Marketplace Scratch Pad

Little praise for appraisers

Scott Jagow Jun 9, 2009

During the Wild West days of the real estate market, appraisers were a homeowner’s best friend. Now, I imagine some people have tacked up pictures of appraisers to their dart boards.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Patti Sanders, an aerospace engineer in Oakdale, Calif., knew prices were down sharply but said she was “flabbergasted” recently when her 3,100-square-foot Victorian home was appraised at $250,000, compared with $635,000 assayed two years earlier. The new estimate prompted a lender to reject her application for a refinancing that would have lowered her mortgage payments about $400 a month.

The Journal says lenders are pressuring appraisers to be very conservative, and appraising is more difficult because home prices are changing constantly, and sales are few and far between. It’s harder to make comparisons with other homes in the same neighborhood.

Of course, during the boom, I’m sure lenders were encouraging appraisers to be liberal with their valuations, so here we are on the downside.

In other news, former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino is sweetening the offer for his house. The Marinos are asking $13.5 million, but they’re throwing in a house full of furniture ($1.5 million worth), and he’ll even leave a signed football behind.

The home has 10 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and two powder rooms. The property includes two guest houses, a pool, a putting green, a 5,000-bottle wine cellar and a pond stocked with fresh bass.

Only two powder rooms?? I want a new appraisal!

From Sotheby’s

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