Tax records and Square Footage in Appraisals

13516718 – white wood texture with natural patterns

Tax Records is not the definitive source for square footage!

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpt:

Why is the appraiser saying it’s only 1,400 sq ft? Tax Records shows the home is 600 sq ft larger. This issue comes up ALL the time, so let’s talk about it. Tax records and Square Footage in Appraisals is a hot topic.

The truth: The Assessor’s records are generally reliable, but I’m just saying sometimes they’re not. Why is this? At times it’s as simple as the original builder not turning in accurate information when a house was built. Or maybe an owner took out permits but official records were never updated. Of course we’ve all seen instances where the tax roll shows two units on one lot, but there’s really just one house nowadays. Let’s not forget sometimes owners do an addition without permits, so the Assessor might actually be correct even though the house is technically larger or has even sold on MLS as a larger home. For reference, here are ten reasons why an appraiser’s sketch might be different.

For lots of comments and more info, click here

My comment: This one of the main reasons that AVMs will never be very successful for all homes. Over and over again, statistical analysis shows GLA is the most important physical feature overall.

Also, how bedrooms are determined varies a lot, depending on the local market and can vary over time. The assessor number of bedrooms may not match the appraiser’s. For example, tandem rooms. Finished basements can vary also.

I started appraising at a CA assessor’s office in 1976. In CA, State Board of Equalization regulated county assessors offices, so the procedures and terminology are very similar all over the state. However, GLA from the assessor may have different requirements than other sources, such as ANSI.

Proposition 13 passed in 1979, which only allowed an annual 2% increase in assessment per year, unless there was a sale or improvements (determined by permits). Over time, the information has become more and more out of date.

Data is not available for smaller counties if the assessor says it is confidential. Until the 90s, my county did not release any data, so I had to “guesstimate” on square footage for sales and listings. We finally got it when an MAI was elected assessor.

In the early 90s, I researched assessors records around the country. In some small rural counties the records were kept at the assessor’s home. They were not digitized and available for purchase by data companies.

Appraisers need to know which areas are not accurate. Sometimes GLA is “political”. Within a city, accuracy can vary. In my city the least accurate records are in the “Gold Coast” with many of the city’s larger, historic homes. In other nearby cities, some properties have low GLAs to keep the property taxes lower.

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

What is Included in Appraisal Square Footage?(Opens in a new browser tab)

How accurate is the reported square footage from the tax records in your primary service area?(Opens in a new browser tab)

10 reasons why public records and the appraiser’s square footage can differ(Opens in a new browser tab)

To read about lots more appraisal topics, continue reading below!

 

Read more!!

Appraiser Work Stress Humor

8 Funny Quotes About Appraiser Work Stress

Just For Fun!!

Excerpts: Real estate appraisal is an exciting and enjoyable profession—for the most part. But every appraiser knows that the job can be stressful at times, especially for those who are self-employed. If you’re having a hectic or frustrating day on the job, it helps to have a sense of humor. Here are some super funny quotes about work stress that we hope will brighten your day. Appraiser Work Stress Humor is what we all need!!

A few quotes

“‘Yay! It’s the weekend!’ Said nobody who is self-employed.”

“There cannot be a stressful crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” ­— Henry Kissinger

Very creative gifs! Sorry, they don’t work in these emails. To see them, click here

My comment: Very Funny and Realistic!

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

Which Appraisal Clients are used the most?(Opens in a new browser tab)

Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos for Appraisers(Opens in a new browser tab)

To read about lots more appraisal topics, continue reading below!

Read more!!

What is a Competent Appraiser?

“Damn Right I’m a Competent Appraiser…Aren’t I?”

By Tim Andersen, MAI

Excerpt: To appraise a property, and then report it according to USPAP, is a requirement USPAP demands and the states enforce. All too often, reviewers see in reports boilerplate (especially in the reconciliation) such as: “In my professional opinion, the value of the subject is $XXXXXX”. In the light of competency, look closely at SR1-6(a) and (b), the reconciliation standards rule. What is a Competent Appraiser?

If there is nothing more in the reconciliation than this single (essentially meaningless) sentence, the appraiser has not complied with SR1-5(a) and (b), thus evidenced a lack of competency. In turn, the appraiser certified to a lie, in that, in not complying, the appraiser omitted preparing the report in accordance with Standards 1 and 2 of USPAP. To add insult to injury, the appraiser has violated SR2-1(b) in that the above statement and certification, with no other context or explanation, are misleading. Three serious USPAP violations might stem from these 11-words.

Therefore, relative to the concept of competency, the deeper meaning is that the above 11-words are capable of generating three charges from the state. In addition, they can generate questions from reviewers. When appraisers appraise the property credibly, and then report the results of that appraisal in a non-misleading manner, they avoid both attention from reviewers and from the state. Thus, in turn, they save not only time and money, they show themselves to be competent. They appear more professional. Professionals can and do charge more for their time and efforts, right? Let us, therefore, be professionals.

My NOTE: This blog post starts with USPAP competency standards and includes an analysis of Competency and the Fannie forms Neighborhood section.

To read more, click here

My comment: Tim Andersen is definitely a USPAP Expert! He writes, speaks, teaches classes, etc. on USPAP topics. He also helps appraisers get their appraisals more USPAP complaint. He focuses on residential appraisal issues – state boards, reviewers, AMCs, etc.

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

Which Appraisal Clients are used the most?(Opens in a new browser tab)

To read about lots more appraisal topics, continue reading below!

Read more!!

10 Very Unique Bathrooms for Appraisers

Unique Bathrooms

Excerpt: The world is filled with remarkable restrooms. Some of them are no longer open to the public, such as the Stufetta del Bibbiena, a small bathing chamber with erotic-art-covered walls in the Vatican’s Papal Apartments. Others have been transformed into something totally new, like the London coffee shop that was once a Victorian urinal. But there are plenty of breathtaking bathrooms that are publicly accessible and just waiting to be wetted. These are 10 of the world’s most opulent and bizarre bathrooms. These 10 Very Unique Bathrooms for Appraisers are fascinating and unique!

Here are a few

  • Two story bathroom
  • Berlin Wall urinal
  • World’s Most beautiful public toilet

To read lots more info and see the good fotos To read more, click here

My comments: FYI, bathrooms are one of the very most popular topics in these free appraiser weekly emails. I have no idea why ;>

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

Very unusual bathrooms for appraisers(Opens in a new browser tab)

To read about lots more appraisal topics, continue reading below!

Read more!!

Arm’s-Length Transaction for Appraisals

Arm’s-Length Transaction for Appraisals

By Dustin Harris
Excerpt: USPAP does not define the term arm’s-length transaction. Fannie Mae also lacks such a definition. Yet, both of them call for the appraiser to use only arm’s-length transactions as comparable sales…

How often do we appraisers get into the mode where we think we know it all? Occasionally, do we need to step back and look at the way we do things, just to make sure we are not missing something? Is what we know to be true and correct really true and correct? I raise this issue relative to the concept of what an arm’s-length transaction is. Are we truly aware of its definition and its application?
To read more, click here

My comment: There are too many phrases widely used without definitions!!

Read more!!