Recent Interview in the Seattle Times about Seattle Homebuyers

I’m honored to have been quoted in the Seattle Time‘s yesterday in Katherine Khashimova Long’s article “Autumn of heartbreak for home shoppers as Seattle-area prices hit new record highs”. My quote wound up being a tid-bit in the article and I thought it would be interesting to share some of the points that we discussed during the interview. [Read more…]

Appraisal Waivers on Conforming Mortgages

Some conforming mortgages for refinances or home purchases may not require an appraisal. It all boils down to what the response is from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac’s automated underwriting systems on whether or not an appraisal is required. You may have perfect credit and tons of equity in your home, yet no appraisal waiver if Fannie or Freddie’s underwriting systems determine it’s not eligible.

Your next conforming mortgage might be eligible to not have an appraisal if it meets the following criteria: [Read more…]

Appraisals waived for some refinances!

mortgageporterhomeFannie Mae will begin offering appraisal waivers on some refinance transactions. This is great news as it will help transactions that qualify have a quicker closing and help reduce the work load for appraisers which will hopefully help expedite current appraisal turn-times. This will also help home owners save money on their transaction by not having to pay an appraisal fee, which have gone up dramatically over the last few months. [Read more…]

VA Appraisal Fees and Turn Times Increased

seesawVA manages how much a Veteran can pay for an appraisal and sets time lines on how long a VA appraisal can take. The fee for Washington state has been $500 for an appraisal with up to 10 days for the appraisal to be delivered. Before the appraisal crisis, many would often complain about how long it took to get a VA appraisal…however, 10 days to receive an appraisal for $500 would  now be a dream come true. [Read more…]

Appraisal #FAIL

A fisheye image of a mid-30's business woman pouting and looking angry.If you are buying, selling or refinancing a home right now, you might be quite surprised to learn about the current state of appraisals. It ain’t pretty…far from it. [Read more…]

When can an appraisal be ordered?

I Spy FisheyeIn Seattle’s competitive real estate market, we’re seeing offers coming in with shorter closing times, appraisals waived or even financing waived. It’s not unusual for me to have a Real Estate Broker say “the offer has been accepted, you can order the appraisal now!”  I recently had a Real Estate Broker from Seattle ask an excellent question:

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Waiving your financing contingency?

mortgageporter-thinkingThe greater Seattle real estate market is hot. With the lack of inventory, some home buyers have found themselves in a position where they feel they need to waive their financing contingency or the appraisal. I see this strategy happen when home buyers have been competing with multiple and/or cash offers.

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What is an escrow holdback?

mortgageporterhouseSometimes an appraiser may call for repairs to be done on a home typically for safety reasons. In a seller’s market, like the greater Seattle area is experiencing, it’s not likely that the seller will agree to make the repairs. If the buyer has enough funds, they may be able to do an “escrow holdback”.  An “escrow holdback” is when funds are heldback at closing to cover the estimated cost of the repairs. The buyer brings the amount of the holdback to escrow (or sometimes the lender) and the funds are held until after closing, when the work has been finished.

[Read more…]