Floating Homes the Ultimate Water View

Excerpts: For many, floating is something new and adventurous,” said Max Funk, co-editor of “Rock the Boat: Boats, Cabins and Homes on the Water” (Gestalten, 2017). The book reveals an explosion of creativity in buoyant architecture, including an egg-shaped floating cabin in England, floating spas (with working saunas) in Finland and the United States, and floating geodesic domes in Slovenia.

Outside of Seattle, where houseboat construction is being curtailed because of the potential impact on local salmon populations, Ms. Bethell said, the most prominent areas in North America for floating homes are the San Francisco Bay Area; Vancouver, British Columbia; Key West, Fla.; and Portland, Ore.; where the number of floating homes has doubled since 2012.

My comment: In the San Francisco Bay Area they are in several marinas, including in my city, Alameda. In the past, they were anchored around the bay, but were moved to marinas due to pollution concerns. When I moved here in 1968, I visited one anchored off Sausalito in a protected bay with no sewage storage.

2018’s Hottest Backyard Amenity: Detached Living Spaces

Excerpt: The reason for their rise in popularity? Privacy, for one. There’s no one-and no surrounding noises from your disruptive family or neighbors-to make you lose your focus. It’s all you, the shed and whatever your No. 1 priority is for the day. Not to mention, if you have a lush and peaceful backyard, the view is a plus.

So, what do these look like? Anything you can imagine. From hobbit hole-style sheds to more contemporary glass structures, these can take the form that best suits your needs. And what are they used for? That depends on you…


My comment: a great way to get some peace and quiet plus privacy ;>

So You Want to Sell Your Appraisal Business?

By Dustin Harris


Excerpt: What makes an appraisal business valuable? The value of an appraisal business follows many of the same principles that make any business valuable. As appraisers, we have a certain level of understanding when it comes to value. Commercial appraisers tell me that business valuation rests on the same principles as residential real estate: what will a knowledgeable buyer and seller in the marketplace negotiate?

Here are four key factors which determine the value of an appraisal business. Remember, however, that valuation is always in the eye of the beholder.
– Hard assets
– Business structure
– Book of business
– Other revenue streams

For more info, go to:

My comments: I am usually contacted about the value of an appraisal firm when there is a divorce. I wrote about this topic in the 1990s. At that time I interviewed appraisers who had sold and purchased appraisal businesses. Since then there have been boom times when larger firms purchased smaller firms. But, today, for residential lender appraisers, AMCs have changed this as they hire appraisers, not appraisal firms. One person appraisal firms in popular vacation locations sometimes sell, if they are commercial or have non-AMC residential clients. I have never planned on selling my appraisal business. I have another revenue stream – my publishing business. One of the main reasons I started it in 1992 is that it can be sold as it has a steady, predictable revenue stream.

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.

In the June issue of the paid Appraisal Today

  • Fannie: Inspection waivers, hybrids, UAD and forms changes where is residential lender appraising going?
  • What’s new at the ASB and AQB? Hybrids, ASB online forum, experience practicum, etc.
  • Use Evernote to easily organize your data
    by Wayne Pugh, MAI, CR3E, FRICS, CCIM
  • Preface to The Enforcement Table: Competence, Ethics and Fraud
  • The USPAP Enforcement Table
To read the articles , plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today.

$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 
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 May 2018 issue, emailed Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 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.

Home price crash coming in 2020?

Run-up in home prices is ‘not sustainable’: Realtors’ chief economist

Excerpt: Home values have been rising for six straight years, and the gains have been accelerating for the past two years. Unlike the last housing boom, the gains are not driven by fast and easy mortgage money, but instead by solid buyer demand and very low supply. Still, like the last housing boom, some are starting to warn these price gains cannot continue.

“The continuing run-up in home prices above the pace of income growth is simply not sustainable,” wrote Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, in response to the latest price reading from the much-watched S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller Home Price Indices. “From the cyclical low point in home prices six years ago, a typical home price has increased by 48 percent while the average wage rate has grown by only 14 percent.”

2020 Vision: Experts Say Next Recession Looms at Decade’s End

Excerpt: Experts largely expect the next recession to begin in 2020, in line with prior expectations expressed in the latter half of 2017. But unlike last year, experts these days are less worried that geopolitical events might tip the economy into the red, and more concerned over monetary and trade policy.

Almost half (48 percent) of those with an opinion said they expected the next recession to occur some time in 2020, with the largest portion of those (22 percent of all respondents) saying they expected that recession to begin in the first quarter of that year. The results are from the most recent Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey (ZHPE), a quarterly survey of more than 100 U.S. real estate experts and economists sponsored by Zillow and conducted by Pulsenomics. Roughly a quarter (24 percent) of all respondents with an opinion said they expected the next recession some time in 2019, while 14 percent said they thought 2021 was the year.

Crash coming every 10-12 years?
By George Dell

Excerpt: A “black swan event” is random and unexpected. Popularized by Nassim Taleb in his book “The Black Swan,” which describes an event (such as the last economic meltdown) as an unpredictable event. I ask, are the repeat real estate crises of every 10-12 years unpredictable, or a bevy of black swans migrating in wedge formation?

My comment: If I knew when the next recession would hit, I would be Very Rich ;> We seem to always look at the past to predict the future. Hmm… since the Great Depression, we had never had all parts of the country affected, so few predicted the mortgage meltdown 10 years ago.

Home price increases

Price increases by state varies widely

In 2016, national house prices returned to about where they were before the Great Recession. According to the Urban Institute’s State Economic Monitor, home prices are now about 14.5 percent above their pre-recession peak in 2007. The map above shows how home prices increased across the U.S. between the first quarters of 2017 and 2018. Nevada tops the list, at 13.7 percent, followed by Washington, Idaho, and Colorado with increases over 10 percent in the last year. Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia saw prices increase 5 percent or more, and the nationwide increase was 6.9 percent.

Check out the infographics at:
Home Values Climbing at Fastest Rate in 12 Years (April 2018 Market Report)

Excerpt: The median U.S. home value rose 8.7 percent to $215,600 in April, the fastest year-over-year climb since June 2006, when the housing market was slowing from its bubble-driven, double-digit growth. By September 2007, the median home value had begun to decrease.

By contrast, the current gain is part of a general upward trend that started in early 2015, when values were climbing at less than 5 percent year-over-year. They picked up steam that summer and, aside from occasional pauses and slight declines, have not looked back.

Analysis and Infographic – search by region for price changes


Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates haven’t risen this consistently in 40 years

Highest sustained climb since 1972, at least

Excerpt: Mortgage rates moved up over the past week to 4.66 percent, their highest level since May 5, 2011 (4.71 percent).

Mortgage rates so far in 2018 have had the most sustained increase to start the year in over 40 years. Through May, rates have risen in 15 out of the first 21 weeks (71 percent), which is the highest share since Freddie Mac began tracking this data for a full year in 1972.

At a time when housing inventory remains extremely low, it’s worth watching whether these higher borrowing costs lead some would-be sellers to stay put in their current home. Inventory shortages would likely worsen if more homeowners decide not to sell out of reluctance of having a new mortgage with a higher rate.


Mortgage Rate History: Check Out These Charts from the Early 1900s

Excerpts: Just about everyone knows that mortgage rates hit all-time record lows over the past year. But do you know what mortgage rates were like in the 1900s? … Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey which dates back to 1971 is the best survey data.

My comment: Prior to the GSEs, there was very little data from lenders, mostly small S&Ls. Very interesting analysis and graphs of rates in the past, but I did not see much below 4%.
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 decreased 2.9 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 30, 2018) – Mortgage applications decreased 2.9 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 25, 2018.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 4 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 5 percent from the previous week to its lowest level since December 2000. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent compared with the previous week and was 2 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to its lowest level since August 2008, 35.3 percent of total applications, from 35.7 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 6.7 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 9.9 percent from 10.3 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 9.9 percent from 9.8 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) decreased to 4.84 percent from 4.86 percent, with points decreasing to 0.47 from 0.52 (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 $453,100) decreased to 4.73 percent from 4.81 percent, with points decreasing to 0.36 from 0.42 (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 decreased to 4.85 percent from 4.90 percent, with points increasing to 0.88 from 0.85 (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 decreased to 4.24 percent from 4.31 percent, with points decreasing to 0.51 from 0.56 (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 4.11 percent from 4.12 percent, with points increasing to 0.62 from 0.46 (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

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