8 Dome Homes Ideal for Well-Rounded Buyers

Excerpt: Geodesic dome homes always strike a chord with buyers looking for a different type of house.

They’re also in favor these days thanks to their cosmic, forward-looking designs. Futurist and architect Buckminster Fuller conceived the geodesic dome in the belief that the shape of these rounded dwellings was the most efficient use of resources possible, and that the homes were ideal for mind, body, and spirit.

Here are a few:
– 37849 W Johnson Lake Ln, Marcell, MN Price: $129,000
– 35685 Lake Summit Dr, Temecula, CA Price: $775,000 – Two connected domes
– 5825 E Saguaro Rd, Cave Creek, AZPrice: $469,000 – Price includes a large maze

Check out the fotos and info at:

My comment: They all kinda look the same to me ;> I have never appraised one, but don’t miss it. Very few here. Just use other odd ball properties as comps I guess. There is one in a nearby city that I drive by regularly as a reminder of what I don’t want to appraise ;>


Is the market tanking or softening?

Video by Ryan Lundquist
About the Sacramento CA market, but applies to all markets
21 minute video. Worth watching.
More articles by Ryan at http://sacramentoappraisalblog.com

National data, does not local data make

By Rachel Massey
Excerpt: Marketing is a great idea. Agents and appraisers alike need to be in the public eye as individuals on a regular basis, otherwise we are easily forgotten. Cautious marketing however; could be a better idea. We really do not want to impart information that could lead our audience astray, even if it does spark conversation and gets our name out to those whom we wish to reach.

My comment: Worth reading. Good analysis of Zillow’s recent analysis of the “effect” of color on values.


Do Tandem Bedrooms and Garages Impact Value?

 Excerpt: There is less privacy in the one bedroom because it must be walked through to get to the other bedroom. This is considered to be functional obsolescence.
This type of situation is most often found in older homes. I have seen this type of situation many times on the second floors of many bungalow or cape cod style dwellings I have appraised. Although, it can exist in any style home.

My comment: I see tandem rooms a lot and sometimes tandem garages. I think I have finally convinced the local agents not to call them bedrooms. Of course, some insist on using Assessor data, which has not been updated since 1979, when Prop 13 passed and re-assessments stopped unless there was a sale or new construction.


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Appraisal volume is driven by refis. Mortgage interest rates are increasing to its highest level since February 2011, 5.05 percent. 

Thinking about doing non-lender work? I have been writing about it since June, 1992. All my appraisals have been non-lender since 2005! 

A few recent articles:
  • Should you do non-lender work? Pluses and minuses of both lender appraisals and each different type of non-lender appraisals.
  • Quick Start – how to get non-lender work ASAP. Lots of practical tips
  • Estate and trust- the most popular non-lender appraisals. No court testimony, No AMCs, reviewers, etc.   
To read the full articles , plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today.
If these articles helped you get one non-lender appraisal, it is worth the subscription price!! 
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Appraisal and valuation trends – published Oct. 9

By Rob Chrisman
Topics include price per sq.ft. changes and a new AVM, plus lots more.

Excerpts: There are move Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs) than there are countries in the United Nations.

Fannie revealed that 11% (this article said 33%. Next article corrected to 11%) of all loan submissions were eligible for an Appraisal Waiver but, interestingly, only 8% were accepted.

But the real elephant in the room is bifurcation.

Worth reading. To read the full commentary, scroll down the page or search for appraisal.

My comment: I have subscribed to Chrisman’s weekly articles for a long time. Mostly about mortgage market, including job openings. Sometimes he has appraisal information.
More Chrisman appraisal info – published Oct 10
Correction on Fannie statement (see above) plus MH Advantage and FHA requiring 2nd appraisal on Reverse Mortgage loans (HECM = Home Equity Conversion Mortgages)

Go to this link and scroll down or search for appraisal



Texas Real Estate Commission, Appraiser Board accused of ignoring customer service “crisis”

Government watchdog says licensing agencies are hoarding money

Excerpts: The agencies that license real estate agents and appraisers in the state of Texas are ignoring a customer service “crisis” while hoarding money that could be used to address a laundry list of problems, a Texas government watchdog recently said.

The Texas Sunset Commission, a state government watchdog agency that advises the state’s legislature on the effectiveness of state agencies, said in a report published this month that the Texas Real Estate Commission and the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board are keeping excess revenue in their coffers to pay for a new building rather than using the money to deal with customer service problems that are “overwhelming” the agencies.

Post your comments here:

My comment: Sorry, I know nothing more about this. Link to the 55-page report

Understanding Competency

By Tim Andersen, MAI, MNAA and J. Nathan Pippin, MNAA
Excerpt: This essay explains the COMPETENCY RULE. At first glance, the COMPETENCY RULE appears to apply to the three standard approaches to value. It also requires the appraiser to understand protocols, procedures, and applications. It means the appraiser knows and understands the protocols behind making specific adjustments, as well as when a particular protocol or approach is applicable.

Competency requires the appraiser to know what to do in any appraisal situation, and then to execute that knowledge in way that is both timely and proper. Further, thru his/her logic & reasoning, judgment & execution, that appraiser leads the client/intended user to a conclusion(s) the market-facts and market-evidence firmly and clearly support.

My comment: worth reading. Good discussion of the issues.

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 1.7 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 10, 2018) – Mortgage applications decreased 1.7 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 5, 2018.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 1.7 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 3 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 decreased to 39.0 percent of total applications from 39.4 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 7.3 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 10.5 percent from 10.2 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications remained unchanged at 10.0 percent from 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) increased to its highest level since February 2011, 5.05 percent, from 4.96 percent, with points increasing to 0.51 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 July 2011, 4.99 percent, from 4.93 percent, with points increasing to 0.35 from 0.31 (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 April 2011, 4.98 percent, from 4.95 percent, with points decreasing to 0.63 from 0.80 (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 increased to its highest level since April 2010, 4.44 percent, from 4.39 percent, with points increasing to 0.58 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 its highest level since the series began in
2011, 4.29 percent, from 4.24 percent, with points increasing to 0.52 from 0.48 (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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