New appraisal form and UAD short video (under 4 minutes)

It looks like Fannie and Freddie are finally saying something again about their plans! For example, one form that works for all the old forms. The infographic link includes a sample sales comparison grid. Make it larger to see all the added adjustments.

The February issue of the monthly Appraisal Today has lots of info on this topic.


To watch the video and more, click here

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

For Covid Updates, go to my Covid Science blog at

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

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on Fannie modernization, USPAP, Business tips, mortgage origination stats, Covid tips for appraisers, etc.


Modernized Bias and Opinion?

By George Dell, MAI

Excerpt: What has made the old ways old is that technology has changed, but our ways have not. Appraisers continue to provide opinions based on (potentially biased) “picking comps.” They then make adjustments based on this limited data, or “extensive experience.” Hybrid appraisals split up the data/adjustment appraisal process into reduced or segregated parts.

AVMs embrace sophisticated statistical algorithms, secret lest competitors use or share improved results. Both appraisals and AVMs only report market price (although called ‘value’). As such, if there is any historical or current force on ethnic bias by neighborhood, both methods simply repeat the bias.

To read more, click here

My comments: George has some very interesting comments in the February issue of Appraisal Today: Egad! UAD and Forms Reforms: an opinionated view


What’s an Inspection, 30 Years Later?

By Jonathan Miller

Excerpts: USPAP Doesn’t Require An Inspection So Why Is It Trying To Determine What An Inspection Is 30 Years Later?

The ASB is struggling with the 4th Exposure Draft and issues of clarifying significant professional assistance and what an inspection means? Why? USPAP doesn’t require an inspection – never has. And good grief… a FOURTH exposure draft in an already over-analyzed two-year USPAP cycle?

Incidentally, Title XI doesn’t require experience! Take a step back and look at other professionals like lawyers and accountants – they are required to take a comprehensive (hard) exam and do not have to have thousands of hours of experience. The public trust of these professions is not damaged by this practice. As a good friend of mine in Oklahoma has told me many times, “appraising isn’t rocket science.”

To read more, click here

My comments: I remember what it was like before USPAP, licensing (and state regulators). Ethical appraisers told the truth. I quit writing much about USPAP as there have been so few significant changes relevant to practicing appraisers.


Diving into USPAP with Jeremy Bagott and Dennis Scardilli 37 minute Video

Excerpt: Jeremy Bagott, author of “Dispatches from the Cosmic Cobra Breeding Farm,” Dennis Scardilli, Attorney and MAI AQB (Appraisal Qualifications Board) Certified USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) Instructor

What is the case that Jeremy Bagott and Dennis Scardilli are pushing? What are the effects on the appraisal and housing industry overall if this is passed? Why is this change necessary for USPAP? These questions and much more will be answered.

To watch the video, click here

My comments: I am always amazed that Bagott, a practicing appraiser, spends so much time researching and writing about appraisal and lender issues! I interviewed him and wrote a review of his very interesting “Cosmic Cobra” book about the Appraisal Foundation. Bagott has a new book: The Ichthyologist’s Guide to the Subprime Meltdown. Available on Amazon.

Buzzcast Videos on Youtube (All the videos are here. Easy to find what you want)


The Ultimate Garage? Car Lovers’ Nirvana in Texas 

10 acres just outside Dallas. The Lone Star State spread devoted to all things automotive sped away with the most clicks.

It features professional-grade automotive facilities—including a glass-repair shop and several auto lifts. There’s also a 10-car garage, a car-painting booth, and luxurious entertaining spaces festooned with auto-themed memorabilia.

To read more and see more popular listings, click here

My comments: Who has enough garages? No one! The homes I appraise usually have 1 or 2 car garages used for storage and sometimes a car or two. I have never had room to put a car in any garages where I have lived. They are full of appraisal and business files plus personal stuff I should get rid of ;>Getting too many ad-only emails?


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New in the February issue of the monthly Appraisal Today newsletter

  • Appraisal Risk Management – Fannie’s LL-2021-01 Risk scores, appraisal defects, appraiser independence, etc.
  • Make use of your driving time by exercising
  • Procrastination costs you time, money and more stress, which we don’t need now!
  • FHFA wants input on waivers, hybrids, new form and UAD changes, etc. by 2-26-21
  • Appraisal waivers up 137% for all loan types in 2020
  • Braintoss captures your thoughts, By Wayne Pugh, MAI
  • Egad!! UAD and Forms Reforms by George Dell, MAI

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

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20 Motivational Quotes for Appraisers

Excerpt: If you can increase your productivity, your business will grow, along with your income. Here are some motivational quotes to inspire you to work better, faster, and smarter to achieve the level of growth you desire:

“We overestimate how much we can accomplish in a day, and we underestimate how much we can do in a year.” – Unknown

“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” – Tim Ferriss

“It’s not always that we need to do more but rather that we need to focus on less.” – Nathan W. Morris

To read more, click here

My comments: Every month I have at least one article on increasing productivity in the monthly Appraisal Today newsletter. We are all way too busy!


COVID-19 Recent posts

Should you wear two face masks? n95 is preferred, but too hard to find – too many counterfeit!

Covid News Update and What it Means for You At the top of my blog. I update this post regularly, sometimes hourly! I don’t have enough time to write about all the topics, so I include good links for more information. Vaccine topics: variants, rollout problems, new vaccines coming soon hopefully, etc.

What is happening now, and what needs to be done with vaccine rollout? Short video interview

Vaccine distribution problems – companies that are helping Short video. With major logistical challenges, companies face a bottleneck in vaccine distribution.

Fauci Finally Free to Speak When and Where He Wants! Podcast, videos and articles


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 4.1 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 27, 2021) – Mortgage applications decreased 4.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 22, 2021.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 4.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 3 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 5 percent from the previous week and was 83 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 3 percent compared with the previous week and was 16 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates were mixed last week, with the 30-year fixed rate rising to its highest level since November 2020 at 2.95 percent, and all other rates in the survey posting a decline. In a sign that borrowers are increasingly more sensitive to higher rates, large declines in government purchase applications and refinance applications pulled overall activity lower. The refinance index has now declined for two straight weeks, but is still 83 percent higher than last year,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Purchase applications also decreased last week, but the impressive trend of year-over-year growth since the second half of 2020 has continued in early 2021. Activity was up 16 percent from a year ago, and the average purchase loan amount hit another record high of $395,200. Since hitting a recent low in April 2020, the average purchase loan amount has steadily risen – in line with the accelerating home-price appreciation occurring in most of the country because of strong demand and extremely low inventory levels.” 

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 70.7 percent of total applications from 72.3 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 2.2 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 9.4 percent from 9.3 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 12.4 percent from 13.8 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.5 percent from 0.4 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) increased to 2.95 percent from 2.92 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 increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $510,400) decreased to 3.17 percent from 3.19 percent, with points increasing to 0.31 from 0.28 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 2.88 percent from 3.01 percent, with points increasing to 0.34 from 0.29 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 2.43 percent from 2.48 percent, with points decreasing to 0.32 from 0.33 (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 decreased to 2.60 percent from 2.76 percent, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.31 (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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