Understanding the Difference Between an Appraisal vs Neighborhood Listing Prices

Many homeowners wonder why there is such a big difference between their appraised value & the selling-price of other similar homes on their street. The key distinction lies in the purpose of these 2 evaluations and the people who are conducting them.

Appraisals

The primary purpose of an appraisal is to ensure that a third-party verifies the most-likely sale price of the property, based in its market value and condition. Typically, an appraisal is meant to be a very realistic determination of the value of that home if it were to be sold in its current condition in the current market. In addition to this, the appraisers have to follow the rules that are supposed to even out the subjective-process of deciding what the value of a home is. Appraisers look at factors like:

  • Location

  • The above ground size

  • The room and bathroom count

  • Style of the home

  • Amenities

  • Condition of property

  • Amount of time it takes for a particular home to sell

  • Whether values are increasing/decreasing/steady

Appraisers also look only at the comparable sales within a specific distance, usually 1mile except in the rural areas, & within a certain period of time.

Listing Prices

Listing prices are determined on the basis of very different factors- are set by interested & emotional sellers and influenced by a real-estate agent. When sellers list their homes, they aren’t held by any specific rules. In certain situations, they may take the amount they paid for the home, what they spent on improvements and add a profit.

Sometimes, they list their property based on the amount that is required to pay the closing costs, the real estate agents & cover the mortgage amounts. If a particular home is selling for a very low price, this is generally because the owners might have to move in a hurry and want to make their price very competitive. Foreclosed properties could also be listed at lower prices.

In some cases, asset managers may be making decisions from a completely different part of the country, which may explain the disparity in prices. And so, there are really no set rules when it comes to determining the actual value of your home. In the end, the opinion of the lender who is securing that particular property for a mortgage is what matters. For all types of mortgage-related information, contact ResMac Home Loans.

 

Five Myths About Home Values

When the economy is booming and home values are on the rise, homeowners rarely question appraisals too much. But in times of recession, when property values are on the downtrend, most homeowners & listing agents tend to question & pick apart appraisals. But the actual appraisal process has not undergone much of a change since the boom and bust in the housing space that took place between 2001- 2009. Take a look at 5 topmost appraisal myths:

  • I have put in $15,000 into a property very recently- Why is the appraised value not higher than that?”

It’s a misconception that every improvement carried out in a property will add to its value. Even with significant cosmetic repairs, there are times when the property value may be comparable to a foreclosure right next door, rather than the value of a new home that is a block away. The electrical, air and heating are priority, square footage and the number of beds and baths comes next while genuine cosmetic upgrades are on the lowest rung of the home improvement ladder

  • My home is comparable to some properties right in the neighborhood- but it’s being valued at much less”

If a homeowner is planning on selling a house that has added $150k in upgrades to the flooring, built-in cabinets and the kitchen, it might be much more beneficial to show that property in magazine ads or in an open house. The fact is that the homeowner might be stuck with a much lower appraisal (even lower than comparable properties right across the street).

This happens because the appraisers always use properties from that same neighborhood to first establish a value. In simple words, the seller ended up over-improving their home for that specific neighborhood

  • I just invested $50,000 in a pool- why does that not count for anything?”

Professional landscaping and pools rarely ever see a value-add that matches up exactly to the amount that has been spent on that improvement. This value is also largely based on the comparable sales in a particular neighborhood.

  • How can very similar homes a particular neighborhood appraise for vastly different values?”

This is a very common question that crops up for older neighborhoods where there may be drastic price differences for homes that are modeled similarly. Square footage and additional rooms might be the primary reason for a particular property appraising much higher than another.

When an appraiser determines the value of a property, the size, square footage, improvements, location, neighborhood amenities and market trends are taken into account. Contact ResMac home Loans, to understand more about how an appraisal works.

 

Why Do I Need Mortgage Insurance?

Mortgage Insurance, sometimes referred to as Private Mortgage Insurance, is required by lenders on conventional home loans if the borrower is financing more than 80% Loan-To-Value.

According to Wikipedia:

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is insurance payable to a lender or trustee for a pool of securities that may be required when taking out a mortgage loan.

It is insurance to offset losses in the case where a mortgagor is not able to repay the loan and the lender is not able to recover its costs after foreclosure and sale of the mortgaged property.

PMI isn’t necessarily a bad thing since it allows borrowers to purchase a property by qualifying for conventional financing with a lower down payment.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) simply protects your lender against non-payment should you default on your loan. It’s important to understand that the primary and only real purpose for mortgage insurance is to protect your lender—not you. As the buyer of this coverage, you’re paying the premiums so that your lender is protected. PMI is often required by lenders due to the higher level of default risk that’s associated with low down payment loans. Consequently, its sole and only benefit to you is a lower down payment mortgage

Private Mortgage Insurance and Mortgage Protection Insurance

Private mortgage insurance and mortgage protection insurance are often confused.

Though they sound similar, they’re two totally different types of insurance products that should never be construed as substitutes for each other.

  • Mortgage protection insurance is essentially a life insurance policy designed to pay off your mortgage in the event of your death.
  • Private mortgage insurance protects your lender, allowing you to finance a home with a smaller down-payment.

Automatic Termination

Thanks to The Homeowner’s Protection Act (HPA) of 1998, borrowers have the right to request private mortgage insurance cancellation when they reach a 20 percent equity in their mortgage. What’s more, lenders are required to automatically cancel PMI coverage when a 78 percent Loan-to-Value is reached.

Some exceptions to these provisions, such as liens on property or not keeping up with payments, may require further PMI coverage.

Also, in many instances your PMI premium is often tax deductible in a similar fashion as the interest paid each year on your mortgage is tax deductible. Please, check with a tax expert to learn your tax options.

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What’s The Difference Between A Primary Residence, Second Home and Investment Property?

When you are applying for a mortgage loan, your “occupancy type” becomes a major factor in the actual amount of the down payment that is required, the loan program available & the mortgage interest rate. Whether you are buying, doing a term or rate financing/ taking equity out of the property via cash-out refinance- the underwriter will always take the “occupancy type” into consideration.

Types of Occupancy

There are 3 types of occupancy:

  • Owner Occupied or Primary Residence – As per the HUD, a primary residence is essentially a property which a borrower will occupy for a larger part of the calendar year. At least 1 borrower has to occupy that property & sign the security instrument as well as the mortgage-note for that property to be considered as “owner-occupied”

  • Second Home – In order to qualify as a 2nd home, typically, that property should be a minimum of 50 miles from your primary residence. The real-estate should not be acquired for rental investment purposes

  • Investment Property- This type of property is not occupied by the owner and is used only as source of rental income

Down Payment Requirements

The down payment that you make will be dependent on the type.

  • Primary Residence – Purchases for VA & USDA can go upto 100% financing, while the FHA requires 3.5 percent of the purchase price as down-payment. Conventional financing might require the down payment to be in the 5% – 25% range, based on the credit score, property type, county and the loan amount

  • Second Home – An average 10 percent of a down-payment is required for a purchase, and 25 percent equity for any refinance

  • Investment Property – The down payment requirement can be the 20-25% range based in the total number of units. When you are doing a cash-out refinance on any investment property for 2-4 units, the required loan-to-value will have to be 70percent /lower to qualify.

Note- For any kind of high-balance loan amount the mentioned LTV- Loan-to-Value requirements will undergo a change. Certain credit score requirements will also be applicable. To understand more about how the property type affects your down payment, contact ResMac Home Loans today.