Best Practices for Reading Appraisal Reports

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Ever read your home’s appraisal report? A riveting document it’s not — unless you know what you’re looking for. This report is not only the appraiser’s opinion of your home’s value, it includes all of the factors the appraiser used to come up with that number. Here’s how to read it. How to Skim Your Appraisal First things first — get your hands on a copy of the report. You may have to request one from the lender, who will

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Four (Surprising) Home Upgrades That Can Downgrade Its Market Value

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There are lots of home improvements that add to your bottom line when it’s time to sell. But don’t make the mistake of assuming that every dollar you spend on upgrades and renovations means a higher price tag on your home. Here are four (surprising) home upgrades that can actually downgrade your home’s market value. That Chef Kitchen Say it ain’t so! While the chef kitchen — aka the trophy kitchen — is often the star of a home, and

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Lenders resist the work of a pre-approval… what’s the difference?

From a November 12th NYT article FOR some people, an important first step in buying a house is getting a mortgage preapproval. That’s so true, my sellers and I want to see your preapproval letter with your offer. But prevetting has become more difficult and confusing these days, for borrowers as well as lenders, as a result of lending rules that took effect in January. The rules from the Department of Housing and Urban Development require lenders to issue a

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New Appraisal Rules Adopted by Fannie Mae & Freddic Mac

As of May 1st, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has mandated that loan officers CANNOT select or pay appraisers. The Home Value Code of Conduct (HVCC), as it’s called, outlines appraisal-related practices to which lenders must adhere with respect to so-called “conventional” or “conforming” loans that they want to sell to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. It’s intended to remove conflicts of interest some feel are inherent in the loan officer/appraiser relationship. In the coming months these new rules from

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