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How We Helped Laura Buy a New House



"First of all, they sold my house very quickly at a fair price. They did all the legwork so I really was able to go to work and focus on what I needed to focus on in my life. They helped me buy a new house and they managed to coordinate both the sale and the purchase of my new house all on the same day. On one occasion Greg Merdes came out at 26 below zero to find the waste vents for our septic system because my husband was unable to do it. And so Greg borrowed his equipment from someone, came out, dug around, and found the waste vents and marked them on his own time and on a Sunday at 26 below zero. He did not have to do that." 

Oh No, My VA Appraisal Came in Low!



Low appraisals are bad news for everyone, but the process is a little bit more complicated for veterans. Luckily, you do have a few options.

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What do you do when your VA appraisal comes in low? 

Low appraisals are the bane of my existence. First, though, it’s important that you know about the Tidewater Initiative. 

Your lender or buyer’s agent will let you know when the appraiser invokes tidewater. This has nothing to do with floodplains or your ability to purchase the home. The Tidewater Initiative simply means that the appraiser believes they will come in low on the report. Through the Tidewater Initiative, you will know ahead of time. The agent then has 72 hours to provide additional comps in order to help the home come in at the agreed-upon value.

Once the appraiser completes their report, they’ll submit it to the VA. The VA will underwrite the appraisal and issue your notice of value, or N.O.V. That’s when we know what the value is and what kind of financing the veteran can obtain. If the notice of value is lower than the contracted purchase price, then we have a problem because a VA loan needs 100% financing.

At this point in time, your agent can request a reconsideration of value. There is a formal process for this, but basically the reconsideration of value checks to see if the appraiser made any mistakes or miscalculations. After all, appraisers are human and humans make mistakes. Realtors put information into the MLS and it’s up to the appraiser to decipher it; mistakes can be made. 


Your agent can request a reconsideration of value.

During the reconsideration of value, we may also find other comparables in the report that weren’t initially used to justify the purchase price. 

There are no guarantees that the reconsideration of value will actually work. You need solid evidence to support the case. I’ve done a few of these successfully, and the biggest one was a $10,000 upswing. I had to find photos, comparable sales, and have the buyer write a letter. It can be a lot of work to get those reconsiderations through. 

If the reconsideration fails, you are stuck with three options: 
  1. Ask the seller to lower the purchase price. As the buyer, you are protected by the VA loan. You can get out of the deal and get your earnest money back if the seller doesn’t agree to lower the price, which kind of forces the seller’s hand. 
  2. Make up the difference in cash. You and the seller can meet in the middle or you can make up the difference on your own. If you are able to put up to 5% down, you can lower your VA funding fee.
  3. You can walk away from the deal. Unfortunately, you may have lost some time, energy, and money on things like inspections during this transaction. On the bright side, your earnest money is protected. 
A low VA appraisal can be a disastrous surprise, so make sure you work with an agent who is trained in VA loans and can perform a market analysis prior to making an offer on the home. Your agent should also know the reconsideration process. 

If you have any other questions about this process, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

An Exciting Message From Dar Walden & Wes Madden




Wes Madden and Dar Walden are together today for a special announcement.

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You might be wondering why I'm joined by my colleague Wes Madden in today's video. We actually have some exciting news to share: The Dar Walden Team and Madden Real Estate, two of the top real estate teams in Alaska, are merging!

To put that into perspective, last year we served a combined 778 clients with almost $200 million in sales volume. The best part is that Madden Real Estate will be part of the Keller Williams group, the world's largest franchise that has more than 150,000 agents and 800 offices around the world.

We teamed up so that we could provide our clients with true statewide service, making us the only team that serves all of Alaska. Our website is actually your only broker-owned source for all Alaska MLS listings. 

We also have a worldwide referral network. If you're moving out of state, we can take care of any and all of your needs thanks to our network of 150,000 worldwide agents. 



The merger also adds even more horsepower to our proven marketing systems.


The merger also adds even more horsepower to our proven marketing systems. You might already know that we have some of the most progressive and exciting marketing strategies, and our merger will let us have synergy between all of our ideas and campaigns. We also share many of the same endorsements, including Barbara Corcoran, Glenn Beck, and Gary LeVox from Rascal Flatts. 

We also share a lot of core values; this whole deal simply wouldn't work if we didn't. Having a team with two people that carry the same belief system is truly an amazing thing.

So if you're interested in buying or selling a home here in Alaska or you're interested in a career in real estate, just give us a call or send us an email. We'd love to hear from you!