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Mark Resident

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  1. I had sales data on all the units sold in the building. There are 300 units and they are all very similar except for sq feet and elevation (30 floors in the building) Instead of using actual sales on the higher floors (where my freind's unit is ) they took sales on the lower floors, which sold for less money due to the lower elevation, and then "adjusted" them to be comparable to his unit (i.e., if the unit were moved to a higher floor, what would it be worth?) and then came up with ridiculously high dollar values. When I asked them to explain there methodology, they conveniently plead ignorance. There have been some units that have sold on the higher floors but they chose to ignore those sales, even though they were comperable; because, their way came up with a higher number. And then, conveniently, they don't have to explain why. I was really very irritated by the whole process... It just seem like a complete sham. And then they completely ignore his appraisal done in April (by a professional appraisor) saying it was too late in the year(three month later) Very lame...
  2. I was helping a freind in my building protest his 1/1/09 appraisal. HCAD appraised his place $45000 higher than an official appraisal he had done in April 09. This so called "impartial" panel ignored everything I had to say and/or documentation I showed them. They said the appraisal was "too late in the year" (3 months after Jan 1) but in coming up with THEIR appraisal, they compared his unit to properties sold in Jan and Feb 08, 10 MONTHS before end of year AND before the economy tanked, home values hit the skids, the hurricane, the mortgage crisis, etc.etc. I asked for an explanation for the inconsistancy; I got none. And, when they couldn't find any units similar to his that sold near the end of the year for what his was appraised at, they included units on lower floors that sold for half as much and then came up with an "adjusted sales value" that was considerably higher. One unit on the second floor had a selling price of $205000 and an "adjusted selling price" of $351000. I asked them how they came up with that and was told they "dont have this information available". In other words "we pulled these numbers out of our asses and we don't have to tell you anything about how we did it"-- which is certainly fair, dont you think? The whole process was so slanted against the protestor it was unbeleivable. They shut down any serious attepmts at discussion with with half baked answers or they would keep repeating "we are running out of time" or "we must move on". The whole thing took about 10 minutes. What a waste of taxpayor money, going through the motion of doing something just to say "see, we are fair, we give you a chance to prove us wrong!" And, if this wasn't bad enough, when we were finished, one panel member, a rather old caucasion man, made a snarky comment to my freind, pointing to some literature that explains the arbitration process, that it was available in both english and spanish (my freind is asian and didn't say much because oh his limited english speaking skills) . It was just all one big joke. I really want to follow up on this with some kind of action but dont know what. Is this pretty standard fare fot treating people by the Appraisal district?
  3. They ended up giving me the 150 application fee but not the 350 property appraisal. If you own and want to refinance or you are trying to buy a condo DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use COMPASS BANK because they WILL NOT fund your loan but by golly they will take your money applying for the loan and keep it!!!
  4. My refinance nightmare... I tried to get my condo refinanced. The appraisal came in $50,000 below my purchase price a year ago. So, ok, I know everyone is having trouble with appraisals so I decide to just go along with it and pay down my original mortgage so I could get my rate lowered from 6.5% to 4.75%. Then, after 4 months of waiting they turned me down because my condo association had a special assessment last year and a high receivable associated with it. Well, now most of the receivable is gone and the so called special assessment happened because of the hurricane, which, I am guessing, probably happened to everybody in Houston that owns a condo. So my question is, is this an appropriate and good faith business practice? The fact they are relying on outdated information that is not even relevent anymore to conclude my HOA is insolvent, when it never was in the first place, seems rather arbitrary, like they were just trying to find some reason to turn me down. I live at the Mark and the HOA is well managed. I'm a CPA so I should have some clue about that. The last thing the loan officer said was that it is very hard to get a condo loan right now. My question is, why didn't they tell me that before I gave them $500 for an application fee. And then there is the appraisal. Are they telling me that my place is worth less than the appraised amount? Bottom line, should I be able to get my application fee back? Anybody know? I sent an email to the lending agent requesting it but have not heard back yet. I would appreciate some feedback from folks who know about this stuff... Thanks
  5. Actually, there is nothing wrong with it... It's a pretty cool space with three stories on the 30 thru 32 floors and a nice view of the galleria. I just would hate to be relying on a dishonest broker to facilitate the sale and subsequent buildout. If you go into it with your eyes wide open and, perhaps, have someone else build it out for you then you might be ok. Just double check everything; square footage, etc. and not rely on anything this man says because he is a BS'er By the way, it has been on the market for several years. In the beginning they were asking close a million for it. Every 6 months or so they chop off another 50 grand give or take. I think part of the problem is it's a little too much condo for this building, even if it is nice. By the time you get it built out you are looking at close to a million bucks in a building where anything rarely sells for more than 300K. If I had a million to spend I would probably go over to the Cosmo or maybe even 2727 kirby. There is a completed unit across the way that is identical (three stories 4000 sqfeet, same floor plan) that is gorgeous and for sale at $999k. It took several years to sale too. They started at 1.4 million and finally sold it for $835K back in 07. They don't have the gallaria view but its a very nice unit if you want to check it out on HAR.com. Nothing wrong with the mark though but it is not that upscale and the building is beginning to show its age. I went to my first board annual meeting last week and was impressed. We have reasonably good management too.
  6. No... it's not her. He currently has a unit listed at the Mark. It is an unfinished penthouse unit (next door to mine) for about 600K. I feel sorry for who ever buys that thing...
  7. Fair enough... I purchased the last remaining unit at the Mark back in September. It is a small penthouse unit. I made an appointment with the listing agent at the Mark and he didn't show. This agent is pretty high profile and handled most of the Mark sales. He (and his company, which he is the "president" of) are now handling all of the sales for another nearby galleria condo conversion. So after he didn't show, as luck would have it, another agent who lives in the building was showing a unit and just happened to walk past me just as I was getting ready to leave. He ended up showing me the unit and I subsequently purchased it. Needless to say the listing agent lost half of his commission (about 10 grand) so I suppose their is some poetic justice there... As for the agent who walked by, he is great. His name is Ben Ho and he really went the extra mile for me as I was a novice about real estate transactions. He now lists a townhouse I own in the Sharptstown area for sale in case anyone is interested (pardon the shameless plug...) We had an inspection the day before we closed on the unit. The floor in the unit is completely covered in slate, which is pretty but was poorly installed. My agent immediately noticed it and started asking questions. After it became apparent that much of the tile was poorly installed (loose and/or hollowsounding) the listing agent reassured me that it would be fixed after closing. It was also noted on the inspection paperwork that the unit needed to be cleaned. To make a long story short, he never followed up on anything. He doesn't return phone calls, respond to emails, and even told my Agent in a phone conversation several months later that he would do something, and he never did. He is just your typical jerk that once he got his money, he just doesn't care, and will say anything to you just to get you out of his face. I would say that around 10 to 15% of the tile has problems. Plus, there is alot of other installation work that looks awful, like the baseboards that don't match up to the tile (leaving gaps big enough to stick your fingers in) along with alot of other small, sloppy finishing work. I also discovered that the square footage was advertised around 200 ft larger than the unit actually is, which, I now understand happens alot in this industry. Anyway, I suppose that I have some recourse against him but like most people who probably participate in this forum, I work hard and alot of hours and I just don't have the time and the dollar cost of repairs would probably just end up in some lawyers pocket anyway. Just be careful of this guy if you choose to do business with him. He is not truthful and he is unreliable. Once he has his money, he will say anything just to get you off his back. Had I been smarter (and I am now, I think...) I would have insisted that everything be fixed before closing, even if it resulted in a delay.
  8. I recently had a bad experience with a local realtor. Are we allowed to discuss this type of issue in this forum? this is totally new for me... Thanks
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