You may be asking, “How can an appraiser help me with my loss?” I just got done appraising a home that was damaged by fire. The problem with fire, wind, and water damage is you never know when it’s going to happen. As an appraiser, one of the key parts of our assignment is the effective date of the report, which in the case of a fire would be just before it was damaged. Once we start the assignment we have to reconstruct the features, amenities, and condition of the home. The more accurate the reconstruction, the more accurate the appraisal will be. Reconstructing the property requires applying what is known as a hypothetical condition. A hypothetical condition is a condition that is contrary to reality, and this is where you can help yourself out.
Do you remember when you finished your latest project on the honey-do-list and felt the feeling of accomplishment? Did you take a selfie of you and your new landscaping, bookshelf, or deck project? I hope so, because that selfie of you and your project are now a snapshot in time of the investment you’ve made in your property and its current condition. Tuck these pictures away somewhere that won’t be damaged or lost, and if you are ever in this situation your insurance agent, adjuster, or appraiser will love you for them. One step better would be to hold onto all your receipts from said project.
I hope you never find yourself in this situation. If you’ve been fortunate enough to not have gone through this, keep paying your insurance premiumsand take some pics of your stuff!