Do I Need an Appraisal Before Getting Approved for a Mortgage Loan?

When you apply for a mortgage loan, the lender usually requires an appraisal of the property, whether you are buying a home or refinancing a mortgage. If you need a mortgage to buy a home, your real estate agent will likely suggest that you include an appraisal contingency in the sales contract. The valuation contingency allows you to abandon the purchase of a home if the valuation is too low to justify the agreed purchase price.Simplified VA refinancing, what the government calls an interest-rate refinancing loan (IRRRL), usually doesn't require an appraisal. If you're refinancing your current home or using a mortgage to pay for a new one, your lender will likely ask you to do an appraisal before you can close the loan.

They prefer to trust experts, who are paid for the act of appraising, and not salespeople or agents whose salaries depend on the sale to work. However, the valuation of the home (not necessarily the amount you're paying for it) determines the value when the relationship between the loan and the value is determined.Likewise, a house with peeling paint and an uneven lawn in a well-maintained subdivision will normally be valued at a lower price than other similar properties. A home appraiser will consider visible defects, such as a collapsed roof or a plumbing system that is not working properly, but will not look for specific problems. If you're buying a new home and the valuation is low, you can choose to pay in cash to cover the difference between the appraised value and the loan amount.

If the lender decides the loan amount as a percentage of the price of the property, it will choose the sale price or the appraised value, whichever is lower.If the valuation of the house is lower than what you agreed to pay, you may need to bring more cash to close the deal or negotiate with the seller to make the deal work. In that case, you may want to do a full home appraisal to obtain a higher value and reduce the loan-to-value ratio of the refinance. Because mortgage lenders can't choose the appraiser who does the work, valuation management companies (AMC) have taken over the industry and have raised prices by up to 40 percent. Regardless of the situation you face in your experience buying, selling, or refinancing a home, a basic understanding of how the appraisal process works can only be beneficial to you, especially if you're buying your first home.It is important to note that along with purchasing a consumer's main residence, brokers' opinions on prices cannot be used as primary basis for determining value of property for purposes of originating residential mortgage loans secured by that property.

If there is an appraisal contingency in contract and sale fails because home was valued below sale price, amount paid as collateral will be returned to buyer. Appraiser will count number of bedrooms, ensure absence of safety risks and check operation of home systems.

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