Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Home Is Worth How Much?

Ok, I get it. After years of appraisals gone wild, appraisers are nervous. They're being heavily scrutinized. I understand the need to be conservative. But can we please just find a way to value homes in a fair manner? Fair means not intentionally using a foreclosed home as a comparable when there are other homes in the neighborhood that could have been used. It means not using homes a mile away that are worth less when there's one right around the corner. It means not valuing a house and then taking a flat 20% off the value just because. And if a homeowner can show based on other comparables that an appraisal is unfair or inaccurate, how about a process that allows the owner a legitimate way to dispute it? Is that asking too much? Ridiculously high appraisals contributed mightily to our current situation. And now ridiculously low appraisals are keeping us in the same predicament. Can we please just find a reasonable middle ground?