Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Appraisal Rules Cause Problems and Delays

In July the National Association of Realtors (NAR) polled its members to ask about the results of implementation of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) on May 1, 2009. Apparently the Grove Team is experiencing in Keller, Southlake, Grapevine, North Fort Worth, NRH, and HEB the same problems that realtors are finding nationwide. We are finding that it takes longer to receive an appraisal in North Texas, and 76% of agents in the country are finding similar delays. At the same time, appraisers are indicating that they have less time to complete appraisals. The reason for this inconsistency is that lenders can no longer order appraisals directly; appraisals must be ordered from a third party appraisal management company.

Designed to reduce mortgage fraud, the rules eliminate contact between the lender and the appraiser. It's true that when abused, lender contact with the appraiser can lead to invalid appraisals. However, in the usual course of business, lender and appraiser contact can also lead to clarification and even more worthwhile appraisals.

It seems that the new rules have resulted in more expensive, less accurate, and slower appraisals. One more case of rules imposed on all of us that make life more difficult when only a relative few greedy individuals created abused the system.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Heard on the street . . .

"Heard on the street . . ." posts will be information heard in the real estate community from reliable resources. While we won't necessarily be able to cite the sources, this information could provide valuable insights into what's happening behind the scenes now and predict what will happen in the future.

Today we heard that agents in parts of the country that have been worst hit by the foreclosure crisis are seeing the pipeline of foreclosures preparing to hit the market to be slowing. Foreclosures in Las Vegas are actually selling at 10% to 15% over list because fewer properties are coming on the market.

These agents believe that new foreclosures are being held off the market for major investors who are planning to buy millions of dollars of foreclosed properties at wholesale and just hold them until the market improves. These investors are seeing that values are beginning to climb and think this is a prime time to buy.

Of course, North Texas has not been hit by the foreclosure crisis nearly so hard as other states, but members of the Grove Team believe that it is absolutely the right time to buy. Mortgage interest rates are low and property values are reasonable.

Let's see just how many foreclosures show up in Keller, Southlake, Grapevine, HEB, north Fort Worth, North Richland Hills, and other cities in our area in the coming months. It could only be good news if owner occupants don't have to compete with foreclosures in the resale market.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Results of Tax Appraisal Protests

Once again, the Grove Team assisted clients who thought that the appraised value of their real estate by the county appraisal districts was too high. Our clients report excellent success using the market information provided by us to them.

In describing their experiences, all of our clients told us that meeting informally with the staff of the appraisal district led to far more reasonable outcomes concrning real estate values than attending a formal hearing with the Appraisal Review Board (ARB). All of those who went before the ARB thought that the hearing process was one-sided toward accepting the preliminary accessed value.

Next year if you feel your assessed value is too high, contact the Grove Team at www.groveteam.com by the end of May.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Time Home Buyer Seminar

If you or someone you know is planning to buy a home for the first time in the next year, make plans to attend the First Time Homebuyer Seminar sponsored by the Grove Team of Keller Williams and Sara Thomas of MetLife Home Loans. The event will take place on Saturday, September 19, 2009, at Keller Pointe in Keller in the Bear Creek Room from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. We will provide in-depth information on the home buying process, the up to $8,000 tax credit for homes purchased before December 1, 2009, and the loan application and approval process. Realtors will also be on hand to conduct searches for individuals and couples according to their personal criteria. These searches will feature access to the MLS and the most current information on homes on the market in Keller, Southlake, Grapevine, HEB, and other cities in Northeast Tarrant County. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Local market statistics

Even though the national real estate numbers may be grim, our local market is holding its own. According to numbers compiled by the Texas A&M Real Estate Center, Grapevine, Hurst, Euless, and Bedford are all seller's markets with less than five months of inventory available for sale. Keller, Southlake, and Colleyville are buyer's markets with more than seven months of available inventory.

The Grove Team web site offers terrific tools to search the MLS. Go to http://www.groveteam.com.