If you are in the process of doing a refinance and are doing so with an FHA loan, here are some suggestions to save you money.
When appraising a home for an FHA loan, the appraiser must complete an FHA inspection. If the appraiser notes any items considered to be a health or safety issue by FHA, you will need to repair these items and have a 2nd inspection completed by the appraiser to verify the items have been repaired/corrected. This 2nd inspection will cost you $100-$200.
To avoid this 2nd inspection and additional fees, here are some common items that will require the appraiser to have to make a 2nd visit to your home:
-Missing electrical outlets
-Water heater is not double strapped
-Missing CO/Smoke detectors
-Any chipped or peeling interior/exterior paint(on homes built prior to 1978)
-Hanging/loose electrical wires
-Heater or AC not working properly
-Hot water not working properly
-Attic/crawl space not accessible
-Security bars on bedroom windows with no safety release mechanism
-Be sure ALL rooms are accessible to the appraiser, including any outbuildings or bonus rooms
Making sure that all of these items are corrected before the appraiser visits your home will make it more likely that your home will pass the FHA appraisal inspection and will save you money, as the appraiser will not have to make a 2nd visit to your home.
Omni Appraisal Services has completed FHA appraisals throughout all of Southern California. If you have any questions on getting your home prepared for the FHA inspection, we offer free advice via phone: 310-697-3034 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am asked several times per month why an appraisal I have completed is not in line with Zillow or Trulia or if the values shown in Zillow or Trulia are accurate.
Zillow and Trulia can give a homeowner a 'ballpark' value of their home, SOMETIMES. If your home is located in a tract type neighborhood where the homes have similar design and build date, you may get a good ballpark value. Locations like Lakewood and Carson in Los Angeles County are good examples of these types of neighborhoods.
However, if your home is outside of what would be considered average condition, the value given by these sites may be significantly different from what the actual value is. Also, if your home is a custom design, large or small for the area, highly remodeled, in disrepair, or located in an area with many differing designs and styles of home, these sites will not be a good indicator of value.
For example, I recently appraised a home in the Belmont Heights area of Long Beach, which is an area with many custom homes of varying designs and styles. This particular home was in very average condition for the area. Zillow has its 'Zestimate' at $1,140,000, however, the actual value is significantly lower.
To know the true value of your home, it is always better to have a licensed appraiser come to your home as opposed to using sites like Zillow and Trulia.