Residential Real Estate
Appraisal Services

Accurate, Fast, Local, Residential Experts

We help with sales of a home, refinance, tax challenges, estate and divorce purposes, and many other needs.

Who are 13th Street Real Estate Appraisals?

We are a Terre Haute based, residential appraisal firm, with a team of people that have a wide range of experience to help with all of your appraisal questions and needs. We delight in helping people find straightforward and accurate answers to a sometimes confusing and complex appraisal process.

The 13th Street Real Estate Appraisals Team:

Scott Harpole is the founder of the company and has experience in four states, appraising homes since 2001. He is an FHA state-certified appraiser with experience in every kind of residential appraisal, talking with thousands of homeowners, realtors, mortgage brokers, refinance specialists, contractors, builders and rehab companies. 

Jeffrey Huttegger is a business partner and FHA certified residential appraiser.
Ash Huttegger is the office manager and handles all calls, emails, and scheduling.
Robyn Huttegger and Ross Harpole take care of typing appraisals and preliminary documentation.

Scott has been inside roughly 5,000+ homes and has written a book,
based on those experiences, called "Stop Spending Money On That House!"

We Cover 13 Counties

We cover a much larger territory than typical appraisal companies because of Scott’s orginal, Indiana appraisal experience in Indianapolis. We are board members of the THAAR MLS (for the overall Terre Haute, Brazil and Sullivan areas), MIBOR MLS, (for the overall Indianapolis area and surrounding counties), and BBOR MLS (for the overall Bloomington area).

What our customers say:


What are your options for an appraisal?

A Full, Complete Appraisal:

We will measure the exterior dimensions of the home, take photos of all the exterior elements, take interior photos of every room, create a sketch of the footprint of every living area with room labels and record any updates or renovations or any repair needs. We will also inspect, measure and take pictures of every outbuilding.

Our appraisal will include three to four recent sales (with at least three that sold in the last 12 months) of homes that are the most similar to yours in location and major features; such as square feet, age, lot size and condition. We will also include one to two currently listed homes that are similar, to show the current market conditions.

We will attach the county property card and plat map to the report, and make adjustments to determine an as-is value for the home in its current condition.

This is the most expensive of the appraisal products we offer but it offers that greatest amount of clarity regarding the subject’s current condition.

A Desk Appraisal:

We do not make an inspection of the home, no photos are included and no sketch is given. This appraisal is based on what can be found online, including property card information, recent sales or listing information in MLS, and anything you tell us about the home. We make the same search for the most similar comparables, with the same search criteria as given in the full appraisal, and find the as-is market value. The cost of this appraisal is much less than the full appraisal and is perfect for someone that wants a market value for a home without a large amount of differences from what can be found in online information.

The disadvantage of this appraisal is that it does not reflect all of the updates and renovations made to a home and therefore the resulting market value given may be lower than what would be found for a full appraisal. The other disadvantage is that it does not reflect all of the needs for repairs and updates that may be present and therefore this appraisal could be a higher market value than what would result from a full appraisal.

A Drive-By Appraisal:

There are situations where you might want the appraiser to see the property, the buildings and the overall exterior condition of the home. In this situation, we would drive by the home and take exterior pictures of the front and sides of the home, the street views and any other major feature or situation; such as barns, outbuildings, nearby railroad crossings or commercial buildings.

All of the desk appraisal work would be the same for this appraisal product, with the addition of anything noted by the appraiser during the exterior inspection. The cost of this appraisal is slightly higher than the desk appraisal.

Call and schedule your appraisal today!

Have a Question?

Here are some answers to common appraisal questions.
Click on the Need Appraisal Info for any others you might have.

The appraiser will measure the exterior of the home and all outbuildings, inspect and take pictures of every room in the house. At the end of the inspection, the appraiser will ask for a list of all structural and major updates or renovations.

The appraiser is the eyes and ears for the lender (unless this is a personal appraisal). This inspection is intended to tell the lender about this house so they can decide their risk.
Everything good or bad about the house needs to be reported to the lender. Small, negative things fall into the cosmetic category are most of the time not mentioned in the report.
Larger, structural repair needs and major condition problems will be in the report.

If a lender has a low level of risk, such as for a home equity loan, then a drive-by appraisal will be ordered. The appraiser uses the exterior inspection of the home plus all the information found online.

Maybe you shouldn’t! That might be strange to hear, from an appraisal company, but there are situations where it is not helpful to get your own appraisal.

If you want to sell the home to someone that will be using a lender with a mortgage, then your appraisal would most likely be a waste of money. Almost all the time, lenders are going to demand to have an appraisal by someone that they know to be neutral and not picked by you. It should be also noted that if you are buying an REO, a bank-owned home, you cannot get your own appraisal, except to just find out what another appraiser thinks the best purchase price should be.

If you simply want to know what your house is worth, so you can make a sales decision in the future or decide how much improvements to make, then the appraisal would be helpful to you.

An appraisal is an opinion of the market value of your home, or what someone would pay for your home today as compared to other homes in your market area.

Let’s say you bought your home for $150,000 and you’ve added $75,000 in updates, a new kitchen, and a large barn. That doesn’t mean that your house is now worth $225,000. It is worth whatever can be proven by other, recent, similar sales in your area. An over-improvement is any situation where a home has more features than other similar homes or is in excess over what is typical. If the top-selling houses in your area have sold for $150,000, then your appraisal will most likely come in around $150,000, even though you’ve added $75,000 worth of improvements. If homes can be found, that sold in the last 12 months and somewhat close-in location, and have sold for $300,000 with an updated kitchen and a large barn, then your appraisal could come in around $300,000.

Appraised values are not insurance values. A home is insured for how much it would cost to replace that home and all of its features. An appraisal value is typically what would someone pay for this house, as compared to others that are similar, if it was being sold today.

Of course, you can. An appraisal is an opinion of value, with hundreds of data points and it is easy to get some of them incorrect. Call/email your mortgage/lender contact (unless you are getting a personal appraisal without a mortgage) and ask for a reconsideration of value. Do not call the appraiser because only the lender can ask the appraiser to make a change to the appraisal report.

Challenge your appraisal:

If there is something major that the appraiser did not include, like the basement, or the correct bathroom counts, or outbuildings. If the appraiser did not include more similar comparables, that closed in the last 12 months and were closer in location to your home than the comparables used in the report.

Do not challenge the appraisal:

Just because you don’t like the value or because you think that the value should equal the cost of the home plus the money you put into it. (See Over-Improvements)
Because you think the basement area should be included in the total square feet, including its bathrooms and bedrooms. (See Basements)
Because you don’t like the condition given to your home in the report.

Per Fannie Mae guidelines, any area below grade (that’s any wall of the house that is even partially underground) is to be given credit as a basement. It does not matter how high the ceilings are, or if it is completely finished or even how much money you’ve invested in this area. The idea is to compare apples to apples or above grade sqft to above grade sqft and homes with below grade (basements) to below-grade homes. Think about the cost to build the roof, the exterior finishings, the windows, doors, and siding of the above grade or first floor compared to the lack of those elements for a basement area. We attempt to reflect those differences in the report and given credit for the level of finishing in the basement and its rooms. The only exceptions are lake homes, that are built into a hill and are typically considered to be two levels on a slab, and occasionally a split level home with the kitchen in the lower level.

The best perspective is to imagine that your home is for sale and buyers are comparing your home to other houses in the neighborhood. What would they pay extra for in your area that you don’t have right now? For example, do most homes have a two-car garage but yours has only a carport? Then it would be beneficial to add a two-car garage. Do most homes have a two-car garage but you want to add a six-car detached garage even though you already have a two-car attached garage? Then that would be a massive over-improvement with almost no benefit (This actually happened in one of my appraisals because the homeowner spent about $35,000 on a six-car, detached garage so his son could work on four-wheelers. My appraisal showed very little value for this structure because it was not rewarded in that market area. It was almost an entire loss of $35,000 in both personal use and market value because he sold the home just a couple of years after it was built.)actually happened in one of my appraisals because the homeowner spending about $35,000 so his son could work on four-wheelers.

My appraisal showed very little value for this structure because it was not rewarded in that market area. It was almost an entire loss of $35,000 in both personal use and market value because he sold the home just a couple of years after it was built.)

A home inspection is an examination of the condition of a house and all of its systems; plumbing, electrical, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, etc.

An appraisal is only partly considered with the house. It is an opinion of how much that house would sell for, if it was on the market today, as compared to other similar homes in the greater area. An appraiser only looks at the surface of the systems in the home and spends a much larger amount of time looking for similar comparable sales and listings. A home inspector only is considered with the one home that they are inspecting.

An FHA mortgage is backed by the government and provides insurance to the lender. This is a loan with less money down but it does have some conditions. FHA is a one-size-fits-all loan program and these requirements apply to all of their homes.

The typical things we look for during an FHA appraisal inspection include:

Any peeling paint on a home/shed/garage built after 1978. It doesn’t matter if the house was just painted, FHA is concerned about the possibility of lead paint poisoning. If we find peeling/chipping paint on a home built before 1978, we are instructed to take photos of the peeling paint and make the report subject-to the removal of the peeling paint and the re-painting of those areas. Your lender will tell us when we can go back out to your property (only they can communicate with us and order the Update Appraisal – not the homeowner or the realtor) and then we take pictures of your finished work after you have completed the repairs and submit that report. It doesn’t matter to us how nice the painting job is when you get finished, but we simply need to “check the box” that the work has been finished.

Standing water in the crawl space or in the basement. This must be repaired to the extent that we can come back and take a picture of (a mostly) dry crawl space or basement area. It doesn’t matter to us if you spend $10,000 on a complete waterproofing system or $250 on a sump pump. We must be able to say, on the appraisal update form, that this situation has been resolved.

Pet urine can be a safety issue if it is difficult to breathe in the house. We will estimate a cost to remediate this situation and make the report subject-to.

Every area that is missing a railing (that’s at least two feet high of the ground) must have a railing added. These include staircases, decks, porches, balconies, etc.

The utilities must be on and in working order and the home must have a working stove.

Remember, you do not have to have an FHA loan. You can get a Conventional loan and all of the FHA requirements are no longer in place.

It is also important to know that sometimes the lender asks for things to be repaired that the appraiser did not ask for in the report. These are usually things that are not in the FHA required list but can be a repair that the lender wants to be completed before making the loan. It could be fixing a hole, repairing the floor, inspecting the roof and other things that showed up in our inspection but were not FHA concerns.