"Drive By" Appraisal Value Not Even Close

7 Replies

I applied for a HELOC from the same bank that holds my mortgage on my primary residence. They offer a "free" appraisal which consists of a drive by, and comps. My house should have a retail value of about $390K, has a tax assessed value of $364K, and other comparable homes in the area are selling in the $350+ range, and mine is on a double lot (2 acres). The "free" appraisal came in at just $266k, over $100k less than the average home price. Now my bank said I have the option of paying for a full appraisal to get a more accurate value. My question is, is there no accountability for the company , FirstClose, that performed the drive by, if there value is so off from reality? I know values can vary between appraisers, but this is more than a slight variance, now forcing me to delay my HELOC a few weeks, and costing me a few hundred dollars.

Appraisal values for helocs or refinances are always going to be much more conservative than on a sale.

It sounds like you got what you paid for with the free appraisal. They have to give you the appraisal report which would list the comparable sales the appraiser used and the math behind it. You could contest it by providing the $350k comps you are talking about.

You can pay for the full appraisal or you can also pick a different bank which will order it's own appraisal.

Just did a bit more digging. It looks like sale prices are not required to be disclosed in Idaho.

The only 2 I quickly found with prices recorded within a few blocks of you are 5275 W Madison which sold for $276,500 on 7/8/2016 and 32886 N 16th Ave which sold for $250,000 on 6/20/2016. Granted those both look smaller and sold 2 years ago, but would support a value closer to $266k than $390k. You need to show better comps.

@Ken Nelson

If I had a dollar for every homeowner I've seen complaining on BP about how they've been lowballed by an appraiser...

This is how it goes in the new economy, Ken. If you need an appraisal from a bank anywhere near your property's real value, be prepared for an uphill battle. I've been shafted, too.

@Caleb Heimsoth

Sure, it's prudent and wise on the part of the banks. Great for the economy! Until you get the shaft for big bucks like this poor guy -- I really don't doubt his estimate. I got the shaft for about $35,000 myself a few years back.

It's no fun paying an outsized personal tax for the banking stability of the USA.

Follow up: So I paid the $700 appraisal fee, and it took about an additional month overall, but the actual appraisal came it at $370k. While this is slightly less than what I believe market value would be, it's close and probably represents proceeds after closing costs, and much higher than the original $266k drive by appraisal. I sign on the HELOC today and all is well, other than my bank account being $700 leaner...lol. Thanks everybody for your input!