In this day and age of the market it pays to be on top of prices, That being said if you where working with buyer broker they would most likely have pulled up and discussed comparable sale in the area and or building to the Apartment to ensure that the numbers look good. If you don't have a buyer broker you might want to get one, the seller agent may have comps but I am sure they are going to look out fo the seller and give up only good one that make the apt look well price or even cheap if they can. Understandable as a mortgage person you dont want to see you client spend needless money on an apprasisals so I would have suggested you get a BPO or Verbal from someone prior to sending 350-1000 or more depending on the cost of the apt. Good luck
I agree with Aileen as well. In buying a home, it is really difficult to leave emotion out of your decision making process, it is important to give yourself financial boundaries. If the real estate downturn has taught us anything, it is that we all need to be more practical in our ideas of affordability. Get pre-approved before you commit to the property. The rest will fall in place naturally. My company and I offer free evaluations and rapid in-house approvals. Please contact me at your convenience.
I agree with everything Aileen had stated. I just want to add that if you get a highly qualified real estate agent, he or she should be able to do comparative market analysis on the property and give you a very good idea of what the property is worth regardless of the sales price. Purchasing an overpriced property can lead to a head ache if the bank appraisal comes in low, then the bank will not want to give you full financing and make you pay for the difference. I ran into this problem once.....BUT luckily the problem was in the appraisal. The appraiser used the wrong apartments for comparison. Needless to say I never used that mortgage company every again!!!!!
You need to speak to your real estate attorney and get their definition of a pencil appraisal and their opinion on the matter. Lenders typically conduct their own appraisal on the home, after you make an offer and sign a contract for the purchase of the home. You pay for this appraisal, not the seller. The lender will choose their own approved appraiser. This appraiser does not work for you. You can not tell them you desire a certain price.
Is this your first time buying in Manhattan? Are you working with a Realtor, at all? They can walk you through the process of buying in Manhattan and provide you estimates on closing costs.
Your mortgage broker should be able to advise you on how much of a mortgage you can afford without having to get an appraisal on the apartment. You goal should be to buy an apartment you can afford. Speak to a few mortgage professionals. If you need any referrals for lenders, email me. I would be happy to give them to you. Also, Coldwell Banker has a Buyer's Guide to Buying in Manhattan. I can forward this to you via email, also.