No. of Recommendations: 3
We are in the process of refinancing our house. Amerisave sent an appraiser out who did a full walk through of our house and submitted an appraised value of $400,000. (We owe 306k).

But yesterday we got an email that an appraisal review had been done and they are adjusting the value of our house to $295,000, which is a huge difference!

I assume that you have a copy of the appraisal that was submitted with the $400k valuation? (If not, that valuation is probably worth the paper it's written on.) I would agree with crackdclaw that you need to get the information from Amerisave as to why they adjusted the valuation.

However, given that about 7 1/2 months ago, you suggested that you were underwater and your home was worth $290k, I'm not sure why you think that a valuation of $295k is out of line and a valuation of $400k is reasonable. $400k would be a 38% increase over $290k. Even during the bubble, prices rarely increased that quickly.

Yes, $400k is probably closer to what you paid, and therefore, it's probably what you wanted to hear. But if you put it on the market tomorrow for $400k, how long would it take to sell? And would you really end up getting $400k? Having just purchased a custom home in a unique location for 60% of what it was originally listed at 2 1/2 years before my purchase (for sale most of that time - off the market a few times to switch realtors) - my guess is that you would probably sell for something closer to $295k if you wanted to sell in a reasonable amount of time. If that's the case, Amerisave is trying to do what lenders were widely criticized for not doing during the bubble - being conservative and lending responsibly.

Now we don't qualify for a regular loan and they are steering us to HARP, which is a higher rate, of course.

How much higher is the rate? Typically, I've seen HARP rates about 0.25% above regular rates. That's still going to be a better deal than your current loan, right? So, it will save you money, just not as much as you had hoped.

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