How to Buy a Foreclosed Home

ks14446There is a major sale going on in the housing market, and with real estate appraisals coming up with comparables that are lower than ever, it may be the perfect time to buy. One of the questions my real estate appraisers in Valley Village are getting is how to buy a foreclosed home. This is also a big issue for real estate appraisers in North Hollywood. Though there are a lot of bank-owned properties available these days, trying to buy one can be risky. With a conventional home purchase, you have all sorts of protections against being taken, but in a foreclosed deal, its buyer bewares. There are, however, steps you can take to protect yourself and get a great bargain. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to find out what a house is worth is by checking on the comparables of the surrounding neighborhood and what their home appraisals were valued at.

 

The first thing you want to look out for is if the website you are going through to find out how to buy a foreclosed home is charging a fee. There are free ways to find out about foreclosures in your area like calling local brokers, real estate appraisers and agents. Like I said, my real estate appraisers in Valley Village as well as my real estate appraisers in North Hollywood are constantly out in the field doing home appraisals, so they have some of the most up-to-date information. The same is true for real estate agents and brokers; and because they want more business, they are more willing than ever to dole out free advice and information.If that’s a concern, try to negotiate to have the utilities turned on for inspection before you close on the home. A home inspection usually runs from $250 to $400 and can save you a lot of money if something is wrong with the home’s structure or systems. You need to know what repairs you’re on the hook for to determine whether the price is fair. This is also where a home appraisal comes in, because they document all of these factors in their official real estate appraisals that get used to determine the value of the home.

 

 One important thing to keep in mind is the fact that if the property has been on the market for less than 30 days, lenders are usually looking for full-price offers. After 30 days they may be willing to accept a lower price. After 60 days you can offer even less. So this is basic economics and supply and demand. Logically, the general rule is the longer the house has been vacant, the lower the price will be. So, one of the best things you can do when you’re trying to figure out how to buy a foreclosed home is find out which homes in your area have been on the market the longest.

 

Once you’ve found a home you want to purchase, you’ll want to invest in a full home inspection. This is always a good idea when buying a home and my real estate appraisers in Valley Village along with the real estate appraisers in North Hollywood recommend this to all of our clients, but it is especially important when buying a foreclosed home. Vandals may have stripped fixtures and appliances. What’s more, the utilities have probably been shut off, making it impossible to gauge the shower pressure or test for leaky pipes.

 

If you are looking at how to buy a foreclosed home, you also want to beware of the fact that s0me states have a redemption period that lets the original homeowner satisfy his or her debt and take back the foreclosed home during a specified period after a foreclosure. This is especially true right now, with all the steps President Obama is taking to try and save homes from foreclosure. You’ll also need to be patient because banks may take 60 days or more to decide whether to accept your offer on a foreclosed home. These lenders are looking at things like your finances, the home appraisal of the house and other competing offers. In fact, one of my real estate appraisers in North Hollywood just saw one of our clients go through a bidding war on a foreclosed house in the area.

While the housing market is clearly a mess right now, there is an upside to it; the fact that homes haven’t been this affordable in years. That being said, you want to be smart about your purchase and learn everything you can about how to buy a foreclosed home such as what the home appraisals in the area are going for. Find yourself professional and trustworthy real estate appraisers, lenders and agents and get as much information as they are willing to offer. Once you have done all that and researched as much as possible, you’ll be ready to go out and find your dream home.

Advertisements

Is the Drop in Home Prices Your Chance to Get in?

Good news for people that are looking to purchase a new house; home appraisals show that prices declined at a record pace around the nation in the final three months of 2008, according to an industry report released Tuesday. This is based, in part, on residential appraisals done by professionals in the field. In fact, many real estate appraisers in Valley Village, CA as well as real estate appraisers in North Hollywood, CA know this first hand. While this is bad news for our economy, it may be the one bright spot for people that have waited many years to get into the housing market. Even better is the fact that if these people can get a loan with the new plan for TARP funds, the economy will start to perk up. But, before your pour your hard-earned money into that new house, make sure you employ the services of a reputable real estate appraiser, because with thorough real estate appraisals, you can make sure you are buying a house for the fair market value.

 

I say this is good news because residential appraisals had been showing over-inflated prices for so long that potential home buyers were left out in the cold. If you look at what many home appraisals were going for over the past five years or so, you would wonder how anybody could afford to buy. Then again, we all know by now that most of those home owners couldn’t really afford those homes at all, and got into them through unfair lending practices and sheer greed. In fact, many of the real estate appraisers in Valley Village, CA as well as real estate appraisers in North Hollywood, CA were shocked to see comparables of surrounding homes go up and up while the condition of many of them were seriously lacking. That’s why having a professional real estate appraiser is so important, because they can tell you exactly what the range of prices are in any given market through real estate appraisals.

 

Now depending on how you look at it, the fact that real estate appraisals show that the decline in home prices does not seem to be slowing down it’s either a good thing or a bad thing. It’s a bad thing if you are trying to sell, because residential appraisals reflect the decline; however, it’s a good thing if you are looking to buy because you now may finally be able to afford a home of your own. One of the reasons for the falling home prices is that rising foreclosure activity is putting pressure on prices, as lenders are increasingly pursuing a ‘take what we can get’ selling strategy. Again, this is good news for people looking at home appraisals and seeing the real price of the homes they are trying to purchase.

 

Many experts predict that prices are going to continue to fall; they have to reflect economic reality. But that doesn’t mean you should hedge your bet and wait for the bottom. Sadly, many real estate appraisers in Valley Village along with some real estate appraisers in North Hollywood have seen many of their clients miss out because of this and lose their dream house to the next guy. Hiring a real estate appraiser to help you determine the fair price for a house is a first step. If you find that the house you want appraises for a price within your budget, you should grab it as fast as you can.  

 

More Real Estate Appraisal Myths

Because there is so much confusion as to what a real estate appraiser does and what a real estate appraisal consists of, I am giving you a few more myth busters.

 

  1. A clean and tidy home can increase the value of your home.
    • While leaving dirty dishes in the sink and toys all over the living room floor will not affect the value of your home, real estate appraisers are people too, and just like you wouldn’t feel comfortable walking into a stranger’s home looking like a typhoon hit it, neither will they. That being said, good housekeeping, or lack thereof, does not affect your appraisal.
  2. Anybody can hang a shingle on the outside of their home and call themselves a real estate appraiser.
    • Federal law requires states to establish minimum standards and licensing practices for real estate appraisers. In California, for example, trainees must take several courses, pass an examination and complete 2,000 hours of supervised experience.
  3. A real estate appraiser is not obligated by law to advise potential buyers of defects to the home they are looking into purchasing.
    • This one is both true and false, depending on who your lender is insuring the loan with. For example, if the buyer is applying for a mortgage that will be insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the appraiser must survey the physical condition of the home and disclose potential problems to the buyer. No such obligation exists for non-FHA mortgages.

 

As you can see, real estate appraisers aren’t the enemy. In fact real estate appraisals can be a purchases best friend. Once you know what a real estate appraiser does and the value of a real estate appraisal, you will a have a leg-up on buying or selling your property.

 

Visit www.iappraiseforyou.com for all your real estate appraisal needs.

Choosing a Real Estate Appraiser

If you are thinking about purchasing a property; either for investment or personal use, it is vital that you choose a reputable real estate appraiser. In fact, any credible lender will require that you have your property appraised. Often times they will have a list of appraisers they work with you can choose from. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find one on your own. One of the main reasons lenders include an appraisal is that they want to make sure the property you are buying is really worth what the owner says it is.

In the best case scenarios the appraisal is returned indicating that the fair market value of the home meets or exceeds the sales price. The problem comes in when the appraisal indicates that the fair market value of the home is less than the sales price. In the latter case, the prospective buyer would either need to drop the deal or renegotiate the sales price with the seller.

As you can see, it is critically important that you find a reputable and competent real estate appraiser. That one appraisal can easily make or break a deal. Even if you are not financing the purchase through a lending institution it is still worth the effort to insure that the property you are investing in is really worth the amount of the purchase. If you should hire a less than competent real estate appraiser you find out the hard way later on that the property you purchased was not really worth the amount that you paid.

Real estate appraisers perform an evaluation of a property and then provide a written evaluation after consulting standardized checklists and comparing the property in question to county land value sources and sales information on nearby similar properties; this is what they call a comp check. The estimation of replacement costs is also taken into consideration. Finally, real estate appraisers must be able to verify legal land descriptions. As you can see, there is quite a bit of work involved in performing a competent real estate appraisal and it is important that each step be performed accurately.

When it comes time for you to hire a real estate appraiser, ensure they are someone who has been formally trained and who possess a license with the state real estate commission to perform such appraisals. Also look for someone who possesses adequate experience in performing real estate appraisals and who is knowledgeable about the local real estate market.

Like real estate agents, appraisers commonly specialize in certain types of real estate. Some specialize in commercial properties while others work only in residential properties. Some appraisers even specialize in only high end or luxury properties. Many consumers find it beneficial to select a real estate appraiser who specializes in the specific type of property they wish to have appraised. At Mahler & Associates Appraisal Services, we have the experience you need to ensure you get the price you deserve for your property. Look for us at www.iappraiseforyou.com you can contact us at adam@iappraiseforyou.com

 

What is a Real Estate Appraiser?

From Elizabeth Weintraub, at http://www.about.com

 

Appraisals are an Important Part of Your Home Buying Transaction

A real estate appraisal helps to establish a property’s market value–the likely sales price it would bring if offered in an open and competitive real estate market.

Your lender will require an appraisal when you ask to use a home or other real estate as security for a loan, because it wants to make sure that the property will sell for at least the amount of money it is lending. That is why it is so important to find a real estate appraiser that will work for you in a timely and honest manner.

Don’t confuse a comparative market analysis, or CMA, with an appraisal. Real estate agents use CMAs to help home sellers determine a realistic asking price. Experienced agents often come very close to an appraisal price with their CMAS, but an appraiser’s report is much more detailed–and is the only valuation report a bank will consider when deciding whether or not to lend the money.

About Appraisers and Appraisals

  • Appraisers are licensed by individual states after completing coursework and internship hours that familiarize them with their real estate markets.
  • The lender might use an appraiser on its staff, or contract with an independent appraiser.  
  • The appraiser should be an objective third party, someone who has no financial or other connection to any person involved in the transaction.
  • The property being appraised is called the subject property.
  • You will probably pay for the appraisal when you apply for your loan.

What You’ll See on a Residential Appraisal Report

Appraisals are very detailed reports, but here are a few things they include:

  • Details about the subject property, along with side-by-side comparisons of three similar properties.
  • An evaluation of the overall real estate market in the area.
  • Statements about issues the appraiser feels are harmful to the property’s value, such as poor access to the property.
  • Notations about seriously flawed characteristics, such as a crumbling foundation.
  • An estimate of the average sales time for the property.
  • What type of area the home is in (a development, stand alone acreage, etc.).

Residential Appraisal Methods

There are two common appraisal methods used for residential properties:

Sales Comparison Approach

The appraiser estimates a subject property’s market value by comparing it to similar properties that have sold in the area. The properties used are called comparables, or comps.

No two properties are exactly alike, so the appraiser must compare the comps to the subject property, making paperwork adjustments to the comps in order to make their features more in-line with the subject property’s. The result is a figure that shows what each comp would have sold for if it had the same components as the subject.

Cost Approach

The cost approach is most useful for new properties, where the costs to build are known. The appraiser estimates how much it would cost to replace the structure if it were destroyed.

So What Does the Appraisal Mean to You?

Your personal approval is accomplished early in the loan process, but final loan commitment usually hinges on a satisfactory appraisal. The bank wants to be sure its investment is covered in case you default on the loan.

An Appraisal Isn’t a Home Inspection!

Appraisers make notations about obvious problems they see, but they are not home inspectors. They do not test appliances, look at the roof, check the chimney or do any other typical home inspection tasks. Never count on an appraisal to help you determine if the home is in good condition.

If the Appraisal Comes in Low

Don’t panic if the appraisal comes in low, because there are often steps you can take to make the deal work.

If the appraisal uncovers other problems, remember that most problems are correctable. Try to keep your cool and work through issues one step at a time.

If you or somebody you know are interested in more information regarding real estate appraisals, contact us at: www.iappraiseforyou.com