24 January 2014

Loans for Modern Homes Are Possible

Tobias Kaiser, modern architecture specialist and broker

When you are working with modern architecture, one of the big problems can be the appraisal (and the loan) for a modernist home. 

To quote my friend George Smart from the non-profit North Carolina Modernist Homes:

Just mention a Modernist-house loan, and most bankers give a deer-in-the-headlights look that usually ends in time-consuming disappointment. 

The loan process can take many months, if it happens at all, and getting comped against non-Modernist neighborhood houses can yield unrealistically low appraisals.  

Home buyers in the North Carolina Triangle region, an area chock full of modern architecture (though not quite as many documented as in Southeast Florida counting over 2,400 mod residences) got a break: 

They now have a lender (Harrington Bank) that seems to have at least some understanding of the uniqueness of modern houses. Utilising the extensive architecture archives of NCMH, the bank states: 

Rather than restricting [three comparables] to just a few miles away, if there are no Modernist homes found nearby we’ll use two additional specifically Modernist homes up to 20 miles from the subject property. That means we can comp against previous Modernist homes almost anywhere in the Triangle. 

I count myself lucky enough to have recently worked with three (!) different Southeast Florida appraisers who know and appreciate modern architecture. Not one but three - that is a miracle in itself.

But if you are a South Florida lender – or know of one – who understands and works with modern architecture, and is willing to go the extra mile (or 20), please do drop me a note! Many thanks.

*Raleigh - Durham - Chapel Hill. Full disclosure: no consideration of any type has been received in exchange for this blog post.

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