Yes many times another professional ie:(lawyer mediator, or accountant) will request value of a property on a retroactive date: (date of death, separation date) we can provide that service when the retroactive date is confirmed at the beginning of the assignment.
No when an appraisal is done the general condition H.V.A.C., plumbing and electricity is noted but when purchasing a home a home inspection is recommended which will do a more in depth analysis of the mechanical systems and any potential problems that need to be addressed.
No typically County appraisals are done every 4 to 7 years for tax purposes. The appraisal is done for you the client and not shared with local tax authorities.
This is basically a consultant assignment which focuses on cost versus value. The location of the subject property and the market activity of the neighborhood will help you come to a decision on a major renovation or selling your home and looking for a new home.