I am currently refinancing our home and recently had the appraisal completed. We refinanced previously in June 2009 and the home appraised at $230,000. Since then we have added improvements with the highlights being all new triple pane windows and a high efficiency furnace. With that in mind and the fact that our market has remained stable (current appraisal states as such), we were surprised when the most recent appraisal came in at $215,000. Long story short (I can fill in details as needed but don't want to be too long winded), the main issue is the previous appraisal listed the GLA as including both lower and main levels, which are both completely above grade. The house is set up functionally as a bi-level with the kitchen, dining, living, 3 bedrooms and bath on the upper level and family room, 4th bedroom, bath and laundry on the lower level, again all completely above grade. The garage is built in and you step up one step from the garage to enter the lower level of the house. The main entry to the home is on the lower level on grade. Total GLA 2131 sq ft. Comps were similarly sized 2 story homes. The appraiser added an addendum which stated "ALTHOUGH THE SUBJECT IS LISTED AS A BI LEVEL ON THE MLS IT IS ALL ABOVE GRADE AND IS CONSIDERED A 2 STORY DWELLING". The current appraisal describes the home as a mid-level style and lists the GLA as 1322 sq ft with 775 sq ft finished basement. Seems that is what accounts for the lower value even with the improvements in a stable market. Comps were all other mid-levels or what seem to be split entry foyers or tri-levels. Who's right? Full disclosure, this same scenario(upper level only included in GLA) happened when we refinanced shortly after purchasing the home in 2002, I can't recall the exact details but the loan ended up going through even though it appraised at $2000 less than we paid for it 6 months prior. We also refinanced in 2004 but I don't recall the issue coming up, it's possible an appraisal wasn't required.