Maxwell Hendry Simmons is a real estate appraisal and consulting firm based in Fort Myers, Florida. Founded 40 years ago, our staff includes professionals with hundreds of years of licensed experience serving the Southwest Florida area.
Our services include residential and commercial appraisals as well as feasibility analysis, market studies, tax appeals, litigation support, and more. Most of our staff is certified by the state of Florida as certified residential or general appraisers.
Additionally, many hold professional designations from the Appraisal Institute (MAI or SRA). For questions regarding how we can help you with your real estate needs, contact us!
A real estate appraisal is an opinion of a property’s value performed by a licensed appraiser in the jurisdiction, such as the state of Florida. Appraisals can be used for mortgage financing, tax purposes, building permits, and other compliance regulations, such as FEMA’s 50% rule.
Before starting the appraisal process, key information must be gathered to identify the appraisal problem, including who the client is and when it was requested.
Once this data has been collected, physical site inspections may be required, and additional research will need to be done to determine the property’s highest and best use before writing up an appraisal report.
Estate appraisals are often needed when someone has passed away and an estate tax filing is required. This usually involves looking backward in time to find the value of the property as it was on the date of death.
Appraisals are also oftentimes needed for litigation due to disputes such as business-related, family law, contract disputes, or construction defects. Valuation work must be provided for these purposes in order for a resolution to be reached.
Real estate appraisals are typically required when a mortgage company needs to determine the value of a property that is being used as collateral for a loan. Appraisers try to reflect the market and form credible opinions.
However, if a client is not satisfied with an appraisal, they can reach out to the appraiser directly or contact the lender and follow their rebuttal process.
Maxwell Hendry Simmons also provides services related to property tax appeal work. If a client has received their TRIM notice and isn’t pleased with the value listed on it, they can either challenge it themselves or engage Maxwell Hendry Simmons to do so on a contingent fee basis. This can be a much less time-consuming option for the client.
The services that we provide at Maxwell Hendry Simmons can help clients when they need to determine the value of their property, as well as appeal their property taxes. With our help, clients can make sure they are paying fair market value and have the best chance at a successful appeal.
Commercial appraisal involves an income approach to value, using the rents and expenses associated with a property in order to determine its net operating income.
This net operating income is evaluated using a capitalization rate, or cap rate, which helps provide an assessment of the property’s value in comparison to other properties on the market.
The cost of a commercial real estate appraisal is typically between two and three thousand dollars, though this can vary depending on factors such as the size and scope of the appraised property.
The FEMA 50 Rule is associated with the National Flood Insurance Program and applies to non-conforming properties with a first-floor living area below current base flood elevation requirements.
It states that owners of these properties can only do up to $150,000 worth of work on them (based on the structure value), while it phases out over time in order to become compliant.
Structure value can be determined through private property appraisals, adjusted assessed structure values, actual cash values, or qualified estimates.
Municipalities help property owners understand their options and determine their numbers during this time, and they often don’t need private property appraisals for this purpose.
The supply of housing units in Lee County has become even more constrained due to the damage caused by Hurricane Ian. However, it is still too soon to say how this will affect property values, as it’s only been a few months since the storm.
So far, the market appears to be performing well despite the disaster. However, it is important to keep in mind that the impact of any natural disaster can take years to be fully felt.
Appraising a private property for compliance with the FEMA 50% Rule involves extracting land value from the total property value, estimating the cost of site improvements and other structures, and assessing physical depreciation to determine the actual cash value of the non-conforming structure.
Appraisers have to use different processes and approaches depending on the situation. It’s important to be aware of all these methods and make sure that the best approach is taken for each particular case.
Ultimately, an accurate appraisal will help you make informed decisions about your property and ensure compliance with the FEMA 50% Rule.
USPAP stands for the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and can be considered the “Bible” for real property appraisers. USPAP is adopted by the FREAB (Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board) as the standards of practice under DBPR (Department of Business and Professional Regulation), making them enforceable from a compliance standpoint.
Moreover, USPAP sets forth the standards for conducting appraisals and reviews. The USPAP publication is updated every two years and must be reviewed by all real estate appraisers in order to maintain their certification or license.
TRIM stands for “Truth and Knowledge” and is used to disclose the tax bill based on market value minus the traditional cost of sale from the seller side of the transaction (just value).
In other words, it takes market value into account but considers typical closing costs that would be incurred if a property were to sell. This allows for taxing only the net asset/proceeds value.
In Florida, it’s not mandatory that a seller pays the documentary stamp tax on the deed and other ancillary closing costs. However, this is customary for most sellers. The TRIM process takes these traditional costs into account when disclosing a tax bill, allowing for the assessment of just value to be based on net proceeds from a property sale.
This ensures that property owners are only taxed on the net value of their assets instead of having to pay tax on the gross market value. It allows for a fair assessment for everyone involved and helps to keep taxes in line with current market values.