Lagniappe Living in Lake Charles, Louisiana: June 2012

Understanding Appraisals is Half the Battle

It always upsets the home buying process whenever the appraisal comes back short of the contract price. Understanding the inside of how appraisals are figured will help the home buyer, home seller and Realtor.  Appraisers are not the ones to blame, many cuts in appraisals are attributed to inaccurate measurements and data input in the MLS by the listing agent.

A home seller will always think their home is worth more than what a market analysis shows.   If you want your home to sell, listing it within the range of appropriate market value with comps that support that value is the key.  If listed properly, there will probably not be an appraisal issue but you have to understand what you can and cannot count as sq ft of living space to get to that value.

I recently attended a SW Louisiana Board of Realtors Learning Session where Mr. Pete Pauley spoke. Mr. Mr. Pauley has been an appraiser in SW Louisiana for over 35 years and also currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board. Here are some tips Mr. Pauley shared in this session that are helpful to understanding how your home appraisal value is achieved.

  • Verify the sq ft and make sure the measurements are done correctly by the Realtor. Measurements are taken from the outside of of the home. An appraiser will not include sq ft with a ceiling less than 5 ft. high. When listing your Lake Charles home for sale, your Realtor should measure your home and not rely on previous measurements from a prior sale in the MLS which could be inaccurate.
  • In order to get value for an addition to a home, the addition must be in the original scheme of construction. You may close in your porch but if the roof is still slanted and you have to step down to enter the room, the value will be treated differently.  Appraisers will probably give 50% of value for the additional living space.
  • When using comps to establish value, don't use a comparative sale that is 300 sq ft. above the subject property. An appraiser will have to follow Fannie Mae guidelines which mandate comps no larger than 300 sq ft. larger than the subject matter.
  • You will never recoup the total expense of a swimming pool. If you add a $40,000 swimming pool you cannot attribute $40,000 additional value to sell your home. Appraisers will usually give a pool the value of 6% of the total value of the house. So $12,000 would be value of a pool on a $200,000 home.

Keep in mind that when a buyer is obtaining a loan to purchase a home, an appraisal will be required and is ordered by the bank through what is known as AMC (Appraisal Management Company). Appraisal Management Companies are mandated by the Federal Government.

Mr. Pauley shared that there are 146 licensed AMC's and only 7 are in the State of Louisiana, so many Appraisal Management Companies are outsiders.

If you experience an issue with an appraisal/appraiser you may file a complaint which will be reviewed by the State Appraisal Board. In Louisiana the website is  



For more information on Lake Charles Real Estate, visit my website.  You can search homes for sale in Lake Charles, Louisiana,  and view up to date information on Lake Charles Subdivisions, Neighborhoods

Find Lake Charles Realtor Marilyn Boudreaux Century 21 Mike D. Bono & Co.'s on Google+

If you are planning a move to or from the Lake Charles, LA area, I can help!   I am a full time Realtor licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission and am affiliated with:

Century 21 Mike D. Bono & Co.'s

4410 Nelson Road, Lake Charles, LA, 70605 USA

337-478-1578 or 337-499-9592

CENTURY 21® is a registered trademark owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal housing Opportunity. Each office is independently owned and operated.  The information contained in this blog is believed to be reliable and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments are not warranted or implied representation of it's accuracy,  All information is copywritten and the property of the Author, Marilyn Boudreaux.  


Follow me on Facebook

Marilyn Boudreaux Century 21


Google ME


 Marilyn Boudreaux Copyright 2012


Comment balloon 9 commentsMarilyn Boudreaux • June 28 2012 07:31PM
Understanding Appraisals is Half the Battle
It always upsets the home buying process whenever the appraisal comes back short of the contract price. Understanding the inside of how appraisals are figured will help the home buyer, home seller and Realtor. Appraisers are not the ones to… more
Mojito Pointe Lake Charles Project is now Ameristar Casinos Project
Ever since it was announced that Lake Charles LA would get another casino, residents have anxiously awaited the ground breaking on the land located adjacent to L'Auberge du Lac Casino. Just over a year ago, Dan Lee obtained the last… more
First Day of Summer- Find the Coolest Homes in Lake Charles LA
via zingding. com I'll show you where all the cool homes in Lake Charles LA are this summer for you and pet, Contact Marilyn Boudreaux, Century 21 Mike D Bono & Co's 337 499 9592! more
Criteria for a Good Investment Property in Lake Charles LA
JUST SOLD IN LAKE CHARLES LA! Lake Charles Investors and Lake Charles Home Buyers look at property very differently. Investors in Lake Charles LA are always looking for homes that can be rehabbed and either rented or SOLD… more
Thinking of Buying or Selling a Lake Charles LA Home This Summer?
CONTACT MARILYN BOUDREAUX, CENTURY 21 MIKE D BONO & CO. 'S 337-499-9592 / 337-478-1578 more
Leave the Snow Behind when Relocating to Lake Charles LA!
You won't need to pack your snow shovel or snow blower when you move to Southwest LA!! When working with Relocation buyers moving to Lake Charles LA from Northern climates, many are amazed at the lush landscaping and tropical palms that we… more
Do You Want a Country Club Lifestyle in Lake Charles, LA?
Welcome to Turnberry Row in Lake Charles LA where you will find estate homes for sale near the Lake Charles Country Club LAKE CHARLES COUNTRY CLUB HOME 3354 PORTRUSH JUST SOLD! 3354 Portrush JUST SOLD… more
Be Mindful of Selling Tips This Summer
It is HOT in Southwest Louisiana and our summer season lasts a long time! Temperatures begin to rise in May and we don't cool off again until late October. Lake Charles Homes for sale that are on the market during the summer months that may… more
Watefront Living in Southwest Louisiana
Welcome to Pelican Pointe Pelican Pointe is a community of homes located in Cameron Parish, about 29 miles South of Lake Charles, LA. The homes of Pelican Pointe have a beach appearance that are reminescent of Galveston TX or Florida… more
Lease Purchase Options When Buying a Home
1518 Common Street, Lake Charles LA Lease/Purchase options do not come up often in Lake Charles Real Estate and the lease and purchase contract must be negotiated separately. This 2 bedroom 2 bath remodeled cottage home located… more