Potential homebuyers who contact me for a mortgage are now frequently asking if they should wait to buy a home. The implication is that people are now worried that housing values are going to fall, so why buy now? Isn’t it smarter to wait? Maybe, maybe not. It is understandable why everybody is asking the question, “are housing values dropping now?”
Markets are very local. Don’t assume that real estate is going to fall across the board in every community, in every town, in every city across the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »
Lenders are sometimes asked by a mortgage borrower to allow an escrow account to be created for some items to be completed. Repairs cannot be addressed by putting money in escrow. Repairs are usually required to be completed prior to closing. However, lenders may allow an escrow account to be created for items unable to be completed due to weather. Weather related delays are most common in new construction homes.
In my 3.5 decades in the mortgage business, I don’t recall a lender I have worked for ever allowing repair escrows. That is because they are typically messy, and many times end up not being resolved in a timely fashion. There are contractor problems and other situations where the cost exceeds the escrow account reserve. Weather related escrows are a different story, but repair related escrows may be impossible to get approved by a lender. Read the rest of this entry »
If you have never even heard of a Tidewater Notice, you are probably wondering what is a tidewater?! I know the first time I heard the term I was confused. My first thought was, “the property isn’t waterfront, what are they talking about tidewater for?
The Tidewater process by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives borrowers a way to try to combat a low appraisal valuation before it is even official. Before finalizing the appraisal report, VA appraisers can notify the lender that it looks like the home’s value will come in below the purchase price. This is known as invoking the Tidewater Initiative, or Tidewater for short. Read the rest of this entry »
You have a down payment saved up, a good credit score, and a low debt to income ratio; it is time to buy your dream home. However, something prevents you from buying the home. What can stop you from buying a house? In this article, we will explore some common obstacles and how you can overcome them.
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There are many things to consider when you are making an offer on a house. While it may be important to think in advance about movers, painters, budgets, your mortgage, furniture, school districts, utilities, contractors and housewarming parties, when it comes to making an offer there are some key things that can make a difference! Below are some important topics related specifically to the mortgage when you’re getting ready to write up an offer on a home. Read the rest of this entry »
It is very common for realtors to ask a homebuyer who their mortgage loan officer is and where they are located. There is a belief that a lender, and for that matter all the service providers to a real estate transaction, needs to be very local.
Realtors assign some magical powers to a mortgage loan officer who is Read the rest of this entry »
I told a realtor once that appraisers do not appraise a home, data does. I was trying to respond to their over-hyped level of concern about where the appraiser lives or works and the realtors’ hope that the appraiser will have some sort of intimate knowledge about the subject property’s market area. Appraisers don’t need to live near the subject property to do their job well.
If the data exists, i.e. recent settled sales that make for appropriate comparables for an appraisal, then the appraisal should turn out fine. In other words, it is not about the appraiser, it is about the data! Read the rest of this entry »
When sellers set an asking price for their home I always imagine big dollar signs in their eyes. Most human beings suffer from wishful thinking and confirmation bias. But how should you price your home: high, low or right at market value? If sellers are underpricing they may hope to sell faster, or hope for a bidding war. Overpricing a home may allow you to get more for your house than what it’s really worth with luck that one buyer loves your home. Underpricing or overpricing your home can be a gamble. And the best thing you can do is come to terms with how much your house is really worth. Read the rest of this entry »
When a homebuyer is getting a mortgage to buy a new home everyone seems to be on pins and needles waiting on the appraisal. When the appraisal does come in if the appraised value is below the contract price the response is usually alarm from the realtors and confusion by the homebuyer. At that point there is a lot to talk about and coordinate. Read the rest of this entry »
Realtors often think appraisers are not the most accurate assessors of real estate values. And appraisers often think realtors know less than they do. Maybe they are both right? I have had appraisers admit that a good realtor will likely know more than an appraiser about the value of a certain home. This is because most appraisers are appraising a wider geographic area a than a realtor may specialize in. Many appraisers cover a multi-state area, whereas a lot of realtors specialize not only in one state, but also in one city or town. So, it is hard to expect Read the rest of this entry »