I've done quite a few appraisals lately for people wanting to eliminate their Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI.
When people buy a house and have less than 20% down payment, they generally have to pay for PMI to protect the lender in case the loan doesn't get paid back. It insures that the lender will get the entire loan amount back if the sale of the house doesn't cover the loan amount.
Since home values have gone up dramatically over the last couple of years, many people have found that their home is worth over the amount to eliminate their PMI. Often times, this represents a savings of hundreds of dollars a month.
The bank generally wants an appraisal to verify that the loan amount is less than 80% of the current market value. Most people find it is money well spent: spend the cost of an appraisal and save hundreds of dollars every month!
The appraisals I perform for these types of situations are lender quality and have always been more than adequate.
Feel free to call me or shoot me an email if you have any questions. Thanks for reading!