The best appraisal ad I have ever seen – cats playing instruments, song appraisal re-title contest, etc.

 Just For Fun!

Short Excerpt: … submit a favorite song title– be it classical, jazz, rock, religious, country, or whatever- adapted to the appraisal business. Here are a few examples for starters (with a little literary license):
  • Appraising Pink Houses (John Cougar Mellencamp)
  • Measuring the House that Built Me (Miranda Lambert)
  • What Goes Up, Must Come Down (Spinning Wheel by Blood Sweat & Tears, describing the housing market)
  • Everything Happens to Me (Frank Sinatra)
Subject  line: Wednesday Wild Ideas from Intercorp
If you didn’t open it, or “opted out” of getting ads, Click here to read the full “ad” and see the cats!!

My comments: I have been doing ads for my newsletters since 1992. Boring. Boring. Boring. Yesterday’s Intercorp ad was the best I have ever seen!! Of course, my favorite is the cat playing cello. I play electric cello so I can amplify and use effects in my experimental music band, playing together for 8 years ;> Here’s link to a gig:

AI Education

Great Spaces: Lakefront Living Goes Luxe

Just For More Fun!

Excerpt: To celebrate summer, in this month’s edition of Great Spaces, we’re highlighting some seriously serene lakefront properties, from Minnesota all the way to sunny Florida.
Click here to see the fotos:

How Many Times Would You Like to Pay for That Basement?

When real estate agents include the finished basement square footage in their gross living area (GLA), they usually also indicate in their listing that the property has a basement. What they are falsely indicating is that the property has ‘X’ amount of square feet of GLA (They include the finished basement in this sq. ft.) in addition to having a basement. That is what we call double dipping.
Double dipping is not cool on any level! The finished basement area cannot be both a basement and gross living area. For example, if an appraiser is appraising a bi-level dwelling, for non-lender work, and they include the partially below grade finished area in their GLA, they have to say that the property has no basement. Or, they can value the partially below grade finished area as a finished basement. But, then they could not include this area in their GLA.
Written for buyers. Read the full post here, with some good links.

Illinois C/R fee survey

There are nearly 4,000 licensed real estate appraisal professionals in Illinois. The survey was taken in 2017. It does not survey AMC fees.
A few of the results:
Non-AMC fees: 1004 = $350-$400. 1004FHA = $400-$415. 1025 = $350-$450. 1073 = $350-$450 .2055 = $275-$350.
Data for counties and regions is included. Overall, there was a small but significant range in fees of about $50-$100 across regions for each appraisal form. Fees tended to cluster based both on fees paid in adjacent regions as well as how urban or rural each region was.
Very short intro. Click here
48-page fee survey Click here

My comment: one of the best fee surveys I have seen. Lots of data and graphs. The 48-page report takes awile to read. I will be writing about it in a future paid Appraisal Today newsletter.

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In the August 2018 issue of the Paid Appraisal Today, available August 1

  • “Retirement” for fee appraisers: when, why, and lots of options
  • Appraising – from the Middle Ages to now
  • Appraising over 3,000 years ago (from the Old Testament)
  • Appraisers and the Big Short: Tricks & Traps for Avoiding Market Blindness – Prices are declining in some areas. Don’t miss the changes!
  • Residential vs. commercial lender fee appraisals – fees, reports, reviews, etc.
Plus, “The Enforcement Table: Competence, Ethics and Fraud.” Analysis of the sections in the 1004 with practical advice on How To Stay Out of Trouble. Written by Barry Bates, former state appraisal investigator.
To read the articles , plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today.
If these articles gave you one good idea, it is worth the subscription price!! 

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To purchase the paid Appraisal Today newsletter go to   or call 800-839-0227.
If you are a paid subscriber and did not get the July 2018 issue, emailed Monday, July 2, 2018, please send an email to  and we will send it to you!! Or, hit the reply button. Be sure to put in a comment requesting it.

CoreLogic and The Columbia Institute to launch appraiser training program

Excerpt: CoreLogic and its subsidiary The Columbia Institute are launching an appraiser training program. The impetus behind the program is to bolster the ranks of appraisers in the nation with tech-savvy talent from diverse backgrounds.
More details here:

Appraisal Institute Opposes Effort to Raise Appraisal Threshold for SBA Loans

H.R. 6347 and H.R. 6348 would link the SBA appraisal threshold level to the threshold level established for commercial real estate by the federal bank regulatory agencies. Earlier this year, those agencies doubled the commercial real estate appraisal threshold level to $500,000. The SBA appraisal threshold level, which is set by statute, currently stands at $250,000. If the legislation were enacted, SBA loans for commercial transactions below $500,000 would no longer require an appraisal.
My comment: I really don’t understand why they are increasing the threshold for commercial loans. Have they forgotten the S&L crisis of the late 1980s, caused by bad commercial loans and FIRREA, which resulted in appraiser licensing and other changes.

Trust Me, I’m an Appraiser, Part 1

 By George Dell
Excerpt: Trust me.  I am an appraiser.  I am trained.  I have experience. I have high ethical standards – and a government-issued license which says so!  What more could you ask?
What more could you ask?  To answer this question, let’s look at what the client needs and what is the real “public good”.  This may be a simple exercise.  They ask for what they buy.  So – what are they buying?  And who are “they”?  Is it simple?  Or is it a messed-up system?

If this link does not work, go to and scroll down to Trust Me, I’m an Appraiser, Part 1.
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 
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 or send an email to . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 7AM to noon, Pacific time.

Mortgage applications decreased 0.2 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 25, 2018) – Mortgage applications decreased 0.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 20, 2018.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index remained unchanged from the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 1 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 2 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 36.8 percent of total applications from 36.5 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.3 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 9.9 percent from 10.6 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications remained unchanged from 10.2 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.8 percent from 0.7 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) remained unchanged at 4.77 percent, with points decreasing to 0.45 from 0.46 (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) increased to 4.72 percent from 4.66 percent, with points increasing to 0.31 from 0.30 (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 remained unchanged at 4.78 percent, with points increasing to 0.73 from 0.69 (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 4.22 percent, with points increasing to 0.44 from 0.42 (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 decreased to 4.09 percent from 4.12 percent, with points decreasing to 0.29 from 0.39 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

If you would like to purchase a subscription of MBA’s Weekly Applications Survey, please, contact 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
1 Comment
  1. Think that’s funny? Take a look at these MAI Appraisers who do not know the difference between a three-story parking structure and subterranean parking.

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