Monday, September 12, 2011

House appraisals very important now

Ellen James Martin, Universal Syndicate, says when you refinance in these days of upsidedown houses and falling values—appraisals are all-important.

Refinancers really sweat them.

If the appraisal comes in low and you have no equity, the bank will say no. In almost all cases.

Even if you have equity, the appraisal can help or hurt. If you have too high a loan-to-value ratio, you will have to pay PMI.

To get the best appraisal (highest), spruce up the property. To refinance, don’t replace the kitchen, but make the house look good.

Look at the comparables in your neighborhood. The appraiser also will do this. Sometimes, you can point out other comps—like

In truth, there is not too much you can do besides keeping the dog from biting the appraiser and maybe putting some flowers on the table.

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