Survey: Which Appraisal Clients Make Up the Majority of Your Client Base?

Excerpt: What types of clients do property appraisers serve? Do most of their assignments come from lenders vs. non-lenders? To help answer these questions, we recently asked our real estate appraisal community, “What type of appraisal client makes up the majority of your client base?” Or, which Appraisal Clients are used the most?

While most appraisers said that the majority of their work comes from lenders (most often through AMCs), some said the bulk of their client base is made up of other types of appraisal clients, such as attorneys or private individuals.

To read the results and appraiser comments click here

Marketing and Management Tips for Appraisers


NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other sections of this long blog post on rotating dome home, Fannie solar panel update, unusual floating home, conflicting roles of fee appraisers, Fannie FAQs, mortgage origination stats, Covid tips for appraisers, etc.  

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Fannie: Solar Panel Appraiser Update 8-5-20

On August 5, the Selling Guide was updated with clarification on appraising properties with solar panels (B2-3-04, Special Property Eligibility Considerations and B4-1.3-05, Improvements Section of the Appraisal Report).

We’ve created a one-page overview to explain appraisal requirements for properties with solar panels, broken down by common types of ownership and debt financing.

You can also check out the Appraising Properties with Solar Panels video for more information. Both are available in the Help and Training section of the Appraisers page, as well as links to the Selling Guide.

Click here for a copy, with links, of Appraiser Update


Good News: Dr. Fauci says the nation can survive Covid-19 without another shutdown

In an interview, the infectious disease specialist says he’s a ‘realistic optimist,’ but worries about the future.

Excerpts: “There seems to be a misperception that either you shut down completely and damage a lot of things, mental health, the economy, all kinds of things, or let it rip and do whatever you want,” Fauci said during a podcast on Wednesday, August 5. “There’s a stepwise fashion that you can open up the economy successfully.”

Even as cases have risen in recent weeks, “I think we can get through this without having to revert back to a shutdown” if Americans uniformly wear masks, physically distance, avoid crowds and follow hand-hygiene recommendations, Fauci said. “When you have a weak link, then the whole system is unsuccessful.”

Listen or read click here

My comment: Very good audio interview with a very good interviewer. Covers a lot of hot topics. He is “a realistic optimist”, similar to myself. I agree with Dr. Fauci. He is not the only one thinking this. We all want a vaccine, but it is very, very unlikely any will be like measles, where you get lifetime immunity with one shot. Instead it may be like the annual seasonal flu shots. Lots more info will be discussed in my future Covid blog posts. My Motto: Save Lives. Wear a Face Mask!!


COVID Risk When Appraising 2+ Unit Apartments and Non-Residential Properties

Yesterday I posted my first COVID-only blog post, separate from these emails. I ran out of room in my big Covid articles in the August paid monthly issue (available FREE on my blog). Also, too much is changing too fast!! Monthly is not frequent enough. Now I can write as much as I want – no size limit. I plan to post them on Thursday, the day before this newsletter goes out on Friday.

Excerpt from my blog post:

Crowding – Very important for apartments. How many people in a space. Many properties have break rooms in an office, such as grocery stores, offices, etc. Employees take off masks to eat, sit close together, etc. Warehouses and factories can be crowded with workers. Stores can be crowded, especially small grocery stores. High ceilings can help disperse airborne virus particles.

Other tips:

  • Time you spend in a risky (occupied) space must be as little as necessary.
  • For non-residential properties, inspect when vacant, whenever possible. For apartments, inspect vacant or unoccupied units.
  • Face masks: all occupants must have them, plus the owner or property manager.

To go to my blog post to read more tips and leave a comment, click here

To read the FREE August newsletter with lots of information for all appraisers go to :

  • How to keep safe from COVID-19, including tips for appraisers
  • The Vaccine Race


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Entrepreneur, technician, and manager – the three conflicting roles of fee appraisers

Most residential appraisers are very busy now. But, as we know, business goes up and down. Mortgage rates will eventually go up. Change will be required. Most of us, of course, just “want to do appraisals.” But, that doesn’t work for long term success as appraisal volume, clients, regulations, types of appraisals and appraisal requirements, etc. change over time.

You MUST focus on the business side of your appraisal business to survive the ups and downs to be successful.

How many appraisers do you know who said they were very dissatisfied, when business was slow or Fannie was making too many changes?

They neglected the business side of their appraisal practices. They did not have businesses, they have jobs. When they’re swamped with work, they get very stressed out and don’t know how to prioritize their business tasks so that they can set aside time for family and friends, which is much more important than their businesses. When fees drop or business stops coming in, they don’t know what to do. They don’t know how to change, or they refuse to change.

To read the full article, published in the February 2020 issue, plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today.

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New York Dome Home Was Built To Rotate

Excerpt: “When you see the house, it looks like the top cap of a mushroom,” says its owner, Angelo Baccellieri. “It’s really very sunny inside, with a bright interior.”

To read more, click hereFannie


COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions – Selling Updated: July 29, 2020 

“NEW” or “UPDATED” indicates changes.

Appraisal FAQs start with Q66 on page 13

Excerpt: In response to the COVID-19 national emergency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have provided temporary guidance to lenders on several policy areas to support mortgage originations. These FAQs provide additional information on the temporary policies. We will be adding more FAQs.

There was only one appraisal FAQ that was updated or new:

Q79. Does an appraisal report have to include subject property and comparable sales photographs when the report is an exterior-only appraisal assignment?

Answer. The appraiser must provide an original photograph of the front of the subject property. For all other photographs, the appraiser may provide photographs from credible secondary data source(s). Although not required the presence of a comparable photos page, with images, may be necessary to allow the appraisal report to pass automated system requirements.

New lender FAQ 99. May I use an appraisal waiver if I obtained an exterior-only or desktop appraisal?

Not much new, but you may see something of interest in other parts of the FAQs. It may be good to review the FAQs also.

For PDF download click here


Portland’s Iconic Floating Home 

Excerpt: This isn’t the only floating home in the Pacific Northwest—but it is the only one with outer-space vibes.

On the market for $850,000, this futuristic-looking home on the water is described in the listing details as “Portland’s most iconic and famous floating home.”

If this one-of-a-kind home looks familiar, you may have spotted it on an episode of HGTV’s “Extreme Homes” or on “Portlandia.” Locals know the river residence as “Aqua Star.”

To read more, click here

My comment: I want it!! I’ve seen, and been inside, a lot of floating homes, both here in the Bay Area, including my city, and in Seattle. But, this is the most amazing of all of them!!


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 5.1 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 5, 2020) – Mortgage applications decreased 5.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 31, 2020.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 5.1 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 7 percent from the previous week and was 84 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 22 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates dropped to another record low last week, falling below the previous record set three weeks ago to 3.14 percent. Refinance activity decreased – despite the decline in rates – but the current pace remains more than 80 percent higher than a year ago when rates were over 4 percent. MBA’s forecast calls for rates to remain at these low levels, which will continue to spur strong refinance activity and offer homeowners relief in the form of lower monthly mortgage payments during these uncertain economic times,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Purchase applications also fell slightly, but were still 20 percent higher than a year ago and have now risen year-over-year for 11 straight weeks. Purchase loan balances continued to climb, which is perhaps a sign that the still-weak job market and tighter credit for government loans are constraining some firsttime homebuyers.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 63.9 percent of total applications from 65.1 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 3.1 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications remained unchanged from 9.6 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications remained unchanged from 11.2 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 ($510,400 or less) decreased to 3.14 percent from 3.20 percent, with points increasing to 0.39 from 0.37 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $510,400) decreased to 3.51 percent from 3.52 percent, with points increasing to 0.33 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 3.27 percent, with points increasing to 0.42 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 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 2.73 percent from 2.76 percent, with points increasing to 0.37 from 0.36 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.09 percent from 3.08 percent, with points decreasing to -0.03 from 0.11 (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

1826 Clement Ave. Suite 203 Alameda, CA 94501

Phone 510-865-8041


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