Home Buying in 90804>Question Details

Michelewulf, Home Buyer in 90804

I am trying to buy a house in Southern California. The lender is telling me that they are unable to get an appraisal done on it. Using Equifax.

Asked by Michelewulf, 90804 Fri Jan 6, 2012

This is an old house, built in 1919. It is zoned residential but has been used as a private school since 1961. The appraisal companies are saying it is zoned commercial. I have called the city and the zoning has never been changed. I want to buy the house to live in. It is very large on a large lot, which is unusual for the neighborhood. How can I go forward with this? It is my dream home and I'm afraid I'll lose it because no one wants to do their job!

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Answers

19
I want to thank everyone who commented on my question. I got a lot of great suggestions! After many many phone calls, my lender was finally able to get an appraiser to go out to the house. Unfortunately on the same day I was notified by my realtor that I was out of escrow and the bank accepted a cash back-up offer. So it is done. Very sad for me but many lessons learned.

Again, thank you to everyone for taking the time to respond and help!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 15, 2012
Michele:

This is my neck of the woods, and I can tell you that the City of Long Beach WILL help you with the documents you need to show that the property IS zoned residential. Prior owners may have gotten a zoning variance and the appraisal company may be picking up on this, so check with the City to see how this affects the current zoning and if you can get the variance revoked. I have found them to extremely helpful, although you might have to go down there in person.

Sounds like your bigger problem is your lender. I have a local lender who could help you through this issue. Let me know if you would like a referral. You can contact me directly at the contact information below.

Good luck, hang in there and Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis, QSC®
Certified Distressed Property Expert – CDPE®
Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource – SFR®
Certified HAFA Specialist – CHS®
SSG Pro®
Your Real Estate Consultant for Life
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
424-2HELP12 (424-243-5712)
myrealestateanswers@gmail.com
http://shel-lee.listingbook.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 6, 2012
Michele Wulf,

thanks for keep us posted. Cash is king right now in the crazy real estate market. Good Luck, you will find the right home for you and your family.

Lesley Harris, Realtor
(562) 673-0943
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 16, 2012
Flavi Jada- My impression is "We Contributors" shall provide good sound advice to Trulia's Visitors.
No advice-is better- than bad advice as you stated, don' you agree?

"get a good mortgage broker (not a direct lender) as they have access to many lenders and may know of one that will lend and may know of one that will lend on your property as commercial or commercial/mixed use"

What wonderful source can you provide which documents any validity to that statement- would you be so kind to post that source on this thread? Certainly was not my "Little Book-site"

Or, does this just come from your acquired knowledge of financial resources in today's California Real Estate Industry- which using your common-sense- arrived at this conclusion- which you so generously share in a Trulia Threads?

http://www.umboc.com/PageContent.aspx?PageID=208 - Happy funding- Rudi
Web Reference: http://www.umboc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 15, 2012
After thought- Regarding appraisal- In addition to the AVM on my website- I also have a very reputable Appraiser on my website. He will return you email within 24-hours. Just click on the link
http://www.umboc.com/PageContent.aspx?PageID=225

Happy funding- Rudi
Web Reference: http://www.umboc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 14, 2012
Michelewulf- We have portfolio lenders which may lend on residential zoned commercial. Or- we have commercial lenders that may lend residential under your situation.

You may need a substantial down payment due to what yo described. There will not be any comparable sales and you wish to purchase as a primary residence with no income produced from the property.

You must be an excellent borrower in all aspects of lender's perceived risk-levels.

The reason you are being denied is lenders are "doing their job." They must adhere to their firms' guidelines. .... Happy funding- Rudi
Web Reference: http://www.umboc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 14, 2012
Hi Michelle,
I think you need a new lender. This should be a relatively simple transaction. (1) The lender approves you for a loan, and (2) an appraiser is assigned to make the appraisal to verify the value of the home. With a house like you are describing it may be more difficult to get comps, but the appraiser's job is to make an appraisal, that is how they get paid.

Let me know if I can help in any way.

Best regards,
Gene Scott
Mark 1 Mortgage
ERA Buy America Real Estate Services
562-212-2345
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 9, 2012
I really appreciate all of your suggestions. We have not had an appraisal done yet....no one wants to deal with it!
I am putting 20% down on a conventional loan. Plus, the house in question is VERY large, almost 6,000 sqft, which I think is turning some of the appraisers off as well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 7, 2012
Michele Wulf,

alot of great comments and helpful ideas. I agree that you may need to go to the city and do some of the leg work yourself. Also, you may need another lender and /or perhaps be required to put more of a down payment 20%(?) +

LBDS - Zoning Ordinances


http://www.lbds.info/planning/current_planning/zoning_ordinances.asp

Lesley Harris, Realtor
(562) 673-0943
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 7, 2012
Michelewulf,

What you're running into is a "square peg in a round hole" situation. The square peg is the property and the round hole is conventional/FHA lending requirements. There are a lot of good answers below but most seem to be saying to work with a lender that would provide a loan not backed by Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac or the FHA. But if you need those products because of your down payment, using a local lender may not be an option. Can you clarify for us the purchase price and intended down payment? This information will help future responses be more refined and helpful to you.

Rob Spinosa
rspinosa@rpm-mtg.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 6, 2012
Dear Michele,
Excellent answers below. One additional strategy is to change lenders and start over with a new appraisal. This will also allow your Realtor to meet with the appraiser and hand him or her all the zoning documentation from the City. The cost to go to a new lender is a little time and the cost of an additional appraisal. Certainly may be worth the effort if this is your dream home.

Call me at 562-212-2345 if I can help.

Good luck.
Gene Scott
Mark 1 Mortgage
562-212-2345
DRE #01318595
NMLS #355113
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 6, 2012
Hi Michele,
First congratulations on being in escrow for this historical home. There is much history in Long Beach and once you close escrow you should hook up with groups like the Long Beach Heritage Society.
Our office is in Long Beach and we have an appraiser that is excellent, John Corpus 562-644-7600. The challenge is the lender and if they are limited on who is approved on their appraisal list or are being force to go to the big directory and be on a rotation to get any appraiser. You may need to switch lenders.
It appears that the house should still be under a Residential Zoning. Are you doing an FHA loan? If so they have their own guidelines, but if there requirements are in satisfied, ie: heat source, no peeling paint, no bare wires etc etc they should move forward. John Corpus has been appraising for a very long time and may be a good source for you to explore and get some direction, feedback and excellent appraisal.
I own historial property and love these wonderful homes. If I can help in any way please let me know.
Best to you.
Jerry LeGris, broker associate, DRE#00885785 Prudential Calif Realty 888-441-8751
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 6, 2012
Michelewulf, there is someone that can give info to the appraisal company. The rules have changed but there are exceptions to the rules! Ask your lender to speak to their supervisor, underwriter, appraisal ordering department - SOMEONE that can get the info to the appraiser or demand the appraiser checks the info with the city. Equifax is your lender?

Dot Chance, Realtor®
Certified Distressed Property Expert – CDPE®
DRE License #01494182
Keller Williams Realty World Media Center
http://www.DotChance.com
818.339.7712

WHEN YOU THINK OF REAL ESTATE...Think DotChance.com! My business thrives from your referrals!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 6, 2012
Thank you for such quick responses! I have sent the lender the zoning from the city. They are telling me that Equifax has not been able to find an appraiser willing to appraise this house. It is so frustrating. I am told that no one is allowed to contact these appraisal companies to explain the zoning situation. Is there anyway I can push the lender or Equifax to get this done? I'm supposed to close on January 16th!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 6, 2012
I understand you might have your reasons to pursue this particular property, but with a large pool of other properties in the market, it might be a lot easier to focus on properties that do not have these kind of issues.

For an online list of properties in Long Beach, go to:

http://www.investinsouthbay.com/web/pgcnfID_112248/Long-Beac…

Feel free to call me; I have helped many buyers with difficult criteria in the past.


Salim Patel
Realtor. DRE 01241927

The RealEstate Group

(310) 528-4271 Cell

email: Salim@InvestinSouthBay.com
http://www.InvestinSouthBay.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 6, 2012
If this is your dream home then you should probably fight for it. Excellent answers below. Get it in writing from the city that it is zoned for residential use and have your lender go back to the appraiser and have him/her do the job!

All the best to you!

Dot
Dot Chance, Realtor®
Certified Distressed Property Expert – CDPE®
DRE License #01494182
Keller Williams Realty World Media Center
http://www.DotChance.com
818.339.7712

WHEN YOU THINK OF REAL ESTATE...Think DotChance.com! My business thrives from your referrals!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 6, 2012
Hi Michele,

More information is needed to help you. It sounds simple. I have over 25 years in the RE business and get down to the bottom of an issue to resolve it. You may need to involve City employees or Government officials to help you. I am connected and know how to go about getting you answers. Please call me as soon as possible at my direct line...Heather Raphael, Main Street Realtors, 562-719-2327. I look forwarding to it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 6, 2012
Your buyer's agent may be able to help you get something from the city showing that the current zoning is residential, and that should help you challenge the appraiser. If it's your dream home, you should keep fighting for it and make sure your lender and buyer's agent are helping you with that fight. Good luck to you!
Web Reference: http://www.Showmehome.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 6, 2012
You should provide a copy of the zoning map showing it is zoned residential to your loan officer. Even if used as a school if it meets teh croteria of a residential home such as working kitchen, bathroom, bedroom an appraiser should be able to find comps for it. If it is zoned commercial you may need a commercial mortgage ior get it changed to residential which you may need a lawyer for. your buyer agent should be standing up and helping you.
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 6, 2012
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