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Closings May Be Delayed Due To Backlog Of Re-Appraisals

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TWC News: Closings May Be Delayed Due To Backlog Of Re-Appraisals
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If you're buying or selling right now, Hurricane Sandy might have another punch in store for you -- it could hold up your closing. NY1's Monica Brown filed the following report.

Appraiser Jon Storgion says all appraisals done in federal disaster areas up to 90 days before the hurricane hit have to be done again.

Every part of all five boroughs, and many of the surrounding suburbs, were declared federal disaster areas.

"I was making an appointment for someone who lives on the 23rd floor of a highrise on the Upper West Side and they asked me why is this necessary, I'm not located in a flood zone," Storgion says.

"I explained to them that FEMA designated all of the five boroughs a disaster area -- so that's the reason. A bank could be located in Minnesota -- they have no idea between the South Shore of Staten Island, Upper West Side, Rockaways."

Even if no repairs are required, with so many properties to re-inspect, appraisers say the sheer volume of work will cause delays for many.

"We're doing approximately 40 to 50 re-inspections each day right now," Storgion says. "This is on top of the number of new appraisal orders that come in each day. So we're busy."

Howard Morrel, senior vice president at Brown Harris Stevens, says there's another problem here -- the domino effect.

"Often in New York, someone who's purchasing an apartment is, on the other end, selling an apartment and depending on that income to make the purchase," Morrel says. "As a result, there's this backlog of apartments that are not closing."

Appraisers say re-inspections are ordered at the discretion of your lender.

So if you haven't heard anything, it's a good idea to check with your bank or your mortgage broker. The good news is, there's no additional cost involved.

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