Sunday, August 27, 2006

Asheville Real Estate Journal : Appraisers 

Asheville Real Estate Journal

Whether marketing a home, or seeking a loan for residential property the appraisal is a key factor. Appraisers can use various methods to figure out the value of a residential property. Most likely, the Appraiser determines the value solely on comparable properties nearby and home sales prices. It is important that you know how to get an accurate appraisal of the home's market value.
Here are some quick tips:

1—Get the Property to Glow

If the purpose of the appraisal is to obtain a mortgage or to refinance, be sure to “de-clutter” and clean every nook and cranny in preparation for the Appraiser’s visit. This will assist the Appraiser in seeing the good points of the property. First impressions count, so be sure the landscaping looks spiffy. Investors in second/vacation/investment properties…ask your Broker to contact the seller’s listing agent to give the seller the heads-up that an appraisal soon will take place. Possibly the seller can scrub, polish, clean, paint, and fix-up the property so that it will look its best. Recently one of my clients invested $200 in weeding and landscaping his property and $200 in new paint for the interior. At the time of the appraisal, my client accompanied the Appraiser. She was gratified when the Appraiser mentioned the "immaculate condition both inside and out."

2—Go with the Appraiser

It was early morning. The Appraiser was due to arrive any minute. My client, coffee and crumb cake smelling great in the kitchen, met the Appraiser at the door, with the home's features and benefits clearly in mind. The Appraiser knew right away that he had an interested party along on his mission. And he was right. My client happily extolled the home's charms and benefits. Experience tells me that welcoming and accompanying the Appraiser can work for the positive. Do some resesrch on comparables and then, in your conversation, let the Appraiser know about the “comparables.” This can be helpful to an Appraiser. Most Appraisers I know and recommend do an outstanding job and report fairly. If you are present, you can make sure that the attention to detail you deserve occurs.

3—Provide the Appraiser with a Written List of the Property's Special Qualities and Features

We had a client with a challenge. He had been pursuing the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route and it just wasn't working for him. His investment property sat on the market for months and months. When we listed the property, we asked him to take an hour or so to list the assets and charms of the property. We added photos to his list. It was typed and ready to give to the Appraiser along with the MLS sheet detailing the special features of the house. My client also gave the Appraiser a typed list of comparable neighborhood home sales prices and their MLS sheets packaged for the Appraiser's use.

4—Request and Get a Copy of the Appraisal

In most situations the investor or home owner pays for an appraisal. And in most cases the bank through which a mortgage will be obtained orders tha appraisal and hires the Appraiser. Request and make sure you promptly receive a copy of the appraisal and go over it item by item with your Broker.

For a team approach to investing in property..please contact the team at ECO-STEWARD REALTY


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Asheville Real Estate Journal: Energy Efficient Real Estate in Asheville and Beyond 

Asheville Real Estate Journal

Take the Energy Efficiency Quiz..Save $$$


If every US household changed their 5 highest-use fixtures (or the light bulbs in them) to ENERGY STAR qualified lighting...

We would save more than 800 billion kWh of energy

We would keep more than one trillion pounds of greenhouse gases out of our air

We would have a national annual energy savings equivalent to the annual output of more than 20 power plants

We would have a national annual energy savings equivalent in air pollution to removing more than 8 million cars from the road.

Americans would collectively save more than $6 billion every year in energy costs.

Check out the answer here:


and let me know what YOU think...


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Asheville Real Estate Journal: What to Do in Asheville 

Asheville Real Estate Journal

When not Hanging out at Home with the Dogs


1) The Shindig on the Green … authentic Appalachian traditions in music. You can enjoy unique performances of hundreds of the best traditional musicians and dancers from across western North Carolina celebrating the treasured cultural heritage of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Here’s a link for more information:

2) Join the Asheville Drumming Circle every Friday night in summer. This spontaneous event has become a tradition in downtown Pritchard Park, drawing in visitors, residents and travelers of all types.

3) GOOMBAY! Beginning on August. 25, visitors to Asheville can enjoy the 24th annual Goombay!, a three-day festival in downtown Asheville. This Asheville festival, first celebrated in 1983, showcases steel drumming, gospel singers, African-American dancing, and Caribbean arts, crafts and FOOD.All these downtown events are free and the warm, early autumnal weather is perfect for outdoor shows. <- >

Hope to see you there!


Friday, August 11, 2006

Asheville Real Estate Journal Green Real Estate 

Asheville Real Estate Journal

The "Value-Added Factor"
- Green Buildings Are Good For Business

While the environmental benefits of green buildings are clear, there has been a question as to whether green, high performance buildings, add tangible value to a property. We are aware that the Green Building concepts have changed the way we design, construct, operate and generally, think, about buildings and communities.

But up until recently there has been no definitive study of the “value-added” FACTOR.

Enter Green Value, an independent research study. This in-depth research looks at green buildings in Canada, the USA and the UK. It concludes that a clear link is beginning to emerge between the market value of a building and its green features.The study combined a review of literature and case studies and finds that not only are green buildings good for the environment, provide healthier places to live and more productive places to work, they can command higher rents and prices, attract tenants more quickly, reduce tenant turnover and cost less to operate and maintain.

Green Value brought together 11 sponsors in three countries including both governments and the private sector, with teams on two continents. It was initiated and led by RICS Canada past-Chairman Chris Corps, who said ‘We weren't surprised that evidence of improved asset value exists, but didn't expect to find that productivity benefits can even exceed the building's value.’ Realpac Executive Director Michael Brooks noted the study's findings are important.

‘If industry and governments can tap these advantages green buildings will be profitable.
This opens potential commercial opportunities.’

But the study shows that further work will be needed to achieve these goals. Chris Corps notes ‘One important change is for corporate accounting to move to market valuation, even for governments. Cost approaches currently being used do not often value sustainability correctly.’ The study also recommends other standards, legislative and practice changes. Canada Green Buildings Council President Thomas Mueller said the conclusions show there is more work to be done on the value of green buildings but the findings are encouraging.

‘Evidence that sustainable practices can add value supports the claims
and direction of the green building industry.
This is an important step towards greater acceptance of green buildings in the marketplace.’



Friday, August 04, 2006

Asheville Real Estate Journal Credit Scores 

Asheville Real Estate Journal

Your Credit Score & Info You Can USE

When it comes to investing in real property, credit-advisory programs can prove valuable.
If you are searching for the best rate possible from a lender, the difference between a 720 score and 580
could be as much as 3 points.

Most of you already know that lenders generally have a practice of running a credit score check
immediately before a borrower closes on a mortgage. That’s why I always caution my clients
NOT to take on more debt, forget to pay bills or buy major appliances or a car
before they close on their investment property or home .
All these actions can affect a credit score for the worse.

One of my clients did not heed this advice and found himself facing not only a higher rate,
but also being asked to come up with a larger down payment.

Loan officers or mortgage brokers might offer you a couple of programs
to assist you in staying on top of your credit score.
These credit-advisory programs can prove valuable to anyone searching for the best rate possible.

1) ScoreWizard. This is a simulator that allows you to scan credit files for opportunities to raise scores.
2) ScoreRight. Uses common assumptions to pose ways to increase a score.

Think of it this way, on a $200,000, 30-year loan, the difference between 6.5 % and 9.5 % is

$418 per month, $5,016 a year and $150,480 over the loan's 30-year life.

Good Eye!

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