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In a thread I started here

I posted a question in my last post about the appraisal. I thought this might be a more appropriate board for that question.

If you want ALL the gory details you can read the thread. But the basics are I am looking to possibly refinance. My neighbors house sold last month for $184k. When the homes were built in 2003, their house was sold for $5k more than mine, so I am figuring I could get maybe $180k. The problem is I have a HELOC as well, and I am told the house would need to appraise for at least $195k for me to get a proper LTV figure. I could throw some cash at it so that an appraisal of $190k would be good enough. Is that even possible? I don't know enough about the appraisal process. The lady at the institution I'm working with says an appraisal will most certainly be higher than what I think I could sell it for. Is this true? Since we built the house I have had a privacy fence put in, an above-ground pool, and we had the basement finished, and all of the appliances except for the oven/stove (which is 10 years old) are less than 3 years old. My neighbors house doesn't have a pool, fence, or finished basement (at least it didn't last time I was down there).

So my question is, is it worth the $350 gamble to get the appraisal done? Given the information I've provided is $190k realistic?

Thanks for any help.
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