Zeflections on Zillow

City Hall Sculpture

Earlier this week we put up a story about Zillow’s view on the value of our home. It wasn’t the first time we’ve mentioned Zillow, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Historically we’ve only brought up the site when we we’re frustrated or amused. This mention had an interesting result – Zillow found our article and weighed in directly, and helpfully (see the comments at the bottom). It caused some debate and reflection

The Appraiser is Coming!

We are refinancing our home. Again. For the third time in eight years of ownership. Does that tell you anything about what mortgage rates have been doing? Dropping, dropping, dropping. Oh yeah, and also that we have no intention of moving. In 2004 we started with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. In 2005 we refinanced to another 30-year mortgage because we originally had a NINJA loan (No Income, No Job or Asset- hey, we were

Quantifying Appraisal Risk

A while back we talked about how appraisals can impact a deal. A new twist is that buyers have recently been making their offers more attractive by voluntarily removing the appraisal clause. They take the risk that the appraiser finds that the “value” of the home to be less than the contract price, and they have to bring more cash to the closing. Today we’re going to quantify that risk. Banks require appraisals to help

The Evolution of Appraisal Risk

Real estate appraisals have been a hot button issue over the past few years. First, appraisers were implicated as a contributing factor to the real estate bubble in the mid 2000s. The line of thinking was that they were focused less on the accuracy of their results than on their next deal. Next, the government responded by clamping down on the appraisal process to prevent lenders and real estate agents (who were both also implicated

Car Shopping vs. House Hunting- Day One

Yesterday was our first day out on the car shopping adventure. Kyle and I were both pleasantly surprised with the experience so far. Based on the initial research we did, we’ve decided there are 4 car makes that we find acceptable for our needs. So before we start price negotiations we’ll need to visit at least 4 dealerships. We went to Dealership #1 where we asked to test drive two cars. The salesperson was helpful