Turned garage into apartment and need to refi..

4 Replies | Nashville, Tennessee

Hi everyone!! I have turned the detached garage of my home into a super nice apartment for my mom. It’s not rental property now, but one day will be. Now I want to do a cash-out refi, but my mortgage company can’t get anyone (tried 3 companies) to do the appraisal due to the “complexity”. Because it has its own kitchen, I guess they consider it rental property. Anyone have any connections with a mortgage company and/or appraisal company who can handle this?

That seems odd to me.  What's the difference in that than those people who build small apts for their aging parents (as opposed to converting a garage).  Perhaps contact a trade organization among appraisers (not sure what it would be called) National appraisers bla bla.  And see if you can get a referral for your lender.  

You could also get a realtor to look on the mls to search for sold listings using the key word "mother in law suite" or "garage apartment" and find out who appraised those sales

Any professional appraiser should be able to do that, I would think. Something is odd about this. Mortgage company may not have the best appraiser network.

I wonder if the zoning for the lot has complicated things. Are you sure you can have a detached dwelling on the lot?

my property has a detached garage w/ 1bd apt above it... no issue at purchase (investment) nor a cash out refi. I guess I could argue that it was valued little low, but it wasn't that big of deal. Really should have your lender or mortgage officer push back.

Hi @Ginger B.   Is the complexity due to the fact they don't know how to / or cannot appraise the improvements in the detached garage?  Depending on where you live there can be restrictive covenants preventing the conversion of a non-dwelling detached structure into something other than its intended use.  Is your refi application including the converted space as additional square footage?  Please feel free to contact me to discuss.  Happy to help


Alan Good |Realtor® | License #343908