The Uniform Residential Appraisal Report: What This Is and How to Read It

The uniform residential appraisal report is a form introduced by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 1986. This form was the first time all government agencies agreed to use the one form for mortgage activities. The URAR form is used by appraisers to determine the home appraisal values for homes getting insured by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, VA, and FHA.

A house appraisal value on a property that will be government insured can be determined by many different licensed appraisers in different ways. The uniform residential appraisal report is standard and uniform, so each appraisal will be communicated the same way.

This eliminates any discrepancies due to the individual appraiser, and ensures that all appraisers examine the same factors and components. Home appraisal values can vary, but when the uniform residential appraisal form is used the variations are minimized, and each appraisal is done according to a specified format.

A house appraisal value can affect many things, including the taxes that are assessed and a range of what a home will sell for in an open market. Because of this it is important that the home appraisal values are accurate and complete.

If you're going to have your home appraised for any reason, whether you're selling, want to take out a home equity loan, or are just curious as to what your home value is right now, you should insist that the appraiser use the uniform residential appraisal report.

If you're getting an appraisal for a bank refinance or buying a home, your bank will hire the appraiser and you will get a copy of the uniform appraisal report. It is important to note that in this situation you're not the client, the bank is because they're the party hiring the appraiser.

In some situations I have seen, some banks don't even use an appraisal for all refinance situations, rather using county tax records and sites like instead.

Why Is The Uniform Residential Appraisal Report Used?

Before a standard residential appraisal report was created, each appraiser made their own determination about what was important and what did not need to be included. Many different forms were used, and some contained more information than others did.

This caused inconsistencies in the way that home appraisal values were calculated, and created problems in some cases because of widely varying values being given. The universal residential appraisal report was created so that every appraisal followed specific guidelines and included all of the relevant information.

This form is now the industry standard for one unit residential appraisals, and is used in all fifty states across the country.

The uniform residential report has made it easier for the appraisal industry and those who rely on the house appraisal value given. This form includes spaces for all of the relevant data required, and the appraiser simply moves from one section of the form to the next inputting the information needed.

The uniform report makes the appraisal process easier and more thorough, as well as being standardized so that all home appraisals use the same form. This eliminates any overlooked or disregarded aspects that may have an impact on the home appraisal values given.

Reading the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report

Reading and understanding the uniform report so that you can determine your house appraisal value is not difficult if you understand the form sections. The first section is titled subject, and this area is used to list home data for the house appraisal value.

This area will list the address and description of the property being appraised, as well as the parcel and tax information for the home. The bottom of this section also lists any data sources used for the information. The next section of the uniform residential appraisal report lists the contact information for the home sale. This will include the contract parties, the contract details, and other information relevant to this section.

The neighborhood section of the uniform residential appraisal report will include the neighborhood description, market value factors, and the boundaries of the neighborhood. Neighborhood characteristics are relevant to home appraisal values and are included in this section, but the racial composition of the neighborhood is not evaluated on the form.

The site information is the next section listed on the uniform residential appraisal report, and will include utility hookups, site dimensions, and zoning regulations for the site. Other sections on the report include improvements made, the sales comparison approach, additional comments, reconciliation, cost approach, and PUD information.

The Uniform Appraisal Report Makes Appraisals More Accurate and Complete

Professional appraiser's use the uniform residential appraisal report because this form is the industry standard for one unit government insured loans, and it includes all of the relevant information needed to make an accurate and complete appraisal of your home. This report is easy to read and understand, so that even the homeowner can read the report and then recognize the house appraisal value.

The first page of this report usually contains a summary of the basic information provided, and then the following pages list each section and relevant information. Home appraisal values are important, so it is crucial that you choose the right professional for the job. A uniform appraisal report is always completed by a licensed appraiser and distinguishes itself greatly from a realtor performing a broker price opinion.

This uniform appraisal report will include all of the information and answers needed to accurately assess the value of the home, and if this report form is not used a lower than average appraiser may miss certain factors which can affect the value opinion.

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