Tag Archives: Pound Ridge Realtor

Pound Ridge Realtor

Frustrating reasons for rejected appraisals | Pound Ridge NY Real Estate

Q: “I used your site approximately 30 days ago to try to refinance the loan on my four-family rental property; the rate was locked and the appraisal came back with a satisfactory value, according to the loan officer … I was told that loan processing would take a little time, but every time I checked I was told that everything was fine and proceeding on schedule. …

Today I received a phone call from the loan officer stating that the loan has been denied by the underwriter because the appraisal was not satisfactory. It seems that the comparables used in the appraisal were not “similar enough.” I asked what that meant exactly and did not get a response.”

A: It is a sorry state of affairs when a would-be borrower pays for an appraisal, which is not accepted by the lender who ordered it, and the loan is rejected as a result. While many transactions are torpedoed by appraisals that come in with values unacceptably low, in this case the value was satisfactory but the appraisal producing it was not. I am told by market insiders that before the financial crisis, this hardly ever happened, but today it is not unusual.

Appraisals are heavily based on comparables, which are similar houses in the same market area as the house being valued, and which were sold in the last six months or so. Much of the expertise of appraisers is in the selection of comparables, and in the ability to make informed judgments regarding how differences between the subject house and each comparable affect the value of the subject house.

A four-family house is much more of a challenge to an appraiser than a one-family house, both because the different units occupied by different families might differ significantly in their condition, and because comparables are more difficult to find. This has always been true, however, and does not explain why rejections based on unsatisfactory appraisals are more common today than in earlier years. This is not something that can be attributed to lender greed, since they don’t make any money on loans they don’t make.

The most plausible explanation is that the quality of appraisals has declined. To check that in the case at hand, I had the frustrated applicant send me a copy of the appraisal, which I went through step by step with an expert, who showed me the deficiencies. The “comparables” were anything but, and the valuation adjustments for differences between the alleged comparables and the subject property defied common sense. It was a poor appraisal, and its rejection by the underwriter was justified.

The quality of appraisals has declined since the regulatory ground rules were changed in 2009. In that year, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issued the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC), which declared that the agencies thenceforth would purchase only those mortgages that were supported by an “independent” appraisal.

The objective of HVCC was to insulate the appraisal process from influence by any of the parties with an interest in the outcome. Mortgage brokers and Realtors could no longer have any contact with appraisers, and lenders had to obtain appraisals in some manner that prevented them from exercising any control.

To protect themselves from liability, most lenders today order appraisals from appraisal management companies (AMCs), which intermediate between the lender and the appraiser. The AMC selects and pays the appraiser, receives and evaluates the appraisal, and passes it to the lender, who has no direct contact with the appraiser.

Because AMCs operate nationally but do not have appraisers everywhere, more appraisals are being done by appraisers who are not familiar with the local market. Appraisers working for AMCs are also paid less per appraisal than independents — some AMCs put appraisal assignments up for bid, with the low bidder winning the assignment. This may induce appraisers to invest less time. While most appraisals today are done with the same care and professionalism as before HVCC, the fringe of inferior appraisals is larger — and those are the ones that are rejected.

Before HVCC when lenders, Realtors and appraisers talked to each other, the transaction described above might have been aborted by informal discussions regarding the lack of adequate comparables. This would have saved the would-be borrower an appraisal fee. If the comparables were adequate but the appraisal was poorly done, the lender probably would have had it done again with another appraiser who the lender knew was up to the challenge.

HVCC was designed to prevent loan providers from pressuring appraisers to come up with values high enough to make transactions workable in a period of rapidly rising market prices. In the process, however, it eliminated the positive influence of loan providers on the quality of appraisals. In today’s market, there is no danger of inflated appraisals, but we are left with lower-quality appraisals.

Canada’s Hot Housing Market Chills in September as Prices Drop | Pound Ridge Realtor

Canadian home prices in September fell the most in nearly two years, suggesting that recent changes to the country’s mortgage rules have reined in Canada’s once-hot housing market.

Canadian home prices cooled in September, according to the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index.

The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, or HPI,  fell 0.35% in September from August, with price drops observed in six of the 11 major Canadian cities watched by the index, including British Columbia’s Vancouver and Victoria markets, as well as Montreal.

That’s the largest price decline seen by the HPI since November 2010, when the  index fell 0.39%. Since then, the HPI has only seen four monthly declines, as historically low interest rates have spurred spending in Canada’s housing sector.

On an annualized basis, the HPI gained 3.6% in September, a slight drop from the previous month.

The federal government’s new rules that reduced the maximum amortization period of new government-insured mortgages from 30 to 25 years has “undoubtedly” contributed to cool the market, said National Bank Financial senior economist Marc Pinsonneault.

Still, existing home sales in Canada jumped 2.5% in September from August, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association, igniting worries that the sector may be headed for a crash landing.

Those concerns should be tempered as prices are likely to steadily drop up to 5% by the end of next year, said Mr. Pinsonneault.

“It doesn’t mean a catastrophe, but it’s consistent with a soft landing in the sector,” he said.

The sector will continued to be closely monitored by the Bank of Canada, which is concerned that the state of household debt in Canada is worse than originially perceived, said Mazen Issa, Canada macro strategist at TD Securities. The ratio of household credit-market debt to disposable income hit a record high of 163.4% in the second quarter of 2012.

Coming Soon to a Store Near You: More Solar Energy Products | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Fannie Mae sees housing improving despite economic uncertainty | Pound Ridge NY Real Estate

Fannie Mae economists see somewhat of a bifurcated economy with the GSE’s forecast for 2013 divided between predictions of a gradually improving housing market and headwinds posed by tax and federal policies that will create economic drag.

Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group says economic activity picked up in the third quarter, but will remain sluggish with sub-2% GDP growth projected for this year.

Yet, the housing market is improving despite all of the uncertainty that Fannie economists see in the broader marketplace.

“The U.S. fiscal cliff and debt ceiling debate as well as the weakened global economic environment are likely to create the strongest headwinds facing any real improvement this year,” said Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan. “With these issues hanging in the balance, we believe risks remain tilted to the downside.”

Housing, on the other hand, is showing signs of what Duncan’s team calls a “sustainable, long-term recovery.” Duncan’s comments fall in line with those of Wells Fargo ($34.34 0%) senior economist Mark Vitner, who also thinks the housing recovery is sustainable through economic troubles.

Home prices are moving towards positive territory when compared to year ago levels, Fannie noted in its October economic update.

The GSE’s research team believes it’s likely prices hit bottom earlier this year, a necessary development that generally precedes a recovery.

Fannie suggested with record low mortgage rates and the Fed’s mortgage-backed securities purchases, consumers will begin turning towards the housing market to nab low interest rates.  The GSE expects home sales overall will rise 9% for 2012 when compared to last year.

Fannie also anticipates more refinancings considering today’s record low mortgage rates. The GSE expects total refinance originations to hit $1.8 trillion in 2012, up 20% from a year ago.

via housingwire.com

Relevant is the New Black – Stop Sucking and Start Mattering | Pound Ridge Real Estate

This isn’t breaking news or an exclusive by any means.

If I did years of extensive research, analyzed data, built fancy charts, used 3-D graphs on my iPad, and touted inarguable, NAR homebuyer and seller survey-backed findings, it would lead to just five words.

Follow-up in real estate sucks.

I define “sucks” two different ways.

The first: It sucks that there is not more time in each day to follow up with people you have already built a good relationship with or helped buy or sell a home. If someone is not currently in the market to buy or sell, only so many minutes can be allotted to relationship maintenance.

Especially, I should add, if you actually produce significant GCI (gross commission income) or carry a lot of listings.

I wish there were a perfect world. One where all you did was chit-chatted with friends on Facebook all day whom you worked with previously, just calling your sphere to say hello and asking how the kids are.

Too bad you are busy as hell and reality is such an important thing to consider when running a business.

Bottom line? Past clients and referrals make or break your business, but you could likely receive more if you followed up effectively.

The other way follow-up sucks in real estate is that it lacks the most important thing in marketing right now: context.

As the social Web has evolved, experiences are becoming increasingly personalized. This includes ads and marketing messages that we are exposed to.

This change means you need to completely re-evaluate your follow-up marketing strategy with your sphere of influence.

Here’s why: When an ad runs in my stream on Facebook that says, “Are you 33? Do you love your iPad? Kids using it too?” The answers are yes and yes and yes. I actually welcome ads like that with open arms. I can’t wait to click them and see where they lead.

Meanwhile in the real estate industry I see marketing like: fajita recipe cards, sports calendars, set-your-clock-back reminders, open house invitations, emailed market reports, and just listed/just sold postcards.

These are things that lack context with 95 percent of people with a pulse.

You have to go deeper in 2012.

In fact, either dig deep or go to sleep (feel free to tweet that).

With everything you do moving forward, please take a moment and ask yourself, whether it is a post card, business card, Facebook update, tweet or phone call, “Is this RELEVANT to the recipient?”

Don’t bullshit here either. Be honest with yourself. It’s critical.

Relevant is the new black.

Contactually, a popular new social CRM (customer relationship manager), can help your efforts towards increased relevancy, both tremendously and immediately.

Money and Happiness

It makes staying in touch with the right contacts fun and simple. I especially enjoy the way it helps you segment your social and email databases into relevant categories. It happens in an interactive game called “The bucket game.” It’s a jovial and quick way to get your unorganized list of contacts into one or more categories (like buyer, seller, past client, Facebook friend, etc.) By approaching this tedious task with a gaming approach, it is actually really fun and you are done in no time at all.

Bucket Your Contacts

Contactually connects your email and social media accounts, analyzes your history with each relationship, and automatically prompts you in a daily email to re-engage with important people who are slipping off your radar.

By leveraging the social graph, anytime you call, email, tweet, Facebook or LinkedIn message someone from Contactually, you have what is relevant to them, in real time, in the form of their live social streams. If their latest tweet was about their kid’s baseball game, there is your reason to call.

The paid version of Contactually also brings integration into Gmail, Salesforce, Highrise, and many other popular and robust CRMs.

Increased context and relevancy with your sphere of influence, with a little help from a software. I dig it.

Of all the dings in your agent armor, an important person slipping off your radar should be considered a big, fat dent. Avoided at all costs.

If your current marketing efforts are extinguishing more interest in what you do than they are generating actual new business, time for a pivot.

You can learn more about Contactually or sign up for a 30-day free trial now.

Or you can reorder sports calendars for 2013. The choice is yours.

Pound Ridge NY Real Estate | Home improvement apps for iPhone | Inman News

Home improvement apps for iPhone

Free and paid mobile downloads

Editor’s note: The following is a list of free and paid home improvement apps for iPhone, based on a keyword search of the phrase “home improvement” at TopAppCharts.com, an app-ranking site.

Source: TopAppCharts.co

Pound Ridge NY Real Estate Report | Sales Up 140% in 4th Qtr. | RobReportBlog

Residential Real Estate –  Pound Ridge NY Real Estate Report  –  RobReportBlog


Pound Ridge NY Real Estate Report | Sales Up 140% in 4th Qtr. | RobReportBlog