Another Appraisal Update

I have to begin this post by extending another heart-felt thank you to our readers for all of the support you have shown us after the last update I posted. While this is definitely not the direction either of us saw our home building story to take, I’m so glad that we are able to share our experience with other people going through the process and alerting them to the possibility that this can, and does, happen.

I wish I had a definitive answer to give you as to whether or not we will be moving forward with our Allen Edwin home, but we’ve made a tiny bit of progress that I did want to update you on.

As I mentioned in my last post, we were waiting on the second appraisal to be ordered. There was a lot of back and forth as to who was supposed to order the appraisal and if any new comparable home sales could be provided to necessitate a second appraisal. Eventually, nearly 2 months after the original appraisal was conducted, we had to put our collective foot down and tell everyone involved (lender and builder) that we were done waiting: if a second appraisal could not be ordered within the week, we would be terminating our agreement with Allen Edwin. This, luckily, jump-started the conversation, and I am very relieved to report that the second appraisal has officially been ordered.

Within our agreement to proceed with the second appraisal, we also stipulated that we would be requiring the appraisal report to be returned by a specific date, meaning Allen Edwin has to do their part in scheduling the appraiser’s visit in a timely manner. They agreed to the timeline and to working with the appraiser to get him or her into the house as soon as possible. Hopefully we’ve eliminated any further delays caused by the builder.

Finally, I mentioned in my last post that we were encouraged to get a lawyer involved so we knew what rights we had. We were counseled by an attorney specializing in real estate law, and with his help drafted an official notice of action to Allen Edwin that was sent out the same day the appraisal was ordered. This notice stated, with supporting language from the purchase agreement, that Allen Edwin has no more than 15 days to return our down payment in the event that the second appraisal comes back under the sale price.

If you haven’t guessed yet, we aren’t messing around any more. We’ve been spinning our wheels for far too long and relying on others to work this out. We finally took matters into our own hands and set some deadlines, to which I am pleased to report have had a positive response so far. Let’s hope that trend continues through the receipt of the second appraisal and beyond.

A final note: we are under no misconceptions that the receipt of the second appraisal will be the end of the story. While we have a pretty good idea of which way the appraisal will go, we don’t know how Allen Edwin will react to this “final say” in the value of the home. But we do know that, once the final appraisal comes back, we will have done absolutely everything in our power to secure this house. Both Troy and I are firm believers that everything happens for a reason, and if this house isn’t meant to be ours, so be it.

We may not have all the answers yet, but we’re a step closer — and most importantly, we finally have a deadline in place.


6 thoughts on “Another Appraisal Update

  1. I was just wondering this weekend what, if anything, had happened on this. Eesh! Good for you for putting your foot down, though. I think sometimes we get it into our heads we can’t speak up for ourselves or rock the boat or else the object of desire will be taken away. But, really, it’s a business transaction and you have just as much right to play hardball as the other guy!

    • Thanks, Jennifer! At this point, if we didn’t do everything possible, we would always wonder ‘what if’ so we are fighting in the only ways we know how.

  2. Maria,
    First thank you for sharing this with us as it helps the rest of us navigate the AE processes, or lack there of. I know it must be very hard right now and I am so glad you guys have put your foot down and established an end date to the madness, if it continues. Being strung along like you have is very difficult for us to read about but I can’t imagine what it must be like at your end. It’s just so one sided it makes one wonder how in the world could this possibly happen with today’s strict housing laws. It’s not just a business transaction when you become so emotionally involved with spending 6 months picking out stuff and making your dream a reality and then your advertised support turns on you when something goes wrong. I think you and Troy have found inner strength and great wisdom from this whole experience and you will have that forever no matter what you decide to do. You have no idea how much you are helping others with this blog. Best Wishes

    • Thanks so much, Keith. Your support is appreciated more than you know! I sincerely hope you guys have been having a pleasant process with AE and are excited about your new home. 🙂

  3. First, I just wanted to stay thank you for sharing your stories and pictures. I have been following your blog since last year but I hadn’t been back in a few months. Your blog provides an objective insight into this whole process that isn’t available anywhere else. Also, I’m so sorry to hear about the appraisal nightmare you are experiencing. I literally just finished the same process with AE. We are building an E1870 or at least we are now. We originally picked a 1680 with a finished basement but we were selected for pre-appraisal before building began. Intially, I was so upset because I knew this would not be an easy or quick process and it hasn’t — TWO MONTHS we waited to get to this point. The first appraisal came back low, of course, but because it was a pre-appraisal and absolutely no building had begun, we were able to go back to the table, switch to a larger floor plan and remove more than $13,000 worth of upgrades. Our second appraisal came back only yesterday and thankfully it was above the new purchase price. Looking back, I am glad we were selected for a pre-appraisal. It afforded us many more options and we were able to remove items that we hadn’t yet seen or become attached to. Hopefully the appraisal business is all behind us but I wouldn’t be surprised if it came up again before closing. (Is that even possible?) Anyway, I can only imagine how heartbreaking and aggravating it is to go through this. I do hope for a positive outcome for you! The home building process is truly an education. Like yourself, I wish I had brought a realtor to the table. As nice as the sales counselor is, he works for AE not the buyer. Also, I realize now that the so called upgrades in the New Home Showroom aren’t worth a crust of salt in the marketplace. if I had known this I could finished my selections appointment in half the time. Also, how is it even possible that the appraisal came back for BELOW base price?? This makes he question the value of my home and all AE homes. Are we paying too much? I guess we’ll find out. If I could offer a bit of inspiration I would say that whatever happens was meant to happen. Sometimes the hardest knocks can be blessings in disguise.

    • Lane, thank you so much for reading and for sharing your experience. If there is one thing I am grateful for, it’s that I’ve been able to bring together several families that have had to deal with similar issues with their AE homes not appraising, and offer support and commiseration. I agree with you, it’s disheartening to think we are over paying for these houses, but I have to believe that these final appraisals are (hopefully) correct. I hope you are through the woods with your own appraisal process — I’m sure it will be a relief to finally close and be done with all of this ridiculousness. Thanks again for sharing your story and for your support!

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