Seller Financing - Still get appraisal?

4 Replies

Hi All, Just went under contract on a 12-unit apartment yesterday and are about to begin the diligence period. The seller is providing good financing at 4.75% for 10 years, 30 am. We have done a thorough valuation analysis and are getting the property for about 90% of ask. My question is, do you think it is still worth spending money on an appraisal (about $1,000 for a slightly stripped down appraisal which does not include all the bank formalities), or is this not necessary? We have done a thorough rent comp analysis and are very familiar with the area. Is there information that an appraiser is going to provide that is not available via our own research (ie., surrounding rents, market cap rates, etc..).  We are obviously having all other inspections done (Engineering, Title V, etc...). Curious to know people's thoughts on this. Thanks!

PS - If you are curious, the deal points are below which were also posted in a post several days ago. 

Purchase Price: $710,000 +/-

Units: 12 (All 850 SF 2 bed / 1 Bath units)

Current Monthly Rent: $9,300/mo (There seems to be room to push this to at least $9,700)

Annual Rent: $111,600 + other income $905

Vacancy: 5% (Property is currently 100% occupied with strong occupancy history)

Effective Gross Income: $106,925

Taxes: $9453

Insurance: $6588

Management: 5% (will be partially self managed) $5,079

Utilities: $6,302 (only common area electric and electric heat, all other separately metered)

Septic: $1,000

Repairs/Maint.: $16,450

Marketing/Promotion: $1,431

Trash: $1,961

Supplies: $1,579

Water Testing: $3,177

Misc: $350

Total Expenses: $53,370

NOI: $53,555

Cap Rate: ~ 7.5%

Cash on Cash: ~12% (based on 20% down and 30 year am at 5% - still finalizing loan terms so subject to change)

DSCR: 1.46x

50% Rule ($/unit/mo): $117.17

1% Rule: 1.31%

GRM: 6.36

Debt Yield: 9.55% (based on 20% down)

Property is in overall good condition but could use some upgrading. Pending inspection there appears to be little to no immediate deferred maintenance. The area is decent, but most likely not going to experience significant growth. This would be a long term hold for cash flow and would be a stepping stone from smaller multi's (own 13 units in 4-5 unit complexes now) to larger apartment buildings.

Usually, an appraisal is sought by an interested party, such as a bank or lender, in order to comply with the law and/or to reassure its members that collateral is solid. An educated buyer like yourself probably can go forward with confidence that all relevant financial implications are known already. However, a bank would do a Phase 1 environmental in order to assure that physical integrity is up to standards and no surprises.

Good luck.


I say spend the $1000. Its another (unbiased) set of eyes on your deal. Its well worth it for that sized deal. 

Also, generally speaking, when you are calculating vacancy, use 8%. If you are unsure, ask a couple local commercial lenders what they use. 

Thanks for the feedback.  I agree that it makes sense to have it as a precaution, I guess my hesitation comes from other appraisals we have gotten (while doing bank financing) that used terrible comps and regurgitated census bureau info for an area far too general to be of any value, and ended up just coming in at the purchase price anyways. Will have to give it a little thought. 

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