Posts Tagged ‘mls listings’

Determining a homes value is not always as easy as it seems.  While your real estate agent and ultimately, a real estate appraiser will determine the true value of the house you are buying, it’s a good idea for the first time home buyer to have some basic understanding of how home valuation works.

Your Real Estate Agent should be able to give you sales in the areas you are interested in. In addition to sales you should be looking at active sales. Your Real Estate Agent can supply you with active sales in addition there are several websites that show sales for the area.  You can also access MLS listings in your area on line through a number of free real estate websites

Please Note:

Comparing sales and active listings to homes you are interested in you need to make sure you understand what is comparable. What meets FNMA guidelines in comparing properties.

If homes in your area have basements, make sure you compare the living space (above grade finished square feet) to living space and basement (below grade finished square feet) to basement. Other words you can’t consider rooms and finished square feet in the basement and compare them to rooms and finished square feet in the living space. They must be separated and compared accordingly.

FNMA requirements for split foyers/split levels state that the “lower level”, regardless of its percentage of finish or percentage of area above grade, unless it is 100% above grade, be considered as “finished basement” and only the area fully above grade be considered finished living area.

When dealing with finished expansion areas you need to consider ease of entry and to make sure the ceiling height meets local codes and/or FNMA guidelines. Also the area must be finished similar to the main level. (Check local codes)

When dealing with bedrooms – the bedroom must have a closet and it needs to be separate from other rooms by closing a door or doors. It can’t be a room that is used to get to another room or bedroom, etc.

These are some of the most common misconceptions about homes. These and other factors affect value of the home.

Other factors that need to be considered and may or may not affect value. Scenic views, corner lots, busy streets, function utility, etc.

If you need more help on these matters please leave a comment or email us at


First time home buyers have been sending in a lot of questions lately and one that comes up frequently is “What is the MLS?”  I shot a short video here with an explanation of the mls and information about where you can find free access to the mls and mls listings online for most of the cities and metro areas in the US.  Visit to use the mls to help you find a home.  Many of the metro areas also have map based mls search available. This free real estate service is provided by local real estate agents and Realtors.Enjoy and if you have more questions about the mls, finding a home or anything else, please use our form at the bottom of this page

If you haven’t heard, the seller funded down payment assistance programs like Nehemiah will no longer be available after October 1st.  Many lenders have already stopped offering these programs.  If you are a first time home buyer and you have no money for a down payment, you better find and buy a home fast!

To see millions of homes for sale and mls listings all over the US, visit, a national directory of mls listings with free access for consumers.