Home Buying in 30009>Question Details

rdavidson1018, Home Buyer in Alpharetta, GA

We are refinancing our house 18 mos after purchasing it. Value went down $35k. We do not agree or think comps are comparable.

Asked by rdavidson1018, Alpharetta, GA Mon Nov 19, 2012

3/4 comps have no basement and we have a daylight walkout basement
1 comp is 16 years old, ours is 5 years old
1 comp has no backyard and we have a good size, private back yard
1 comp is still on the market and not sold.
1 comp was a rental property

Help the community by answering this question:


Appraisals have been coming in VERY convervative lately.

If you truly feel it came in too low you may try and appeal it.

Sadly, even if your home has some upgrades it most likely will still be valued closley to what homes in your general area are going for.

Best of luck to you!

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
There is no easy answer for something like this - but there are a pile of factors that play into it. The biggest is the reduction in experienced appraisers due to the nonsense enacted since the crash. Appraisers were part of the proble, not THE problem. The result of Washington's help was the evacuation of the retail side by experienced appraisers like me - it's simply not worth the aggravation, lawsuit risk and browbeating.

You can try and appeal the appraisal - read >>> http://hankmillerteam.com/2011/08/02/low-appraisal-atlanta/ but don't expect success

Understand appeals are rarely successful. Also understand the apprasials are written for underwriters and by/to their guidelines. If you want to shoot me the address, I'll run a desk top look.

It's possible that this is accurate - we are a looooong way from any recovery. Yes your general area is doing better than most however we need to look at the micro market. If you think appraisals are an issue now, wait until spring.... http://hankmillerteam.com/2012/10/24/looking-ahead-to-the-sp…

Web Reference: http://www.hmtatlanta.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 19, 2012

I would be happy to provide you with a property value analysis. I live in Alpharetta and can give you an honest assessment on whether the appraiser's value is accurate. No cost or obligation.

We have been successful in refuting values on a number of refinances in North Fulton. Appraisers are still very cautious on values and with the market rebounding, many are under-valuing homes in this part of the county.

The key to a value rebuttal is to have additional comparable properties to argue your case. Simply not agreeing with the appraiser is not usually cause for overturning the value. In your case it sounds like they have selected poor comparable properties.

Let me know if I can help.

Timothy Brown
LPO Manager | Evolve Bank & Trust
11605 Haynes Bridge Road Suite 125| Alpharetta, GA 30009
678.468.5626 x110 | fax 678.935.1156 | cell 678.467.9959
NMLS#: 168281
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 19, 2012
Based on what you have posted, rdavidson1018, it seems odd in that market, but welcome to the world of 21st century Real Estate. If you had multiple comparables pulled in your neighborhood when you bought and there weren't such discrepancies (and no one discovered a toxic waste site since) you might consider asking for a review, but that is somewhat of a long shot. Please call, text or email if we can provide further assistance. Good Luck!

Michael Hammond





0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 19, 2012
I have lived in Alpharetta for 18 years and have been a Realtor for 24 years. The short answer is your house should have gone up in value in the past 18 months. Alpharetta, Johns Creek and South Forsyth have experienced a strong market recently. Inventory is way down and sales are up. Either you overpaid when purchasing 18 months ago or you might benefit from another appraisal.

An appraisal is just one persons opinion and occasionally you can get an appraiser that does not consider the right comparable sales. However, most of the time they will give you a fairly accurate view of value.

Best wishes, Jeff
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 19, 2012
You can talk with your lender about your concerns and suggest a review appraisal be completed. You can provide them with comparables you think are more reasonable. Also, ask if a different appraisal company can be used and if you can pay to get a 2nd appraisal completed. Another choice is to try another lender to refinance your property. Hard to believe that the value went down if you purchased it 18 months ago in Alpharetta as the market is getting stronger here.

Good luck!


Katherine L. Morrison, Realtor
Team Realty Group
Alpharetta, GA
404-697-4626 (direct)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 19, 2012
Hi RDavidson,

Pure judgement on comps on behalf of the appraisers happens all the time. I suggest you send this appraisal report to your agent to review and ask him/her to check for better comps available. If you purchased without an agent, find out an agent actively selling in your neighborhood. I am sure they will be happy to help. I always do help residents with similar issues in the neighborhoods I work the most.

If there are better comps, send them to your lender.

Being proactive is the best aproach!

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 19, 2012
Most homeowners don't like appraisers! Of course unless they tell you something you like! Unfortunately there have been thousands of deals that have been "killed" the last few years because of this crazy market and the values that are out there. Unfortunately as well, an appraisal only gives your lender the confidence that the loan they are going to do is sound and there is not much you can do about it.

Since it is a refi you were not working with a Realtor that could have provided you with "comps" that could be directed to the appraiser for another look if in fact he/she missed something that was very glaring. I think you are out of luck, but would suggest that you talk with a mortgage broker about if you are not happy with your current lender. Good luck!

Rick Musto, Managing Broker
Buckhead Home Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 19, 2012
rdavidson1018, without knowing what is the property in question, it would be hard for me to make any comments. One thing when researching comps, you must know how to properly weigh your
property against the comparable properties.

Best with your refinancing! I know the process can be a hassle at times....

Laquita Baez
Licensed Realtor in GA and NJ
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metrobrokers
Web Reference: http://www.LaquitaBaez.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 19, 2012
For an appraisal report to be valid, it must contain at least 3 comparable homes that have closed within the last 90-180 days. Should nothing comparable have closed in that time frame, the appraiser can go up to a maximum of 12 months from the inspection date. Often, an additional closed sale will be provided along with 1-2 pending sales or active listings for a total of 6 comparables.

Selection of comps is somewhat subjective based on the appraiser since it really is a judgment call. The best comps will be of similar age, square footage, # of bedrooms/bathrooms, and style of the subject property. At least 2 of those 3 comps should come from the subject property’s neighborhood. One must come from an outside neighborhood to better bracket the overall market area value. Appraisers do need to take into account school districts and city/county boundary lines.

Adjustments would be give where there are variations, such as for square footage, basement vs slab, age, etc.

The Appraiser Independence Code is part of an Act that all lenders must follow makes the disputing of a value quite difficult. To make a dispute, the lender must determine that the appraisal report is flawed and has a material defect. This means that comps that are “better” must have been available but not used. Your agent would have to provide these “better” comps to determine if a dispute is justified.

An appraisal cannot be disputed simply because it did not arrive at a certain value. That would be a violation of the Code.

If you only purchased the home 18 monthe ago, I am not sure that interest rates would have dropped enough to justfy a refinance.

Rodney Mason, NMLS #151088
Sr Loan Officer
Prospect Mortgage
825 Juniper St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
Office: (404) 591-2453
Apply Online at http://www.rodneymason.com
Licensed in Alabama & Georgia

Prospect Mortgage offers a full selection of mortgage programs including:
Conventional | FHA | FHA 580-639 FICO | FHA 203K Renovation (Streamline & Consultant) | HomePath® | HomePath® Renovation | HomeStyle® Renovation | VA | USDA | GA Dream | Jumbo Financing
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 19, 2012
If you think you know more than the Appraiser, then maybe you should become an Appraiser:

How an Appraisal is made:
Visualize a series of COLUMNS, probably 4 or 5;
The First Column is the SUBJECT HOUSE and the others are COMP's.
Down the page they list FEATURES or FACTORS; such as # Bedrooms, # Baths, House Sqft, Lot Sqft, Fireplace, Pool, Roof, Garage, Fencing. Got it?
Now, in each box created, there will be a VALUE: Lets say the subject house is 915 sqft it would get --- or 0. And the first Comp house has 2500 sqft, it might get -100,000; which means that the house is WORTH $100,000 more because of the square-footage. (It is a negative number because the Selling price of that Comp house was approximately $100,000 more BECAUSE of the square footage and we have to deduct that $100,000 to bring them to equity.) Got it?

Now, lets say that the Subject house has $5,000 worth of new fencing and the Comp house has 25 year old OK fencing.: Then the SUBJECT house would get +5,000 and the Comp. house would get --- or 0.

When you go down the page, and enter everything, you get total Comparative Values on the two houses, which allows for the DIFFERENCES.

The two houses DO NOT have to be literally COMPARABLE, the Appraiser MAKES them comparable using the + and - VALUES.

So the house next door is larger, so what? They made up for that with the values.

Now, if you understand what I just did, then you will understand why;
1.) Two Appraisals can come so close together, and,
2.) Why the Bank will not listen to you about the results.

and in fact I will give you a third;

3.) If you hire your own Appraiser, he will end up with about the same numbers!

I hope I've helped.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 19, 2012
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