The most dangerous places to drive in the world

Take a break and check out these places…


Driving can be dangerous, and every one of us who attempt to control those speeding steel boxes of ours will, at some time or another, experience a dangerous or life-threatening situation. But the truth is, despite the occasional error of judgement or climate, driving in the US is largely safe, and you will most likely get to your destination calm and in one piece (or just in one piece, because traffic, right?). The world, however, is not the US, or even western Europe. And as you will see, driving styles, laws, and road conditions vary so much, that what might be an everyday commute for a native of Afghanistan would be a death-defying (or outright death-inviting) thrill ride for a driver in the Land of the Free.

My comment: Guess I won’t complain (as much) about getting stuck between 2 giant big rigs on the freeway ;>


Complaints about high appraisal fees and long turn times


Appraisers Remain Under Siege – Jonathan Miller

(Scroll down the page past the second graph)


Here is a series of feedback from Rob Chrisman in his must read newsletter on the mortgage industry. It is a heavily read source of in-the-trenches mortgage insights that I subscribe to. He gave me permission to share his recent content on the appraisal industry and will share more of it in the coming weeks. I inserted my thoughts following each quote:

“And appraisals are always a hot topic. I received this note from an originator. “Our appraisal environment is out of control. Appraisals we used to get in 1-2 weeks have quickly gone to 3-4 weeks. Appraisals that were just $400 are now $550 and sometimes up to $1,100 for FHA and conventional appraisals. With the rules regulating appraisers on how to become an appraiser and how appraisers have to monitor everything an apprentice appraiser does, it is causing our homebuyers hardship. With the appraiser’s current workloads and the amount of appraisers we have lost in recent years, there is no motivation to bring apprentices on (due to those regulations), leaving the current appraisers working night and day to keep up with their workloads. That is also causing them to keep moving up the appraisal fees (basically rush fees to keep pushing who can pay the most up the line).”

Miller’s comments

It’s called “market forces” and because the AMC movement has gutted the industry, there are much fewer competent appraisers left. And please lay off the “hardship” angle. It’s tired and worn out. Mortgage rates are at historic lows and with the Brexit they will likely stay that way for a while. As I have said before, there is not a shortage of appraisers, there is a shortage of appraisers willing to work for half the market rate.

Worth reading, especially for Jonathon’s comments.

Link to Chrisman article – scroll down the page to “And appraisals are always a hot topic”

My comments

Why are complaints about appraiser fees and turn times increasing so much? Supply and Demand. AMCs and lenders not allowing trainees to sign on their own – no new appraisers. AMCs trained their appraisers to bid against each other. Now, they are getting payback.

The Appraisal Foundation is frantically trying to reduce requirements for appraiser licensing in response to the current appraiser shortage. But, the problem is that lenders will not allow trainees to sign on their own. There was no shortage in the last boom prior to 2008.

In all the previous boom periods, since lenders started using appraisers in the 1930s, the increase in volume was handled by hiring armies of trainees who left the profession when business slowed down. Prior to licensing, lenders did this. After licensing, fee appraisers did it. But, soon after 2008 lenders would not allow trainees to sign on their own, so there was no one to handle the increase in business.

When AMCs took over appraisal ordering, many experienced appraisers left the profession due to low fees, increasing lender requirements, hassles, etc. Some stayed, who had direct lender clients or were willing to work for AMCs.

The AMC fee model is a bidding system, with AMCs often looking for the lowest bid. Now, sometimes they spend days looking for an appraiser who will work for low fees. Some of us have finally adapted by significantly increasing our fees.

AMCs have trained us to bid against each other. Even when business is very strong, AMCs continue to try to get low fees. Finally, after 8 years of this, appraisers have realized that when there is a shortage of appraisers we can increase our fees. We finally learned about Supply and Demand. This never occurred before.

Many appraisers (and other business owners) have great difficulty turning down work, even with low fees. After years of telling appraisers to raise their fees, finally some appraisers are listening.


Who are your most, and least, profitable clients?

Look at how much you make per hour, not just the fee!!


Coming in the July issue, available Friday, July 1, 2016



For appraisers, time is money. Most appraisers are very busy now. You need to generate as much income you can. The more time you spend on an appraisal, including driving, updates, etc. the less money you make. Appraisers, both residential and commercial, who work for lenders and AMCs complain about their

fees. But, it has always been how much you bill per hour, whatever the client and whatever the use of the appraisal, lender or non-lender.


In this article, I include many ways you spend your time, such as:

– Tough appraisals

– Driving time

– Responding to request for more information

– Rural areas

– Bidding

A time sheet is included to use when taking samples of your appraisals for different clients to determine exactly how much time each one takes. The highest fee is not always the highest fee per hour!!

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If you are a paid subscriber and did not get the June 2016 issue, emailed June 1, 2016, please send an email to requesting it and we will send it to you!! Or, hit the reply button. Be sure to put in a comment requesting it ;>


How different fees can affect an appraiser’s income.

By Dave Towne


For weeks and months, appraisers across many of the forums I read have been discussing the need for appraisers to get their fees up to an appropriate level – for their area – not influenced by the rock bottom barrel scraping fees often expected by the lower tier AMC’s who don’t direct-place assignments, and fish for lowest fee and fastest turn time.

This past week I have had two separate private ‘discussions’ with appraisers. One said this:

“I’m charging and getting $1,000 for FHA, $650 for standard assignments. The AMC model is broken. They drove off appraisers with starvation fees. Now they cry when they can’t find anybody. Raise your fees – it has never been a better time.”


My comment: Dave also has a downloadable simple excel spreadsheet to calculate how much more you will make by raising your fees. The “Sacramento appraiser” referred to is Ryan Lundquist who wrote an article on a very similar topic: . I wrote about it in my Feb. 25, 2016 email newsletter. It did not have a downloadable spreadsheet. Thanks Dave!!


How Georgia Enforces a Violation by AMC’s for Nonpayment of “Customary and Reasonable” Fees to Residential Appraisers


Georgia passed AMC legislation in 2010, but the legislation at that time did not address “customary and reasonable” fees. In March 2014, I was asked by a member of the Georgia General Assembly and its Legislative Counsel to meet with a small group of residential appraisers to see what could be done in Georgia by the Board to help them with the squeeze on fees they were paid when they did appraisal work for AMCs. They felt that the fees were neither customary to what they had been paid in the past nor reasonable for their work product.

Read more at:


Brexit effect on mortgages – comments and speculation

Three recent links

Be Sure to BREXIT Any Thoughts of Rising Mortgage Rates

Jonathan Miller’s comments

The Brexit Actually Happened. Now What Happens To U.S. Housing? (scroll down the page a little to read)

Immediate impact on U.S. mortgage and housing finance

How long will mortgage rates stay low?

My comment: for unknown reasons, I am obsessed with Brexit



HOW TO USE THE NUMBERS BELOW. Appraisals are ordered after the loan application. These numbers tell you the future for the next few weeks. For more information on how they are compiled, go to

Note: I publish a graph of this data every month in my printed newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to or send an email to . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 8AM to noon, Pacific time.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 29, 2016) –

Mortgage applications decreased 2.6 percent from one week earlier,

according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending June 24, 2016.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 3 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 2 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent compared with the previous week and was 13 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 58.1 percent of total applications from 57.7 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 5.9 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 10.6 percent from 11.7 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 12.2 percent from 11.1 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.7 percent from 0.6 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) to its lowest level since May 2013, 3.75 percent, from 3.76 percent, with points increasing to 0.36 from 0.33 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) increased to 3.74 percent from 3.70 percent, with points increasing to 0.34 from 0.28 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA remained unchanged at 3.61 percent, with points increasing to 0.37 from 0.24 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.02 percent from 3.04 percent, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.36 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 2.88 percent from 2.92 percent, with points increasing to 0.30 from 0.21 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.




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