7 Tips For Highest Property Appraisals

by CLT from Culver City, CA, USA

Ask Kate: 7 Tips For Highest Property Appraisals Kate, I am soon to apply for a reverse mortgage and of course want my home to get the highest appraisal possible. Is there anything that a home owner can do to influence the property appraisal of their home?


Kate Answers: 7 Tips For Highest Property Appraisals

Dear Culver City Homeowner, Every homeowner wants the highest appraised value, especially for a reverse mortgage application.

7 Tips For Highest Property Appraisals
The counterpart to reverse mortgage, the 30 year fixed rate mortgage, is also based on appraised value.

But a reverse mortgage is unique in that it has no income or credit score requirements. So the appraised value is the focal point when obtaining a reverse mortgage.

To achieve the best outcome in your appraisal, pay attention to these pointers.

1- Manicure Edge and mow the grass and trim the bushes. While planting petunias in the flower beds won't raise your value, it will help to achieve a good first impression when the appraiser drives up to appraise your home.

2- Tidy Appraisers are people like you and me. I heard plenty of stories from appraisers about messy kitchens, piles of dirty laundry and the infamous teenager's room. So straighten up the house a bit. Maybe a lot. And freshen the air with open windows when the weather permits.

3- Leash Photos in the appraisal with a charging Rover means your appraiser was hurried. Send the pooch and even the cats to the neighbors if you can the day of the appraisal. Clean up after Spot and Fluffy in the backyard too.

4- Repair Quit procrastinating with drippy faucets and missing doorknobs. Turn your home into a repair-free zone.

5- Brag Jot down home improvement projects with the license number of the contractor who performed the tasks along with the cost.

6- Tour Monitor home sales within a mile or so of your home. Watch homes similar to yours for the final sales price. Write the price and address down for the appraiser.

7- Talk Not too much. With the exception of my Scottish appraiser who loved lingering over a cup of hot tea, most appraisers want in and out.

8- Speed Don't be discouraged if your property appraisal is over in a flash. This was the number one complaint I received about appraisers. The fact is most of their work is done away from your home.

My door is always open. Let me know how your appraisal goes. And check out the following Reverse Mortgage Guide by Kate found here on Get Your Best Mortgage Rate:

Reverse Mortgage Help for Senior Citizens

What Is a Reverse Mortgage? Specialty mortgages created to produce income without a monthly payment.

Will heirs become responsible for homes financed with a Reverse Home Mortgage?

Learn who can help homeowners evaluate Reverse Mortgage Income for Seniors before refinancing.

Meet the stable FHA Reverse Mortgage Refinance Program (HECM) and learn the payment options.

Introducing the FHA Reverse Mortgage Purchase Program (HECM) for Senior home buyers.

Seniors and family members Ask Kate for Reverse Mortgage Information.

Best wishes,

Ask Kate how to get the best mortgage rates
Ask Kate

Important: Senior homeowners should consult a financial planner, tax accountant, and/or attorney as applicable to evaluate their circumstances before financing with a reverse mortgage. Even if not a loan requirement, reverse mortgage counseling is highly recommended.

Comments for 7 Tips For Highest Property Appraisals.

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Reverse Mortgage Appraisals
by: Mike A from Brooklyn, NY

Hi Kate- Back in Aug, I turned 62 and applied with Liberty for a HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage).

I own a 2-family brick colonial with an estimated value of $455-$465, as reported by a couple of Realtors, and currently listed under AOL Real Estate at $453,979.

Yet Liberty's appraisal came in at $380k.

My question is: why the discrepancy? If I reapply elsewhere, will the outcome be the same? The Rep told me I'd have to wait at least 4 months before reapplying.

I currently owe approximately $231 in my mortgage so between all costs, I'd have to come up with $4,000 of my own money at closing, which I don't have - what options do I have?

Thanks, Mike A

Hi Mike, Kate here...

Appraisal problems are frustrating to homeowners because the values are based on opinions.

While average real estate agents can ballpark home values, they are not equipped to come up with values that will necessarily be acceptable to an underwriter. Additionally, AOL and Zillow can be off when it comes to ball-parking values.

In the end, it comes down to one person's opinion (the licensed appraiser) on a given day and whether the underwriter accepts the appraised value.

Look up a few local appraisers. Call them and maybe, just maybe they'll chat with you. Ask if re-applying with another lender could make a difference in the appraisal. Let them know you are calling to pick their brains, not to dispute a value or steer a decision.

Best wishes, Kate

FHA 184 Appraisal
by: Rastus (Oklahoma)

Can a lender assure me that they can get a desired appraised value because "we own the management company"? I don't know if I trust that, as much as I would love to believe it.

Ask Kate: Hi Rastus, If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, you're fairly safe to assume you're talking to a duck. This applies to the FHA 184 program (Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program) and all mortgage programs.

Best Wishes, Kate

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