Let Ben Garrett handle your appraisal

Thousands of people in Colorado purchase, sell or refinance their home every year. Most of these transactions involve a simple line item for an appraisal. And even though there are a budding number of automated home valuation systems that may seem more cost-effective than an appraisal, nearly all lenders still need a local expert because the stakes are incredibly high. You might think that getting a mortgage is the only reason you should get an appraisal, but there are additional situations when the services of a licensed, independent real estate professional could be beneficial.

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Dispute your tax assessment in El Paso County

It's possible you're paying too much in property taxes if you reside in an area where property values have depreciated. Ad Valorem taxes are determined by a previous assessment of your real estate, so if prices have declined in your neighborhood, you can challenge your assessment and save money. When building your case, an appraisal from Ben Garrett is your best evidence. At Ben Garrett,we can assist you in disputing your tax assessment.

Ben Garrett can help you do away with PMI to lower your mortgage payment

When the amount being loaned to the homebuyer is more than 80% of the actual value of the property, almost all lenders ask home owners to purchase an extra insurance policy. That policy is Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI. Oftentimes, this extra payment is lumped into the monthly mortgage payment and is quickly forgotten. PMI isn't required when the leftover balance of the loan - whether through market appreciation or principal pay down - falls below the 80% level, making this very unfortunate. In fact, the United States Congress invoked a law in 1998 (the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998) requiring lenders to eliminate the PMI installments when the loan-to-value ratio conditions have been met.

If you'd like to do away with PMI, Ben Garrett can provide you with a statement regarding the value of your home. The expense of the home valuation can often be regained in little time because you'll no longer be paying the PMI.

Settling a divorce with less stress

A divorce can be a very daunting experience for both parties, and it is often further complicated by the hard decision of who gets the home. It's a good idea to order an appraisal from Ben Garrett so both parties are fully aware of the true market value of their house, regardless of the circumstances.

The parties will have a good idea of what price to set, if they want to sell the home. And if a "buyout" is the chosen option, both parties will feel like they've gotten a fair evaluation.

Settling an estate with peace of mind

The loss of a loved one is a hard time in life, and settling an estate from a death, or probate, often requires an appraisal to establish Fair Market Value for the residential property involved. We guarantee the fullest degree of discretion, as we're bound with confidentiality by the ethics provision within the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).

Unlike wealthy individuals, most Americans do not have dedicated estate planners or executors to manage these matters. A home or other property often makes up an unequal share of the total estate value, so knowing the true worth of the real estate at hand is of vital importance to ensuring disputing parties leave knowing they've gotten an honest deal.

Relocating to or from El Paso County?

We know the stress involved with an employee relocation. That's why we take great care in organizing an accommodating appointment time for the appraisal inspection. During our intensive process, we encourage employees that are moving to provide feedback on the positive characteristics of their property, as well as information about any new sales or listings in their neighborhood that they want considered.

Don't sell out short or let your home stay on the market too long.

A professional appraisal can help you make a more informed decision regarding your asking price, whether you choose to sell your home on your own or use the assistance of a real estate agent. With much different interests than a real estate agent, an appraiser has no vested interest in what amount the house sells for. Our fees aren't contingent upon the value opinion we render, but rather they depend on our efforts to complete the appraisal.

On a daily basis, we determine the difference in value items like an extra bathroom or a kitchen remodel can make. Getting a professional appraisal is a reliable way to decide what improvements will add value and what a suitable sales price is for your home - so you don't come up short or have your house on the market an unnecessarily long time - because we're experts in knowing how long houses stay on the market.