Blog :: 2012

8 Ways to Boost Your Home Appraisal


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    Existing-Home Sales Rise in October with Ongoing Price and Equity Gains


    "Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 1.7 percent to an annual pace of 580,000 in October but are 13.7 percent above October 2011. The median price in the Northeast was $232,600, which is 4.6 percent above a year ago."

    Lake Horace Luxury Townhouse Community

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    The planned, 92 luxury townhome community is nestled in the hillside, each with its own special view of Lake Horace's beautiful clear water or abutting hillside. The exterior design is distinctly "New England," while the spacious interiors offer the homeowner numerous living space options and an array of modern amenities.

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    Buying A Short Sale


    A short sale is when the Seller is negotiating with their lender to accept a discounted payoff in order to avoid foreclosure. The listed price is typically lower then what the Seller owes on the property. The Seller may also be in default (stopped making mortgage payments) and should have received a letter from their mortgagee as to their current status. Typically the Seller has to provide financial information and explain their hardship and inability to continue to make mortgage payments.

    The Seller is working to avoid foreclosure and is motivated to have your offer accepted, although the Seller may counter your offer if they think the bank may reject it and waste the Sellers marketing time. The short sale approval can take up to 90 days, so patience is required!

    The process usually requires that you have your title company prepare a HUD statement so the Seller's lender can confirm their closing costs based on your closing date. Be sure to have a closing date that is at least 90 days out . You can also give a time frame for when the Sellers lender has to respond by in case your situation changes as you can always extend your time frame for acceptance bearing in mind you may not hear a response for 90 days.

    The Seller should sign your offer and submit to the litigation dept which will assign a negotiator. The negotiator may order an appraisal or Broker Price Opinion to make sure the property is not selling way below current market value.

    If the Seller still occupies the property they can supply information as to the site and the utilities may still be on.  Most financing options will consider the short sale the same as other resale's although you have to watch the rate changes over such a long time frame for acceptance. If the property is vacant you should request the Sellers' lender secure the property and maintain its condition.

    Ask the listing agent whether there is a second mortgage that also needs to be notified and if the short sale process has been started with the second mortgage as well as the first. Usually the first will determine what the second will receive should the first mortgage accept the contract.

    To learn more visit about short sales and foreclosures visit our website at:

    Top Remodeling Projects - Cost vs. Value

    If you are planning to stay in your current home or looking to do some spruce ups to be prepared to sell, homeowners want to know what will give them the most bang for their buck so to speak. Having a major system that is not in good shape will hurt the value of a home, such as a leaky roof, or an older or non-functioning heating system. Ensuring that these systems are in tip-top shape does not have the highest payback, but, if they are in need of help, they will drive your price down. For example; roofing in the New England Area,  a homeowner can expect to see a return on their investment 54.6%, but a home needing a roof could cause the buyer to negotiate for an amount higher than the cost of replacement.

    Being careful that all remodeling projects fit in with the surroundings is important. Before you decide to put on an addition that will make your home larger and more impressive than the neighborhood can support may not be a good idea. However finishing a basement, while it may not have the highest return, would add needed living space and give a bigger return than an unwise addition.  The same applies for converting attic space to living space.

    Adding a marble bathroom to a home that is mostly carpet and vinyl may not be the best choice, when a more mid-range option is available. Upgrading to a mid-range tile, perhaps adding a cabinet package available at home improvements stores, with cabinets, solid surface top, and faucet for around $500 may be the better option. And, remember you can never go wrong with a fresh coat of neutral colored paint.

    So all in all think smart.  Looks that are new and well cared for yield higher returns than going the extra mile for the higher end.  So, save some money and reap a larger return!