A Tour of the World’s Most Delightful Domes

17 half-spheres that do round right. Just For Fun!

Excerpt: Employing massive hemispherical roofs first became popular with the ancient Romans-most famously the iconic Pantheon, built in the 2nd century. Since then, the feature has taken many forms across the globe, providing cover for everything from ancient tombs to futuristic houses. The circular nature of domes has special significance in religious houses such as churches and mosques, where it represents the eternal, with no beginning and no end.


TC Valuations (AMC) Ceasing Operations!

Paying appraisers $ .25 on the dollar!!

Excerpt from letter sent to appraisers: It is with much regret, that I write this letter to inform you that TCV has commenced an orderly wind up and liquidation of operations. Unfortunately a significant downturn in revenue and the loss of part of our volume with two key clients in the second quarter of 2017, has forced the company to wind up its operations.
Read the full letter plus lots of comments at

My comment: There will be more AMCs going down, particularly small ones. In 1993, when the appraisal business crashed and I had way too many employees, I almost went out of business. But, I had no uncollected billings, even from mortgage brokers. Why? I always carefully monitor my accounts receivable. My assistant called all my clients every day until they paid. My husband, a very large man, wearing black clothes (Gangsta style ;>), went to a local mortgage broker’s office and left with a full payment check. It may be time to write a collections article for the paid Appraisal Today…  predictions are for more small AMCs Going Down.

The 25 most expensive homes for sale in the U.S. right now

Excerpt: In this latest iteration of our list of the 25 priciest houses for sale, over-the-top L.A. mansions continue to reign supreme, along with a number of classic Hamptons estates and spectacular ranches. The properties here all have to be on the open market with a public price tag, and come with a main building of some sort.
Check out the map. Also can get highest listings in some metro areas. Of course, all except one CO home are on the east and west coasts…

Baby Boomers Who Refuse to Sell Are Dominating the Housing Market

Excerpt: People 55 and older own 53 percent of U.S. owner-occupied houses, the biggest share since the government started collecting data in 1900, according to real estate website Trulia. That’s up from 43 percent a decade ago. Those ages 18 to 34 possess just 11 percent. When they were that age, baby boomers had homes at almost twice that level.
Interesting article. Includes comments from an Alameda baby boomer (not me unfortunately) ;>
My comment: We are So Powerful!! I am a pre-Baby boomer, born in 1943. Bought my first house in my early 30s. Why sell? I have a low balance, low interest mortgage loan. My property taxes will go way up on a new house I purchase(I am in California). Mortgage rates for purchasing another home are higher. Have to fix up my house for sale. I like where I live. Moving is a big hassle. I heard an interesting commentary on a radio program recently saying that rents are really high for young people. Baby boomers have big homes with lots of room. A new app is trying to connect the two in Boston (grad students). California is focusing on making ADUs (accessory dwelling unit) much easier to build or convert part of a home to an ADU. Hope we get more guidance from Fannie on appraising ADUs.
Getting too many ad-only emails?
   4 ways to get only the FREE email newsletters
and NOT the ad-only emails.
For more info, such as why I take ads, etc.

Want to do appraisals for lenders, but not for AMCs? Private money lending has no UAD or CU, Scope Creep, computer “reviewers”, and being treated like you know nothing!!

In the Paid Appraisal Today newsletter

Excerpt: Many appraisers don’t want to do non-lender work such as divorces. It is hard to get started and you may have to testify in court. There is a good lender option – hard money (private) lenders. I know only a few appraisers who work for them. I don’t know why, especially since AMCs, who are not good clients, have taken over conventional lender appraisals.
Private money lending is much steadier than the very volatile conventional mortgage market. AMCs don’t know you and have no loyalty. All appraisers are the same. The only difference is the fee. Private money lenders remember who helped them during the busy times.
Topics include:
– What are private money lenders and how to find them.
– How to get business.
– Appraisal requirements – No 1004 MCs, no UADs. No Fannie Mae guidelines, only USPAP.
– Fees – no broadcast orders and shopping for the lowest fees.
To read the full article, plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today.
If this article got you one private money appraisal, it is worth the subscription price!! 

$8.25 per month, $24.75 per quarter, $89 per year (Best Buy)
or $99 per year or $169 for two years
Subscribers get, FREE: past 18+ months of past newsletters
plus 4 Special Reports, plus 2 Appraiser Marketing Books!!
To purchase the paid Appraisal Today newsletter go to
www.appraisaltoday.com/products   or call 800-839-0227.
If you are a paid subscriber and did not get the August 2017 issue, emailed August 1, 2017, please send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com  and we will send it to you!! Or, hit the reply button. Be sure to put in a comment requesting it.

Fannie Mae CEO: We’re focused on reducing appraisal turnaround times

Excerpt: “We are not interested in eliminating appraisals, but we should be exploring options electronically,” he said. “Appraisers should be at their desks,” not in the field with a measuring tape, making phone calls to track down homeowners, he (Mayopoulos) added.
My comment: Lenders have always been interested in this. Worth reading, including the comments. Of the three infamous triad: fee, quality and turn times, Lenders have always focused on turn time. Why? So another lender won’t steal their deal. Many appraisers don’t seem to have learned this. Remember when many appraisers refused to do drivebys in the past?

Fannie Mae’s New Top Appraiser On the Future

by Isaac Peck, Editor
WRE: Where do you see the industry going in next five to 10 years? How do you think data and analytics will transform the industry? Do you see appraisers being a necessary part of the valuation process in the future?
Dawson: There is no doubt that data and analytics will continue to transform the industry. The only questions are how it will be transformed and how quickly… Part of that transformation is to think about the highest and best use of an experienced appraiser. Is it pulling a tape measure and taking comp photos? Or is it analyzing local market data to pick the right comparables and make appropriate adjustments? Is it data gatherer or local housing market economist? In the future, I’d like to see the process evolve to a point where we can responsibly leverage technology to make the process more efficient and give appraisers the time and resources to focus on what matters most and truly requires their expertise.

My comment: Well written and worth reading. I wrote about a very good Fannie Webinar, with Zach Dawson participating, recently in my Paid Appraisal Today newsletter. Zach is always good for interesting and relevant comments.

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 www.mbaa.org 
Note: I publish a graph of this data every month in my paid monthly newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to https://www.appraisaltoday.com/products.htm or send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 8AM to noon, Pacific time.

Mortgage applications decreased 2.8 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 2, 2017) – Mortgage applications decreased 2.8 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 28, 2017.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.8 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 4 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent from one week earlier to its lowest level since March 2017. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 9 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 45.5 percent of total applications from 46.0 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 6.6 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 10.3 percent from 10.2 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 10.1 percent from 10.5 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.8 percent from the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) remained unchanged at 4.17 percent, with points decreasing to 0.36 from 0.40 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100) increased to 4.11 percent from 4.06 percent, with points increasing to 0.25 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 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 4.07 percent from 4.05 percent, with points decreasing to 0.35 from 0.44 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages remained unchanged at 3.45 percent, with points decreasing to 0.44 from 0.45 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.30 percent from 3.29 percent, with points increasing to 0.29 from 0.26 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased 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.

1 Comment
  1. I just want to remind our readers and subscribers that “private money” lenders are known most often as “hard money” lenders because the lender is basically the mortgage investor and the borrower is frequently someone who would not qualify for a conventional loan. “Hard money” means a loan of “hard cash” to accomplish something that’s “hard” to do: appraise a property within its market range but at the absolute top of that range. The advantages are as Ann comments, but the disadvantages sometimes come in the form of a loan agent who thinks they can browbeat the appraiser into delivering a high number at high E&O risk! This old curmudgeon advises an abundance of caution…but it sure is nice to do a simple appraisal the old fashioned way for a higher fee!

We want to know what you think!! Please leave a comment.