and nothing odd in the photographs, but I will keep you posted.

If you ever need a report on a home or group of homes that may be adversely affected by ghosts or other scary things such as: water contamination, mining activity, or a nuclear power plant give me call. I have over 20 years of experience, and an extensive CV and training.  Whatever the situation I am not afraid.

Appraisal Photographs

A neighbor called recently and asked me if appraisers are required to take photos of the recent sales used their reports. 

My answer – Yes, many appraisals used for mortgage finance decisions and similar uses require the appraiser to both personally view and photograph the exterior of each comparable sale or listing used in their analysis.  When this is required by lending guidelines or specific clients the appraisers must stop along public streets, highways and sidewalks to photograph homes. In some cases this additional research and verification can be very beneficial to the appraiser, their clients, and ultimately the public. #Appraisalphotos

Property Tax Alert

Over the past 20 years of providing independent appraisals, I have seen numerous errors in the living area estimates used by local tax assessors for the homes they value. Here is a common, easy-to-spot error I’ve seen in Northern IL especially Kendall and Grundy counties.

The sample sketch above shows the second floor area from the same two-story home. Notice how the open two-story ceiling area (such as over a foyer and family room) is not included as floor area on the sample on the left but is include in the sample on the right? If your home has this type of feature and has been measured like the sample on the right it is being over taxed for living area that you do not have! In this sample that difference is 600 square feet. There is no measuring standard that includes that type of space as floor area, yet I have seen it counted thousands of times in tax records throughout Northern IL! If you own a two-story home with open two-story ceiling area, you owe it to yourself to verify that the public records have this area excluded from the living area estimate used to develop your tax assessments. As an independent state certified appraiser I can provide a professional living area sketch that you can use to have this and other types of measurement errors corrected and your taxes reduced. This can done with a quick visit to the home and a simple consulting report or bundled with an appraisal report to fit any budget.