Friday, February 20, 2009

sign of the times

We are in the process of re-financing our house. The interest rates are at their lowest, and since we plan to be here for years, it just makes good financial sense. The appraiser came out today to inspect the property. Now, this not our first house. It is our fourth. So we have dealt with appraisers many times in the past. On the last two occasions, the appraiser drove by the house, and then phoned in his appraisal. That's it.

This time, the appraiser walked around outside. He took pictures. He moved piles of leaves next to the foundation. He measured the thickness of the tile on the porch. He came in, looked at every room, on every floor. He even went into our basement. He asked a bunch of questions, took a lot of notes. It was scary.

Banks have to be more cautious now. They don't want to lend money (or in our case re-lend money, since our current mortgage is with the same bank) without being sure, absolutely sure, of their investment. But it is frightening, when you already have property, to have it judged on an entirely different scale.

It really makes me feel for people who have mortgages that now exceed the value of their property. What happens to you in that situation? What happens if you have to move?

1 comment:

Kitten Herder said...

Considering hubby's employment situation, it's probably a good thing that our mortgage is already in the low 5's. Also, I know that our neighborhood has devalued big time. Not so much that we owe more than our house is worth, fortunately.

Sadly, there are lots of folks out there in that situation. No re-fi for them. And, they better not have to move.