Second mortgage FAQs by Kevin Slemko

Second mortgages: Popular FAQs

Second mortgages can be useful - but it's important to know what you're getting into As appraisers, it's not unusual for us to be asked to provide a valuation for a property when a second mortgage is being considered. Because second mortgages are, as their name suggests, 'second in line' to be repaid after the first mortgage, the amount of equity in the property is even more crucial than for a first mortgage. Lenders want to be assured that in…...
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Midtown Appraisal Group southern Ontario
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Cleaning, clutter and style: Do they affect appraised value?

The answer is...it depends. As an appraiser, I'm often asked some version of this question: "My house is a mess and I just found out they want to send the appraiser tomorrow. Do you think it'll make a huge difference to the appraised value?" The standard, professional answer is, of course: "No, it won't affect value. Appraisers are trained to look at the structure and layout of the house, and overlook the sinkful of dirty dishes. Don't worry." The truth,…...
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Kevin Slemko of Midtown Appraisal Group on valuation factors

What goes into an appraised value?

It's not just a comparison to the house next door. It happens to every appraiser, often once a week: Someone involved in the property buying and selling process says something like "Yeah, this appraisal won't be that hard. The house across the street sold a month ago and it's pretty much the same layout, so we expect the value of our property to be about that price - well, a bit more probably, since prices are going up so fast!"…...
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Alternate uses for real estate appraisals in ONtario
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5 other reasons to get a professional real estate appraisal

(Outside of a sale or purchase) Anyone who's ever bought a piece of property - especially a residential home - involving a mortgage is probably familiar with the appraisal requirement: Very few banks or mortgage financing companies will lend money for home purchase without ensuring that a professional appraisal has been done. They need to know that their investment is reasonable and protected. However, there are several other situations in which appraisals make sense - and can spare you from…...
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Kevin Slemko AACI appraiser on Canada mortgages
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Mortgages in Canada: A range of options

It's best to understand your options before you shop If you've been thinking about buying a home in Canada, you've probably also been thinking about mortgages. If you've ever spoken to anyone at your bank or other financial institution about mortgages, you probably know there are a sometimes-bewildering number of options. But what do they all mean? Here, we break down your choices, and provide a high-level outline of the differences. Conventional mortgages This is probably what most people think…...
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Kevin Slemko AACI appraiser Hamilton

How do appraisals work?

Residential appraisals are more straightforward than you think You've sold your house, but your offer is conditional upon an appraisal by the bank. What does this mean? The buyers of your home have applied for a mortgage from a bank, with the house used as collateral. The bank gets an appraisal to ensure that there's enough value in the home to cover the mortgage in the event the buyers default. (Depending on the financial institution, the client and the economic…...
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Kevin Slemko AACI appraiser on spending too much

“But that bathroom cost me $27,000!”

When valuations don't reflect the money the homeowner spent I hadn't been an AACI for very long when it happened: I was doing an inspection of a pretty standard, older 3-bedroom bungalow outside of Hamilton, and the homeowner insisted I see the master bathroom first. "You have to see this!" he said, leading me toward the back of the house. When I got to the bathroom door, I guess my face didn't register the amazement he expected, because he started…...
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Overcoming appraisal myths by Midtown Appraisals
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The big appraisal myths, debunked

This infographic (below) from The Appraisal Institute has been around for a couple of years now, but I came across it again recently and I think it's still worth a look, especially if you're new to the appraisal process. (NOTE: The infographic refers to federal legislation in the US, and some of those laws may not be applicable in Canada, or in the Canadian province in which you live. If you're in any doubt about what information applies to you,…...
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Kevin Slemko AACI appraiser
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Appraisal delays driving you bonkers?

There are a bunch of reasons why they're happening. If you've been involved in the sale of a residential property in Ontario in the past 3 years - whether as a vendor, purchaser, real estate agent, mortgage broker or lawyer - you know that residential appraisals seem to take longer than they used to. Unfortunately, the current extended timelines for residential appraisals are a result of several different factors, not all of which are easily solved. However, the more you…...
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Midtown appraisal group on types of Ontario home

Types of house in Ontario: The basics

Do you know the differences? At first glance, 'house types' seems obvious: We all know the difference between a 1-storey house and a 2-storey house, right? But different terminology is used for different types of homes based not just on how many storeys they contain, but also on the way the floors are arranged. Here's an overview of the most common types of homes you'll see in Ontario. (There are other types, but most of them are just slight adaptations…...
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