Mortgage Confidential: Save cash on appraisals

Mortgage expert David Reed invites Walletpop readers to ask him questions about real estate financing. leave your questions in the comment section of this post.

In the olden days, say before electricity maybe, mortgage applications required all sorts of documentation before the loan request was even looked at by a human being: the underwriter.

Nowadays most underwriters won't review a loan request until the loan application has been electronically submitted through either Fannie Mae's Desktop Underwriter or Freddie Mac's Loan Prospector. While this may not mean a whole lot at first glance, this method can actually save you some money for closing costs: particularly for your appraisal. That's about $400, and if you're scraping up money for a down payment that $400 can mean a lot. How can electronic approvals save on appraisal money?