1-26-17 Newz: Master baths .Failed appraisals .$220 million home

The Rise of the Luxurious Suburban Master Bathroom
How a utilitarian room turned into a pleasure palace.
Excerpts:
Bathrooms haven’t changed much since indoor plumbing became a standard feature in newly built homes at the turn of the 20th century.  This, coupled with changing societal expectations regarding the frequency of bathing and new technology such as the flush toilet, swiftly ushered in the era of the modern bathroom.
The story of the master bathroom was long in the making. A space we now deem a necessity is only around 36 years old. It’s one of many examples of how a cocktail of social, technological, and economic influences combine to create new standards of living, and change the face of not only architecture, but how we live.
My comment: Fascinating, with lots of historic bathroom photos and excellent commentary! No comment on “master” and fair housing ;>
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This Is What a $250 Million House Looks Like
As a glut of mega-homes hits the L.A. market, developers are taking it up a notch.

Read more!!

1-19-17 Newz//Trump Mortgage Nation, Windy cities, Bob Hope’s UFO Home

Bob Hope’s UFO Home Sells for $13 Million

Excerpt: At long last, Bob Hope’s UFO house has sold for $13 million, after first being listed in early 2013 with a price tag of $50 million.  Having gone through a couple of price cuts over the last three years, the most recent cut lowered the ask to $25 million. But with no comps available, how does one actually price a concrete space ship?  Seems that when $25 million was thrown at the wall, $13 million stuck.

My comment: Tough appraisal including measuring and the listing history ;>

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Top 10 cities with homes most threatened by heavy winds
CoreLogic gives its Windy City index

Excerpt:

In its latest report, CoreLogic rated the top cities at risk of hazardous wind conditions in its Windy City Index. The ranking among the nation’s largest 279 metros incorporates both the number of wind events, measured at the city center plus a 10-mile radius, as well as the total force caused by any severe wind gusts of 60 mph or more.
“Wind can cause significant damage whether associated with an actual hurricane or not,” CoreLogic Product Manager Curtis McDonald said. “Wind speeds of 92 mph, even without a hurricane – as seen in Tallahassee – can be a significant threat to life and property.”
Two of the top 10 cities
10. Charleston, South Carolina
Number of wind events: 12
Max wind speed: 86 mph
4. Cincinnati, Ohio
Number of wind events: 16
Max wind speed: 79 mph

My comment: Wow!! I had no ideas these cities had high winds, especially those not in hurricane areas.

Read more!!

1-12-17 Newz .New scam: owners pose as renters, 21 day turn times

Haunting Photos of Europe’s Abandoned Buildings, From Steel Plants to Castles

Excerpt: Photographer Hans Van Vrouwerf first started shooting abandoned buildings in 2010. He started with an old stone factory in a village in the Dutch countryside and when he got home, Van Vrouwerf started to research other buildings. As a committed urban explorer, with the countries of Western Europe as his backyard, he has sought out derelict buildings not only in his home base of the Netherlands, but also in Belgium, Germany, France, and Luxembourg.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/haunting-photos-of-europes-abandoned-buildings-from-steel-plants-to-castles 

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What’s the most disturbing history you’ve learned about a house you were selling?
More than 5,000 comments in 48 hours on Reddit
Excerpt: At first glance, it’s a simple question: What’s the most disturbing history you’ve learned about a house you were selling.
But what started out as a 13-word question on share-site Reddit, spiraled into unsettling long responses from tons of users, generating more than 5,000 responses in only 48 hours.
My comment: Wow!! I thought I had seen some bad stuff as an appraiser, but it was nothing compared to these comments. Warning: can be disturbing, especially the dead bodies. Be sure to check out the comments (and threads)

Read more!!

1-5-17 Newz .The Two Americas and Real Estate .McMansion Hell

FHA handbook 4000.1 quarterly update

No Changes to policies but it is always best to have the latest version when trying to figure out what FHA wants and underwriter/reviewer hassles.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) published the quarterly update to its Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 (SF Handbook). This update incorporates previously published Mortgagee Letters into both the online and portable document format (PDF) SF Handbook.
http://www.allregs.com/tpl/public/fha_freesite.aspx  for Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 December Update
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McMansion Hell!!
 Lots of interesting stuff. Go to the link below and look at some of the pull down links in the upper left for lots more info!!
This link is for one of the many pages – McMansion in Bentonville County, Arkansas
Cannot be described. Lots of photos with sometimes snarky comments. Just gotta see it  ;>

Read more!!

12-29-16 Newz .CHANGE YOUR TEMPLATES .Beautiful fireplaces .Very old maps

CHANGE YOUR TEMPLATES!! SET UP NEW SUBDIRECTORIES IF YOU FILE ON YOUR COMPUTER!!

Don’t be like me in early 2016 and:
– Have a buncha early 2016 stuff in my 2015 computer subfolders. I file my electronic appraisal copies, and my photos, by year. Last year I did not get 2017 subfolder set up for a few months and put a few months of 2017 appraisals into my 2015 subfolder.  NOT good!!
– Not change all my appraisal report templates, especially those pesky condo templates.
– Keep writing 2016 on my personal checks. Business checks are done in Quickbooks, which keeps track of the current date.
When deciding what to write about in my newsletters, I just look in the mirror as I am an appraiser!! It also reminds me of what I need to do. Of course, most of us procrastinate on paper files, such as for bookkeeping receipts, etc…. instead of throwing them in a box for months ;>
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2016 – what happened of interest to appraisers?
Not much new happened in 2016. Mostly the same old stuff – shortage of appraisers, AQB trying to reduce requirements, turn times and fees up, etc.
What’s new
– Trump possible changes/uncertainty – dump CFPB, Dodd-Frankenstein, etc. No one knows what will happen regarding appraisals, lending, etc. Maybe I will get a lower marginal tax rate someday!!
– Mortgage rates increase some in late 2016, but still well below previous low rates. Lower mortgage volume predicted for 2017.
– Fannie’s Property Inspection Waiver
– Freddie’s plan for fewer appraisals
– Revised FHA handbook
Of course, the most popular topics in these email newsletters are weird houses and buildings, real estate agent humor, and appraisers going to jail (not many now) ;> Not a lot of clicks on AQB changes, etc.

Read more!!