Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More Trouble In Mortgage Land

The Boston Globe reports today what I have been seeing to be true: property appraisals are coming back at very conservative (read: low) values, and this is having a chilling impact on both sales and refinances of residential properties. A low appraisal may have the impact of reducing the dollar amount the mortgage company will permit you to borrow. Moral: whereas it used to be enough protection for a buyer to include a general mortgage contingency in an Offer to Purchase, these days it is prudent to include a specific additional contingency that the appraisal performed by the bank must indicate a value in at least the amount of the proposed purchase price.

The full text of the Globe article can be found here:

Rising Transfer Taxes in Barnstable County

Heads up, all of you Cape Cod homeowners. If you sell your Cape home, effective July 1, 2009 you will pay more tax for the privilege of doing so.

Throughout Massachusetts (except in Barnstable County), sellers of property pay a state excise tax (called "deed stamps") upon sale in the amount of $4.56 per thousand of stated consideration in the deed. Barnstable County has long assessed an additional county excise tax for any property sold within Barnstable County, with sellers paying a combined state and county excise tax of $5.70 per thousand. It has just been announced that the Barnstable County deeds excise tax will increase so that as of July 1, 2009, any sale of property in Barnstable County will cost a seller a combined excise tax of $6.12 per thousand of sale price. Seller beware!

More In The Scam World

Continuing on the theme of the last post, it seems that regulatory bodies are starting to crack down on the companies taking advantage of homeowners in trouble. The New York Times reports today that Andrew Cuomo, state attorney general, is going after loan modification companies who are charging high up-front fees and delivering no results. Good work, Mr. Cuomo! Here is the link to the article: http//