Women in Appraising

Karen Mann: An accidental encounter turns into a lifelong career in the appraisal industry

Excerpts: Karen Mann is a Certified General Appraiser in Discovery Bay, CA. In her 39-year tenure, Karen has made it her mission to help continue the evolution of the industry – serving on several national and local committees for both the Appraisal Institute and the American Society of Appraisers.

Karen’s success in the industry started with a fortuitous event that turned into a successful career and a lifelong friendship. Even today, she remains close to two of the mentors that helped her get started. Her leadership and activism in the industry have helped guide others just getting started, and her acceptance of technology has aided in her success.

“Becoming an appraiser has changed my world. I’ve now been in quite a few leadership roles in and outside the appraisal industry. And, I feel that I’ve had a very fortunate career. I’ve worked really hard, but for the whole 39 years (so far), it’s been an honor to be an appraiser.”

My comment: I have known Karen for over 30 years. She is a lot of fun also. I will never forget when Karen and I plus a couple of other women got on stage and dancing and doing karoke at a national Employee Relocation Conference (social event). Appraising interferes sometimes with cruising on her big power boat ;>
Maggie Hambledon, ASB member since 2011

Maggie is president of Hambleton, Inc., a real property appraisal firm in Columbus, OH. She has been in practice for over 40 years, specializing in the valuation of residential properties, with an emphasis on litigation support.

She got started by Sheer luck. “I answered an ad to work as an assistant for an appraisal department in a corporation.  The luck was I had two pioneer male appraiser mentors who believed in upward mobility and this was in 1968! I was able to learn from the time a potential assignment was logged in through the entire process and to travel to other states to participate in large multi-property appraisal assignments.”


My comment: How did I get started? After 7 years I was bored working in labs, started when I graduated from college. In 1975 I saw an ad for “Engineering Aide” at the county’s assessor’s office. It said “work in the field” (verifying county records before switching to automated valuation). Previously I worked on the 1970 census in the field and really liked it. I had never heard of appraising and got an appraisal book at the library. Have been appraising ever since!

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

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other sections of this long blog post on mortgage reform, trainees, answering phones, mortgage origination stats, etc.

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ASB Adopts Changes to USPAP for 2020-21

Excerpt: The current written report options (Appraisal Report and Restricted Appraisal Report) are being retained for 2020-21. One of the more significant revisions is that use of the Restricted Appraisal Report will be permitted when there are intended users in addition to the client. An appraiser will be required to identify these additional intended users by name in the report.

The Foundation will be authoring a Summary of Changes document about the pending revisions to USPAP within the next several weeks. They will also be producing a recorded webinar on the changes. The new USPAP becomes effective on January 1, 2020, so there is still plenty of time to learn about the changes to USPAP before they go into effect.
Click here for the full blog post:

My comment: Many thanks Dan Bradley at McKissock for this blog post! I will be writing about the new USPAP in my paid newsletter, but learned many years ago to wait until a few months before it is adopted. That is when appraisers want to know about it ;>

I never used Restricted Reports because other intended users could not be added. Now I have another reporting option to use.


Appraiser Qualifications Board Issues Discussion Draft About Practical Applications for Real Estate Appraisal Concept (practical, structured appraisal experience for new appraisers)

Comments due by June 1, 2019

Excerpt: PAREA offers practical experience in a simulated environment using various technologies for trainees seeking to earn the minimum criteria for appraiser qualifications and training.

A few of the topics:
– What is the maximum amount of experience a trainee should be able to obtain by completing PAREA training?
– What “prerequisites” should be required prior to enrolling in PAREA training?
– What level of “supervision” is appropriate for PAREA trainees?

List of topics and brief intro: Click here
Link to Discussion Draft – short, worth reading

My comments: This “concept” has been under discussion for many years. Better later, than never, I guess. I studied science in college and spent my afternoons in labs. When I graduated I was ready to go to work. I have always wondered why there was no practical experience available in any appraisal classes I took from the professional appraisal associations. When I started appraising, I took a community college class where we did an appraisal, using Fannie forms. We measured, took notes, got comps, etc.

In the 1990s, soon after licensing started, there were for profit companies that offered education and experience for appraisers. Their main source of business, in my area, was people receiving workers comp. I remember workers comp employees calling me about job opportunities. For awhile they were good, then the market crashed and they were gone.

New in the April 2019 issue of the paid Appraisal Today
  • Communicating with non-lender clients: Very, very different than lenders!! Lots of advice and practical tips.
  • Manifesting Support for Adjustments by Steven Smith, MSREA, MAI, SRA
  • Many ways to cut costs, and increase profits and cash flow
I have no idea why I have never written about communicating with non-lender clients. That is the most difficult part of doing non-lender appraisals as compared with lender appraisals!! I quit writing the article after 6 pages (3 column format), but could have written a lot more. I have never seen any other articles or education on this topic.
Because we are all working on our taxes, or finished them, it is a very good time to look at your expenses to see what you don’t need. Whether you are busy or not, every dollar you can cut is an increase in income!
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If you are a paid subscriber and did not get the April 2019 issue, emailed Monday, April 1 2019, 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.

Do you answer your phone? If not, I guess you are not looking for any appraisal work.

Yesterday I was working on an article for my paid newsletter and called about 20 appraisers for comments. Only a few answered their phones. I left voice mails for the rest.

When business is slow, if you don’t answer the phone, the estate appraisal or an order from a direct lender is gone. The caller just goes to the next appraiser on the list.

Of course, sending an email was not possible for most of the appraisers I called because you can only get email addresses from a web site. Of course, there are many without email addresses. I have always had my email address on every page of my website.

Google yourself and see what comes up. For example, John Smith, real estate appraiser.

U.S. “desperately” needs mortgage reform, claims $1 trillion in missed mortgages

JPMorgan Chase CEO advocates for housing finance reform

Excerpts: JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told shareholders this week that the U.S. housing finance system is “desperately” in need of reform, and claimed that the housing market’s status quo of the last several years left at least $1 trillion in mortgages on the table.

(Dimon) claims that a “conservative” analysis of the mortgage market shows that the current lending environment cost at least $1 trillion in mortgages over a five-year period that could have been originated if reforms had been enacted.

My comment: More appraisals will be needed!!
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 5.6 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 10, 2019) – Mortgage applications decreased 5.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 5, 2019.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 5.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 5 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 11 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 13 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates inched back up last week, but remain substantially lower than they were in the second half of last year,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “As quickly as refinance activity increased in recent weeks, it backed down again in response to the rise in rates. However, this spring’s lower borrowing costs, coupled with the strong job market, continue to push purchase application volume much higher. Purchase applications are now up more than 13 percent compared to last year at this time.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 44.1 percent of total applications from 47.4 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 7.6 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 9.6 percent from 8.8 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 11.1 percent from 10.4 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.6 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) increased to 4.40 percent from 4.36 percent, with points increasing to 0.47 from 0.44 (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 $484,350) increased to 4.28 percent from 4.21 percent, with points increasing to 0.28 from 0.25 (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 4.42 percent from 4.41 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.48 (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 3.83 percent from 3.78 percent, with points increasing to 0.42 from 0.40 (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 3.78 percent from 3.77 percent, with points decreasing to 0.26 from 0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased 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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