By John Dudley
Growth in The Texas Panhandle, especially in Hale County, Carson County, Potter County Creates Property Appraisal Issues
Historically, a land of spectacular scenery, vast unpopulated plains and sagebrush, the Texas Panhandle has recently enjoyed the most rapid growth in the country. But what’s driven this unprecedented population growth to an area that was almost abandoned some fifty years ago? Much of the reason is a combination of quality of life needs; access to milder climates, outdoor areas, the increase in agriculture and organic farming, low housing prices and strong economic foundations.
The Growing Economy
Local governments have seen tremendous growth in Hale, Carson and Potter County. In fact, the population of the entire Texas Panhandle in general has increased substantially. Consequently, local economies are also being lifted, primarily by the agriculture and energy related industries.
This substantial growth to communities that haven’t seen economic stability in decades is great news. However, as with all types of growth, a few hiccups appear along the way. One such problem is the lack of qualified real estate appraisers to help complete a home purchase or sale.
Why is An Appraiser so Important?
When buying or selling a home, a real estate appraisal helps establish the property’s market value for this area. Mortgage lenders always require an appraisal before making a loan, as they want to make sure the property can be sold for the amount they are lending.
The issue in the Panhandle area lies in the fact that there just aren’t enough good appraisers to handle the increase in popularity of these counties. Consequently, lenders are calling in the Appraisal Management Companies (AMC). These are companies from larger metropolitan areas that offer quick and inexpensive appraisals.
The problem is that the appraisers contracted by AMC companies are less experienced, don’t know the Panhandle area and often make mistakes when appraising a property. These mishaps can result in money loss for the seller, or even in mismanagement of the purchase for the buyer. AMC pays a low contract fee to inexperienced appraisers, and then they offer an overload of work which causes even more issues.
AS a buyer or seller, whenever possible (when setting a sales price or being cautious about investing in a property), it works out best to find your own local, independent appraiser. Although a good local appraiser may take a day or so longer to get to the property, and he may charge slightly more than the AMC, he also knows the local area, the economy and the future growth of this area.
A local company will have appraisers that have grown up in or served mainly in this area for many years. They understand that the low economy of the past is now changing, and as a result, so are the home and property values for the Texas-Oklahoma Panhandle area. The result is an appraisal that lets you make good decisions, that you own, that is not tied to a use other than your primary interest.