Silver lining in low appraisal?

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

DEAR BARRY: Our home was just appraised, and the results were disappointing. The assessed value was $100,000 lower than our previous appraisal one year ago. This totally shocked us, given the recent improvements in the economy and the housing market. What are our options for handling this lower-than-expected appraisal? --Aaron DEAR AARON: This column typically addresses property defect and disclosure issues, rather than property values. But the conditions that affect appraisal values are apparent to nearly everyone who participates in real estate transactions on a daily basis, including agents, home inspectors, pest control operators and others. So here is one home inspector's opinion. Home sales have noticeably increased in the past year. But this is largely due to lower prices, not to an invigorated economy. The overinflated prices of previous years have fallen to levels that people can now afford, and interest rates, temporarily suppressed by the government, add to this ...