I Am Not “JUST” a Residential Appraiser

By Rachel Massey, SRA
Excerpt: There is no doubt that moving to obtaining a certified general appraisal license opens doors to varied and interesting work. If it is in one’s capacity to obtain this level, it is a great idea. That said, the idea of being “just” a residential appraiser has got to stop.

A good professional residential appraiser who studies the market, knows how to analyze and solve a problem, and can communicate effectively and succinctly, is a very valuable appraiser at that!

Worth reading, plus read the comments and post your opinion.
My comment: Rachel wrote a much longer, very interesting article for the paid Appraisal Today March issue: “What being designated means to me”
When I started appraising in the late 70s, residential was somehow considered “inferior”. I guess it has been going on for a very long time. I have always thought that residential appraisers are experts in one type of property: 1-4 units. If you are testifying in court on a single family home and the opposing attorney’s appraiser is an MAI who appraises a few times a year, you will blow them away!!

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

For Covid Updates, go to my Covid Science blog at covidscienceblog.com

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To read more of this long blog post with many topics, click Read More Below!!

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on turret living, price fixing, seasonal price changes, mortgage origination stats, Covid tips for appraisers, etc.


A Guide to the 100 Stunning Architectural Gems of L.A.

Here are a few:
1. Walt Disney Concert Hall
11. Getty Center
13. Gamble House
15. Magic Castle

Just scroll down the page – great fotos with some text. Everything from classic driveins to the Getty Center.

My comment: I have lived in northern California since 1968. We sorta “look down on” LA as very boring with not much “there there”. I guess there are a few homes that were built prior to 1940. In my city there are relatively few built after 1940  ;>

The Turrets of New York – and the People Who Inhabit Them

Excerpt: A survey of the turrets about town – the city’s tiny medieval towers on the Upper West Side, in Crown Heights, and on Staten Island.

Just scroll down the relatively short page and take a look:

My comment: I have appraised lots of Victorians in my town. Some of them had turrets. I always wanted to have a bedroom/sitting room, etc. in one. A turret apartment on the top of a big building – wow!! There are a few here in the Bay Area. Lots more in New York City.

A few comments on the seasonal pattern for house prices

Excerpt: A few key points:
1) There is a clear seasonal pattern for house prices.
2) The surge in distressed sales during the housing bust distorted the seasonal pattern.
3) Even though distressed sales are down significantly, the seasonal factor is based on several years of data – and the factor is now overstating the seasonal change (second graph below).
4) Still the seasonal index is probably a better indicator of actual price movements than the Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA) index.


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In the March 2018 issue of the Paid Appraisal Today Newsletter,
Available Now!!

  • Why I am an appraiser By Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA I love self employment, working in the field, never getting bored, etc.
  • What being designated means to me by Rachel Massey, SRA, AI-RRS There are advantages to having an SRA (I give a lot of good non-lender referrals to SRAs.)
  • Fujitsu Scan Snap iX500 scanner – fast, easy to use By R. Wayne Pugh, MAI – trying to go (more) paperless?.
  • What is a functionally obsolete appraiser? by Richard Hagar, SRA
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FTC vs. Louisiana Appraisal Board “Price Fixing” Allegations Hearing Update

Excerpt: All that we have read and heard as appraisers was presented by Louisiana. Louisiana (the defendant) argued they were acting in good faith to follow and initiate Dodd-Frank as well as the Federal Final Rule.

One vitally important point was made, as well – that was that any further demands by the FTC are unwarranted. Further, the make-up of the LREAB was not a majority of residential appraisers. Therefore, it is not a board of “market participants”.

My comment: The hearing was not recorded so it is great that appraisers went and wrote about it so we could all see what is happening.

David versus Goliath Redux: Skapinetz versus Coester – Case Direction Favors Underdog

By Jonathan Miller

Excerpt: Court Refuses to Dismiss Lawsuit That Coester and His AMC Hacked Appraiser Mark Skapinetz’s Emails

My colleague and friend, Georgia appraiser Mark Skapinetz, sued COESTERVMS.COM, INC. and BRIAN COESTER in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland last year for hacking his email account. Here is the evidence submitted. Coester subsequently filed a motion to dismiss. On February 9th, U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis Denied The Motion to Dismiss for 3 of the 5 claims and the lawsuit will move forward.

I find this whole matter very compelling – especially with Brian Coester & Co. representing the most prevalent and controversial AMC model – begins to crack.

Interesting and worth reading:

CA – no new trainee licenses in 2017, 50% decline in no. of appraisers in past 10 years, Bad appraisers

California Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers

A few tidbits:
– No trainee licenses were issued in 2017
– 50% decline in No. of appraisers from 2006-2007 at 20,800 dropped to 2016-2017 10,630. CA has a large number of appraisers and is a good indication of national trends.
– Appraiser type: Cert. Res = 53%, Cert Gen = 29%, Licensed = 11%, Trainee = 7%
– CE- list of classes, but we have a 4 year cycle, so it is only updated every 4 years, except for USPAP, which is every 2 years.
– License history – I found out that I got my CG on 3/2/92, back when it was sooo easy ;>
– Only one person I knew on list of Published Disciplinary Action

Link to newsletter


Least Expensive Homes Gain the Most Equity

Rise in value in the low-market segment rise 8.5% while the top end gained only 3.6%

Owners of starter homes across the country are gaining equity faster than other homeowners because demand for entry-level homes continues to grow faster than supply, Zillow reported Friday.

Zillow® divided the U.S. housing stock into equal thirds based on value and determined the median value of the most and least valuable homes. Over the past year, homes in the most affordable segment of the market, which are often sought after by first-time buyers, gained 8.5% in value, compared to a 3.6% gain for the most expensive homes. Over the past five years, the difference is even more noticeable — people who own starter homes have seen their equity grow by 44.4%, while owners of top-tier homes have gained 26.6%.

San Francisco, Seattle and San Jose, California are the only large markets where the most expensive homes are gaining value faster than starter homes.

Interesting analysis. Worth reading.

My comment: of course, the dollar amount of gain depends on the original sales price… 8.5% of $150,000 is $12,750. 3.6% of $500,000 is $18,000. But, these percentages do encourage first time buyers to purchase starter homes.
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 7AM to noon, Pacific time.

Mortgage applications increased 2.7 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 28, 2018) – Mortgage applications increased 2.7 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 23, 2018. This week’s results include an adjustment for the Washington’s Birthday (Presidents’ Day) holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 2.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 6 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 1 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 6 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 3 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 41.8 percent of total applications from 44.4 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.7 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 10.3 percent from 9.9 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 10.7 percent from 10.0 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 ($453,100 or less) remained unchanged from last week at 4.64 percent, with points increasing to 0.63 from 0.61 (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 $453,100) decreased to 4.57 percent from 4.62 percent, with points increasing to 0.51 from 0.50 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to its highest level since April 2011, 4.68 percent, from 4.58 percent, with points increasing to 0.75 from 0.71 (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 increased to its highest level since April 2011, 4.07 percent, from 4.02 percent, with points decreasing to 0.59 from 0.66 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to its highest level since February 2011, 3.85 percent, from 3.72 percent, with points increasing to 0.59 from 0.39 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
If you would like to purchase a subscription of MBA’s Weekly Applications Survey, please visitmba.org/WeeklyApps, contact mbaresearch@mba.org or click here.

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.
Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA
Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today
2033 Clement Ave. Suite 105
Alameda, CA 94501 Phone 510-865-8041
Fax 510-523-1138
Email   ann@appraisaltoday.com

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