AMC Fined for Appraisal Order Blast Violation

Excerpt: Consolidated Analytics, an AMC based in Anaheim California, was fined $3,000 for violating the Utah AMC Administrative Rules R162-2e-306 “Offering An Appraisal Assignment and Communicating with Two or More Appraisers About a Potential Assignment.

The specific part of this rule that pertains to broadcasting has been relatively effective in reducing the broadcasting of assignments. Clear Capital recently was fined $5,000 for failing to comply and there are additional complaints working their way through the system.

To read more, click here

My comment: Broadcast orders are bad for many reasons for both the AMC and the appraiser: goes to everyone on their list, no considerations about appraiser qualifications for the assignment including geographic. Hundreds of appraisers competing on fees when business is slow make it hard for appraisers to stay in business. There is always someone with a lower fee, in appraising, and any type of business.

When business is strong, such as today, AMCs have to take whatever warm body they can get. Many appraisers are way too booked up and not taking any more work.

Maybe you can get your state appraisal regulator to get a similar regulation!!

Working with difficult appraisal clients(Opens in a new browser tab)

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

Marketing and Management Tips for Appraisers

Click Read More below for the rest of this blog post!!

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other sections of this long blog post: How much do you make per hour?, FHA repairs, weird 5-story circular house, Covid tips for appraisers, mortgage loan origination stats, how to increase your profits, etc.

Subscribe to this blog (upper right of this page) and get all the posts emailed when they are posted!!

Comp Photos in Gated Communities Can be Tricky

Excerpt: “Does my permission to enter this private, secure community include the permission to wander about in my car taking pictures of private homes?” Think about this. You are in a private community. The roads and rights-of-way in it are not public thoroughfares.

To read more, click here

My comment: I used to stand by the gate during morning commute hours and scoot through when the gates opened. Sometimes I could get the access code for projects that I regularly go to. Of course, MLS photos are available. A few times someone asked me what I was doing taking photos and I said I was appraising a home nearby. I may have offered my business card.


Verifying MLS Sales Price

Excerpt: In this case, a comparable sales price in the MLS was reported $11,500 higher than the ‘public’ record. That caused me to examine ‘public’ records from our Assessor and Treasurer more carefully – which we can do easily using their web sites (thank goodness, and I realize others across the country are not so fortunate).

Indeed, the Assessor’s sale transfer price was shown to be the lower figure. To verify that, I looked at the recorded Excise Tax document on the Treasure’s site. That only shows the gross Excise Tax collected, but not the actual sale price. In our case, the Excise Tax is 1.78% of the sale price, which I also had to research using the WA State web site which shows the Excise Tax percentage in all counties, and cities that vary by location.

To read more, click here

My comments: Good to check two data sources for sales prices, an extremely critical factor in doing an appraisal!!


Freddie mortgage forecast for 2020-2021

Excerpt: We expect total mortgage originations to reach $1.1 trillion in Q3 2020 and $3.6 trillion for full year 2020. For Q3 2020, we forecast purchase originations to be around $444 billion and refinance originations to be $670 billion. For full year 2020, we forecast purchase originations and mortgage refinance originations to total $1.4 and $2.2 trillion, respectively.

For 2021, we forecast purchase originations to remain at $1.4 trillion, while refinance originations are expected to be lower at $1.2 trillion. Overall, we forecast total originations to decline to $2.7 trillion in 2021.

Lots of tables To read more, click here


Getting too many ad-only emails?

4 ways to get only the FREE email newsletters and NOT the ad-only emails.

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(posted early Friday) Link is above and to the right of the big yellow email sign up form. Newsletters start with “Newz”. Contains all recent emails sent.

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How much money do you make per hour in your appraisal business, after expenses?

Excerpt: Many appraisers just look at gross income, how much money they receive. But, net income is what counts. That’s how much money you have after all expenses are paid.

Appraisers are paid for our opinions. We collect and analyze data and make decisions on value. Why not apply the same skills to analyzing your appraisal business?

Finding out how much money you are making, after expenses, is a critical step in the success of your business.

Do you know how much are you making per hour, after expenses? How can you change your business to increase profit? Which geographic areas, types of appraisals, and clients are your most profitable?

Many residential appraisers work solo. I mostly focus on their business issues in this article. However, I also include information on larger businesses.

I set up Word forms and Excel spreadsheet templates and put them online. You can use them the way that fits your business. My MBA (emphasis in finance) and 35 years in my appraisal business helps in determining the best way to analyze appraisal businesses.

To read the full article, plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today.

If this article gave you one good idea about increasing your profits, it is worth the subscription price!!


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Cosmetic vs. MPR Repairs: Guidance for FHA Appraisers

Excerpts: If you are appraising a property that needs some cosmetic repairs but meets FHA minimum property requirements (MPR) in its current condition, you should make the appraisal “as-is.” Here is some guidance on cosmetic repairs vs. MPR repairs…

You may complete an as-is appraisal for existing property when minor property deficiencies (which generally result from deferred maintenance and normal wear and tear) do not affect the health and safety of the occupants, or the security and soundness of the property.

Cosmetic/minor repairs are not required. However, they must be reported, and they must be considered in the overall condition when rating and valuing the property.

To read more, click here

My comment: If you do FHA appraisals, read this great post from McKissock!!


5 Story Circular House Near Woodstock NY

Excerpt: two bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in a relatively compact 2,118 square feet.

Of paramount importance, the home is also round. As in: no right angles. “It’s a different type of living, not for the average Joe, so to speak,” Staley says.

There are five floors of living space. Four of them are round, which means that the basement is the only spot without curves.

To read more and see the fotos, click here

My comment: And I thought domes were strange


COVID-19 Recent posts and my Covid Comments

Get your flu shot by October 31, 2020!!

Why? The annual flu vaccine lasts for about 6 months.

In the United States, flu season occurs in the fall and winter. While influenza viruses circulate year-round, most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, but activity can last as late as May. Source: CDC

If you are 65 or older, be sure to get the senior flu shot. As we age, our immune resistance declines.

I got my flu shot this week. Walk up is available in my city from my health care provider (Kaiser). At 9 am when it opened there were only 4 people in line. The line went very fast with two nurses giving the shots. Drive through is also available in many areas. See what your provider offers. Pharmacies provide flu shots also. You can use your own insurance or pay out of pocket.


New Report: Who Gets The Corona Vaccine First – Issued October 2, 2020.

There are 4 phases

  • Phase 1a covers approximately 5 percent of the population and includes front-line health workers and first responders
  • Phase 1b covers approximately 10 percent of the population and includes people of all ages with comorbid and underlying conditions
  • Phase 2 covers approximately 30 percent to 35 percent of the population and includes K-12 teachers and school staff
  • Phase 3 covers approximately 40 percent to 45 percent of the population, and includes young adults, children
  • Phase 4 covers everyone residing in the U.S. who did not have access to the vaccine in prior phases.

On my blog post are links for an excellent podcast, a press release, and an article that discusses the recommendations.

The podcast is very informative, understandable, and worth listening to. The speaker is an “insider” who was on the committee. Three of the topics discussed are:

– Who is in the phases and why.

– Ethical issues.

– Who was on the committee and how they came to a consensus in only two months.

September 2 a previous draft report was issued by the same committee. This October 2 report has a lot more detail and discussion of the issue.

To read my blog post with lots more info about the phases and see an excellent graphic of the four phases of vaccine distribution, click here


FYI, as of Sept. 17 the CDC required that states submit their draft plans for vaccine distribution today, October 16. I have no idea how the states could do that reliably as who gets the vaccine is uncertain. For example, does heath care workers include nursing home workers and hospital janitors? The recent report above came out Oct. 2. Two of the primary candidates for approval (using mRNA, a new technology) require vaccine storage at below 94 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, both require two vaccine doses, very complicated.

For those reasons (vaccine storage and 2 doses), Phase 1a in the new report above gives the vaccine to health care workers and first responders. They have jobs, can be tracked for the second dose, and can get both doses at their places of employment.

To read a recent article on the issues of the required vaccine distribution reports by the states, click here


My August 1 newsletter has lots of information on vaccines

To download and read the newsletter, click here

Scroll down to Topic List – the Vaccine Race

The 3 column version has 5 pages. The one column, Word style version, has 13 pages.

A few of the topics:

  • Types of vaccines (4)
  • Operation Warp Speed and the amount of funding available
  • Many of the issues in getting an effective and safe vaccine
  • The Vaccine testing process

My August 1 newsletter was less than 3 months ago. But the “basics” of vaccines have not changed a lot. Which ones are in various stages of clinical trials has changed.

Vaccines have been available for a long time. Viruses are very, very small. No one had ever seen one until the electron microscope was invented in the 1930s. The smallpox vaccine, introduced by Edward Jenner in 1796, was the first successful vaccine to be developed.


Overweight = Covid risk!! 

Just when I thought I was okay. Not obese. Darn!!

Now, CDC says overweight is a factor.

Click here for more info and a BMI (Body Mass Index) online calculator

I use an iphone app “NIH BMI Calculator”. Simple and easy to use.

If I could just lose about more 20 pounds I would not be overweight ;>


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 0.7 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 14, 2020) – Mortgage applications decreased 0.7 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 9, 2020.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 0.3 percent from the previous week and was 44 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 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 24 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage applications for refinances and home purchases both decreased slightly last week, despite the 30-year fixed mortgage rate declining to a new MBA survey low of 3.00 percent. Applications for government mortgages offset some of the overall decline by increasing 3 percent, driven by a solid gain in government purchase applications and an 11 percent jump in VA refinance applications,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Refinance and purchase activity continue to run well ahead of last year’s pace, fueled by record-low rates and strong homebuyer demand. Housing supply is a challenge for many aspiring buyers, but activity should continue to stay strong the rest of the year.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 65.6 percent of total applications from 65.4 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 2.0 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 10.7 percent from 11.0 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 13.4 percent from 12.2 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.6 percent from 0.5 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 3.00 percent from 3.01 percent, with points decreasing to 0.32 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 3.30 percent from 3.31 percent, with points increasing to 0.35 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 3.12 percent, with points increasing to 0.35 from 0.32 (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 remained unchanged at 2.59 percent, with points decreasing to 0.32 from 0.36 (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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