How long does an Appraisal take?

Depending on the size and complexity of the property, time requirements are base on the type of property being appraised. For example, a standard single family bungalow of 1200 square feet, with a full basement on a standard lot would require an inspection time of 30-45 minutes with the appraiser viewing the exterior and interior of the house including the basement along with asking the homeowner relevant questions.
The next step, once the inspection is complete, is for the appraiser to return to the office to complete the analysis. This could take up to 2-4 hours, unless the analysis is difficult or the property has additional issues that require more explanation. Once the report is complete, the appraiser will return the report to the requester within 24 to 28 hours.

Overall, the renovations that add the most value or give the best return on your investment are kitchens, bathroom and additions that provide additional space the livable area. Some improvements such a necessary repairs to older windows, siding and other exterior maintenance also add value, especially from a marketing position.

Do I get a copy of the report? Who owns an appraisal? 

If you are the client who ordered the appraisal then yes, you would get a copy of the report. However, if the report was ordered through a lender or AMC on your behalf, then you are not entitled to a copy of the report, as the lender is our client even though you the homeowner may have paid for the appraisal. The lender has set strict confidentiality rules that do not allow the appraiser to discuss the value with the homeowner or give our copies of the report.

How long is an appraisal good for?

This depends on the type of market the subject property is in, for example; stable, increasing, decreasing. As well the lender also sets guidelines to how long an appraisal can be relied upon. The range is at the discretion of the lender.