80-Foot-Long Train Car Is Part of Washington Home: appraisal?

Excerpts: The former passenger-train car is about 80 feet long, 12 feet wide, and has been incorporated into the rest of the residence.

“[The first owners] connected it to the house, so you walk from the kitchen out into this train,” Anderson explains.

“You walk past the kitchen island and into a hallway where there is stained glass—and you walk into the train.”

To read more and see lots of interesting photos click here:

My comment: Sorry, I would Just Say No on this appraisal. Too busy now is my excuse. But really the appraisal would drive me crazy!!

Appraisal Process Challenges(Opens in a new browser tab)

Appraising Weird Stuff is Challenging!(Opens in a new browser tab)


NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other sections of this long blog post: Funny agent photos, Refi boom,  Random thoughts of an appraiser, Covid tips for appraisers, mortgage loan origination stats, how to increase your profits, etc. 

Random Thoughts of an Appraiser

By Matt Simmons

Excerpts: Always makes me laugh when I see a subject-to appraisal with “subject to inspection.” That’s all? Doesn’t matter what the result of the inspection is? Perhaps an adjective that conditions the appraisal on the OUTCOME of the inspection would be a good idea.

I was appraising an island estate for a blue-blood American family – a surname we all know. My family is from Nashville and though I grew up in Florida, I was a Vanderbilt University sports fan (terrible idea), and I had a vanity plate on the front of my truck, VANDERBILT. I pulled up and got out of my truck and the estate caretaker said, “Oh hello Sir, I see that you’re a Vanderbilt.” Um, not quite. But to him, that would be completely normal. It was as if I’d pulled onto the set of Downton Abbey.

To read more plus the comments click here

My comment: We all have these “random thoughts”. I gotta start writing them down for future publication… and maybe notoriety ;>


Mortgage lending volume in 2020 likely to break records

Origination volume will reach $3.9 trillion, boosted by $2.4 trillion in refis, Fannie Mae says

Excerpt: Fannie Mae, the world’s largest mortgage financier, said mortgage lending this year probably will reach an all-time high of $3.9 trillion.

The dollar-volume record will be boosted by $2.4 trillion in refinancings, the highest level since 2003 and more than double the level seen in 2019, the mortgage giant said in a forecast on Tuesday.

“We continue to believe that a low-rate environment will support refinance demand over the forecast horizon,” Fannie Mae said in the forecast. “At the current interest rate of 2.86%, we estimate that nearly 69% of outstanding first-lien loan balances have at least a half-percentage point incentive to refinance.”

To read more, click here

My comment: Raise your Fees NOW!! The refinancing boom is just getting started


But do lenders have the capacity to handle more volume?

Excerpt: Even with refinances driving a record $1.1 trillion in originations in the second quarter and testing the limits of lenders’ capacity, Loan Officers, mortgage executives and economists say all the conditions are right for a string of even bigger quarters.

According to a report this week by data and analytics firm Black Knight, there are over 19 million high-quality refinance candidates in America, representing 43% of all 30-year mortgage holders. (There were about 11.7 million eligible homeowners this time last year.)

Black Knight defines “high-quality” refinance candidates as those with credit scores of 720 or higher, who hold at least 20% equity in their homes, are current on their mortgage payments, and could shave at least 0.75% off their first rate lien by refinancing.

To read more, click here

My comment: Dump AMCs that are a lot of hassle to work with NOW!!


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It hasn’t been this hard to get a mortgage in six years

An index measuring mortgage availability drops to the lowest level since March 2014, MBA says

Excerpt: Mortgage credit in August was the tightest in more than six years as a weak economy prompted lenders to tighten standards, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in a report on Thursday.

The group’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index fell 4.7% to 120.9 last month, the lowest since March 2014, indicating stricter requirements to get loans. The index plunged from record highs seen in late 2019 after the COVID-19 pandemic caused the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression.

To read more, click here

My comment: Very, very strange. I have never seen a market like this when the economy is not doing well. I guess lenders can get more restrictive, and be more “picky” about borrowers when the mortgage market is booming.


30 funny photos taken by real estate agents

Take a Break and Have Some Fun!!!

Excerpt: From horror movie-esque semi-abandoned flats for rent to excessively unique home decor cases and very impractical architecture decisions, the real estate agents behind these funny ads didn’t even care to fix the places up

before snapping the hilarious pictures.

Photo Caption above: You’ll Never Guess What I Just Passed On The Stairs!!

The caring levels were so low that there’s also a photo with a live bat in it, a huge pig laying around in the living room and feral horses relaxing in front yards. The most baffling part is that these funny photos were really used to advertise and show the good side of housings to possible buyers.

To see lots more fotos, click here

My comment: Of course, appraisers regularly see strange things in homes. But we don’t put our photos on the internet for everyone to see….


COVID-19 recent posts at covidscienceblog.com

The Fauci Tracker:Public Health and Scientific Challenges”

9-10-20 Dr. Fauci spoke at a live webinar, with over 6,000 virtual attendees and many questions. 1 hour and 6 minutes.

Often, the media videos only show short clips of what he said. At this event, he has lots more time. Using very good slides for illustration makes a big difference.

Short, understandable explanations of such topics as testing, treatments, and vaccines.

To read more, click here


Where to get reliable Covid-19 science information – resources I use

Significantly updated from my August 1 monthly newsletter

I include lists of podcasts, web sites, email newsletters, etc.

The amount of news on COVID, from many sources, is almost overwhelming now. Be sure you use a reliable source. There is a lot of misinformation.

To read more, click here

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