Published On July 21, 2020

Understanding a Home’s Appraisal

Understanding appraisals can help with buying or selling a home. Whether you are buying home in Downtown Kenosha or selling your home near Petrifying Springs Park, the more you know about the value in advance the better prepared you can be.

Appraisals are required by lenders whenever they are involved in the financing of a home. The main purpose is to protect the financial institution so they do not lend more than the value of the property.

  • An appraisal is an unbiased professional opinion of the value of a home and is used whenever a mortgage is involved in buying or refinancing. It is ordered by the buyer’s lender and is part of the closing costs.
  • The appraiser creates a report based on a visual inspection, using recent sales of similar properties, current market trends, and the condition of the home to determine the property’s appraised value.
  • The borrower usually pays the appraisal fee, which is traditionally $300 – $450 in the midwest.
  • When the appraised value is lower than expected, the transaction can be delayed. The seller can choose to lower the price of their home, the buyer can provide a larger cash down payment or a combination of both may be negotiated. If that can’t happen, the transaction comes to an end.

Working with the right Realtor can also make your home buying process easier and less stressful, as Kenosha locals, Sean and Ariah, recently found.

Seeing housing prices rising  Sean and Ariah seized the opportunity to move from their starter home to a more permanent home.

Ironically, we met at an open house across the street from the house they purchased as they were looking for a realtor to work with.

“We chose Kevin because he is very knowledgeable, personable and honest,” said Sean.

They planned to sell their home to buy a new one so both transactions needed to line up.

“Buying and selling a house at the same time felt much more stressful than just buying a house,” said Ariah.

We hit a few bumps along the road. When the time came for the appraisal of the house they were selling, the numbers came up short. Everyone agreed that the appraisal was wrong and we did everything we could to challenge it because the buyer was unable to come up with any additional money toward the purchase.

“Constant back and forth, and even reaching out to HUD proved futile,” said Sean. “Kevin exhausted all options.”

“It was a cool process to see our agent and the buyer’s agent defend our asking price and try to raise the appraisal,” added Ariah. “I learned quite a bit about the appraisal process this time around.”

We had to let the first offer fall through and find a new buyer before time ran out on the contract to purchase the couple’s new home.

“As a buyer and seller, be prepared to expect the unexpected,” said Sean.

This was a stressful time, as not only their sale had fallen through, but the purchase of their new home was now in jeopardy. We had to find another buyer fast.

We had a lot of phone calls back and forth discussing options and strategies, even a few during my father-in-law’s 90th birthday celebration.

“Your agent is here to help you,” said Ariah. “Use them as a resource.”

Thankfully we did find a buyer who was able to make things work in a very short time and all transactions were able to proceed.

Now the couple and their dog have moved into the house they chose and live closer to their family.

“We love our new house and are so excited for the things we are working on to make it ours,” said Ariah.

I am happy to have helped Sean and Ariah not just as clients, but now as new friends.

“Kevin is not just an awesome realtor, but an even better person,” Sean said. “He takes the time to get to know you and make sure everything is well. I recommend him to anyone selling or buying a home.”

 “Kevin was amazing and I would recommend him to anyone,” said Ariah. “He knows what he’s talking about and we felt really comfortable working with him.”

Contact Kevin to start searching for your dream home today.

Kevin Poirier

I have lived in Kenosha since 2004. I came to work as a photojournalist, and have found Kenosha to be a great place to live. I am happy to call it my home.

I have been a photographer for more than 20 years, doing commercial and editorial work. That work has put me in touch with people from all walks of life. There are not many places in the county that I have not been. In the words of Johnny Cash, when it comes to Kenosha County: “I’ve been everywhere, man!”

I grew up in France and moved to the U.S. while in high school. I have also lived in Michigan and Illinois.

I look forward to helping you find a new home to make new memories in, or sell your existing one to get you to the next step in your life.

When not working, I like to spend time at home  with my wife Laura, and my son Wes, or sailing on beautiful Lake Michigan.


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