The amount you can access on a reverse mortgage is directly related to your appraisal. The higher the appraised value, the more money you qualify for on this FHA program. Here are some suggestions that can pay big dividends to your appraised value and your pocketbook:
Provide the appraiser a list of comparable sales: Living in the area, you are probably aware of homes sold that are similar to yours. Sometimes there is a delay to a new sale being reported to the appraiser. Providing your own list to the appraiser may provide her with higher home sales thereby increasing the value of your own home.
Inform the appraiser of the area: If the area close to your home has recently undergone improvements, upgraded parks, museums, upscale shopping areas, or your neighborhood is experiencing a real estate boom, be sure to detail this to your appraiser. Often the appraiser is from out of town and will not be familiar with why your neighborhood has more value than another close by.
Remodeling kitchen, bathrooms and front yard: I recently had 2 clients spend $15 to $20 thousand dollars to remodel their kitchens with new cabinets, appliances, flooring, and granite countertops. These clients had been appraising on the low end because they had dated kitchens and bathrooms, each one of them increased their appraised value over $100,000 in around 18 months. Appealing front yard landscaping will make a difference in the appraised value as well.
Document your improvements: Having before and after photos as well as documentation of improvements you have made to the property will help the appraiser to give you a higher value than she originally planned.
Clean up: Make sure your grass is freshly trimmed, perhaps some fresh paint in the rooms, the house is warm and inviting, and declutter your rooms. All will go a long way to helping your appraiser feel better about giving a better value to your property. Make sure your home smells nice, clean out any litter boxes or fish tanks; fresh cookies wouldn’t hurt either.
Assist the appraiser: Be there to answer questions, but do not follow the appraiser around and make her feel uncomfortable. Everyone likes personal space to work in.
Timing: Be aware of the market; is it rising, falling, or plateaued? In a falling market, you will want to get the home appraised ASAP. In a rising market you may want to take your time preparing your property to maximize the value. You may also consider interest rates, if those are rising, they tend to push home values down; you may not want to wait long to appraise your home in a rising interest rate market.
Common things to be done before FHA appraisal: Be sure that your home has smoke detectors in all the bedrooms and one on each floor. A Carbon Monoxide detector is now required in the home. Your water heater must be double strapped. Paint and repair any yellow spots in ceiling and on roof. Any steps of 3 or more need to have a handrail. Empty swimming pools must be filled. Any peeling paint must be fixed/repainted on homes older than 1976.
Once you have finished doing all you can, leave your home value in the hands of the professional. The appraiser can only give value within range of the most recent sales in your area, but, making the aforementioned improvements will help you to be on the higher end of the value range. If you are ready to get the money available to you on a reverse mortgage, or you have questions regarding the process feel free to contact Robert Snow Krepps, NMLS #255191, at HighTechLending Inc today to discuss how a reverse mortgage may be able to help you (877) 567 – 7476 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
HighTechLending Inc, NMLS # 7147, is an Equal Housing Lender. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act.