Are you looking for an honest, fair, ethical Appraisal Firm for you or your clients?

Make Dennis Appraisals, LLC a part of your real estate team. Contact us for a quick, thorough, objective property valuation.

FHA Approved Appraiser?


Margaret M. Dennis, SRA, Owner and past Chairperson of the Albany Chapter of the Appraisal Institute

Yes, Margaret M. Dennis, SRA, is an approved FHA Appraiser.
(NYS Certified Residential Real Estate #NY4500003927)

Who are we and what can we do for you?

Dennis Appraisals, LLC is a leading residential real estate appraisal firm with local expertise dedicated to providing valuation and consulting services through analytic discipline and a team approach. Our company’s philosophy is to provide an objective analysis to assist our clients in making informed real estate decisions. Our reports are prepared with the precision that the industry demands with all major property types included.

  • 24 – 72 hour turnaround time after inspection
  • Electronic ordering and PDF or ACI delivery
  • Secure on-line system to track all your appraisals

Our commitment to the industry and the utilization of superior technology has allowed us to provide better service to our clients while controlling cost. We consistently outperform our competitors with better turn-around time by streamlining the appraisal process. We are able to produce a better quality product in a more efficient manner with since our system reducing many of the manual tasks typically associated with the appraisal process.

With the click of a mouse you can order, track, and receive your appraisal order 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our site also provides online statements and appraisal pick-up access to your appraisals through a personal and secure login. Our system is updated daily so you are always in the loop during the entire transaction from the appraisal request through delivery.

We are experienced at performing high-quality property appraisals for financial institutions, FHA, brokers, attorney’s, asset service departments and private individuals. With our knowledge of the residential real estate mortgage business, advanced technology, and consistently fast turn-around time, we are one of the most trusted names in the appraisal business.

SRA color
  Margaret M. Dennis holds the respected SRA Designation from the Appraisal Institute.                                                                    

Dennis Appraisals LLC. BBB Business Review

I just completed a relocation appraisal where the previous owner finished the bonus room area over the garage and installed a deck.  Very nice additions to the property.  Yes, I said additions.  They weren’t on the original building permits and are considered additions to the property.  The living area I measured was more than 400 square feet larger than the assessor’s records (property data card) and the deck was not listed either.  Guess what?  No permits so not legal “as is”. Now, the property owner has to file for two new building permits, open up the wall in the family room (former unfinished bonus room) and dig down and around the deck footings so, the building inspector can inspect the additions for conformity to current building code.  In this case, he needed the wall open to inspect the insulation in the family room.  Oh, did I mention the cost of each building permit is twice their original cost.

Many lenders have access to the assessor property data card through multiple sites, including public record services or even Zillow.  What that means is they compare the living area in the refinance or purchase appraisal with the public record. If there is a great difference they call the appraiser to clarify. It is the appraiser’s responsibility to let the lender/client know if the property is legal “as is”. Without the proper permits it is not legal, and therefore cannot meet the criteria of Highest and Best Use. As for basements, if it is common and typical, the mortgage financing industry in general are not imposing strict guidelines at this time.  However, finished basement cannot be considered living space without the proper permits and exterior egress. In a nut shell, the return on your investment is very, very low.

The other and very important issue you absolutely need to consider is property insurance. Without obtaining the proper permits the property is not legal and the insurance companies can deny your claim. That would cost a lot more than the increase in property and school taxes people so desperately try to avoid. So, now the big question, “Is it worth it?”  Do you already have changes to your property that were done without the proper permits? Maybe by the previous own? Call and check with the assessor or look-up your property on Zillow.  Or did the building inspector tell you that you didn’t need one. Please get that in writing.

Margaret M. Dennis, SRA

Dennis Appraisals, LLC




Dennis Appraisals your valuation source

Dennis Appraisals, LLC provides residential real estate valuation services in the Capital Region.

The territories we cover include the following counties, Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Rensselaer, Montgomery, Fulton, Washington, Columbia and the lower section of Warren.

Margaret M. Dennis holds the distinguished SRA Designation from the Appraisal Institute. The SRA Designation member has additional training and education above  minimum state licensing requirements. When you need an appraisal you want to hire the professional holding the SRA Designation.  Their education and experience is above and beyond the standards other appraisers can offer.

How to decide that you need to hire a real estate appraiser?

  • You need a professional appraisal for all transactions that require settlement of assets between family members for estates and divorce.
  • You need a professional appraisal to help sell your property.  If a property is overpriced it will sit on the market too long and can loss a good buyer.  Or if it is under priced you will be giving money away that you could put into another property or your retirement fund.
  • You need a professional appraisal when you want to make an offer on a property. Why pay more than the market.  An appraisal will help you and the seller agree on a fair market value purchase.
  • You need a professional real estate appraiser anytime you need an honest and professional opinion of the fair market value for your property.

Contact Dennis Appraisals to help you make smart real estate decisions.




Why hire a real estate appraiser?

Why hire a real estate appraiserWhy hire a real estate appraiser?

A real estate appraiser is your best asset when you need a professional and unbiased professional valuation. Other than mortgage financing the most common reason to hire a professional appraiser is to be able to provide a fair and equitable distribution of your relative’s estate or an equitable settlement of the marital residence during the matrimonial divorce process. In many instances the residential property is the most valuable asset and requires professional valuation analysis to insure confidence and fairness throughout the distribution and settlement processes.  Not only will an appraisal help support your decisions but it can help ease tensions between the parties during the sometimes difficult settlement process.

Dennis Appraisals, LLC services attorneys, financial institutions, brokers, asset service departments and private individuals in Albany County, Saratoga County and surrounding areas. Specializing in residential, complex lake front and vacant land appraisals. Call 518-384-1890!


When Do You Need a Real Estate Appraisal?

How do you  know when you need a Real Estate Appraisal?

real estate appraisalAn appraisal is a valuation tool used by mortgage lenders to verify a property’s worth for prospective financing. The mortgage industry relies upon a qualified independent 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 (LTV loan to value). This additional payment is often folded into the monthly mortgage payment and is quickly forgotten. After a rise in values and/or payment to principal goes below this 80% level PMI is no longer required. United States Congress passed a law in 1998 (the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998) that requires lenders to remove the PMI payments when the loan-to-value ratio conditions have been met. You need a real estate appraisal is required to determine the property’s value. The costs of these services are recovered in just a few months of not paying the PMI.

Property Tax Assessments

Challenging the tax assessment has become a necessity in many parts of the country. Unfortunately, most people go into these challenges unarmed. They may pull some information from the Internet to support their claims, but have no real basis for their claims.

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. An appraisal from a qualified appraiser would be a step in the right direction in any dispute with your local tax assessor.

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. A real estate 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 Settlement

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.

Feasibility – Land Utilization Studies

Often appraisers are required when townships are planning certain uses of land, rezoning, implementation of housing developments, traffic infrastructure, cost benefit analysis and a whole host of various projects. The appraiser’s responsibility to deliver an accurate appraisal report is a necessary response to the question of fair market value.

Albany Real Estate Appraisal Services

Albany Real Estate Appraisal

Albany Real Estate AppraisalDennis Appraisals, LLC services Albany County with the over 25 years of local experience and knowledge of real estate trends pertinent to each individual neighborhood, market area and property type.  Each market area has varying factors affecting valuation.   Factors affecting real estate valuation trends include median household income, home ownership percentage, competition, and new construction activity.   Dennis Appraisals, LLC specializes in analyzing each market area for the factors and trends that drive property values and searches for the most recent and comparable properties to develop a credible and reliable Albany Real Estate Appraisal.

Saratoga County Real Estate Appraisals

Saratoga Appraiser

Saratoga County Local Information. Saratoga County is located 150 miles from Boston, New York City and Montreal and is at the Center of Saratoga County Real Estate AppraisalsNew York’s Tech Valley.   There are two cities, nineteen townships and seven villages located within  Saratoga County, New York.  The driving factors for real estate property and home values is the county’s growing economy, low unemployment and an active  Economic Development Corporation’s success in bringing in Global Foundries to the Lurther Forest Technology Campus in the Town of Malta in 2009 as well as other industries to the county.    An excellent economic outlook continues for the county due to highly educated and skilled workforce, responsive government that promotes the region’s economy, recreation and the arts. Dennis Appraisals, LLC has over 25 years of experience and knowledge to gather and interpret how the local economy influences individual property and home values for Saratoga County Real Estate Appraisals.

What to expect when an appraiser comes to your home.

When the appraiser arrives at your property she will first introduce and identify herself and take a quick assessment of the exterior finishing materials. The appraisal will bring along a clipboard, digital camera and one or more measuring devices. The appraiser will typically start of the front entrance or from the basement and work her way through each area of the home collecting data on the foundation, heating and air conditioning systems, electric service (amperes/fuse/circuit breakers), finishing materials, cabinetry, and special features, including fireplaces, built-ins, custom mill work, built-in appliances, windows, fixtures, basement egress, etc. The materials used in the home and their condition are important considerations when conducting market value appraisals. The appraiser will take exterior and interior photographs to capture all exterior sides of the dwelling, kitchen(s), all bathrooms, living area, finished basement and any special features or items of deferred maintenance for the appraisal report and to aid in the valuation process.

Be prepared to answer the following questions to help the appraiser better understand the property’s upkeep and time of renovations and/or upgrades.

  1. When was the kitchen last updated/renovated?  What was done.
  2. When was the bathroom(s) last updated/renovated? What was done.
  3. How old is your roof?
  4. How old is your furnace/central air condenser unit?
  5. What updates or renovations have been completed? When? Some examples: Installed or refinished hardwood flooring; other flooring (carpet, tile); replacement windows; installed vinyl siding;built garage or outbuilding.
  6. What is the size of your in-ground pool?
  7. If any additions – Completion date and were you issued a Certificate of Occupancy/Compliance from the local building department? ?When?
  8.  If you have well and/or septic system. Be ready to show the appraiser where each system is location, the type and depth of the well and type and age of the septic system.
  9. Provide information about water filtration and clarification systems and if water softener systems are owned or rented.
  10. If income producing property provide leases, rents, tenant/landlord paid expenses and landlord’s operating expenses.
  11. Length of time unit has been occupied or vacant.

Any questions about what to expect during the appraisal inspection for the valuation of your home and real estate property please call Marge Dennis on her mobile phone at (518)424-2662.

What’s happening in NY’s Capital Region Real Estate Market (GCAR March 2016)

Click on link:

Capital Region Skinny for GCAR March 2016 (based on February 2016 statistics) –  What’s happening in NY’s Capital Region Real Estate Market