Dealing With a Low Real Estate Appraisal

When selling your own home or another property, dealing with a low appraisal can be a heartbreaking affair. While the buyer might be happy with the condition of your property, his or her lender can be worried about certain things and in turn, can make it harder for the buyer to buy. If the bank has contracted a private firm to evaluate and appraise your property, it may be impossible to contact them to know exactly what you could improve, repair, or change. In any case, a low appraisal is a sign that your property can possibly be bettered, and sometimes the tasks required are not difficult to achieve.

There a few things that can help one to increase the value of your home or even change the mind of the bank. One of them is actually contacting your buyer’s lender or appraiser through your real estate agent, if at all possible. If they hired an outside appraisal company, it may be possible that company’s records of your neighborhood were out of date or even mistaken. It is always prudent to make sure that the low appraisal is proportional to the condition of your property and the property value of the surrounding houses in the neighborhood.

If that’s not an available solution, another great tip is to talk to your lender. In many cases, banks and other types of lenders have contacts to appraisers all over the country. If you can get your house reappraised by their contractors, you can request to see the faults of your property, and in return, negotiate with your buyer and their lender after fixes and improvements are done.

If you receive a low appraisal, it’s time for your real estate agent to get to work, and time for you to ask for a review of the low appraisal… many times I’ve seen an appraiser from outside the city give a low appraisal because they just don’t understand your neighborhood or city. It is your right as a home owner to ask for a “review” of a low appraisal.

If nothing else works, there is a more complicated method to get where you need to go regarding your home sale. Appraisers must follow a code of rules and regulations when appraising your home. They must not only know the market at large, but also follow the ebb and flow of your local market.

If you are still not satisfied by the result of the buyer’s lender’s contractor or your own bank’s private appraiser, it is possible to contact an appraisal company by yourself, but ultimately it’s the buyer’s appraisal that will matter.

It’s always a sound idea to hire locally, since local appraisers are much better at knowing the market local to your property… but new rules after the financial meltdown now requires an appraiser be picked out of a hat, so make sure your real estate agent has done their homework, meets the appraiser at the property with sold comparables and provides any other assistance they may need… it’s part of the job.

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of – Free Instant Access to the Top Gay, Lesbain and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast to Coast, offering Free Buyers Assistance.

Top Gun House Waiting for its Next Role

One Southern California community wants to make sure you don’t “lose that loving feeling” for a Tom Cruise blockbuster movie that put it on the map 25 years ago.

That’s because the “Top Gun House,” a historic Oceanside, CA bungalow used as the home of fictional character “Charlie” (Kelly McGillis) and key rendezvous point with movie love interest “Maverick” (Cruise) will be saved and restored in a $209 million project approved by the Oceanside City Council.

Top Gun was the top-grossing movie of 1986 and while much of the action takes place in the air, or at the famed TOPGUN Navy Fighter Weapons School in Miramar, a few scenes in the ’80s classic were filmed at the 19th-century beach cottage.

Depicting the experiences of Navy fighter pilots at the advanced fighter school at the Naval Base in Miramar, “Top Gun” focuses on Maverick and his competition to be the best in the class, as well as his romance with a naval instructor, Charlie.

The historic bungalow was not only the home of Charlie and the location for many of Maverick and Charlie’s romantic scenes, but McGillis actually stayed in the home during production.

While Top Gun may have put the the Victorian-style cottage on the pop culture map, its history is just as fascinating. It was built in 1887 by Dr. Henry Graves, a retired physician from Riverside.

House circa 1888. Courtesy of Oceanside Historical Society

According to Kristi Hawthorne of the Oceanside Historical Society, the home is “one of the oldest beach cottages in San Diego County.”

Hawthorne says the house was a rental on the Oceanside real estate market for decades and occupied up until about 2005, when the city of Oceanside took ownership and the home was declared a historic property.

House circa 1998. Courtesy of Oceanside Historical Society

Presently, the home sits on the site of a planned $209 million upscale beach resort. It is the only one of four historic homes on the street that the Oceanside City Council approved to keep.

Home circa 2007. Courtesy of Oceanside Historical Society

“Eventually the house will be restored and moved 2 blocks north on North Pacific and incorporated into the resort and used as perhaps a coffee house or gift shop,” explained Hawthorne.

Unfortunately, as of today, it looks like the famous home has “lost that loving feeling.”

Due to the recession and difficulties securing financing for the resort, a date has not been set for construction. So now, the Top Gun House sits all alone at the corner of North Pacific Street and Seagaze Drive, boarded up and sitting empty, enclosed by a chain-link fence to prevent vandalism.

Top Gun House today via Google Street View

Tourists and movie buffs still stop by to take photos of the beach cottage. During celebrations this past Memorial Day weekend, the city of Oceanside saluted the film’s 25th anniversary with a “Top Gun” themed weekend, complete with a film screening, fighter jets, beach volleyball and of course, hearty renditions of “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” “Read Full Story”

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