In My Neighborhood in 95128>Question Details

Gs, Home Owner in Stanford, CA

An appraiser valued our home to $735,000 when an exact same house beside us got appraised over 1,1M. How can this be?

Asked by Gs, Stanford, CA Sat Jun 25, 2011

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As much as appraisers claim to abide by professional standards, for the most part, the appraisals I've seen are no better than random guesses from a casual observer. At worst, they're totally suspect when an appraisal comes in at the exact amount of the purchase offer, down to the dollar.

Often, when you use an appraiser hired by the bank for a refinance, you'll likely get a deflated value as the bank tries to hedge their risk exposure. So, always get your own appraiser or get a referral for one of the rare good appraisers who assesses your property against properly type-matched comparable properties around your neighborhood.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 4, 2011
Gs, regret to hear that. Trust you were doing a refinance.

Well check if you can get a copy form your neighbor and send it to the appraisal management

Generally, appraisals do vary depending on whether one is Refinancing, selling. Doing a short sale or
Buying a foreclosed property.

You can also complain to the appraisal board, after you have verified the timeframe in which
The other appraisal was done.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 25, 2011
That is too large of a variance. You mortgage professional should pull comps. Then if the comps indicate this appraiser was negligent, the appraisal should be challenged. There is no reason for you to be jumping through hoops.

Happy funding, Rudi
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 25, 2011
Hello Gs,
All good points made here. I particularly like Marita's point. If the neighbor's appraisal was not done in the last month, there can be a difference. But almost $400,000? Here are some helpful links if you think you want to challenge your appraisal. Best of luck.……

PML of Longmont, CO
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 25, 2011
Are you using the same lender as your neighbor? If his lender ordered appraisal came in where you'd need your value to be, but your lender's appraisal didn't, it may be worth to try and refinance with your neighbor's lender if your neighbor's lender would also approve a refinance based on a certain value coming in on your home (as in your neighbor's value). I find that when consumers are comparing their "situation" to one another a lot of the important details aren't covered, and it sounds like you don't have a ton of clear information about your neighbor's appraisal process - once that is known you can determine a good plan of attack on how to get your refinance complete.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 25, 2011
Thanks for all the insight. Both are full appraisals. Our appraiser was not familiar with our area. Both houses were built the same year in 2006 and are identical in all aspects except in color, same lot size. Bought at almost the same price at $1145000 . I have already requested for a copy of the
appraisal and Im hoping our good
neighbor will be willing to share info. Otherwise we have our hands tied and not be able to refinance into a fixed rate. We have great credit scores and have no other conditions except this
upside down appraisal done 2 months from our neighbor who informed us of their appraisal though not quite open to how/who they went to. Thanks again for your responses.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 25, 2011

In addition to the points raised:

The date each appraisal was done is also important. Were homes from
other neighborhoods used that may have skewed results on one or the
other appraisal? Also be aware that appraisals are +- 5%.
Approx $400k is a LOT of difference and may have several causes.

I agree with Bill, get a copy of the other appraisal and compare.

BUT, I would start with your own appraiser - ask him to explain the difference between the 2 values.

Thx for asking,

Marita Topmiller
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 25, 2011

How did you get your neighbor's appraisal number? The best way to determine why there is such a great difference is to analyze the two appraisals. If the neighbor was willing to share the 1.1M number with you, would they also be wiling to share the addresses of the comparison property the appraiser used in arriving at their final number.

With access to this information as well as your own document, a good analysis will remove the mystery and guess work and provide you with the specifics you require.

Keep in mind that the home appraisal system is not one without flaws. They are only as good as the people creating them and the information used as their basis.

An appraisal serves as a professional "opinion" of the estimated value for a property. When two very similar properties, located in the same proximity, are appraised with such a large difference, the information should be questioned.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 25, 2011
Your appraiser was a Cal Bears fan and theirs bled Cardinal Red?

But seriously, there are a lot of variables... a couple could be...

Was yours a drive-by and theirs a full appraisal, or vice versa? Did you both get the same appraiser? Was it appraised on the same day? If it was a different appraiser, did both appraisers have access to all of the same data? Are all the upgrades similar? Is the lot size similar? Did one appraiser give greater weight to certain comparables (such as distressed sales) than the other? Was one appraiser local and another not as familiar with the area? Was it for the same purpose such as financing, litigation, or tax/estate planning? Was the goal of each appraisal the same, such as determining the market value, assessed value, insurable value, use value, etc.? If financing was involved were your mortgage types the same/lender's instruction to the appraiser the same (for example one was wanting it to be compared to only rental properties and the other to all sales, or one wanted all sales and one wanted to exclude distressed sales)? Did the appraisers interpret the instruction the same?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 25, 2011
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