13 of the Craziest/Coolest Public Bathrooms

Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: We know, there is a lot to hate about public restrooms, but we’ve found they can actually be a very unexpected but very potent source of inspiration. We’ve never seen tile layouts like the ones in public facilities-and that’s why we like them. Overlapping squares with zigzag edges? A woven look with a whopping five different colors and two different tile sizes?

My comment: Wow! Vibrant colors and tiles….

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 6-14-20 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 waivers, USPAP, AMCs, Fannie, mortgage origination stats, etc.

Dodd-Frank rollback weakens appraisal standards

Excerpts: Under the new law… smaller banks and credit unions will now be free to waive an appraisal for rural properties valued under $400,000, when they can’t find an appraiser in a timely manner.

Most loans are sold into the secondary market. It is a fairly narrow provision. They are basically looking at rural areas where banks are holding the loans in their portfolio.

…continuing concerns with what has been a pendulum swinging back to regulatory relief and loosening risk-management requirements. This is part of that wave.

Read more here:
My comment: good analysis by Bill Garber of the Appraisal Institute. Worth reading.


The 10 U.S. Cities With the Most Homes Under $100K

Excerpt: Here are a few:

1. Pittsburgh, PA
Median home list price*: $179,950
Number of homes listed for $100,000 or less: 2,656

4. St. Louis, MO
Median home list price: $207,550
Number of homes listed for $100,000 or less: 2,227

My comment: None of the areas in the article are west of St. Louis. But, in some more rural areas in California (and other high cost states), you can get homes under $100,000. Few if any jobs and very, very long commutes though. Maybe good places for appraisers to retire ;>

The Death of the Internet: What Happens Now?

By Shelly Palmer
Excerpt: the FCC voted to repeal Net Neutrality rules (aka the Open Internet) and replace it with the “Restoring Internet Freedom” order. The outcry from the Open Internet camp has been loud, hyperbolic, hypothetical, and mostly based on the fundamental principles of “what if.”

– “If Net Neutrality Is Repealed, the Internet Will Die!”
– “If Net Neutrality Is Repealed, the Internet Will Live!”
– The Fine Print – If you believe that the Internet was free and open before December 14, 2017, you are not alone. You are also not correct.

Thinking About the Future – What will change now? Nothing much. The big ISPs are all standing outside in the bright sunshine, and none of them are going to mess around with your connectivity while this is a hot-button issue. In the meantime, a bunch of very high-priced lawyers and expert witnesses are about to get busy (and rich). That’s pretty much guaranteed.

We could see some bad actors do bad things. Especially where consumers have limited ISP choices. Won’t that be like the “death of the Internet?” No. Stop saying that!

Worth reading at:

My comment: This was written last December, but Shelley says his analysis is still good now. I started reading his Wall St. Journal Tech column many years ago. After journalists started getting laid off, he is one of the few who hired other journalists and started a successful business. If you like it, subscribe to his daily emails.

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The USPAP Enforcement Table

In the June 2018 issue of the paid Appraisal Today
This table goes through each URAR field showing where an appraiser had an error, omission, incompetence or fraud

Field – City. Usually an Error
If the property is close to the city line, make sure by viewing plat that it’s on the right side! An appraiser out to inflate or deflate value will sometimes try to make the subject property appear better located than it actually is.
License suspension and education (appraiser claimed ignorance)
Appraiser characterized a Pittsburgh neighborhood as a detached,
self-policing borough; it was geographically detached from the City of Pittsburgh but was city governed and policed. Identifying the location by neighborhood name (Overbrook) was misleading and made the location seem “fancier” than it was with a higher value.
To read the full article, plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today.
If this article saved you from getting into trouble with your state regulator (or E&O insurance), it is worth the subscription price!! 

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AMC Market – Change is Coming – Registry fees, consolidation, etc.

Excerpt: An executive at a leading MortageTech company once told me, “Beware of a seemingly small rule change in a highly regulated market like mortgages. The impact can be deadly.” The Appraisal world is facing one of these changes. We see the new “registry” component of the Dodd Frank rollback as a potentially massive catalyst for consolidation in the fragmented appraiser and Appraisal Management Company (“AMC”) worlds. The forces bashing this industry have been relentless:

– Appraiser population demographics leading to supply “shocks”
Low margins and limited pricing power has advantaged only the largest providers
– Domineering government sponsored enterprise rule changes (GSEs – Fannie, Freddie)
– A fundamental change from a form-driven industry to more data-driven value proposition
– Looming disruptive technology innovations from drones to mobility

Worth reading plus the comments:
My comment: Very interesting business analysis of AMC changes due to registration costs per appraiser plus AMC consolidation. I don’t see much written about this.

Fannie Mae’s Appraisal Page

Excerpts: The page focuses on resources that can assist the appraiser when trying to solve a problem, tutorials to further their education and even a current news section.

Appraisal and Property Related FAQ is the most downloaded document week after week. It’s a comprehensive document that covers a wide array of appraisal topics, so it’s understandable why an appraiser out in the field would find it handy.

The Help and Training section has tutorials that can be accessed 24/7, making it easier for the “boots on the ground” appraiser to get the help they need. Look out for updates in the fall!

Note: This is an interview with Julie Jones of Fannie. FYI, this is also a promo for an upcoming conference, similar to many Appraisal Buzz “interviews” but has good info. Worth reading here:

My comment: this page has been up for awhile. I have it on the home page of my web site, along with FHA, etc. links. Very helpful.

Updated Fannie Mae Selling Guide

Part B applies to appraisals.
Link to the June 5, 2018 Selling Guide:   https://www.fanniemae.com/content/guide/sel060518.pdf

My comment: Always good to have the latest Fannie guidelines available on your computer or online!! I remember the old pre-Internet days when appraisers did not get this type of info for often months…

The Appraisal Foundation Hosts National Appraisal Forum to Discuss Appraisal Waivers and Hybrid Appraisals

By Jonathan Miller
Excerpts:  Waivers: Both Julie Jones of Fannie Mae and Scott Reuter of Freddie Mac spoke about the waiver concept. On the whole, I feel much better about the GSE’s intent from their presentations. They’ve been offering appraisal waivers for more than a decade but recent efforts were ramped up and widely touted (and widely criticized). Their market share of loans with an appraisal waiver is a little under 10%.

Hybrids: My takeaway is that there is no real data or precedent to base risk decisions on this new product at this time and their biggest concern was the lack of standardization of separate inspectors for this product.

Read it here plus appraiser comments:

My comment: Almost all want appraisers involved somehow. BPOs are not very reliable. AVMs are reliable only on certain types of properties. Hybrid appraisals seem more likely than waivers as an alternative. Seems like rural areas would be the most likely to need appraisals as there are few sales, AVMs don’t work, etc.

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 1.5 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 13, 2018) – Mortgage applications decreased 1.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending June 8, 2018. Last week’s results included an adjustment for the Memorial Day holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 1.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 9 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 2 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 9 percent compared with the previous week and was 0.2 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity remained unchanged from the previous week at 35.6 percent of total applications. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 6.8 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 10.6 percent from 9.7 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 10.7 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 4.83 percent from 4.75 percent, with points increasing to 0.53 from 0.46 (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 4.74 percent from 4.70 percent, with points increasing to 0.37 from 0.35 (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 4.83 percent from 4.77 percent, with points increasing to 0.78 from 0.70 (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 4.23 percent from 4.21 percent, with points increasing to 0.51 from 0.50 (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 4.11 percent from 4.08 percent, with points
increasing to 0.56 from 0.41 (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 .

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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