Just released numbers from VISIT FLORIDA indicate another banner year for tourism. Some 65.5 million visitors graced the Sunshine State in the first six months. That’s more than in any six month period in the state’s history, and a nearly 6% increase over last year. Certainly a strong start to the year, but what impact will the red tide on the west coast have? Or will a hurricane damage the momentum? Good news for sure, but we must continue to diversify Florida’s jobs and make sure that the state is not only a fun place to visit.  
Once you’ve read the appraisal report and reviewed the appraiser’s supporting documents, you can challenge it if you think it is inaccurate or doesn’t take into consideration new or important data about the property or comparable homes. Most lenders review appraisals through a strict system of checks and balances that compares the appraisal report to other appraisals on all known sales in your neighborhood. This internal review system can catch discrepancies that should be investigated, but any information you can provide to your lender will help.
One of the most recognized professional organizations of real estate appraisers in America is the Appraisal Institute (AI). It was formed from the merger of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers and the Society of Real Estate Appraisers. Founded along with others in the 1930s, the two organizations merged in the 1990s to form the AI. This group awards two professional designations: SRA, to residential appraisers, and MAI, to commercial appraisers. The Institute has enacted rigorous regulations regarding the use and display of these designations. For example, contrary to popular belief, "MAI" does not stand for "Member, Appraisal Institute". According to the institute, the letters "do not represent specific words", and an MAI may not use the words "Member, Appraisal Institute" in lieu of the MAI mark. The primary motive for this rule is to prevent trademark dilution.
"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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