Appraisals are used to protect you lets review what they are and their benefit.
An appraisal is conducted by a 3rd party certified approved appraiser to establish a value on the property you would like to purchase or refinance. The value is not influenced by the lender, buyer, seller or real estate agent. It is used as an evaluation for the bank to lend you money on the collateral borrowed against.
What goes into an appraisal?
- The appraiser will inspect the size, condition, sq. footage and location
- Other homes are used to research and compare what your property is worth these are called comparables
- A compilation of all this data will be submitted to the lender with a final opinion on what the home is valued at
Appraisal generally start around $550 and go up to $900 depending on the size of your house and lot. The appraisals are typically valid for 180 days with the same lender. Be sure you have the lender order the appraisal direct, if you decide to order one yourself the bank will not be able to accept it due to regulatory compliance.
Home values fluctuate throughout the year depending on the home buying and selling seasons. The appraised value is an opinion of the value of the home at this single point in time. The typical appraisal is good from 180 days from the time the report is completed.
Appraisals can also be used to fight your property taxes should you feel the local county appraisal district has your home value to high. Often time the county appraisal district does their best guess on these value unknowing of the actual market conditions on your street and community.
If your home appraises for less than the projected value fear not there are still options along with checks and balances to review the appraised value. This also prevents you from buying a home that is not worth what the seller is selling the house for. Often times inflated purchase prices are identified at this point and typically the home can be renegotiated at a lower purchase price. Your real estate agent along with your loan officer will help guide you through this process with options to review.