Well we’re finding out that we’ve been terribly ripped off and I’m quite upset about it. So upset, I’m considering taking legal action.
We bought our house a little over 2 years ago. It’s in a nice, small town just south of Columbus. We live in-town, not the rich part, but still a nice neighborhood. The people who wanted to sell this house were asking about $20,000 more than what the county tax website had posted. We figured in inflation and put in a bid at $10,000 more. We awaited the appraisal. When we got back this appraisal, mysteriously it was the EXACT bid we put in. We were concerned, but told by our agent that it was fine.
So we buy the house. Over the course of the past two years, we have put in over $20,000 worth of renovations. Not stupid ones either. We had a new roof and gutters installed, new windows throughout the house, new carpet in the entire house, a new heating and cooling system (and we went with one of the more expensive ones for resale value), a new privacy fence, we’ve repainted most of the interior and are still in the process of finishing it (it was horrible before, the past owners had sponge-painted the family room and the master bedroom), we’ve cleaned out the overgrown and weed-filled flower beds, and we’ve pulled up all the railroad ties throughout the front and back yard and filled them in.
We’re trying to get refinanced to pay off our credit card debt before the credit-raping comes into effect this October (all credit cards will have minimum monthly payments doubled). So we were told that they would only do an exterior appraisal, but the appraiser calls us last night demanding to do an interior one that night. She was here for maybe 15 minutes. She was also the same one who appraised it when we bought the house and somehow she missed our Florida room the last time (it was here for YEARS, long before we bought it). Then she compares our house to our next-door neighbor’s house which is only 5 years old! Our house is almost 30 years old.
When we call the bank after she leaves, they hadn’t gotten a final number yet, but after she did the exterior, she only brought the house up by $4000.
WHAT??? After $20,000 of work that we’ve put into this house - structural improvements - you want to tell me that with typical housing inflation factored in, we only gained $4000?? That doesn’t even cover the rate of inflation. So we’re being told in essence, our house has gown DOWN in value.
So I did some research last night and it seems there is rampant fraud being investigated by the FBI about appraisers, banks, and the agents inflating prices during selling so they can make more commission. I’m 99% certain that has happened to us and unless that appraisal comes in at about $10,000 more than what they said yesterday, we’re finding a lawyer. What’s funny is, before she left last night, my DH asked if he could see her numbers on the house. She told him she was not permitted to share it at this time but that she didn’t think the value would go up any more.
You see I’m fine if our house is only worth x-amount. I’m NOT okay with them inflating the house price so much to where now we are upside-down and we essentially have wasted $20,000 on home improvements. I was so angry last night, I just stood in the kitchen and sobbed. We have scraped and scrimped to pay for these things the house desperately needed and they’re telling us that not only have those things not done ANYTHING to the value of the house, but essentially the value has dropped.
If anyone knows a tiger of a real estate lawyer in central Ohio, please let me know. I’m furious.