Your Home’s appraised value – news on foreclosures falling and Palm Springs market report February 2013
The New York Times talks about the neighbors’ effect on appraisals
When calculating the value of a property, an appraiser also factors in surrounding conditions. Neighborhood nuisances like an overgrown yard or a resistant odor could, in some cases, bring down the value of adjacent homes by 5 to 10 percent, according to the Appraisal Institute.
Making sense of the story
- What a homeowner might refer to as a bad neighbor, the appraisal industry calls “external obsolescence” – depreciation caused by factors off the property and beyond the homeowner’s control.
- Some issues are not always permanent and an appraiser may overlook them. But an obvious eyesore, like a yard cluttered with old cars, for example, is enough to prevent a neighboring property from selling.
- The perception of what’s unsightly varies by neighborhood. It’s possible that even a roof covered with large solar panels might be considered obtrusive in some areas, though the impact on nearby homes would be far less negative than if the property was run-down.
- Some neighborhood annoyances are potentially mitigated with help from the local municipality. Unregistered vehicles in a yard, for instance, or a chicken coop and thumping late-night music, may violate local ordinances.
- Real estate professionals recommend homeowners work directly with their neighbor before making a complaint, to avoid future problems.Read the full story
In other news …
Why some homeowners are turning down free money
It’s typically pretty easy for mortgage brokers to give away money, and indeed, refinancing activity has skyrocketed as interest rates plummeted in recent years. The one group of homeowners who didn’t participate in the refi boom – those whose home prices declined just enough to barely leave enough equity to qualify for refinancing – are now eligible to restructure their loans thanks to a new government program. But mortgage originators have learned it can be surprisingly difficult to persuade some of these homeowners to take advantage of the assistance available.
Read the full story
Bay area condos’ tight supply has buyers scrambling- this story is true here in Palm Springs; it’s a scramble for anything that comes on the market if it is in good shape.
Across the Bay Area, buyers are fighting for a limited supply of new and existing condos. Investors have already snapped up many foreclosures and short sales and are renting them out, while owners who might sell in a typical market are either still on the sidelines watching prices rise or are underwater and can’t afford to sell. And demand has is growing.
Los Angeles Times
Estimated cost of mortgage interest write-off is revised down
The mortgage deduction is being by tax reformers looking for ways to reduce the federal deficit. This is not good news so let your representative know this must not happen.
The Orange County Register
Boomerang buyers making a comeback
Buyers who went through short sales or foreclosures are becoming homeowners again, thanks in part to loans from the Federal Housing Administration. They are easier to come by and rates are attractive making home ownership possible again for those who were hit in the downturn
The Los Angeles Times
California foreclosure starts plummet 60 percent in January
The real estate website ForeclosureRadar.com reported a 60.5 percent decline in California default notices in January from December. This is big news. Here is Riverside county and Palm Springs, the reports are the same as foreclosures are drying up.
We still have renters to thank for healthier housing market.
For the past year, housing starts have risen; however, home sales haven’t kept up. The gap suggests that builders are overwhelmingly building for renters, not buyers, which suggests that a healthy housing market may not necessarily call for more home sales. So investors are coming out of the woodwork and the renters are snapping up the nice properties.
Read the full story
What you should know- Facts about selling your home; does baking cookies really help?
- Just about everyone loves the smell of fresh-baked cookies, but new research suggests that aromas do not help sell homes. A study by Washington State University found that although homeowners are often told to create pleasing aromas when potential buyers pay a visit, that complex smells, like baked goods and potpourri, are likely to dampen enthusiasm for a fast sale for top dollar.
Complex scents, even if they’re pleasant, are a distraction because some people subconsciously dedicate time and energy to figuring out what the aroma is, rather than processing whether the home is a place they could live. Instead, the author of the study recommends simple scents, such as lemon, basil, and pine, since they’re easier to process and less distracting and thus more conducive to spending. Scents also need to be congruent with the home. A cedar smell might work well with a mountain home, but it could seem out-of-place at a beach house.
So that’s a wrap of news you can use for this week.
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