Our home appraisal is tomorrow. My husband and I are both on pins and needles about the appraisal. Our house was listed for $214,900, and got two offers for the asking price, one after three days on the market, and the other after five days. We had tons of showings in the few days before it was under contract, and lots of interest even after we stopped showing it. So we know that it was priced correctly for the market. But the appraiser has to agree. And the problem is that the comps in our neighborhood aren’t really all that comparable. Our house backs to open space, and beyond that is a park and an elementary school. There are only two other houses in the whole neighborhood that have the same feature, and they are our neighbors on either side (neither of which has sold recently). We know from our own experience and from the showing feedback that the open space behind our home is a major selling point. But the appraiser will be comparing our home with other homes in the 400-house neighborhood to determine a value, and none of them back to open space.
There are lot of other features that make our home stand out – mostly stuff that we’ve done to it over the years since we’ve been here. Our realtor said that the appraiser will take all of that into consideration, and will be able to add value based on the proximity to the open space and park. We just aren’t sure if it will be enough to balance out the low-ish prices that some houses in our neighborhood have sold for recently.
We’ve agreed to pay $7500 in closing costs for the buyer, which essentially leaves us with a selling price of $207,400. Once we subtract all the fees we’ll have to pay, this will leave us with enough to make our 20% down payment on the new house and pay our own closing costs on that transaction. But if the appraisal comes in lower than $214,900, we won’t have much choice but to lower our asking price accordingly (it’s an FHA appraisal, which sticks with the house for six months. And most loans in this area right now are FHA). We have some money in savings, but we don’t want to use it to buy our new house. We’re keeping our fingers tightly crossed that everything goes ok with the appraisal, but it’s a little worrisome.
The appraisal objection deadline is next Tuesday, so we’ll know by then if we have to lower our price or if things are good to go. Could be a long five days!