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Hail-pocked roofs cast shadow over Oklahoma City home sales

Wall Street investors are looking harder than ever at mortgage loans and the houses involved, so lenders are, too — all the way to the hail-pocked roof.
by Richard Mize Published: June 2, 2012

The hail dinged more than roofs. Those stones, a few as big as cantaloupes, knocked the teeth out of some home sales in progress, too.

Skittish Wall Street investors are looking harder than ever at every single home loan before buying it, which means lenders extending the loans are scrutinizing every aspect of every deal on every house — all the way to the hail-damaged roof.

This week's storms, similar in some ways to the May 16, 2010, hailstorms, which took months for roofers to work through, could slow hundreds of home sales in progress, Realtors said. Some deals could be derailed.

State Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak declared an emergency Wednesday morning to allow insurance companies to be able to bring in extra adjusters to help handle claims. Later in the day, Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for Oklahoma County and 34 others to enable state agencies to more readily help local authorities.

Whether it's Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae making the call or a local lender knowing how ticklish secondary investors are, any question that arises about the property collateralizing a home loan will be resolved before a deal goes through, said Nathan Bednar, of First Mortgage Co. in Oklahoma City.

And that means confirmation — and reconfirmation — that a roof is in good shape, he said.

Realtor Linda Finch said she wasn't positive that a couple of sales she'd hoped to wrap up on Monday would be straightened out in time for the scheduled closing.

One seller is a building company that agreed to make any roof repairs necessary. The other is an owner-occupier, she said, which could make the deal a little dicey. No matter how close to closing a transaction is, the property belongs to the owner until the deal is done — and the owner's homeowners insurance gets the hit.

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by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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