So just when everything is moving nicely on our home… I get a copy of the appraisal this morning, $268k! That is $17k less than our offer price, and $2k less than the couple living there for 4 years paid for the house! Now I realize that home prices in this area are flat, but they have not gone down, and for at least the first 2 years the home value should have gone up. Not to mention they finished the basement, adding a bedroom and another full bath.

So I start looking at the appraisal closely. 2 of the comps seem pretty fair, 1 seems totally bogus, a much older, smaller, ugly home on the wrong side of main street. Then I read further. The appraiser listed the home as a 3 bedroom 2 bath. It isn’t, it’s a 4 bedroom 3 full bath home. She only included the upstairs in the square footage measurements, even took a lot of pictures, but none downstairs. Did she even go down there? There is no downstairs living-area square footage included in the appraisal, even though there is over 1000 square feet of beautifully finished living area.

The appraisers name is Lynette Richter with Landsafe Appraisals. According to our lender, our only recourse is to have the real estate agent (who is also a licensed appraiser), contact her with a dispute showing better comps and try to get her to alter the appraisal. That, or we can come up with the difference between the offer price and $268k between now and closing. We are not going to be able to do that. The seller could lower the price, but I don’t see that happening. We are probably out $350 and a lot of plans for the near future.

See why I am somewhat cynical of the entire process? I am normally a very upbeat and positive person, but I am finding it increasingly hard when dealing with banks, appraisers and real estate in general.

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