Thursday, April 19, 2012

An independent appraiser list - a boon or a curse

Recently one of my clients tried to close his transaction and ran into issue with appraisal. Since now property appraisals are done by appraisers from an independent list, it is taking longer for the process to complete. The lenders place the property list in a pool and independently the appraisers pick from the list and complete their appraisal. All good, the independence affords objectivity to the whole process. Lenders no longer can bend the rules or influence the appraisal process. Sounds good on the surface.
What if the appraiser makes a mistake (ooo I can tell you how many times that has happened). Simple mistakes like address of the property. Come on, that is appraisal 101 and yet appraisers still make that mistake. Another common issue is the actual appraisal. What if the appraiser is inexperienced, can't determine the equivalent value etc etc. More often than not, appraisers and for that matter most real estate professionals lack the construction, structural or engineering knowledge to make a call on property worth. So how should we handle it. If I had a say in this matter, I will have two appraisers look at the property at the same time and then the lender has a better chance of getting a more accurate appraisal.
The process has become lengthier. So if you lock your interest rate, chances are the interest rate will expire before you can close. So banks and other lenders should consider extending the interest rate locking period to 45 days instead of 30 days.
Many more ideas can come of out a discussion on this topic. I hope someone reads this blog and takes up the discussion.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Did you know the increase in property value assessments can be a double edged sword? I was sitting on my computer doodling with excel. I started calculating what will happen to my taxes if the Harris county appraisal district increased my home value by 10% each year ( Harris county has a cap of 10% increase per year) continuously for the next 25 years. At the rate of 3% tax (without accounting for exemptions) I would end up paying upwards of 750,000 total in the 25 years to come. I almost fainted looking at this figure.

I think the public and all the real estate professionals should put in a concerted effort to limit this value increase to about 3% maximum.

I find that this increase in taxes because of value has driven many people out of their homes. I feel terribly for them and would love to see a cap of 3% for property value increases in Harris county pretty soon. Any ideas anyone?!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy New Year

The New Year is upon us. Its promises, expectations, mysteries and uncertainties all intact it comes upon us in a time when the real estate market is a big enigma to everyone. I have confidence that 2009 will be the upward trend that we hope it will be for the rest of the country. But here in Houston, we have only paused a little. We have one of the most vibrant economies in the country. Our real estate market has been strong. Should I say the positive feature is that we have less of a slow down in our home sales than the rest of the country!! So here we are poised to enter a new year and I move forward with brimming hope that I can help many more people have a fun filled real estate transaction (be it buying or selling). This is my first blog entry, thus starting with my hopes and aspirations. I will have more pointers, news, views and surprises as the days go along.

Happy NEW YEAR to everyone!!!!