Saturday, July 26, 2008

New Law Enacted to End Influencing of Appraisers

A new law passed by the Connecticut General Assembly which took effect on July 1st seeks to end the undue influencing of real estate appraisals. House Bill 5577 (An Act Concerning Responsible Lending and Economic Security) was passed during the February 2008 legislative session and means that mortgage brokers, lenders and real estate agents can no longer attempt to influence an appraiser's property valuation, and also makes it illegal for an appraiser to allow such influence to happen. The bill in its entirety can be found here.

According to the state Department of Consumer Protection, which oversees realtors and appraisers, and the state Department of Banking, any such attempt at influencing an aprraiser's valuation can be punished by a fine up to $1,000, suspension of the offending party's license, or both. Advocates of the new law say it is long overdue because they feel the practice of influencing appraisers is greatly responsible for artificially high housing prices and also the market correction we are now in. Without this type of deterrent and enforcement, it became commonplace for lenders to ask appraisers to value a property at certain amounts to facilitate home financing and sales. If an appraiser did not comply, it was often their future business that suffered.

Jerry Farrell, commissioner of the state Department of Consumer Protection (and Wallingford native!) says that out-of-state lenders are particularly troublesome and would be better off if they were more familiar with the state laws. Rob Clermont, owner of ValueQuest Appraisal, would like to see more laws requiring out-of-state brokers to be licensed in Connecticut before doing business here. Amen to that.

From the Realtor point of view, the law will likely put an end to the practice of providing an appraiser with comparable properties ("comps") to substantiate how the agent arrived at the listing price.

While certainly a step in the right direction, only time will tell if the new law will be effective or if, as is often the case, ways will be found to circumvent it. Stay tuned.

Zemanta Pixie

Friday, July 25, 2008

Recycling for Wallingford Residents

Recycle. We've all got somebody in our home who is the Recycle Police. You know what I mean:

"Don't throw that in the trash! Rinse it out and recycle it!"

"Is that clear glass or brown glass?"

"Do you know how many trees it takes to print the newspaper?"

They mean well, and we all know we need to recycle, but it's just so darn confusing! If you're selling your house soon and buying a new one, chances are you'll need to recycle some stuff to save space. But where the heck do you take a
ll that stuff? Well, I'm glad you asked. Herewith is a conpendium of information about what to recycle and where to do it in Wallingford;

Items for curbside pick-up by private haulers or for drop-off at recycling centers by residents:


  • Double layer cardboard with corrugation between layers
  • Must be FLATTENED and no larger than 3’ by 5’

GLASS food and beverage containers (Rinsed Clean)

  • Clear, brown and green glass ONLY
  • NO BROKEN GLASS of any kind

METAL food and beverage containers (Rinsed Clean)

  • Aluminum, steel and tin cans; also, clean aluminum foil and containers (such as pie plates)


  • Newspapers include all inserts delivered with paper
  • Can be bundled in BROWN paper bags ONLY or tied with string
  • No junk mail with plastic or foil coatings
  • At Recycling Center, keep junk mail and magazines/catalogs separate from newspapers.

PLASTICS #1 AND #2 ONLY (Rinsed Clean)

  • Look for the number in the triangular logo located on the bottom of the container
How to Recycle Other Required Items:

  • Lead acid vehicular batteries: Return to dealer when you buy a new one
  • Leaves & Brush: Use Town collection in spring (leaves/brush) and fall (leaves only) or Deliver to Compost Center located at 157 John St. Or make arrangements with your landscaper, or compost at home.
  • Rechargeable batteries (Ni-Cad): Take to local retailers--see for specific stores.
  • Scrap metal and major appliances (NO microwaves): Take to Recycling Center at 157 John St. or make arrangements with your hauler.
  • Used case oil only: Take to Recycling Center at 157 John St. -- 5-gallon maximum per visit.
  • White office paper: Take to Recycling Center at 157 John St.
Other Recycleable Items:

  • Books, DVDs, CDs, audiotapes and Videotapes in GOOD condition
  • Wallingford Public Library, 200 North Main Street. Call 203-265-6754 for information on items accepted/not accepted.
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Electronics Recycling (1-day event held in the Spring and Fall)(Next event is October 25th, 2008 at Lincoln Middle School, 164 Centennial Ave, Meriden, CT. The event runs from 9am to 1pm and is open to residents of Meriden, Wallingford, Cheshire, Hamden and North Haven.)
  • Contact private companies (Call DEP at 860-424-3365 or go to then click on Materials and Waste Management, then Reduce/Reuse/Recycle, then At Home)
  • Grass Clippings
  • Not accepted at any Town facility
  • Mulch onto your lawn OR compost at home OR Make arrangements with your landscaper.
  • Household Hazardous Waste
  • HazWaste Central @ Regional Water Authority,
    90 Sargent Drive, New Haven - 203-401-2713
    Open Saturdays, 9-12 noon, May-October
  • Metal Coat Hangers/Plastic Film
  • Return to dry-cleaning stores
  • Phone Books
  • Recycling Center @ 157 John St.
  • Plastic Grocery Bags
  • Check local stores
  • 20 lb. Tanks (from grills)
  • Go where refilled for exchange or disposal OR
  • Resident Disposal Program @ 25 Pent Road
  • Tires
  • Contact used tire dealers
  • Call DEP at 860-424-3365 or go to then click on Materials and Waste Management, then Reduce/Reuse/Recycle, then At Home
Ceramic plates or cupsAuto glassBeer cartons
Clay potsCrystalBooks
OvenwareDrinking glassCereal boxes
PorcelainLeaded glassGray cardboard
PyrexLight bulbsNotebooks
TileMason jarsPizza boxes
Oil FiltersPaint cansStyrofoam
Gas Cans/Tanks Spray cansSyringes/needles

Recycling Center Hours of Operation:

Monday.........................8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Thursday......................8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Saturday.......................8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

(if Holiday listed below falls on scheduled day of operation)

New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day

Zemanta Pixie

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mortgage Rate Update

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

All rate quotes are for a 60-day lock with 0 points

Conforming limits are up to a $417,000 loan limit*

30 yr conforming fixed: rate = 6.375% APR = 6.459%

15 yr conforming fixed: rate = 5.875% APR = 6.095%

7/1 yr conforming ARM: rate = 6.125% APR = 6.358%

5/1 yr conforming ARM: rate = 5.875% APR = 6.013%

30 yr FHA Fixed : rate = 6.250% APR = 6.359%

30 yr CHFA w/ 1 pt : rate = 5.750% APR = 5.992%


Jumbo loan limits range from $417,001 to $650,000*

30 yr jumbo fixed: rate = 6.625% APR = 6.885%

15 yr jumbo fixed: rate = 6.250% APR = 6.451%

7/1 yr jumbo ARM: rate = **** APR = ****


CHFA (Connecticut Housing Finance Authority) rates for the week of July 14 - 20, 2008:

Homebuyer Mortgage Plan:
Interest rate: 5.750 % (APR range 5.850 - 6.250 %)
Fees: Up to One Point (1% Origination Fee) * Payable to Lender
Term - 30 years, fixed rate

Downpayment Assistance Program (DAP)
(Rate listed is for DAP loans with Homebuyer Mortgage Program financing.)

Interest rate: 5.750 % (APR range 5.850 - 6.250 %)
Fees: Up to $200 Application Fee * Payable to Lender
Term - 30 years, fixed rate

(NOTE: If at any time the interest rate for the Homebuyer Mortgage Program exceeds 6%, the DAP interest rate will be capped at 6%.)

* Additional fees may apply

*Conforming loan limits listed above are for a single-family owner occupied residence.
Courtesy of The Harriman Team