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Understanding Home Appraisal Jargon with Oleg Borukhov of Amsterdam Appraisal Service, Inc

By Oleg Borukhov

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Amsterdam Appraisal Services Inc., was founded in 2008 by Oleg Borukhov, a New York State Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser/Analyst. Holds a supervisory Appraiser status with the state of New York, Approved Appraisal instructor, and FHA Approved Appraiser. His expertise gives him the ability to properly and professionally confirm the value of one of your largest investments, your home. His diverse Real Estate background provides first-hand knowledge and understanding of client needs and timetables.Amsterdam Appraisal Services Inc., is a full service Appraisal firm with dedicated NYS certified Residential and General appraisers bringing quality reports. With the intention of providing quality appraisals of both commercial and residential properties to clients in New York State, Amsterdam Appraisals employs the most talented and up to date licensed and certified appraisers. As a Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser, Oleg Borukhov of Amsterdam Appraisal Services Inc., is able to appraise all residential real estate up to & above $1,000,000.00, including Condominiums, PUDS', Cooperatives, High Value, Waterfront, etc.

We provide independent housing research, advice and consulting. Our mission is to help investors, home buyers and executives make informed decisions in regards to their most valued asset, their Real Estate. Our firm provides Builders/Developers, Banks/Lenders, Investors, and Home Owners, with the timely analysis they need to make smart decisions, quickly and cost effectively. Our research is backed by detailed data, as well as proprietary tools and a network of experts around the country.

Could you briefly define what it is a Real Estate Appraiser does and for what purpose?

Real estate appraisers utilize many skills : Photography skills, math skills, and most importantly detective skills. An appraiser will walk through the property outdoors and go from room to room in a house to determine its condition. He will note any amenities such as a swimming pool, sauna, guest suite, or finished basement, sun room, central air....etc. With a camera in one hand and note pad in the other , the appraiser will measure and draw the layout of the property and take photos of every room and all applicable areas. We use a checklist to ensure our inspectors don't miss a thing.

A certified appraisal is a formal, impartial estimate or opinion of value, usually written, of an adequately described property, as of a specific date, and supported by the presentation and analysis of relevant data. It is prepared as a result of a retainer, for reliance by identified parties, and for which the appraiser accepts responsibility, We complete appraisals for the following purposes;

  • Mortgage lending
  • Asset valuations
  • Tax Assessment Appeals
  • Estate Planning
  • Gift Tax
  • Matrimonial/Divorce
  • Bankruptcy
  • PMI Removal
  • Condemnations
  • Foreclosures
  • REO Properties
  • Investment advice
  • Retrospective appraisals
  • Home seller market value
  • Appraisal reviews
Only a state certified appraiser can provide a certified appraisal.

Don't rely on Brokers to give you an accurate value.The most important difference between a certified appraiser and broker or real estate sales agent is their motivation. A brokers typical goal is to obtain a listing and earn a commission. Although most brokers and agents are honest some might tell you what they think you want to hear. A certified appraiser is independent and unbiased in ther opinion. The appraiser is not gaining a commision from the value of the home and therefore has a complete and unbiased view. Our only concern is to deliver a fair, accurate objective appraisal.

What are 5 to 8 common terms that are used by Real Estate Appraisers that you feel every homeowners should know and completely understand?

Most important terms to know when dealing with an appraisal or appraisers are:

MARKET VALUE: No value opinion can have meaning without first being defined. The intended use of an appraisal dictates which definition of market (or other) value is applicable to a specific assignment

Market Value is described in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP) as "a type of value, stated as an opinion, that presumes the transfer of a property (i.e., a right of ownership, or a bundle of such rights), as of a certain date, under specific conditions set forth in the definition of the term identified by the appraiser as applicable in an appraisal."

Market Value is defined by The Appraisal Institute in their basic text; The Appraisal of Real Estate, 13th Ed., p.23 as: "The most probable price, as of a specified date, in cash, or in terms equivalent to cash, or in other precisely revealed terms, for which the specified property rights should sell after reasonable exposure in a competitive market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, with the buyer and seller each acting prudently, knowledgeably, and for self-interest, and assuming that neither is under undue duress."

UAD: UNIFORM APPRAISAL DATASET, " The Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) is a component of the Uniform Mortgage Data Program® (UMDP®), jointly established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under the direction of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, to provide common requirements for appraisal and loan delivery data." -FannieMae

GLA: Gross living area (GLA) is the calculation used when appraising single-family residential property. This shouldn't be confused with gross building area (GBA), used for two- to four-family structures and commercial properties.


Reconciliation by definition is the final resolution, a collaboration of valuation methodology, to arrive at a supportable,defendable final conclusion. it is based on a directed value estimate leaning on a specific adjusted value of the most competitive sale, individually, to the subject. Putting direct emphasis on specific sales.

Have you ever experienced a miscommunication between with a client of yours due to a lack of understanding terms related to home appraisals?

No.The scope of work is defined by the appraiser before beginning an appraisal assignment. the difficulty and complexity of the assignment and reporting requirements are set within the scope of work based on the inspection, within this the inclusion of the stated Definition of Market Value, Statement of Assumptions and Limiting Conditions, and Certifications.

"The appraiser is required, at a minimum, to: Perform a complete visual inspection of the interior and exterior areas of the subject property; Inspect the neighborhood; Inspect each of the comparable sales, at least from the street; Research, verify, and analyze data from reliable public and/or private sources; and Report his or her analysis, opinions, and conclusions in the appraisal report. The stated Scope of Work on the appraisal report forms reflects the minimum level of research and analysis required. The appraiser can expand the minimum Scope of Work for the appraisal and report on any additional research or analysis that was necessary and performed based on the complexity of the appraisal assignment. The need for an expanded Scope of Work is specific to the particular appraisal assignment and should be the exception, not the norm, for appraisals on typical one-unit properties." -

What is the best way for people to reach you and or your company?

We can be reached online at www.AmsterdamAppraisals.com and www.ValueTruth.com Amsterdam appraisal services inc, 77-45 Vleigh PL, Kew Garden Hills NY 11367 Office: 347-2381276 Cell: 917-731441 Fax: 718-2288127 Email:


Twitter: @NYCAppriasals.

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