Kudos to the homeowner who made the effort and recommended Pat Kelly of RE/MAX. Plenty of agents will recommend themselves, but a local agent recommended by a past client is a valuable asset. Pat Kelly is one of the best. Good luck to you.... more
When it comes to any safety/crime related issues, it's always best to contact the local authorities with all your questions, hear all there is to hear firsthand. If unfamiliar with the area(s) do revisit more than once and at different times of day, possibly chat with locals/neighbors. Real estate professionals are prohibited from steering, enticing a buyer to purchase/rent, or not, in specific neighborhoods.
Tony: It had not occurred to me that the difference in bedroom count upended a mortgage deal and therefore a house deal. If that is the case, as a buyer, you are "out from under" your contract. That's one of the usual contingencies: no mortgage, no deal and escrow refunded. This may be a very good thing for you.
A separate issue is the one where our government has handed complete control (in the short term) to appraisers. As Ms. Feenick, an unusually wise and experienced agent, notes that the appraiser's rule is law these days. Yes, there is an anticipation of an appeals procedure but, like most things of this nature, it will cost time and additional money (someone is going to have to pay for the time of appeals "judge.") In the case Ms. Feenick cites, the appraiser may, indeed, have been right. Basement living space often has only the very small basement type window or, as in the case of some basements, no window at all. I have never advertised such a room as a bedroom and now, with the building code for new construction insisting on full accessibility from the exterior to any bedroom, the appraiser may have decided, from an evaluation point of view, that the room in question had no value that could secure a loan.
The rest of my earlier advice, being as appropriate as ever, still stands.