Posts

Do Price Reductions Signal Depreciation?

Price reductions do not signal depreciation… yet.. and they won’t until we see people actually sell their homes for less than what they paid for them.Read More

#1 Factor Zillow Estimates Get The Most Wrong (Why We Need Appraisers)

I lived in the same neighborhood for over 20 years and did hundreds of loans within the area – so I knew every nuance of the area. As a former appraiser and armed with my extensive neighborhood knowledge, I was often shocked by how wrong Zillow’s estimates were. Here are some of the things Zillow […]Read More

Don’t Finish Your Basement (or Garage or Patio) IF…

“Your godda***d appraiser only gave $7,500 to my basement after I spent 85,000 f**king dollars finishing it! Go f*** yourself!” So said a borrower to me years ago after he reviewed an appraisal of his home that he clearly did not like (to put it mildly). Knowing that “the customer is always right,” I tried […]Read More

This Decade’s Popular Home Upgrades

If you compare a home from 2010 to one from 2020, you will notice quite a few significant contrasts. The American home is ever-changing, the most recent shifts being more technological home upgrades. Keep reading to find out what home features have become increasingly popular in today’s home design. 1. Smart Home Upgrades As more […]Read More

Why Appraisers Often Come In So Much Lower Than Homeowner Estimates

We once had clients who spent dozens (if not hundreds) of hours removing the popcorn ceilings from their $950,000 home. Because they put so much “sweat” into their equity, they were convinced that their home would appraise for substantially more when they were done. But because their neighborhood market had recently softened a bit, their […]Read More

7 Ways To Increase Your Home Value

Everyone wants to increase the value of their home, but many are stumped by where to start. So, we’ve included practical tips and tricks to inspire you to create a plan today. Congratulations! You’ve just purchased a home and made one of the most significant purchases of your life. Within the walls and roof surrounding […]Read More

How Much is an “In-Law” Unit Worth? Less Than You Think

REALTOR MISSES VALUE OF HIS OWN HOME BY $500,000 Years ago we were refinancing a Realtor who insisted his remodeled 3,700 square foot home was worth at least $1.5 million. We were therefore shocked to see the appraisal come in under $1 million. We reviewed the appraisal and quickly realized why it was so low. […]Read More

How Much is an “In-Law” Unit Worth? Interior Access; Less Than You Think

REALTOR MISSES VALUE OF HIS OWN HOME BY $500,000 Years ago I was refinancing a Realtor who insisted his remodeled 3,700 square foot home was worth at least $1.5 million. I was therefore shocked to see the appraisal come in under $1 million. I reviewed the appraisal and quickly realized why it was so low. […]Read More

Internal Appraisal Panel; Why We Left the Broker Channel; Never Pushing Values

APPRAISER WHO LIVED 100 MILES FROM SUBJECT PROPERTY In October, I shared an appraisal horror story about a huge Appraisal Management Company hiring an appraiser who lived 100 miles away from our subject property. The appraiser crossed a major freeway to find comparable sales in a vastly inferior neighborhood, and came in $200,000 under contract […]Read More

Curb Appeal for Marketability and “Appraisability”

BAD LANDSCAPING COSTS SELLERS $200,000 I live near a home that was on the market for nearly three months before it finally ended up selling for over $200,000 less than its original list price. In contrast, I live near another home that is the same size as the home I just referenced, and it recently […]Read More

Post Close Client Touches – Homebot Part II

“Hey Jay, Just wanted to let you know that I love this tool. Truth is I actually look forward to it. I like the perspective. Really good business idea. Keep it coming. Thanks! Nick” The above quote is one of many similar comments we get from our past clients in regard to Homebot. I blogged about […]Read More

Illegal In-Law Units and Credits For Closing Costs Always OK If…

We blogged yesterday about “Clean Contracts” and received a couple of great questions. Illegal in-law units and/or kitchens:  Appraisers cannot attribute value to illegal units in most cases, unless they are typical for the area and there are comparable sales with similar units to support the value. Also, stoves from non-permitted kitchen areas must be […]Read More

Fascinating “Buy Now” Story; Ignoring Friends; Broker Opens

We told a few stories in Monday’s blog about clients who got into the market when they were young and built over $1 million in equity. A friend of ours responded to that blog with a much more extreme story that is worth repeating, both b/c it is fascinating and it imparts a great lesson. […]Read More

Market Is Market Is Market; Sellers Will Not Leave Money on Table

We have had many borrowers recently tell us that they refuse to pay a certain amount for a property b/c “the house is not worth it” despite that fact that there are five other offers on the house at the same or higher price. In a similar vein, one of our favorite Realtors told us […]Read More

As Values Climb, Refi’s for Many Now an Option

We have a borrower who has been stuck with a 6.5% interest rate for years b/c he thought he did not have enough equity in his Antioch home to refi. We checked today, and his loan-to-value ratio is under 90%; we can lower his rate 2% at no cost to him. He will now save […]Read More