Somerset County, PA

Posted on: January 13, 2016, by :

In Somerset County, when someone applies for or makes a financial transaction that involves their home (mortgage, equity loans, etc.), the issuing bank will need an appraisal to decide the value of the home as well as the conditions of the loan. In PA, the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) is used as the criteria for appraisers as well as banks to make certain that there is uniformity and compliancy across the state. As far as appraisers are concerned, they must be independent and either state licensed or certified. Their appraisals also need to be completed in writing and their values have to be based on current market values. Where the bank is concerned, their loan staff is permitted to have limited communication with the appraiser. They are not allowed to give any information about the house to the appraiser and they are also banned from promising future work for inflated or inaccurate values. Additional guidelines may also be found in the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC).

With a population of 77,742, Somerset County is known as one of the snowiest inhabited locations in the country. It is also part of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is made up of 97.39% White, 1.59% Black, .21% Asian and .66% Hispanic or Latino. A 9.4% lower cost of living than the national average along with a median home price of $137,000, could make Somerset County the perfect place for you and your family.

The majority of the appraisal entails s of a close examination of the inside and outside of the home paying particular attention to the quality of construction, condition as well as location. Examples of other key factors are the number of bathrooms, bedrooms as well as any upgrades or amenities like energy efficient appliances. Some appraisers consider additional factors like proximity to public transit, school districts and curb appeal. Upgrades or improvements that may not be noticeable to the naked eye should be pointed out by the home owner.

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a popular resource that gives appraisers access to tax, zoning and comparable sales data. There are appraisers who enlist the help of local Somerset County real estate attorneys for input as well. Once they’re finished gathering and compiling data, they offer their Highest & Best Use Analysis of the home using one or more of three distinct appraisal approaches: Cost Approach, Income Approach and Market Data Approach.  At, our only mission is to make the appraisal process easy on you. Contact us today.