We bought our home in July of 2008 for $740,000. We recently decided to re-finance to get a lower rate and the appraiser Citimortgage sent out

Asked by Valley Glen, 91401 Tue May 18, 2010

appraised our property at $540,000. So our re-fi did not go through. Zillow says our property is estmated to be $695,000. There is something wrong with this picture....comments?

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Wed May 19, 2010
Hi Valley Glen,

It looks like you're sitting around 85% (+ or -) LTV based on the appraised value and purchase price which means you would require PMI and that's probably where the issue is with Citimortgage,

You fall into the Fannie Mae high cost area which means you should qualify for a conforming jumbo loan.
Here are a couple of things you may want to do.

1) You should request a copy of the appraisal and have it reviewed for accuracy.
2) Contact the original AMC (appraisal management company) and dispute the value with them.
3) Look at refinancing with a broker who has more options than citimortgage.

You should be looking at 4.75% with mortgage insurance on a 30 year fixed or 5.375% without MI.
0 votes
Valley Glen, , 91401
Tue May 18, 2010
We put 20% down. The house is a gated mini-estate with over 13,000 sq. feet lot. Fantastic landscaping, cul de sac with million dollar homes on street. It has three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, completely remodeled in 2007. Three patios, outdoor fireplace, built in BBQ, the works. There is NO WAY it is worth a measly $540,000. We didn't want cash; just wanted to lower our interest rate. Loan mod was not available to us and I was told that we could not get a second appraisal and that if we got our own appraisal it would not be looked at. We could probably sell it for $700,000 and have a buyers frenzy. But we love our house and have no plans to sell. I am out of pocket $600 for this debacle. I have emailed our "broker" at Citimortgage several times but he is not responding. He was happy to call me and tell me that if we coughed up $13,000 in fees we could still get a re-fi. This was supposed to be a slam dunk re-fi - excellent jobs, salary and fico.
0 votes
Dp2, , Virginia
Tue May 18, 2010
Besides attempting to do a rate/terms refi, did you also try to do a loan mod?
0 votes
Bob McClure, Other Pro, Walled Lake, MI
Tue May 18, 2010
good afternoon...what percentage did you put down when you purchased your home?....
best regards...
bob mcclure-
first preferred mortgage-
southfield, michigan..
0 votes
Spartak Hova…, Agent, Sherman Oaks, CA
Tue May 18, 2010
Zillow is not always accurate, so as cyberhomes.com because these websites are valuing the properties using limited information. But this doesn't mean that the appraiser from citimortgage is accurate since there is a possibility that he/she may not be familiar with the neighborhood.
I have been living in and servicing Sherman Oaks area (including Valley Glen, Valley Village, etc) for over 10 years and I would be happy to give you my opinion of the value of your property.
0 votes
Linda Fox, Agent, Northridge, CA
Tue May 18, 2010
I had the same experience with a property that I listed in Valley Glen. Unfortunately the market was in a downward trend through 2008 and 2009. Your situation is the same as most Americans who bought a home in the last few years and many of the websites that are being used by the general public do not represent the market conditions very well. The appraiser from the bank uses current pending and sold comps to get to the market value as well as the bedrooms, bathrooms, lot and home sqare footage and gives some value to improvements and upgrades. Maybe you could qualify for a loan modification under the new HAFA program. I know how frustrating it is to own a home you paid more than it is worth today. We are all hoping the future looks brighter for home values.
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Monique and…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Tue May 18, 2010
Hello Valley Glen,

Zillow takes into account square footage and lot size only. Not improvements but also doesn't take into account micro-climate data. Sometimes the appraisers, if not familiar with the area might not provide you an accurate value either. If you are just trying to refi (and not sell-which I would happy to come up with a value to sell) your best bet is to ask the lender for another appraisal if you think the value is off. It's important if you have done any upgrades to the home you also have a list of those ready for the appraiser.

Monique Carrabba
The Carrabba Group
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
(323) 899-2900
0 votes
Catherine Ba…, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Tue May 18, 2010
This is why so many agents do not like Zillow. They pull from county records and not the MLS like appraisers and real estate agents. Appraisers currently have two take up to 5 active and 5 sold listings in your area that are comparable to the subject property. Appraisers are regulated and held accountable for everything they do. I would go with your appraiser value over zillow everday of the week.
0 votes
Joanna Jensen, Other Pro, Livermore, CA
Tue May 18, 2010
I am sorry about your situation. Lots of home owners are finding them selves Upside Down...

you may be able to qualify for a Short Refinance where we get your new loan down to current market value.

You cant get cash out but you may be able to reduce your payment. Depending on your credit.
If you still have good credit you may be able to get a new loan at approx 90 - 95% of the current market value.
so lets say for example that is $513,000. If you have good credit and income you may be able to get a new loan depending on your fico.

I am happy to help. Lots of info you get will talk about short selling your home but that is not necessary. As long as you can afford the mortgage payment you could stay put, possibly reduce your mortgage and reduce your payments either by Short Refi or loan modification..

Best of luck
JoAnna Jensen
Realtor Legal Assistant
925 699 5041
0 votes
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