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Why Do You Need One? A real estate appraiser to guide them in their financing decisions. But is this the only reason to get an appraisal? Many homeowners, assessor's offices, attorneys, buyers and sellers utilize appraisal for a variety of needs: PMI Removal Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI is the supplemental insurance that many lenders have to purchase when the amount being loaned is more than 80% of the value of the home. This additional payment is often folded into the monthly mortgage payment and is quickly forgotten. After a rise in value and/or payments to principal go below this 80% level  the PMI is no longer required. United States Congress passed a law in 1998 that requires lenders to remove the PMI payments when the loan-to-value ratio conditions have been met. Property Tax Assessments Challenging the tax assessment has become a necessity in many parts of the country. A real estate appraiser can provide the accurate answers to the question of value. While it may not be economical to commission a full appraisal to save a few hundred off your tax bill, often an appraiser can do a limited appraisal for much less, yet with the same conclusions and integrity. Estate Planning In times of loss, it is often difficult to think of the various steps that must be taken to resolve any outstanding monies of the deceased. An appraisal is required to establish fair market values of any real estate properties in the estate for tax filings and any presentation to multiple heirs. The aid of an appraisal is a necessity to dispose of the estate properly. Divorce In unfortunate circumstances, such as divorce, appraisals are required so that both parties involved receive a fair and impartial value so that they can concentrate on more important aspects of this difficult time. An appraisal by a qualified independent professional third party is often required by state law to settle the divorce.