It's finally coming to the end. We're going to end up closing a few weeks later and paying a bunch more in closing costs because of issues with the appraisal and getting that clarified.
First it started with the loan people contacting me asking why I hadn't responded to their emails about the appraisal report. Since I never received the email with the appraisal report, and didn't know the appraiser had gone back out there, naturally I was a little confused. So, a copy of the report was sent out again. Much to my surprise, the appraiser valued the house somewhat lower than the purchase price...$14 000 less. So then began a two week long exchange of recent sales figures, discussions and reviews of the appraisal, which didn't end up changing anything in the end.
So after all that, there were two choices: walk away and start the house hunting process all over again, or cough up an extra $14 000 at closing to cover the difference between the purchase price and the appraised value. After all, the lender isn't going to want to finance a house that costs more than someone thinks it's worth. I know if I was a mortgage lender, I certainly wouldn't.
Crap. $14 000 is going to be a lot to pull out of my pants. Well, I figure it'll be short term pain, long term gain. We'll be here at least for the next 4 years, location is pretty prime (10 minute commute to work in moderate traffic at the worst), nice big house, nice big yard. Even if after 4 years the appraised value only appreciates up to the original purchase price, I think we'll have gotten our money's worth (as long as a hurricane doesn't take it out on us before then), and we'll still have a some equity built up into it.
Still, it's a little bit inconvenient though. One of the tips in all the house buying books we read was not to buy or build the most expensive house in the area for just this reason. I suppose if it's the house you want and there aren't any other comparable houses for sale where you want them, you just have to bite the bullet and go for it.