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Legal Description on Title Report California

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  • Legal Description on Title Report California

    Hi All,

    Not exactly sure if I'm posting this in the right section, but here goes.

    I am in the process of refinancing my California home, and I just got through a very aggravating week going back and forth with the lender (through my mortage broker) about the appraised value of my detached townhouse. The appraised value came in much lower than expected ($740,000), which has screwed up my preferred rate. In fact, it came in $42,000 lower than it did only 8 months ago, which was the last time I refinanced (that appraised value was $782,000).

    The problem is that the appraiser used only condominiums for my appraisal, which it turns out that he is required to do. This is because the title report lists the property as a "condominium," despite the fact that my unit is completely detached, with no shared walls. I even have a fenced back yard for my own exclusive use. My unit should really be compared to PUD units. In fact, the 4-unit complex in which I live is basically a PUD, but it's inexplicably listed as condominiums on the title report. I disputed the appraisal and even found 4 comps of townhouses that showed the values to be higher, but to no avail -- the lender would not budge because the legal designation is condominium. Their position is that the appraiser valued it correctly (legally speaking) so they are standing by it and refusing to reconsider. I know it's up to them but it's still aggravating because I'm an excellent credit "risk" for them and we only need an additional $42,000.

    My question is: is it possible to get the designation changed at this point? What would it take? I see this causing me problems in the future with any refinances that I might want to do. The units were built way back in 1978 and to my knowledge no attempt has been made to make this correction, assuming it's really a mistake and not legally required to be that way because of California law. I'm not sure why they were listed as condos, but that's where I am now.

    Some further specifics in case it helps:
    City: Redondo Beach, CA 90277
    County: Los Angeles
    Size: 2 level, 3/2.5/2

    Thanks in advance for any help!