Incumbent Property Appraiser Pam Dubov is retiring after eight years in office. Elected in the wake of a scandal, she has provided steady leadership and sound service to the public. The office faces new challenges with her departure, including more impending retirements of senior staffers with institutional memory. The office also needs to upgrade both the software it uses to appraise Pinellas properties and the website that serves as the public portal.
Unfortunately, recent distressed sales in the surrounding area can lower your home's appraisal value. If you feel that your home's value has been dragged down by the sales prices of nearby foreclosures and short sales, you may be able to convince the appraiser that your home is worth more if it's in significantly better condition than those properties. Sellers should also know that federal guidelines (intended to eliminate the inflated appraisal values that contributed to the 2008 housing crisis) sometimes cause appraisals to come in below fair market value and can make low appraisals difficult to challenge.
 	Congratulations to Rick Singh, CFA, and the Office of the Orange County Property Appraiser for this week's recognition by the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO)! We received the Certificate of Excellence in Assessment Administration for "demonstrating the highest levels of managerial excellence and consistent utilization of practices that exceed the guidelines ... in property assessment administration practices." Shown in the photo (L-R) are Jeff Miller, Terry Taylor, Roger Ross, Tatsiana Sokalava, Rick Singh, Ron Sullivan, and Fred Hill.	 

I want to take a moment to tell you of a most amazing experience I had at your office today. Deanne Holder waited on me and my daughter, Kelley DiSalvo, as we were trying to make heads or tails of some small pieces of property that belonged to my deceased husband, John Pat Krause, and me. Some of the lots were in low land and one piece of property didn't even have an address, except the address of the next door neighbor. Deanne very, very patiently looked up each and every parcel and helped us see the adjoining property owners so we can contact them, where needed, and also take the necessary steps to finally dispose of the remaining lots. I can see that Deanne is a treasure to your office and the citizens of Leon County.
"What is my house worth?"  These real estate appraisers can answer that and much more all over Pinellas County.  Whether it is appraising your home for a property tax appeal if your property taxes are too high, valuing your home for estate work or a divorce or helping you secure a HELOC, a local appraiser is best.  They obviously also appraise new construction homes as well as existing homes, and can do it for a home listing, before or after a sale.  They use the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to gather data on sales and listings and use them to professionally tell you what the price per square foot should be for your home and others in your area.  They also can determine if there's any effect on the value of your home from pending foreclosures, REOs, and other "short sales" in Pinellas County.  A licensed and certified appraiser's estimates of value on residential single family homes, condos, townhouses and more are much better than what you'll find when using an AVM (automated valuation model) or a BPO (Broker Price Opinion).  They can do an appraisal for VA, FHA, conventional, jumbo, and Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac purposes, and routinely provide those reports on URAR, drive-by, and 1004 MC (1004 Market Condition) forms as well as others.
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