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  • G.A. Farrell & Associates Ltd | Newsletter


  • G.A. Farrell & Associates Ltd | Refinance

    Refinance for Profit Refinancing your mortgage means obtaining a new mortgage loan on your property and repaying the old one. There are many reasons why a property owner should consider refinancing and a few of these reasons are detailed below. The most obvious reason is when a property owner (let’s call him Mr. O. Ner) has an existing mortgage loan at say 12% p.a. and discovers that banks and insurance companies are now offering mortgage loans at 9% p.a. Mr. O. Ner should first approach his current lender and request that the interest rate be reduced. If his request is refused, Mr. O. Ner should then approach another mortgage institution to refinance his loan. If he has a mortgage loan of $600,000 over 25 years @ 12% p.a. and decides to refinance it at the new rate, his monthly mortgage payment would drop from $6,319.34 to $5,035.18. He would, therefore, save over $15,400 per annum!.Another reason why Mr. O. Ner may be considering refinancing is to consolidate his existing loans. He may have the following loans: $100,000 – monthly payment of $3,300 – taken for his child’s university education; $60,000 – monthly payment of $2,000 – taken for personal reasons such as to purchase a second car, furniture, etc. $525,000 – monthly payment of $6,310. – mortgage taken 10 years ago to purchase his home. When Mr. O. Ner now obtains a new mortgage loan of $725,000 (assuming that he has enough equity), he will be able to repay all of the above loans plus have $40,000 to help towards the closing costs for the new loan. If the new mortgage loan is at 9% p.a. over a 15 year period (the same time remaining on his prior mortgage loan), his new monthly payment will be $7,354 vs. the total monthly loan payments before of $11,620. This represents a monthly saving of $4,266! A third reason to consider is that Mr. O. Ner may wish to raise some capital in order to make some investments. This can be done by refinancing his existing mortgage loan assuming that he has enough equity. Once the expected rate of return on his proposed investments is greater than the interest rate on his new mortgage loan, (sometimes referred to as “leverage”), it is in Mr. O. Ner’s best interest to refinance. Before rushing out to refinance his property, there are many other factors that Mr. O. Ner should consider. One of the most important ones is the closing costs involved in repaying an existing mortgage loan and obtaining a new one. While this will vary from case to case, Mr. O. Ner should cater between 4% to 5% (of the new mortgage loan amount) as closing costs. In instances where Mr. O. Ner is refinancing due to lower mortgage interest rates, while his monthly savings is immediate, it will take about two years before his savings offset his closing costs on the new mortgage loan. (For more details on the closing costs involved in a mortgage loan, readers should refer to our page entitled “Buying a Home”. Mr. O. Ner should also check to see if there are any prepayment penalties on his old loan as that could have an effect on his decision. In the second refinancing scenario above, it must be remembered that while Mr. O. Ner will enjoy an immediate monthly saving, he is extending the time period for repaying his personal loans (loans 1 & 2). We strongly recommended that professional advice be obtained before making any type of major financial decision. The time to get professional advice is now. Property owners are urged to check with their accountant, lawyer, financial consultant or contact G.A. Farrell & Associates Limited.

  • G.A. Farrell & Associates Ltd | Make a Payment

    Make A Payment Make a payment for your valuation request. Type of Payment Choose an option Valuation in Name of Reference Number Amount to be paid Address of property to be valued Additional Comments Make Payment

  • G.A. Farrell & Associates Ltd | Methodology

    Methodology Appraisal Process In broad terms, valuation theory recognises three distinct methodologies (or approaches) in valuation. These are the market approach (sometimes known as the direct market comparison approach), the income approach, and the cost approach. Market Approach (a.k.a. Direct Market Comparison Approach) “An approach that provides an indication of value by comparing the subject asset with identical or similar assets for which price information is available”. ​ The Market Approach measures the value of an asset by comparing recent sales or offerings of similar or substitute property and related market data. The similar transactions method uses valuation data based on historical transactions that have occurred in the subject asset’s direct or related industries. The derived data are then adjusted and applied to the appropriate operating data of the subject asset to arrive at an indication of value. This Approach is very popular in many assignments as it is reflective of the interplay of buyers and sellers in the open market. In order for this approach to be reliable however, it is necessary for there to be a significant number of sales of properties similar to the one for which the assignment is being carried out. The Income Approach “An approach that provides an indication of value by converting future cash flows to a single current capital value”. ​ The Income Capitalization Approach is based on the principle that the value of a property is indicated by the net return to the property, or what is also known as the present worth of future benefits. The Income Capitalization Approach considers a property’s potential cash flow and analyses the present worth of the anticipated future benefits to the owner over an assumed holding period. The Income Approach is of considerable importance in appraising commercial properties. Most purchasers of this type of property are generally concerned primarily with an income stream, which is what this approach relies on. The disadvantage of this approach is that it is sometimes based on projections of the future. The Cost Approach “An approach that provides an indication of value using the economic principle that a buyer will pay no more for an asset than the cost to obtain an asset of equal utility, whether by purchase or construction”. ​ The Cost Approach is based on the principle of substitution and is valuable in distinctive properties for which there are either very few or no sales of similar properties. Its drawbacks are that it does not sufficiently rely on market preferences, and in cases of older properties, the quantum of depreciation to be charged is not easily identified. ​ This approach to value follows the following steps: Determine the value of the site as if vacant; Calculate the replacement cost new of the improvements; Estimate the depreciation form from all causes (physical, functional and external); Add the site value to the depreciated value of the improvements. As will be seen from the above, all three approaches vary in effectiveness for specific assignments. Although all three approaches may give reliable indications of value on occasions, frequently, one or two may be totally inappropriate. In arriving at an estimate of value of the subject property, all of the above approaches were considered and one or more of them utilized. Definitions Market Value : The estimated amount for which an asset or liability should exchange on the valuation date between a willing buyer and a willing seller in an arm’s length transaction, after proper marketing and where the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently and without compulsion. ​ Market Rent: The estimated amount for which a property would be let on the valuation date between a willing lessor and a willing lessee on appropriate lease terms in an arm’s length transaction, after proper marketing and where the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently and without compulsion. ​ Replacement Cost : The cost of obtaining an alternative asset of equivalent utility excluding retaining walls, boundary walls and fences, swimming pools and other water features, site clearance, professional fees and VAT. ​ Contributory Value : The contribution made by a particular feature or component to the value of the whole property. ​ Marketable Title : A title not subject to reasonable doubt or suspicion of invalidity in the mind of a reasonable, intelligent person; one which a prudent person guided by competent legal advice would be willing to accept and purchase at a market value. ​ Highest and Best Use : The use of an asset that maximises its productivity and that is possible, legally permissible and financially feasible. ​ IPMS 3A – Residentia l: The basis of the size of the building is IPMS3A – Residential which is the area in exclusive occupation measured as follows: to the outer face of external walls for detached dwellings; to the outer face of external walls and to the centre-line of shared walls between occupants for attached dwellings; to the outer face of the external wall, to the centre-line of the party walls and to the finished surface of walls shared with common facilities for multi-unit dwellings – RICS Property Measurement 2nd Edition, January 2018. This standard of measurement is similar to the former Gross External Area (GEA).

  • G.A. Farrell & Associates Ltd | Complaints Handling Procedure (CHP)

    Complaints Handling Procedure (CHP) The Complaint’s Review Period’ – In the event of a dispute arising out of or related to this Agreement the Client must complete and submit the Complaints Form, a copy of which would be provided upon request. Subsequently, a Director/Senior Valuer will respond to your complaint within 5-7 working days; If the issue is not resolved via the Complaints Review Period either of the parties to this Agreement shall submit the dispute to non-binding mediation using the services provided by the Trinidad & Tobago Dispute Resolution Centre (‘the DRC”) and shall make a good –faith effort to resolve the dispute through the mediation process in accordance with the rules of the DRC. Each party shall bear its own costs in respect of the mediation; In the event the parties are unable to resolve their dispute through mediation after 14 days from the reference to mediation or such further period as the parties may mutually agree in writing, such dispute shall be settled exclusively and finally by binding arbitrator to be jointly appointed by the parties; In the event either Party fails to agree to the appointment of an arbitrator such arbitrator shall be appointed, upon application by the interested party, by the DRC. In the event either Party fails to agree to the appointment of an arbitrator such arbitrator shall be appointed, upon application by the interested party, by the DRC. The award of the arbitrator shall be final and shall not be subject to any appeal or challenge whatsoever. The arbitrator will not be required to file his award with anybody or authority whatsoever. In the event arbitration proceedings are initiated under this arbitrator clause, pending such proceedings and until a final award is rendered pursuant thereto, any subsequent controversy arising between the Parties shall be exclusively submitted for final decision by the arbitrator in the arbitrator proceedings already pending. The arbitration proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with the Arbitration Act Chapter 5:01 of the Laws of Trinidad and Tobago or any statutory modification thereof. Fill our the complaints form below if you would like to submit a formal complaint: Valuation Report Reference Number Address of Subject Property Name Main Contact Number Email Address Mailing Address Status of Individual Submitting Complaint Are you the: Nature of Complaint Choose an option Details of complaint N.B. Complaints concerning the opinion of value must be supported with transaction evidence such as recent sales or rentals In submitting this complaint, I understand and accept that the matter will be handled in accordance with the Complaints Handling Procedure (CHP) of the Terms of Engagement under which the valuation exercise was conducted. Submit Thanks for submitting!

  • G.A. Farrell & Associates Ltd | Our Story

    Our Story G.A. Farrell & Associates Limited is a leading firm of Chartered Valuation Surveyors who specialize in the valuation of properties in Trinidad and Tobago. ​ In 1976 Gordon Farrell, FRICS, retired from his career as the Director of Surveys, Land and Surveys Department. With over 30 years invaluable experience, he established G. A. Farrell & Associates Limited. Since then the company has grown to become one of the foremost firms of valuation surveyors in Trinidad and Tobago. ​ The founding partner, Gordon Farrell, was joined in 1998 by two other partners, Mark Farrell and Derek de Gannes . They trained abroad in the USA and UK respectively and on their return to Trinidad they brought with them a wealth of international experience, each having worked abroad for over ten years. Mr. Gordon Farrell retired from the company after 32 years in 2008. ​ In order to maintain its high level of professionalism and its contact with the international market, the firm has a policy of Continuing Professional Education. Its professional staff are required to complete at least 20 hours per year. Courses are attended mainly abroad and by correspondence. Some local seminars have also proved to be useful. ​ G. A. Farrell & Associates Limited has grown from a small family practice to a large professional firm and maintains a high ratio of professional staff to administrative staff. It now has offices in Port of Spain (Ariapita Avenue), Chaguanas (Mulchan Seuchan Road), San Fernando (Harris Street), Arima (Shops of Arima) and Tobago (Tateco Building). Its Quantity Surveying consultant is Mr. Clifford Murray (MRICS). Our Founder turns 100 READ MORE

  • G.A. Farrell & Associates Ltd | Key Personnel


  • G.A. Farrell & Associates Ltd | Insurance

    Insurance How Much Insurance Do I Need? For most people, the answer to this question is obtained when they first buy their home. At that time, a valuation is customarily done and the valuation report will state the sum recommended for insurance. If they are getting a mortgage loan, the Bank will usually insist that the house be insured for a sum not less than that stated in the valuation report.Unfortunately, thousands live in their home for several years and never change the amount of their house insurance. In a time of increasing costs, this can be very dangerous to a homeowner. It is like playing Russian roulette.Let’s examine a case where a homeowner Mr. I. N. Trouble buys a property for $600,000 at which time the cost to replace the building is $400,000. At that time, he buys insurance on the building for $400,000. After a period of 10 years, let us assume that his building will now cost $600,000 to replace. However, he has never increased his house insurance…and… DISASTER!…his house is fully destroyed. Mr. I.N. Trouble will be entitled to a cheque for $400,000. (the amount of his house insurance). However, to replace the house he had, it will cost him $600,000 and as a result, he will have lost $200,000. The worse is yet to come. In obtaining his mortgage loan, his house insurance was assigned to the Bank that carries his loan. The cheque from the insurance company will therefore go to the bank first, and only be released to him in some format, if and when he rebuilds his house. O.K. you say, but a house is rarely 100% destroyed. What if it is only 60% destroyed? Surely Mr. I. N. Trouble will get the full $360,000 (60% of the replacement cost of $600,000.) as his insurance is $400,000? The answer is NO. In this scenario, he will get $240,000. This represents 60% of what the house is actually insured for (which is $400,000.) and therefore, he will be short $120,000 i.e. $360,000 (the cost of repairs) – $240,000 (insurance proceeds). This clearly shows the danger of sitting back and not paying attention to your house insurance. For all of you who are guilty of not checking to see if your house insurance is sufficient, please contact a qualified expert. It may be a Quantity Surveyor, Engineer, Architect, Valuer or Contractor. Their fee will depend on the value of your home, and will generally be between 1/6 – 1/3 of 1% of its value (i.e. divide the value of the building by between 600-300). While it may appear costly at first, it is definitely worth it when compared to what you might lose. It is also important to select the insurance company very carefully. A major consideration is that the company is financially sound. In addition, it should have a good reputation for settling claims. While cost is a factor, it is not a good idea to select a company solely by the insurance premium. The sum you save now may not seem worth it when you are having difficulty in obtaining a settlement cheque for your loss. Finally, having a good insurance agent is also very advisable. You want an agent who is knowledgeable in insurance and has an interest in your needs. Do not procrastinate. The time to get professional advice is NOW. Contact a professional or G.A. Farrell & Associates Limited.

  • Projects | G.A. Farrell

    Past Projects The Company is geared towards its continued development and looks towards the expansion of its services. This will ultimately benefit you, the Client. In this regard, and among other endeavours, the firm has committed to forming strategic alliances with leading international valuation firms.

  • G.A. Farrell & Associates Ltd | Webinars

    Webinars 2024 Residential Real Estate Webinar 2022 Commercial Real Estate Webinar - Clint Langton's Presentation 2022 Commercial Real Estate Webinar 2022 Residential Real Estate Webinar 2021 Commercial Real Estate Webinar

  • G.A. Farrell & Associates Ltd

    G.A. FARRELL & Associates Ltd Welcome to G.A. Farrell & Associates, our website is currently under maintenance to improve your browsing experience. Please stay updated for when we are once again live. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and we can still be reached at our contacts below. | (868) 624-8628 No. 23 Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago © 2022 G.A. Farrell & Associates Ltd | All Rights Reserved | Designed & Developed by AppNerd Inc

  • G.A. Farrell & Associates Ltd | Property Tax Quick Facts

    Property Tax Quick Facts General Information NOTE: Please be advised that the Valuation Roll 2021 exercise is solely conducted by and for the Valuation Division of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and therefore, does not apply to our business of providing valuations to clients. Kindly visit the Valuation Division’s website at for more information. Thank you. All Property Taxes between 1st January 2010 and 31st December 2017 have been waived. It has been announced that the ‘new’ Property tax for 2018 has also been waived. The Government of Trinidad & Tobago expects to commence the collection of property tax in fiscal 2021. A new Valuation Return Form has been designed which requests more information than the previous one. There has been no official word from the Ministry on when property owners would have to file this return. There is a fine of $5,000 for failing to submit this form when requested. Property owners will have 30 days to object to their assessment. There will be a Valuation Tribunal appointed to hear objections. The Valuation Tribunal will be headed by an Attorney and will comprise four other persons, two of whom will have qualifications and experience in Valuations. There is a $50,000 penalty for leaking of owners’ information. Nevertheless, a big drawback for homeowners is that unless the rental data supplied to the Commissioner of Valuations on the new Valuation Return Form is shared, it will be very difficult to prove an assessment is too high. This puts homeowners at a severe disadvantage as while property sales are registered and available to the general public, rental leases are hardly ever registered. Rental information is therefore extremely hard to come by and one often has to rely on verbal information from other property owners and real estate agents. Further fact sheets will be issued as and when additional information becomes available and will be published on this website. Your Property Tax on a residence will be calculated as follows: The monthly rental value (unfurnished) of your home will be determined by the Commissioner of Valuations. This monthly rental value will be multiplied by 12 to determine the annual rental value. subject to a minimum of $18,000. It is currently proposed to deduct 10% from your annual rental and the remainder will represent your taxable value. It should be mentioned that this deduction can be changed at the discretion of the Board of Inland Revenue. 3% will be calculated of your taxable value and this will represent your Property Tax. For commercial properties, the method remains the same but 5% of your taxable value will be your Property Tax

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