RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

3 Reasons to Remodel This Fall

August 18, 2016 12:21 am


Most house remodels occur in spring and summer, when the weather is unlikely to derail a project—but according to one expert, another season is just as ideal for remodels: fall.

Why fall? Dan Fritschen, product manager at RemodelOrMove.com and author of six books on home remodeling, lists three reasons:

1. The off-season means more contractors are available for hire. Remodels are less common in fall, making it the perfect time for homeowners to have their pick of professionals. Contractors are often more responsive in the off-season, and eager to give estimates for work that will keep them employed through fall and early winter.

2. Temperatures are ripe for remodeling convertible spaces. Finishing an attic or basement in spring or summer can be challenging due to a lack of climate control. Fall temperatures, on the other hand, are cool enough—but not too cold—to start (and finish!) a conversion project. According to Fritschen, an attic or basement conversion ranges from $25 to $100 per square foot.

3. The holidays are coming! Starting a remodel in fall will allow time to complete the project before the holidays—what better way to celebrate the season than with a newly remodeled home?

To enjoy these benefits, it is imperative to keep the project on schedule, Fritschen adds. RemodelOrMove.com offers a free remodeling planner that will not only customize the schedule, but automatically send information at pivotal points in the project.

Source: RemodelOrMove.com
 

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Has Federal Intervention Improved Home Appraisals?

August 18, 2016 12:21 am


Have home appraisals become more accurate in the years since the enactment of Dodd-Frank?

For homebuyers, an inaccurate home valuation can derail the opportunity to obtain a mortgage; for homeowners, it can spoil the chance to refinance.

The answer, according to an analysis by Bankrate.com, is murky.

Dodd-Frank was expected to result in more reliable appraisals, Appraisal Institute spokesman Ken Chitester told Bankrate—one provision, the elimination of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC), was aimed at clearing up confusion over who can present information to an appraiser and discouraging lenders from placing pressure on appraisers to value properties at a certain price.

The HVCC, however, had unintended consequences. According to Bankrate, many more appraisals were ordered through appraisal management companies (AMCs), which were dispatching appraisers to properties far afield from the neighborhoods they knew well. As a result, these appraisers were undervaluing homes, putting countless potential sales in jeopardy.

Under Dodd-Frank, REALTORS®, homebuyers and home sellers can consult with an appraiser—but this newfound permission requires some basic knowledge on the part of the consumer, Richard Koestner, partner at Iowa-based Koestner, McGivern & Associates, told Bankrate.

Koestner recommends homebuyers and home sellers ask:

• How long have you been an appraiser?
• How many appraisals have you completed?
• How often do you appraise homes in this area?
• How familiar are you with the local market?
• Where do you get the data that you use in your appraisal reports?

Asking these questions can help homebuyers and home sellers not only assess an appraisers’ qualifications, but also understand the home appraisal process.

For more on home appraisals, or to learn how much your home is worth, contact a real estate professional in your area.
 

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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