What Is A Home Appraisal?

A home appraisal is one of the first steps in the home closing process. It is ordered by the lender to determine the current market value of the subject property. 

Real estate appraisers provide an unbiased opinion, using many factors when calculating a home’s value, including: condition of the home, lot and home size, home improvements, sale prices of comparable homes and local housing trends.

If the appraisal comes in at or above the contract price, the home closing process can continue as expected. If, however, the appraisal is below the contract price, it can delay or put an end to the home purchase.


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Real Estate Center

Ready to buy a home? Northwest Federal is here to help. From finding the home of your dreams to financing it, we want to make every step in your home buying journey as easy and affordable as possible. We can help you:

Get pre-approved

Before you start serious house hunting, find out how much house you can afford with a free pre-approval. Apply today.

Select an agent

Need help selecting a real estate agent? The HomeAdvantage® program has experienced agents to help you buy or sell. Learn more and enroll today in this free service.

Search for a house

Find your next home by searching current MLS listings made available through HomeAdvantage®. Then, save your favorite searches and get email alerts when new properties come up. Start searching today.

Learn about our mortgage options

Meet with one of our mortgage lending representatives (in-person or by phone) who will help you decide which mortgage option works best for you. Make an appointment. Take advantage of our free seminars and webinars on home buying. 

Earn Cash Rewards*

Buy or sell a home with a HomeAdvantage® agent and get a rebate at closing - you could save thousands! Estimate your cash reward.

See What You Could Earn in Cash Rewards

   $200,000     $1,200
   $300,000     $1,800
   $400,000     $2,400
   $500,000     $3,000
   $600,000     $3,600
   $700,000     $4,200
   $800,000     $4,800
   $900,000     $5,400
  $1,000,000     $6,000

Examples of Cash Rewards shown here are based on 3% commission rate; your agent's commission rate may differ.

Request a home insurance quote

NW Insurance Agency1 can help you find the best rates for your home insurance coverage. Request a quote.

Get ready to close on your new home

Northwest Title & Escrow2 handles all aspects of real estate transactions, including title insurance, real estate closing and settlement and escrow services for real estate transactions in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Learn more.

*HomeAdvantage is available to you through your membership with Northwest Federal Credit Union. Cash Rewards are available to members who register to use HomeAdvantage and who use a real estate agent in the HomeAdvantage network to buy or sell their home. Using Northwest Federal Credit Union for a mortgage is not a requirement to earn Cash Rewards. Cash Rewards amounts are dependent on the commissions paid to the agent. Northwest Federal Credit Union may have specific rules on how your Cash Rewards will be paid out. Cash Rewards are void where prohibited by law or the lender. Please consult with your credit union to get details that may affect you.

1 Insurance products and services are offered through NW Insurance Agency, a subsidiary of NW Capital Management  (a wholly owned subsidiary of Northwest Federal Credit Union). At this time NWIA, together with its network of licensed insurance associates, provides auto and home insurance to residents in all but the following states: AL, AK, IA, MS, NB, ND, SD, WY. Coverage and discounts are subject to individual qualifications, state availability and the insuring company’s underwriting guidelines. Insurance is not underwritten, issued or guaranteed by NCUA or any other federal government agency.

Northwest Title & Escrow is a subsidiary of NW Capital Management

Northwest Federal is making homeownership more affordable than ever with these mortgage options:

100% Financing1

Qualified borrowers can purchase a home with no money down! Our 100% Financing option is available on primary residence properties (single-family, townhome, condominium) on loan amounts up to $647,200. This mortgage option also features a fixed-rate term—your rate will never increase for the length of the loan. 

Homebuyer’s Edge2

Well qualified borrowers will benefit from this 100% financing option in which Northwest Federal pays the private mortgage insurance (PMI) on the borrower’s behalf.

With Homebuyer’s Edge, you’ll:

  • Save on out-of-pocket costs since no down payment is required
  • Save on monthly payments with Lender paid Private Mortgage Insurance
  • Enjoy peace of mind with a fixed-rate loan that will never increase for the length of the term

Homebuyer’s Edge mortgage option is available on primary residence properties (single-family, townhome, condominium) on loan amounts up to $647,200.

3% Down1

Our 3% Down financing option is available for first-time home buyers (and repeat buyers) purchasing a primary residence (single family, townhome or condominium). It's a great solution for buyers who want less out-of-pocket expense when purchasing a home—the down payment amount can even be a gift from mom and dad! 

Programs available to assist with funds for down payment and closing costs

Learn more about these programs designed for low and moderate income level first-time homebuyers and public service workers.


1Not all borrowers will qualify; credit qualifications apply.
2 Not all borrowers will qualify for Homebuyer's Edge, credit qualifications apply. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is required to be paid by the lender.

When it comes to buying a home, we have a variety of mortgage options and we’ll work with you to see which one fits you best:

Fixed-rate mortgage

Get peace of mind knowing your interest rate will never increase for the term of your loans. We have no and low down payment purchase options available, including the 100% Homebuyer’s Edge.

Adjustable rate mortgage

Enjoy generally lower monthly payments than a fixed-rate loan and increase the amount of home you can afford with our Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs). The lower introductory interest rate will periodically adjust with changing market rates, depending upon the type of ARM you choose.

High-Balance Loans

Buy or refinance in high-cost areas with High-Balance loans limits between $647,200 - $822,375 (maximum loan amount is determined by the county where the property is located and the number of units being purchased). Limit for contiguous states only.

Jumbo Loans

In the market for a mortgage on a high-end home, turn to Northwest Federal for adjustable-rate Jumbo Loans up to a maximum loan amount of $2 million.

Second Home Mortgage Loans

Northwest Federal also offers mortgage loans up to $2 million for the purchase or refinance of a second home.

Investment Property Home Loans

Northwest Federal offers mortgage loans up to $647,200 for the purchase or refinance of a rental property.

VA Loans

An affordable way for active duty service members, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses to purchase, refinance, or improve their existing home. Money-saving benefits include:  no down payment, fixed-rate terms and no Private Mortgage Insurance. A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for the program is required.

HomeReady™ Affordable Mortgage

This fixed-rate mortgage option features expanded eligibility for the diverse needs of today’s buyers and has several borrower benefits when compared to a FHA Loan, including: 3% down payment (gift funds allowed), reduced mortgage insurance coverage requirements, and flexible sources of income to meet eligibility requirements. Income restrictions apply and not all borrowers will qualify. To see if you qualify, apply online today. HomeReady™ Mortgage applicants must take an online home ownership class and present completion certificate to lender upon closing. Register now for the online course provided by Framework.

Reverse Mortgages

We’ve partnered with Credit Union Mortgage Association to offer reverse mortgages* for home-owning members age 62 and older. If you’re interested in converting your home’s equity into cash or a line of credit with a reverse mortgage, email our lending professionals to learn if this option is available in your area.

*Available in VA, MD, DC, WV, FL, GA, NC, SC, PA, TN, IL and OH

 HomeReady™ is a trademark of Fannie Mae. 

NMLS# 411458