AUGUSTA — As if the housing slump wasnâ€™t problematic enough, Maineâ€™s residential construction companies have been struggling with getting fair market appraisals for their construction projects.
Appraisals are based on comparable data but in the case of new construction, particularly modular construction, the value of quality construction is sometimes missed. With the housing market already suffering and home values depressed, Maineâ€™s builders are facing a significant challenge in getting homes to appraise to the value of the contracted price. â€śIn some cases, the appraisal falls short of even covering the cost of our materials,â€ť explains Scott Stone, President of the Modular Home Builders Association (MHBA).
Current regulations regarding appraisals put all appraisers in a pool. Jobs are assigned on a rotating basis without consideration for experience or regional familiarity. Itâ€™s not uncommon for an appraiser from southern Maine to be assigned to a project in northern Maine.
That, according to Stone, is a key part of the problem. Stone urges MHBA members and all builders to contact Senators Collins and Snowe, and Maineâ€™s congressional delegation. â€śPlease take a few minutes to explain how the current appraisal rules have cost you business. Urge them to rescind these rules. The MHBA is gathering copies of contracts with pricing and appraisals to send to Senator Snowe.â€ť
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) also recommends that builders review their projects with appraisers to point out any features that might be overlooked. And reminds everyone that upon receipt of the appraisal, it is important to confirm its accuracy.
The Modular Home Builders Association of Maine is proactive with issues affecting members, consumers, and public policy. The Association establishes and promotes practices and standards for excellence in homebuilding. For more information about the Modular Home Builders Association of Maine, or how to get started on plans for your new home, visit www.modularhomebuilders.org.