I feel like I need to get better at understanding the appraisal process when valuing a SFR. I'm specifically looking for distressed single family homes in Indianapolis to renovate. And I know the basic idea for pulling comps: Finding similar homes sold within the past 6 months in a half mile radius and all that.

But even then I'm seeing too much variation. Any tips or advice on how I can better my knowledge on estimating an ARV? Just use the square footage method and hope for the best? What else do I need to take into consideration? What if there aren't any good comps in the area? Avoid that property all together?

And on top of that if anyone knows specifically the process of how an appraiser  decides on that amount I think that would be super helpful! Thanks! 

- Casey