Dealing with Wells Fargo and Eliminating Mortgage Insurance -
Recently, I had the grand idea of getting rid of my Mortgage Insurance. I knew I would have to be Dealing with Wells Fargo to Eliminate Mortgage Insurance, but I figured I was game. I should say that the only reason I have Mortgage Insurance is because I, like millions of others, sold my home after losing a great deal of money in the Housing Recession. And the biggest reason I sold it was that I couldn't refinance as I was upside down, still had equity, and couldn't reduce the interest rate for that very same reason. It made no financial sense to keep paying for something that, even to this day, is not what I paid for or upgraded. And my interest rate was higher, making the payment higher than it would be today.
Fast forward to 2 years ago. After renting a luxury condo (what fun) for three years, I bought a house. I elected to use Conventional financing and put 5% down due to the low interest rates. It wasn't what I had before, but it was mine. I've since added new ceiling fans, upgraded the faucets and added custom paint throughout and fixed everything as this was an "as is" purchase. It really shines and because it's newer construction, it's also more energy efficient. So, I'm winning all the way around here. That is until I decided to apply to eliminate MI, Dealing with Wells Fargo to Eliminate my Mortage Insurance.
We all know that when we purchase a home, the loan is sold within the first 6 months to God Knows WHO! I ended up with Wells Fargo. Hurray, at least it's now entitled me to some fringe benefits since my other accounts are there. I wasn't going to do this, but my stockbroker's company was bought by Wells Fargo, so there you have it. I'm sorta stuck because I love my broker and friend of 30+ years. Aw, but I digress.
Applying to Eliminate the Mortgage Insurance includes the need for an Appraisal. I do my due diligence, seeking out comparable sales from my neighborhood and a "sister" neighborhood. Thinking I'm good to go, I send in the form and know that I'll be charged $365 for the appraisal no matter what happens.
The appraiser shows up at my home, does her walk through, measuring and taking photos. We chat in my office, because I work from home. It's clear that I'm a REALTOR® and I give her my comps.
Ten days goes by and I receive the appraisal. I'm shocked to learn that not only did she dismiss the "sister" neighborhood comps, she uses a home that is 14 years older than mine in a different neighborhood as the most influential for deciding the value of my home. The end result is that she has given me a value less than smaller homes in my neighborhood (300 square feet smaller) and placed the most focus on a 19 year old home with the same square footage as an easy out! From the Appraisal fine print:
Can you imagine an appraiser that uses a 19 year old home only because it is the same square footage, the easiest route, to form an opinion of value. The home is completely vanilla, much older and not in my neighborhood. I'm hot on the trail to call Wells Fargo, but first I call an Appraiser. This appraiser is a friend of mine who owns a company with at least 10 of his own appraisers on the payroll. He's also an instructor and we've done speaking panels together. I explain what happened with the appraisal to him and he asks to see the appraisal.
"Sloppy work." Is the first expression from my appraiser partner. He of course says that Wells Fargo will use their own RELS appraiser and that he's personaly had to re-train 2 that he hired so they value properties effectively. He's a true professional and I trust his wisdom implicitely.
His advice, apeal the appraisal. "Obviously she went outside the neighborhood, used the main comparable sale that is 19 years old"; my home is 7 years old. Mine has 2 year old carpet and brand new custom paint and is in perfect condition as I've fixed and maintained everything with upgraded fans, fixtures.
Receiving the forms from Wells Fargo, I resubmit comparable sales that are $15,000 higher in sales price and still 200 sq ft smaller than my home.
Hopefully this will be enough evidence for Wells Fargo to see the light and eliminate my Mortgage Insurance. Doing this as a professional in the business, I can only imagine the frustration from the public. I have access to the comps and can perform this work easily.
Stay tuned, because I'll write another public blog if they don't do the right thing and recognize the true value of my home! Dealing with One of the Big 5 and Eliminating Mortgage Insurance is frustrating!