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© 2003-2014 David Long Appraisal Company, Ithaca, New York. All Rights Reserved.

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Mailing Address:
309 N. Tioga St.,
Suite 204,
Ithaca, NY 14850



Appraisal FAQs

What is the Advantage of a Professional Appraisal?

The advantage of a professional appraisal is training, licensing and accountability. As licensed valuations experts, when we conduct an appraisal, we must uphold USPAP and state regulations. USPAP is the Uniform Standards of Professional Practice. USPAP is published and maintained by the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) of the Appraisal Foundation, a non governmental entity charged by Congress with promulgating appraisal standards.

When would I need an appraisal?

Appraisals are required for many different purposes. The most common reason is for a Real Estate or Mortgage transaction. An appraisal is a valuation tool used by mortgage lenders to verify a property's worth for prospective financing. This could be for a buyer obtaining a first mortgage on a new home purchase, a refinance of an existing mortgage loan, FHA financing, a second mortgage loan, New Construction financing, or a Home Equity Line of Credit. We have all the latest technology and MLS access to provide lending agencies and clients with quick, comprehensive, credible results.

PMI Removal:

Private Mortgage Insurance or "PMI" is the supplemental insurance that is required by most lenders when the amount being loaned is more than 80% of the value of the home (Loan to Value or "LTV"). This additional cost is typically folded into your monthly mortgage payment; but by law can be removed when your mortgage loan amount falls below 80% of the value of your property. In most cases you can apply to your lender to have the PMI eliminated from your loan and lower your mortgage payments. An appraisal is typically required for this.

Estate Settlement and Planning:

Settling an estate can be a very sensitive and stressful process. An appraisal is required to establish Fair Market Value of any real estate property involved in the estate for tax filings, division of property with family members, or to determine a selling price. Attorneys and Accountants working with an Executor for estate settlement will rely on the opinion of a professional appraiser when dealing with the IRS and state agencies. Often, the effective date of the appraisal will be the date of death rather than the date the appraisal was ordered. This may require a "retroactive" appraisal; which we have full knowledge of the procedures and requirements necessary to obtain and utilize the information that results in a credible conclusion.

Property Tax Grievance:

In many instances homeowners may believe their local tax assessor has their home overvalued. This means you may be paying higher taxes than you should be. Most assessments are based on property information obtained from initial building specifications or interior walkthrough's that may have occurred years ago or from recent drive-by photos. Your local assessor may not have correct information on your property, such as: current condition of interior, upgrades or lack thereof, room count, square footage calculations, etc. Some homeowners turn to the internet to research home values and sales on websites that simply provide mass information collected from various automated sources; none of which can be considered totally accurate. Challenging your tax assessment will be taken more seriously by your local assessor if you have the proper tools to support your claim. An appraisal from a qualified appraiser is the smartest choice in any dispute with your local assessor. We have years of experience in this type of work and are very reputable in all municipalities in our coverage area.

Pre-Listing and Purchase Assistance:

If you're thinking of selling your home, an independent Fair Market Value appraisal is the best way to determine a realistic asking price. Even if you're working with an experienced real estate agent, an "objective" third-party opinion can assist both you and your Realtor in accurately listing your property. This could help you maximize your profit and help minimize your home's time on the market. If you're planning on trying to sell your home without the assistance of a real estate agent, a professional appraisal can be a valuable negotiating tool with a potential buyer. In the same sense, if you are contemplating making an offer on a property, an appraisal can help determine a Fair Market Value offering price. An appraisal will help ensure that you are not selling your home for less its worth or that you are not paying more than a home is worth. We can help you make an informed decision on buying or selling and provide you with "peace of mind".

Collaborative Matrimonial Action:

In unfortunate circumstances, such as separation or divorce, a professional appraisal is required to ensure that both parties involved receive a fair and impartial value of the common real estate. Most often, a Fair Market Value is needed to assist parties with a "buyout" or for the home to be listed for sale. This could involve a "current market value" or a "retrospective value" based on the date of separation or divorce. When working with Collaborative Law Attorneys, an agreement is made between the two parties to hire an impartial 3rd party appraiser. We understand the sensitive needs of our clients during this often traumatic process and have years of experience in dealing with this type of service. We will produce a professional, well supported appraisal that can assist you and your Attorney or Accountant in settling your real estate amicably.

How do I prepare for an appraisal?

  • Make a list of recent improvements, dates and costs.
  • Make the exterior of your home as attractive as possible. Lawn mowed, picked up and snow or ice removed from sidewalks.
  • Accessibility: Make sure all areas of the home are accessible including attics, crawl spaces, basements and additional living units.
  • Put pets in a safe and out of the way place.
  • Housekeeping: Appraisers are not hired to judge your housekeeping; however we are required to take interior photographs for any lender or federally related transaction, therefore overall appearance is important.
  • Maintenance: Repair minor things such as leaky faucets, missing hardware, trim, and paint touch ups.
  • Provide any documentation that might be helpful to the appraiser, such as surveys, maintenance agreements, encroachments, easements or gas leases.

How long does it take and how much will it cost?

Please contact us for an estimated time frame and fee based on the terms of the assignment and location of the property. Appraisal fees and time frames can vary depending on location, scope of appraisal assignment and specific client/lender requirements. We are able to forward your completed appraisal report to you immediately upon completion in a PDF format. Hardcopies by mail can be forwarded upon request.