First and foremost, the proper perspective from a plugged-in reader in San Francisco:
Life is about enjoying the good, but it’s also about surviving the bad. I’m sure there will be things I don’t want to hear, but my skin is pretty thick and gotten thicker going through all of this.
And now for the background and request:
I am an avid reader/watcher of the site and it has certainly become something that gives me a bit of a pulse on what’s going on in the City and not just real estate values. In any case I built my home in the Bayview in 2005, completed in 2006 at which time and upon completion I received an appraisal of $810,000 (via the bank).
In January 2008, facing a divorce the house was again re-appraised at $860,000. Despite some additional work done on the house I too was shocked to see a higher appraised value as I expected lower and really knew it to be lower based on market conditions but was still happy to see that higher number and one that clearly gave me the equity to refinance. Well now truly facing the realities of divorce and trying to re-finance as part of adjusting to one income I recently had another appraisal (bank appointed) and it came back to say that the appraised value was $600,000…
$600,000 for a 2,800 sq ft. 3br/2.5ba!! 1.5 yrs old, quality finishes, etc etc. This appraisal has completely thrown me into a tailspin as it jeopardizes my ability to even re-finance, and in looking at the report every property used as a comp was a either a foreclosure or a bank owned property sale and all of which bear no real comparable quality to my home, yet this is what I am up against.
I know that townhomes have been up for sale over at Candlestick Cove and in having wandered around to take a look I know that they are truly the closest “real” comparable to my home with regard to finish even though my home on average has 700-800 more sq. ft. The problem I am discovering in trying to dispute the appraisal is that because sales of the Candlestick Cove townhomes are not being listed on MLS and being sold through the developer that there seems to be no easily attainable record of the units sold or of the final prices of those units. Can you please tell me if there is a way I can find out what units have sold for? Sites like Zillow, Property Shark and Trulia have not been helpful in the least and utterly useless (especially considering 1.5 years after completion my property still doesn’t even appear on Zillow). I have spoken to the Candlestick Cove office on the phone and been told that they will not hand out that information, even though I am not looking for owners names, and simply seek just property sizes and final sale prices.
I don’t want to lose my house, one I spent time designing, seeing through the horrible permit process and 10 months of construction and one I expect to be in for quite a while, but given this horrible appraisal it may be all I can do but to sell it and eat my losses, while handing over a steal to the next owner. Thank you very much for any help or guidance you might be able to give.
Let’s hear it. And as always, add value or go home.