My neighbor dreamed of updating her home but needed funds to do what she wanted. Her solution? A home mortgage refinance that would – she hoped – lower her interest rate and allow her to cash in some of her equity. She waited until home prices rose and when they did, she readied herself to apply for the refinance. She was a nervous wreck waiting for her appraisal. She knew that a high appraisal on her home’s value would give her a lower interest rate, the ability to borrow more money, and eliminate mortgage insurance. She would be able to borrow enough money to remodel the kitchen, both bathrooms and to replace her interior doors. A low appraisal would leave her with a house half renovated and a higher interest rate. After doing her homework, she started to ready her home for the visit from the appraiser. Spoiler alert, she got the loan and rate she wanted. So, here are the steps she took to make sure she got an optimal appraisal.

 

Shape it up

From regular maintenance, large home repairs to the honey do list, make sure the house is in good order before the appraiser arrives. Everything counts; from door handles missing screws to the stair railing feeling unsteady. Appraisers are experts in identifying homes that haven’t been maintained. Make sure the furnace is tuned up, air filters are changed, switch plates are on all outlets and everything large and small looks good and is in good repair. Demonstrate the concept of pride in ownership.
 

First Impressions

Make sure the first impression of the house is positive. Sweep or hose down the driveway, the patio and sidewalk. Remove moss, repair funky fences, and do lawn edging. Clean the house including the porch, trim overgrown bushes and wash the windows. If possible, reduce clutter in your house. It’s the details that make a positive impression of a home that will last.
 

Show and Tell

Point out all of the recent improvements in your home and the custom touches that you have added. Make sure that improvements that required permits have been permitted. Be informed about the comps in your neighborhood. There are plenty of websites that you can use to see what local homes sold for. If one home price is low, find out why and let the appraiser know if it was a tear down or has circumstances that make it a non-comparable home. If there are any new community improvements i.e. new parks planned or shopping centers, be sure and mention to the appraiser. It all adds value to your home.
 

Bottom Line

If you’ve been thinking about a refinance, now may be the ideal time to make your move. Rates are at a historical low and they may not last. There are many benefits to refinancing your current home loan. Contact Advantage Home Plus your employer sponsored home ownership program who is there to assist you in the process. Lower your interest rate and monthly payments and consider taking out cash and then use the extra funds to fulfill your dreams. We’ll help you finance home improvements, education expenses, or travel, etc. Call us today at 1-800-376-4603 to see if refinancing is the right move for your situation. There’s no time like the present to start living your dreams.