Buying Tips

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Zillow Zestimates May Be Inaccurate Again and Again in Baltimore

July 25th, 2016

Zillow Zestimates may be inaccurate again and again in Baltimore. Zillow Zestimates. Buyers often look to them, thinking they are a good representation of a home's value. In reality, often (not always, but often,) Zillow Zestimates can be off. Especially in Baltimore County. This happens across the country. The Los Angeles Times published an article regarding this [...]

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FHA Condo Recertification Should Get Easier

July 21st, 2016

FHA condo recertification should get easier, thanks to the passage of H.R.3700 - Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 on July 14. It also lowers the current owner-occupancy from 50% to 35%, which should hopefully make more Baltimore County condominium communities eligible for FHA financing. Right now, there are a number of Baltimore County condo [...]

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Towson Zillow Zestimates Incorrect and Problematic

January 26th, 2013

Towson Zillow Zestimates continue to be incorrect and problematic in the public's understanding of the value of a home. I listed a Towson home that will be coming to the market in March. We have completed our paperwork, and are readying for the Baltimore real estate market. One thing we discussed was their rather low [...]

Wells Fargo HELOC Class Action Lawsuit

March 20th, 2012

A Class Action Lawsuit has been filed against Wells Fargo due to reductions in HELOCs all over the country. In May of 2009, I wrote about Towson Zillow Zestimates affecting a client's HELOC loan, and how his line of credit had been reduced right in the middle of construction on the property. This is what [...]

Baltimore Zillow Zestimates Still Off

February 7th, 2012

Baltimore Zillow Zestimates are still often off from true value, despite the change in algorithms last year. "Desktop Valuations" are a quick way to look at the potential value of a home, but they do not take many factors into consideration, and some of the things they DO use to determine a value should not be used! [...]

What is a Home Inspection?

January 27th, 2012

What is done in a home inspection? What is covered? A home inspection, usually, is a VISUAL inspection of a property, running water & systems when they can be run. What does that mean? It means that the inspector can't break through walls, can't take things off or apart, or ruin the house in any [...]

FHA Condo Rules Make Selling Many Condos Difficult

November 4th, 2011

Recently, there were changes made to the FHA condo regulations on which projects can be FHA insured or not. According to a Washington Post rundown of the changes, a major one is the "spot approval" that used to be acceptable to be eligible for an FHA loan. Another article goes more in depth on the [...]

A New Low for Incorrect Zillow Zestimates

August 31st, 2011

Last night, Zillow posted a tweet, inviting you to look at this glorious mansion on the market for $35,000,000. Please note, that is $35 MILLION. The amusing part to me, is when I clicked on it, directly under the asking price is the Zillow Zestimate: $396,500. Yes, you read that right, Three hundred ninety-six THOUSAND, [...]

First Time Buyer $7500 Grant Federal Home Loan Bank is Back!

February 4th, 2011

Federal Home Loan Bank's $7,500 First Time Buyer Grant is back for many qualifying individuals. Brian Picker, one of my mortgage partners from 1st Mariner Mortgage, announced the return of the program and his company's involvement in it. Here are particulars on the grant qualifications from the information he sent over to me: Details: •            [...]

Computerized Appraisal Problems

January 5th, 2011

Computerized appraisals have been an issue for awhile, but recently, they have become a problem for a much larger group of people. Appraisals done by people in general are both objective and subjective, which means that often if you had two professional appraisers come to your house, you would likely get two different price opinions, [...]