I heard of a recent deal where some buyers purchasing their first home with a conventional loan got a surprise two weeks before closing. Their financing was approved, home inspection had been done and minor repairs made by seller, appraisal was ordered and done, appraisal came in at value, but with a comment that could have made the deal fall apart. The appraiser commented that the sidewalk corner was uplifted by trees, was a tripping hazard, and recommended repairs. Remember, this was a conventional loan, not an FHA or other federal program that requires additional criteria. If you live in Bend, Oregon, this describes sidewalks in a large portion of older neighborhoods. I really don't understand why an appraiser would make this comment unless it would be a lender criteria like peeling paint for FHA, VA, etc. In my mind, their job is to assure the lender of the value of the home. Well, what happened, is lender could not ignore this comment which probably should never have been made, so we had one week to get the sidewalk fixed which is not enough time to do it properly by removing the panel, cutting out the roots, and obtaining a permit, so all you can do in that time frame is a temporary fix which is pretty much useless. The seller had a concrete cutter come to grind down the uplifted sidewalk corner. As long as the trees are there in the public right of way which extends into that portion of the yard, the problem will recur regularly as the trees continue their thing and cutting the roots will probably kill the tree or cause new ones to take their place. I found out it could be a very complicated process to get a permit to remove the tree, replace it with an approved tree, get a permit to replace the sidewalk panels, and to schedule a contractor to do the work. Definitely not something you could do in a week. The permit cost for the sidewalk alone was $600 for 2 panels. The reason we had to do repair work was for potential liability if someone tripped, but that is what insurance is for. However good the intentions of the appraiser were, this comment only created stress and unnecessary expenditure.
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