Join Early Retirement Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Question about refi appraisal
Old 09-25-2011, 11:47 AM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
SecondCor521's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Boise
Posts: 4,652
Question about refi appraisal

Hi all,

I'm refinancing my 15 year PenFed mortgage to a 10 year PenFed mortgage. In the course of this refinance, it seems they want to have an appraiser actually come to my home to do an appraisal.

Being an average bachelor, my house inside is not the epitome of a Good Housekeeping spread. The exterior isn't fabulous either; my yard could use some sprucing up. There's also a bit of deferred maintenance that needs to be done -- one of the window sashes in the living room won't stay up, for example. Mostly I don't care as long as the house is safe and sound.

I am wondering what kinds of things I should try to remedy in the next week or so before the appraisal. I am not sure how much an appraiser can look past the cosmetic stuff (like my sofas) and see that it's still a 1,8xx sqft 3/2+bonus house in a nice neighborhood.

Thoughts and opinions welcome.

"At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may in fact be the first steps of a journey." Violet Baudelaire.
SecondCor521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-25-2011, 03:11 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 12,723
My experience with appraisers is that they just want to make sure the house could be resold for somewhat near what they loaned you - i.e. not vacant, gutted, next to a pig farm, etc.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2011, 04:16 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Htown Harry's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,519
I don't think it will make a difference, but all of these would be relatively inexpensive and would provide you with smiles if they haven't been done in a while:

The quickest lawn spruce-up: 10-15 bags of mulch spread out under all of the shrubs and across all of the flower beds. Buy some flowers if you want (lots on sale this time of year), but this would more than double the time spent.

Wash all the windows inside and out. I'm always amazed at how much brighter the house feels after my annual pre-thanksgiving scrub down.

If you don't usually go for a maid, treat yourself to one to give the bathrooms and the kitchen a good scrub. An appraiser may not do more than stand in the doorway of your 3rd bedroom, but he will be looking at every corner in the bath and kitchen.
Htown Harry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2011, 06:32 PM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 17,741
I remember when we refinanced many years ago that there was a "pride of ownership apparent" component in the appraiser's report. But then again the appraiser asked us what we wanted him to appraise it for.

I imagine things are a little different today but as Travelover said, probably just looking to see there is a house there, the dimensions, kind of construction, roof and siding condition. Probably far from the level of a home inspection.
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2011, 06:45 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
JPatrick's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,593
Years ago we did a refi about 18 months from our purchase date.
I had a copy of the previous appraisal (a good one) which I handed him at the door.
"Here, maybe this will save some time, you know, with measurements and stuff"--wink, wink.
Resulted in a very quick and favorable appraisal.
JPatrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2011, 12:40 AM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MooreBonds's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2,179
Earlier this year I did a refi with PenFed.

Young guy came by in his luxury SUV. Hopped out with a clipboard that apparently contained (among other things) the public real estate info from the assessor's office, showing what I paid, official square footage, recent nearby comps...and even had a copy of the original MLS listing from the person that sold me the house from 18 months ago!

He walked through the house in 5 minutes. Snapped a few pictures of both bathrooms and the kitchen - can't recall if he took any pics of the bedrooms.

It seemed to go pretty fast. Like travelover said, mainly looking to verify that it's in one piece and reasonable condition.
Dryer sheets Schmyer sheets
MooreBonds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2011, 05:16 AM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 723
Appraisers are focused on the construction and dimensions of the property and are supposed to overlook things that may turn be a turn off to a typical buyer. I wouldn't worry about stuff like piled up dirty laundry in the corner unless it's causing mold problems, if you know what I mean...
panacea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2011, 09:01 PM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,761
Originally Posted by SecondCor521 View Post
I'm refinancing my 15 year PenFed mortgage to a 10 year PenFed mortgage. In the course of this refinance, it seems they want to have an appraiser actually come to my home to do an appraisal.
I am wondering what kinds of things I should try to remedy in the next week or so before the appraisal.
The appraiser doesn't give a crap about the living conditions-- he just wants to make sure the house has integrity and that the utilities work as advertised. Providing him with a floor plan and perhaps a previous appraisal would be just bonus.

One of the more charming side effects of the real-estate run-up was flipper fraud. Flippers would buy a property and mortgage most of it. Then they'd either take a HELOC for the rest or occasionally do a huge cash-out refi.

At some point the real con artists started "upgrading" the kitchens & bathrooms by putting in attractive-looking tile, granite, appliances, and other features. Then they'd get an appraisal for the new "higher" value and use that for a 125% LTV mortgage or HELOC.

The problem with the "upgrades" was that they were cosmetic-- tile in the bathroom without any functional plumbing behind it, granite in the kitchen without any electricity or plumbing to the sink or appliances, and so forth.

Meanwhile the "flipper" would make no payments on any of the financing, abscond with the cash, and abandon the property. Further research would reveal that they bought the place with a false ID and forged/faked documents... or, for a no-doc loan, no documents at all.

So the appraiser just wants to see a "real" house, not House Beautiful.

Co-author (with my daughter) of “Raising Your Money-Savvy Family For Next Generation Financial Independence.”
Author of the book written on "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement."

I don't spend much time here— please send a PM.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
refi dilemna ripper1 FIRE and Money 20 09-02-2011 01:59 PM
Question for the expats MichaelB FIRE and Money 45 09-02-2011 12:44 PM
Sorry, another REFI question....... cardude FIRE and Money 9 08-17-2011 10:45 AM
Question on the limits and ethics of financial liability MichaelB FIRE and Money 26 08-15-2011 01:28 PM
Question re: best way to invest "extra cash" Lisa99 FIRE and Money 21 08-10-2011 02:25 PM

» Quick Links

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:23 AM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.