Certified General Appraiser. Professional Services. Experience You Can Trust.

I Value Your Land.

I love what I do. Since I joined the appraisal business in 1998, I've learned that every acre, fence line, creek and building has a story to tell. Every detail about your property is important to me.

Appraisals are complicated and take time. Depending on the scale of your property and the scope of work requested, a good appraisal can take days if not weeks to properly determine a credible opinion of market value.

You, as my client, are important to me. I will inform you upfront what steps are involved in the appraisal process.

Based on the most current market data, JK Appraisal & Consulting will provide a credible opinion of market value for your property.

Thank you for trusting my experience and expertise with your investment.

Katie Rickett, ARA


What is an appraisal?

An appraisal is defined by "The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal" (4th Edition) as "The act or process of developing an opinion of value; an opinion of value."

The preparation of an appraisal involves research into appropriate market areas; the assembly and analysis of information pertinent to a property; and the knowledge, experience and professional judgment of the appraiser. The role of the appraiser is to provide objective, impartial and unbiased opinions about the value of real property - providing assistance to those who own, manage, sell, invest in and/or lend money on the security of real estate.

Why do I need an appraisal?

An 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, property owners, attorneys, buyers and sellers utilize appraisal for a variety of needs:

  • Estate planning and estate settlements
  • Tax assessment review and advice
  • Advice in eminent domain and condemnation property transactions
  • Dispute resolution-including divorce, estate settlements, property partition suits, foreclosures, and zoning issues
  • Feasibility studies
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Market rent and trend studies
  • Cost/benefit or investment analysis, for example, what will be the financial return a property
  • Land utilization studies
  • Supply and demand studies

What licensing/certifications does an appraiser need?

At minimum, all states require appraisers to be state licensed or certified in order to provide appraisals to federally regulated lenders. Appraisers have fulfilled rigorous educational and experience requirements and must adhere to strict standards and a code of professional ethics. Appraisers go through years of academic and practical training to become licensed (lowest State level) or certified (highest State level) to conduct real estate appraisals. Some are licensed/certified to do only residential appraisals. Some are “Certified General” appraisers who can appraise any type of property. An additional step in education as an appraiser is to obtain a designation from a professional appraisal society.

ARA - Accredited Rural Appraiser

An appraiser who has received the Accredited Rural Appraiser (ARA) designation from the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA), is trained and tested to ensure they are equipped with the tools necessary to tackle a wide spectrum of real estate valuation assignments. As with all assignments, competency in any specific arena is the duty of the appraiser; however the ARA has demonstrated through a comprehensive and intensive process that they have the knowledge and skills to successfully administer the appraisal. The ARA conducts valuation work on wide range of property types that exist in rural parts of the country. These properties are often among the most complex properties from a valuation standpoint and require a sophisticated valuation expert to properly appraise them. The ARA designation, available only through the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA), demonstrates competence through course work, experience, work review and a comprehensive exam. http://www.asfmra.org

Qualified State Certified General appraisers bring knowledge, experience, impartiality and trust to the transaction. In so doing, they help their clients make sound decisions with regard to real property.

Most appraisals are reported in writing, although in certain circumstances, an appraiser may provide an oral appraisal. A written appraisal report generally consists of: a description of the property and its locale; an analysis of the "highest and best use" of the property; an analysis of sales of comparable properties "as near the subject property as possible"; and information regarding current real estate activity and/or market area trends. The value indicated by recent sales of comparable properties, the current cost of reproducing or replacing a building, and the value that the property's net earning power will support are the most important considerations in the valuation of real property.

The following questions would be appropriate when selecting an appraiser:

  • Are you licensed or certified in the state in which you live?
  • How long have you been in practice?
  • What level of experience do you have in this particular market and with this type of property?
  • Are you familiar with property in this neighborhood?
  • What types of clients have you had (homeowners, estates, lenders, relocation companies)?

A qualified appraiser has formal education in appraisal theory, principles, procedures, ethics, and law. The appraiser should be up to date on the latest appraisal standards. Continuing education and testing are the only ways to ensure this competence. The appraiser you hire should be familiar with the type of property you want appraised and know how to value it correctly. Expertise on a particular type of property is not enough if the "expert" does not know how to evaluate an item for its appropriate worth. Without appraisal training, these "experts" have no way of understanding the complicated variety of marketplace definitions that are used to determine appropriate values for appropriate uses. For example, a museum curator may be able to authenticate a work of art, or a jeweler may be able to determine the identity of a gemstone, but neither may be able to value those items correctly unless they follow appropriate appraisal principles and procedures.

How do I look for an appraiser?

The American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers is the preeminent professional society for appraisers who work on the full range of real properties in rural settings including but not limited to:

  • Farms/livestock operations/dairies
  • Commercial properties
  • Conservation easements
  • Timber properties
  • Vineyards/orchards
  • Rural residences

I provide appraisals for the following counties in Montana:

Deer Lodge
Golden Valley
Judith Basin
Lewis & Clark
Sweet Grass

"Katie was exceptional to work with! I had inherited a property when my dad died and had no idea what it was worth. Katie walked me through the process and was easy to get a hold of when I had questions I highly recommend Katie."

- Karen (Wilsall, MT)


(406) 570-4450
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