St. Louis Mortgage Rate Update; What Appraisers Look For When Determining a Home’s Value?

The primary indicator of value for residential real estate is comparable sales.  The appraiser researches the market to gather information pertaining to sales, listings, pending sales that are similar to the subject property, and verfies this information is correct. The appraiser actually already has a good idea of the property’s value by the time they have scheduled an appointment to stop by the property.

Since the appraisal provides half the weight in any credit decision involving the security of real estate, the appraisal should be done by a qualified, licensed appraiser whom is familiar with your neighborhood, and the type of home you are buying, selling or refinancing.

Other important components the appraiser considers when determining value include:

The Site: Location, view, topography, lot size, utilities, zoning, external factors, highest and best use, landscaping features…

Design: Quality of construction, finish work, fixed appliances and any defining features

Condition: Age, deterioration, renovations, upgrades, added features

Health & Safety: Structural integrity, code compliance.

Size: Above grade and below grade improvements

Neighborhood: Is the property conforming to the neighborhood?

Functional Utility: Is the property functional as built – style and use?

Parking: Garages, Carports

Other: Curb appeal, lot size, & conforming to the neighborhood are obvious to the appraiser when they drive down into the neighborhood pull up in front of your home.

While a clean house will certainly make it easier for the appraiser to notice improvements, the only time you should be concerned about “clutter” is if it is damaging to the dwelling; don’t worry so much about pushing back an appointment a few days just to “clean things up” in order to help influence the value of your property.

In this crazy market, if you are wandering what value your home may be, I suggest to my borrowers to be a little nosey…a good indicator of value is to check out what is going on in your neighborhood…when you see a For Sale Sign in your neighbor’s front yard, find out what the sale price is.

St. Louis MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES for April 4, 2012:

  • Conventional 30-Year Fixed 4.250%/ 4.45% APR
  • Conventional 15-Year Fixed 3.500%/ 3.660% APR
  • Conventional 5/1 ARM 2.75%/ 3.018% APR
  • FHA/VA 30 Year Fixed 4.00%/ 4.79% APR
  • Jumbo 5/1 ARM 2.875%/ 3.135% APR
  • Jumbo 15 yr Fixed 3.50%/ 3.755% APR
  • Jumbo 30 yr Fixed 5.00%/ 5.257% APR

*The above mortgage rates are based upon an 80% LTV, o/o single family with FICO scores of 720.

Paramount Mortgage is a locally owned Mortgage Banker celebrating our 41st year. Great rates and programs are secondary to what is most desired in a lender relationship: Integrity, Communication and Customer Satisfaction. Be to check out our website:

For more information or if you have questions on mortgage rates you may contact me by phone at my direct line, (314) 372-4319, email at or you can visit our company website at


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