Changes to Fannie's Selling Guide dated April 15, 2014

Fannie’s Selling Guide, which includes appraisal guidelines has been updated.

Be sure to use the new Selling Guide to find out what Fannie really says vs. what your client thinks Fannie says!!

Summary of appraisal changes

New or Updated Policies
Chapter B4

Some of the new requirements/changes:

Added the requirement that a front photograph of the subject must be taken when completing the Appraisal Update portion of the Appraisal Update and/or Completion Report (Form 1004D) to validate that the appraiser has inspected at least the exterior of the property when he or she performed the
appraisal update.

Unpermitted additions
If the appraiser identifies an addition(s) that does not have
the required permit, the appraiser must comment on the quality and appearance of the work and its impact, if any, on the market value of the subject property.

Older Comparable sales
Revised the policy by removing the requirement that an explanation is required when using a comparable sale that is older than six months

Provided an example to illustrate that in some instances it
may be appropriate to use older sales with proper time
adjustments rather than a dissimilar more recent sale.
An older sale may be more appropriate in situations when
market conditions have impacted the availability of recent
sales as long as the appraisal reflects the changing market
conditions.

Information related to Fannie Mae’s acceptance of unique
property types has been provided.

The definition/characteristics and the eligibility of an
accessory dwelling unit have been provided.

Be sure to use the new Selling Guide to find out what Fannie really says vs. what your client thinks Fannie says!!

Link to summary:
https://www.fanniemae.com/content/announcement/sel1403.pdf

Link to new Web based documents:
https://www.fanniemae.com/content/guide/selling/index.html

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Japan's disposable homes

During my morning walks, I listen to podcasts. One of my favorites is Freakonomics Radio (Yes, the same guys that wrote the book)
I recently listed to a podcast where they analyzed Japan’s very unusual home sale market. They consider many homes to last about 20 years (economic life) and then they are demolished and new homes built.
A few excerpts from the summary of the podcast:
It turns out that half of all homes in Japan are demolished within 38 years – compared to 100 years in the U.S.  There is virtually no market for pre-owned homes in Japan, and 60 percent of all homes were built after 1980. In Yoshida’s estimation, while land continues to hold value, physical homes become worthless within 30 years. Other studies have shown this to happen in as little as 15 years.
In the podcast, we look into several factors that conspire to produce this strange scenario. They include: economics, culture, World War II, and seismic activity.
Richard Koo, chief economist at the Nomura Research Institute, has argued in a paper called “Obstacles to Affluence: Thoughts on Japanese Housing” that whatever the rationale behind the disposable-home situation, the outcome isn’t desirable…
My comment: Fascinating and worth listening to!! Very interesting for appraisers, especially.

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How accurate is the reported square footage from the tax records in your primary service area?

How accurate is the reported square footage from the tax records in your primary service area?
3/10/14 poll – www.appraisalport.com
Poll Results
– Very accurate for most homes 869 votes – 16%
– Mostly accurate (about 75% of the time) 2495 votes – 55%
– Hit and miss (about 50% of the time). 1470 votes – 27%
– Not reliable (accurate less than 25% of the time). 475 votes – 9%
– The tax records do not usually show the square footage in my area. 127 votes – 2%
Total votes = 5,346
My comment: AMCs seem to be assuming that tax records are more reliable than appraisers’ measurements. WRONG!! I started appraising at an assessor’s office in 1975. We were no more accurate than any other appraisers and never thought that our square footages were exact.
I used to do a lot of relocation appraisals where 2 or 3 appraisers were hired to appraise the same property. Very, very seldom did the appraisers have the same square footage.
A few years ago, a local real estate agent asked me about an appraisal where the sketch did not match the house. Tax records sq.ft. was way off. The appraiser had “fudged” the dimensions to match public records.
Do many appraisers do this to avoid AMC hassles or they were taught to do this by their supervisors?
I have always looked at tax records sq.ft. as a cross check, but never assumed it was more accurate than my measured sq.ft. In some neighborhoods and cities they are accurate and are very unreliable in other areas as they often are not correct.

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