What is the Best Appraisal Cost Manual?
Remember the cost manuals every appraiser used to own? Once upon a time existed physical copies of Marshall & Swift Cost Manuals that appraisers often utilized for some of their residential appraisal work. While the cost approach is often not relevant to an assignment, having cost manuals on hand are useful and in many ways can be resourceful when developing other approaches to market value. Marshall & Swift cost manuals have long since been a thing of the past and now have become intertwined into many software applications. Notably is the Swift Estimator which can provide the gold standard of cost values right into your appraisal report. While you do have instant access to the years of experience of Marshall & Swift, this option is often very pricey. It is especially expensive for an appraiser running their own business.
So the better question isn’t what is the best appraisal cost manual but what is the best affordable appraisal cost manual for appraisers? Let me introduce you to Craftsman’s National Cost Manual. This is by far the most affordable manual that still holds reliable sources for construction costs. While the National Building Cost Manual does cover more than residential properties, it does provide a very thorough section exclusively for residential real estate appraisers. Each area of the United States is provided in the manual. Simply look up your area and use the local area modification factor. The manual also provides software which is a huge perk. For a cost source in your appraisal reports, being able to cite Craftsman’s National Cost Manual is far better than utilizing a free source online.
Covid-19 Economic Shutdown and Rising Cost of Goods
Stimulus has been the silver bullet (so far) employed by the federal reserve in avoiding an (inevitable) economic downturn. With the amount of quantitative easing and stimulus (exceeding 2.3 trillion), the cost of goods inevitably become impacted. While inflation also considers the velocity of money within an economy, the concern with cost manuals is that the cost manual utilized within your reports are recent. No company has a crystal ball as to where the dollar will rest. All the actions made by the federal reserve have an affect on the dollar and subsequently impact the cost of materials. Have you walked into your local Home Depot or Lowes lately? Now while many materials are heavily under demand which is causing prices to surge, the point and emphasis here is that it is extremely important to obtain the most recent cost manual so that values are as accurate as possible.
Replacement and Reproduction Costs
From current year as far as back as 1953, Craftsman National Cost Manual provided cost values for appraisers seeking reproduction costs. This is why this manual is our top choice. Whether you’re doing an appraisal in which the scope requires a reproduction value or whether your client is asking for a cost value where replacement costs can be used, this manual can used and is reputable. While Marshall and Swift take on a little more prestige, the National Cost Manual holds to time tested. Get reliable cost values which will save you far more money in the course of a year as a real estate appraiser. P.S. Clients, lenders and alike know what you are doing when you cite “Local Builders”. Don’t give the client a reason to doubt your work. The appraisal report written has taken hours so keep it looking professional – get a Craftsman Cost Manual today.