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December 2008 Tip

When considering whether to purchase or refinance an existing property, one of the first things to consider is the value. At the time of application for the loan, most lenders will ask you to pay for the appraisal up front. That is, before the loan application is even approved.

What most of us don't realize is that many lenders are now seeking a second appraisal, or a review of the first appraisal by another company. What this means to you the borrower is an additional cost for such service, even though the first appraiser was chosen by the lender or mortgage broker without your input and presumably from their own list of service providers.

Here's the Tip For Today:

Determine at the beginning of the application process whether your lender or mortgage broker will require a review of the appraisal. If they will, get them to agree (in writing) that this is a cost the lender will absorb and not pass on to you. Once you have paid for your appraisal up front there is no rational reason why the borrower should be required to pay an additional amount for the appraisal to be reviewed by a second company. Typically this review appraisal cost can range between $150.00 and $175.00, in addition to an appraisal already costing you about $400.00 for a single family residence.

If you cannot get the lender to agree to absorb this additional cost, take your application to one who will.

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