Appraisal News and Business Tips

5-3-18 Newz//Federal Enforcement of USPAP?, Public Restroom App, Unusual Houses & Buildings

How Lenders and Appraisers Can Work Better Together Through Increased Transparency

By Wes Costello
Excerpts: The relationship between lenders and appraisers has never been quite right. The association was scared by improprieties of the few that led to a fallout of the many, with each party retreating behind walls of mistrust and perceived regulatory requirement. Recently, communication is civil but has been described as resembling two parties of a legal arrangement who speak to each other on an as-needed basis….

Anyone who has directed appraisal management knows that they are only as good as the appraisers they partner with. This makes it vital to value each member of your appraisal panel as an integral partner in your company’s business.

My comment: Well written and worth reading, plus the comments, of course. The author is a Senior Vice President of Quality Management & Collateral Risk at AnnieMac Home Mortgage… He is a Pennsylvania Certified Real Estate Appraiser.

Public Restroom App by Charmin: Find Clean Bathrooms!

Excerpt: A clean nearby public bathroom can be hard to find. But not all restrooms are created equal.

With SitOrSquat we put clean public toilets on the map. Literally. Clean locations have a green “Sit” rating. Less desirable ones have a red “Squat.”

So, the next time nature calls and you need to find a nearby restroom, SitORSquat will help you know where to go.

My comment: Thanks to appraiser Jerry Walsh for this great tip. He has used it for years. I am downloading it today!! I coulda used this 40 years ago when I started appraising in rural areas….. Better than The Bushes or Behind A Tree ;>

Houses & Peculiar Buildings – Strange, charming and interesting houses all around the world.

Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: 10 fun places. Here are two:
– Cochin Lighthouse. Canada. The unusual lighthouse looms over waves of prairies with no sea in sight.
– Bridge to Nowhere. Scotland.
At high tide this strange footbridge appears to have no purpose whatsoever.

My comment: My favorite is the Cat House in Valencia Spain. This house’s itty bitty size means no humans allowed.

CoStar is prepared to sic the lawyers on 30,000 “freeloaders”

CRE data firm is willing to go to court to prove that people aren’t paying for database access

Excerpts: Company CEO Andrew Florance said CoStar “invested significant legal fees and efforts over the past two years” to bring Xceligent (their competitor) “to a complete stop.”

“We’re now turning our attention to identifying the many people using CoStar without a valid license,” he said on the company’s first-quarter earnings call Monday, according to a transcript on SeekingAlpha…. he thinks there could be as many as 30,000 who illegally access CoStar’s commercial real estate database.

My comment: I love my MLS for res data!! Costar issue is nothing new to me. They have always been very aggressive about data sharing among appraisers. I used Costar for awhile in the 1980s and early 1990s. Good for leads (broker contact info) but data was not very good. I switched to Loopnet, which was recently purchased by Costar and was much, much cheaper than Costar. Costar is still the same now for data, but better online interface. When they went first online they started with a “dongle”, then had various methods for tracking users. Recently there is a code texted to your smart phone.
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New in the May 2018 issue of the paid Appraisal Today

  
  • Will another profession replace appraisers? By George Dell, MAI, SRA, ASA, CDEI
  • What’s up with Fannie’s CU? Public records, comps, Risk Scores, peer data discrepancies, new forms, UAD changes etc.
  • Collateral Underwriter or Collateral Underminer: Risk Score Manipulation? By Brian Musto
  • What really happens with State Regulator USPAP Enforcement? By Barry Bates, former state regulator investigator
  • Temptations in the 1004 by field name. Error or Ethics? Competence or Conduct? Most often? Which? by Barry Bates
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Appraisal-free home loans save money for borrowers but are risky

By Kenneth Harney, long time syndicated real estate reporter

Excerpt: The savings nationwide to consumers in just the past year alone may total tens of millions of dollars.

Sounds great. But to some key players in the home financing arena, the savings look ominous – potentially risky for taxpayers and financially nightmarish for the professionals who provide the service being eliminated.

My comment: Well written and worth reading. Ken Harney understands the appraisal issues and writes about them. This story covers all the angles – Fannie and Freddie, lenders, appraisers, etc.

Why Appraisers Need Uniform, Federal Enforcement of USPAP

By Mike Ford

Excerpt: For appraisers and the public there is no uniform protection or uniform enforcement provided by USPAP because many state boards lack even a basic understanding of the standards. Part of the problem is that many state boards lack appraisal expertise. Oftentimes, state investigators are not appraisers and are not familiar with USPAP let alone expert in it.

My comment: Great Topic!! I have no idea how this would be set up, but there is a very wide range of USPAP enforcement due to differing opinions about USPAP, board appraisers vs. competing appraisers, lenient vs. throw ’em under the train. I am so glad we don’t have an appraisal board in California. State employees do the investigations and make discipline decisions. See the article in the May paid Appraisal Today for more info: What really happens with State Regulator USPAP Enforcement? By Barry Bates, former state regulator investigator

Homeowners spend $50,000 fighting over small strip of land between houses

The area in question measure less than six inches wide and the ownership possibly dates back to 1923, writes Bob Aaron.

 

Excerpt: It’s hard to imagine why two neighbours would together spend as much as $50,000 on legal fees in a court fight over a strip of land between their houses that measures only 0.14 of a metre (5.5 inches) at its widest.

My comment: I am not surprised. I have a neighbor who drives me crazy!! I appraised these “remnant” parcels in the past to help establish a sales price for buyer and/or seller. Now I give them the name of an experienced eminent domain appraiser. A few times a year home owners ask me if their neighbor’s fence is on their property. My first question is “where is the survey” and “I assume the fences are not on the property line”. I would hate to testify on one where there is a big fight!!
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Mortgage applications decreased 2.5 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 2, 2018) – Mortgage applications decreased 2.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 27, 2018.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 2 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. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 5 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 36.5 percent of total applications, its lowest level since September 2008, from 37.2 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 10.2 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 10.2 percent from 10.1 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) increased to its highest level since September 2013, 4.80 percent, from 4.73 percent, with points increasing to 0.53 from 0.49 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $453,100) increased to its highest level since September 2013, 4.69 percent, from 4.64 percent, with points increasing to 0.42 from 0.39 (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 its highest level since July 2011, 4.81 percent, from 4.71 percent, with points decreasing to 0.78 from 0.79 (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 February 2011, 4.21 percent, from 4.13 percent, with points decreasing to 0.49 from 0.52 (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 a survey high of 4.03 percent, from 3.98 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.44 (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.
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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