Tag Archives: Home Buying

The Myths and Realities of Home Appraisals

78377971Whether you’re planning on buying or selling a home, chances are good that you’ll come into contact with an appraiser at some point; however, while most of us have a basic understanding of what a home appraisal is, there are a lot of myths that surround the process that are worth understanding before making the decision to buy or sell.

MYTH: The appraised value of a property will vary depending upon whether the appraisal has been completed for the buyer or seller.

REALITY: Since the appraiser has no vested interest in the outcome of the appraisal, they should conduct their assessment with a sense of objectivity and no special regard for the party who initiated the process.

MYTH: A home’s market value should be in line with its replacement cost.

REALITY: While market value seems like it should be related to replacement cost, it’s important to understand the distinction between the two ideas since they are actually quite different.  For example, even though your home’s replacement cost may be set at $450,000, its market value may sit closer to $400,000.  In short, market value represents the amount of money a buyer would likely pay when not under pressure to buy or sell, while replacement cost represents the actual dollar amount required to reconstruct the property in-kind.

MYTH: Appraisers use a formula, which details the specific price per square foot, to settle upon the value of a home.

REALITY: When an appraisal is completed, all factors pertaining to the home’s value are taking into account, including its location, condition, size, proximity to local facilities, and recent sale prices of comparable properties.

MYTH: When the sale prices of homes in any given area are reported to be rising by a particular percentage, local homeowners can expect their individual properties to appreciate by the same percentage.

REALITY: While area can make a difference, value appreciation of specific properties is still determined on an individual basis, which takes into account factors such as data on comparable properties and other relevant considerations.

MYTH: When applying for purchase or refinancing loans, consumers pay for their appraisal, which means they “own” it upon completion.

REALITY: While a small portion of your loan may go towards paying for the appraisal, it is, in fact, legally owned by the lender.  Still, under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, consumers who submit a written request must be furnished with a copy of their appraisal report.

MYTH: An appraisal is the same as a home inspection.

REALITY: Yes, at first glance the two job descriptions may seem similar; however, their final functions remain quite different.  The purpose of an appraiser is to form an opinion of the value of a home—and to process the resulting report—while a home inspector determines the condition of the home and its major components before stating their findings.

In the end, if you’re looking to add value to your home for an expected appraisal or you would like to know more about the process, it’s important to speak with an experienced Realtor who can help you not only make the right decisions, but feel comfortable about the appraisal proceedings.

If you would like to know more, please feel free to contact me.  I’m always here.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.dinsmoreteam.com | 770-712-7789

Neighborhood Highlight: Ruth’s Farm – Alpharetta, GA

TPG_logo
12722790Developed through a partnership between The Providence Group and KM Homes, this spacious, upscale neighborhood provides elegant single-family homes starting in the low $600’s.
Each executive style property features all-new designs with standard three-car garages and four-sided brick or stacked stone exteriors; however, buyers also have the freedom to customize their home with an assortment of options, to include third level retreats, covered porches, two-sided fire places, media rooms, bonus rooms, sun rooms, and basement home sites.

Brentwood-Family-Roomw-300x212Currently, Fall move-in dates are being offered and the new Providence Group Design Center is available to help buyers select their interior design options once they’ve settled upon one of our models that range from 3,400 to 5,292 square feet, or four to six bedrooms.

Located just off exit 10 on 400, the division is within walking distance to Milton High School and provides easy access to Atlanta, Northpoint Mall, an assortment of upscale restaurants, and Lake Sydney Lanier.

Ruth’s Farm Schools:

Crabapple Crossing Elementary

12775 Birmingham Highway

Milton, GA 30004sitemap

770-740-7055

Northwestern Middle School

12805 Birmingham Highway

Milton, GA 30004

770-667-2870

Milton High School

13025 Birmingham Highway

Milton, GA 30004

770-740-7000

 

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.dinsmoreteam.com | 770-712-7789

So, What Exactly is the Fair Housing Act?

My-interracial-nuclear-familyWhen it comes to real estate and most forms of housing, the Fair Housing Act creates a blanket of sorts that envelops those looking to purchase or rent a residence.  In essence, while there are still stipulations, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability cannot be a deciding factor in things such as refusing to rent or sell housing, set different terms or conditions, or deny a dwelling.

Dating back to the 1960’s, the large political movements pushing to outlaw discrimination also set their sights on a broad range of housing transactions—to include mortgage lending, advertising, zoning, and homeowner’s insurance.  Termed fair or open housing, President Lyndon B. Johnson urged congress to finally pass the federal Fair Housing Act, which sought to create a cohesive housing market in which a person’s look, culture, or background would not limit their access to property.

WHAT IS PROHIBITED?

In the sale and rental of housing, no one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability:

  • Refuse to rent or sell housing
  • Refuse to negotiate for housing
  • Make housing unavailable
  • Deny a dwelling
  • Set different terms, conditions, or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Provide different housing services or facilities
  • Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental
  • For profit, persuade owners to sell or rent (blockbusting)
  • Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as a multiple
  • listing service) related to the sale or rental of housing

In mortgage lending, no one may take any of the following actions on the basis of:

  • race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability
  • Refuse to make a mortgage loan;
  • Refuse to provide information regarding loans;
  • Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates, points, or fees;
  • Discriminate in appraising property;
  • Refuse to purchase a loan; or
  • Set different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan

Individuals who feel that they have been discriminated against in the housing process can lodge a complaint with HUD’s Office of Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity (FHEO), where the issue in question will be forwarded to the state; however, it’s important to note that local agencies will be investigating the case instead of FHEO.

If you have any questions, I would love to be of service.  Please do not hesitate to contact me for assistance.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.dinsmoreteam.com | 770-712-7789

Traditions: Update on this New Lifestyle Community in South Forsyth

Interest still remains high in this fabulous new 400-home community in South Forsyth County, Georgia, and I will continue to post updates as I have them.   The latest update we received was regarding the initial park plans.

When complete, Traditions will have over 10 parks throughout the 158-acre community.  At the end of this post you will find the initial designs for Phase I parks and inspirational imagery.

Phase I should be completed by mid-2014.  

If you are interested in this fabulous new community, please contact me before the choice lots have been taken.

Traditions will feature amenities for families of all ages including playgrounds, sports fields, tennis courts, a signature pool and lakefront clubhouse as well as multiple parks and open spaces sprinkled about the community. All of this will be within walking distance to Fowler Park and the Big Creek Greenway Trail. In addition, a grocery-anchored neighborhood marketplace with pedestrian access from Traditions is planned directly adjacent to the community.

The homes, ranging from $300,000 to $500,000, will be designed by the award-winning architecture firm Wakefield Beasley and will include standard features that would be considered extras in other communities.  Local artists and designers have also been contracted to provide unique touches to Traditions homes and its outdoor amenities, creating inspiring outdoor spaces and floor plans for today’s busy family.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Traditions Park - 1

Traditions Park 4

Traditions Park 3 Traditions Park 2

Can Living Near A Walmart Increase Your Home Value?

The answer is surprisingly, “yes”!   There was an interesting article on the National Association of Realtors‘ site that I thought I would share.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

***

9 Surprising Things That Add Value to Your House

By: Dona DeZube

A home’s value is dependent on many things. Here are nine factors you might not have thought about.

1. Surf Breaks: Being within a mile of a surf break (a spot where surf-able waves happen) adds about $106,000 to a home’s value, according to surfonomics experts at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Reality check: Mother Nature makes surf breaks, so it’s not like you could build your own DIY break to boost your home’s value.

2. Parks and Open Spaces:  A desirable public park or other recreational open space boosts the property value of nearby homes by 8%-20%.  One study looked at 16,400 home sales within 1,500 feet of 193 public parks in Portland, Ore., and found these boosts to home values:

  • Natural areas: $10,648
  • Golf courses: $8,849
  • Specialty parks: $5,657
  • Urban parks: $1,214

Reality check: A park that’s not maintained and overcrowded can drag down nearby home values.

3. Living Near a Walmart: Along with making it easier to run out for a gallon of milk at midnight, researchers at the University of Chicago concluded that living within a mile of a Walmart store could raise your home’s value by 1%-2%, and living within half a mile could boost your property value by an additional 1%.  For an average-size home, that’s an uptick of $4,000-$7,000.

Realty check: What you gain in home value, you may end up spending at Walmart.

4. Solar Photovoltaic Systems: California homes with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems sell for a $17,000 premium over homes without solar systems, according to research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Reality check: Although costs for residential solar power systems are falling, they’re still rather pricey at $15,000-$40,000, depending on the size of your house.

5. Walkability: Being able to stroll to schools, parks, stores, and restaurants will raise your property value anywhere from $4,000-$34,000, says a 2009 study from CEOs for Cities.

Reality check: The biggest boost in walkability values occurred in large, dense cities.

6. Accessory Dwelling Units:  Whether it’s a granny flat, an in-law apartment, or a carriage house, having a separate unit can increase your home’s value by 25%-34%, according to a study of 14 properties with accessory dwelling units in Portland, Ore. You can also get a steady stream of income from a second unit.

Reality check: Local governments often ban accessory dwelling units, so check zoning laws, building codes, and homeowners association rules before you add a unit.

7. Professional Sports Arenas:  A new pro sports stadium can raise property values in a 2.5-mile radius by an average of $2,214. The closer you are to the new facility, the larger the increase in home value. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Alberta examined house sales in Columbus, Ohio, before and after the city added two sports stadiums.

Reality check: If a stadium is proposed, home values can decline a bit until the project is complete. And if you live really close to a stadium, you may encounter traffic and parking issues.

8. Community Gardens:  Planting a community garden raises the value of homes within a 1,000-foot radius by 9.4% within five years, according to research by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and New York University School of Law.  The impact increases over time, and high-quality community gardens have the greatest positive influence. Poor neighborhoods saw the biggest gains in home values.

Reality check: Gardens on privately owned land and in higher-income neighborhoods don’t have the same beneficial influence.

9. Trees:  No real surprise here — whether trees are in your yard or just on your street, they’re a valuable asset you should be aware of. Here’s a gauge of how much trees are worth to your home value according to a University of Washington research survey:

  • Mature trees anywhere in your yard: 2%.
  • Mature trees on your street: 3%.
  • Trees in your front yard: 3%-5%.
  • Mature trees in high income neighborhoods: 10%-15%.

Reality check: Trees usually mean work — raking leaves, trimming branches, and keeping roots out of sewer lines.

Community Resources

WELCOME

2019 Welcome Services

The Dinsmore Team has created this handy guide for both Buyers and Sellers. The guide lists trusted service providers that we use personally and professionally. The providers listed service the Forsyth and North Fulton County areas.

2014 Complete Guide to Moving

This 20-Page Guide will be your comprehensive source for selling your home and planning your move. It includes tips for getting ready to sell, planning your move, packing and transitioning into your new home.

2014 Home Owners Tip Guide

This 20-Page Guide will help you develop an annual maintenance schedule for your home's systems and appliances to help you avoid bigger problems by taking care of them while they are small. It's also a great resource for trouble shooting malfunctions on your own, saving you time and money.


utilities

Looking for a fast way to connect all of your utility services online? Try Connect Utilities.

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Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com

770-712-7789