Appraisals 5 – 15% at the Vue Charlotte: Hmmmmm

I am still consolidating feedback and am going to hold off on my personal reaction to the Charlotte Observer article until Monday. But I do want to make sure readers understand sooner rather than later what I am hearing in regards to appraisals.

First off, I think there are more appraisals that have been done versus what I have been made aware of. This is unfortunate. The more information we share together as pre-sales buyers, the better off we all are. So my ask going forward is if you have information, please share it with If the specifics need to be confidential, that is ok. It still lets me react to statements like 5 – 15%.

I can safely say that I have appraisal information that well exceeds 15% that hasn’t been reported and unfortunately I can’t give the specifics. But I do have one that should be an indicator to all of us that I was given permission to publish. It arrived in mail this week.

The appraisal I am about to describe came in at 82% of contract price. It was on a corner unit (2 bedroom) above the 30th floor with a premium view. In other words, this is the among the best one can hope for on a top of the line unit.

The buyer was surprised and frankly so was I that it came in at 82% of contract price (still above the 15% stated by MCL in the Observer article). And that is still a huge number in terms of the cash you have to come up with to make up the deficit. It was an independent appraisal done by a reputable appraiser.

The comps were at the Trademark and the Ratcliffe. The square footage was 8% lower than what was contracted for. This shortage seems to be a recurring theme.

The original price per square foot was 473 psf.

To summarize: based on the information I have, the statement appraisals will come in at 5 -15% is not based on any data that I have ever received. Keep in mind the sales office has more information than I do.

I want to thank this buyer for sharing this appraisal and again please share your information with so all our readers can make the right decisions for themselves. Thank you!

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7 Responses to Appraisals 5 – 15% at the Vue Charlotte: Hmmmmm

  1. SL says:

    Unless the contract was negotiated within the last 6 months I would seriously doubt the appraisal at 82% of contract price was done by a ‘reputable appraiser’.

    • vuebuyer says:

      I know it seems high, but the contract was done in mid-2000 and the appraiser was one I would use. Having said that, this is why we need more appraisals, because in the end it is an art, not an exact science. With more appraisals we could evaluate whether this is near the average or at the extreme.

      • VueBuyeralso says:

        I think SL is misunderstanding or am I? I took this as it came in at 82% of total contract price which means it appraised for 18% below what it contracted for, and your point being that it is still above the 5-15% MCL is claiming. Correct me if I am wrong but I don’t think you meant that they appraised it at 82% below contract price correct? I know the market is bad but that would be absurd… I wouldn’t believe that one either. It is still a beautiful building with great finishes and amenities. Unless of course this person paid 2million for a 2 bedroom… then he/she is the one who is insane.

      • vuebuyer says:

        Correct, 82% of contract price, which is 18% versus MCL’s 5-15% range. I am going to ask how the profession actually states these so I do it correctly. Thanks for pointing this potential misunderstanding out. I think SL’s point was that if it was a ‘reputable’ appraiser then it would have been something like 70% of contract price or 30%. But I’ll say it again, it was a reputable appraiser. We have to consider this fact though. If the units don’t sell in any meaningful numbers, the future appraisals have nowhere to go but down. 18% today in my mind could be 30% 3 months from now unless something in the market that none of us sees yet changes.

  2. SL says:

    I did mean to say that I am surprised the appraised value was 82% of the contract price. (18% less than the contract price). My understanding is that this unit went under contract in 2005 and condominium values in the uptown market are currently down much more than 18%. I don’t question that this appraiser is well thought of by the preferred lenders of ‘The Vue’ but I do doubt the appraiser is considered ‘reputable’ by their peers. The preferred lenders will only use appraisers that are the ‘most positive’ in their calculations!

    • vuebuyer says:

      I can see that I am going to need to do a post on this, so I am glad this discussion is going on. Let me just say this. There are appraisals coming in that the VUE is appealing. If the appraisers were in the Vue’s back pocket this wouldn’t be happening. This appraisal was a private one, for the very fear that you mention, that the Preferred Lenders would send in someone biased towards the Vue. But truthfully, based on all I have learned about the appraisal process, this really is unlikely. Preferred lender or not, of all the things that might seem a bit sleazy in the VUE saga, the appraisers are just honest people with no agenda going out and evaluating a property based on comps. You may say I am naive, but this is what I have come to learn. Thanks though because we do need to explore and explain this as I am sure others have their doubts as well.

  3. SL says:

    By ‘preferred lenders’ I mean those lenders that have been pre-screened by MCL.

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