7 Reasons to Love Being an Appraiser

Excerpts: 1. Being your own boss

“After ‘working for the man’ for 20+ years, I changed careers to be an appraiser. Working for myself has been the biggest reward, offering flexibility and a healthy work-life balance.”

2. Having a flexible schedule

“Being able to set my own hours, as long as I get the job done.”

“Tackle the workflow when its heavy, and enjoy the reprieve when it lightens up!”

For 5 more reasons and lots more comments, click here

My comments: I worked in labs for 7 years and was bored. I saw an ad for a county assessor’s office in 1975 that said “work in the field.” I worked on the 1970 census and loved going out at looking at houses all day long. I read a book at the library about appraising and got hired. After 45 years I still love it! I am never bored. No two properties are the same. Plus, I love being self employed. I was always a bad employee with too many opinions of my own.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

For Covid Updates, go to my Covid Science blog at covidscienceblog.com

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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 , mortgage origination stats, Covid tips for appraisers, etc.


I Reserve the Right Not to Serve You Anymore

Part of what I do is stay in touch with local real estate brokers and appraisers. Some of us have a local restaurant we frequent. At the front door is a sign letting all patrons the management reserves the right to refuse service to anyone. I’ve never seen this restaurant refuse service to anybody. You don’t make money turning away customers, but the management of the restaurant reserves that right.

That realization got me thinking. Do appraisers have the right to refuse to provide service to any potential customers? I surely hope so! And it is a right that I think sometimes we do not exercise often enough.

To read more, click here

My comment: I have always turned down work since I started my appraisal business in 1986. Over time, as I decided what type of appraisal work I wanted to do, and where I wanted to work, the turn downs increased. I have fired many clients because they are too demanding, picky, cheap, crazy, etc. A few times I turned down an appraisal and returned the check, after starting the appraisal.


Former Mill in Maine, next to a river

Excerpt: A former mill from the 1860s is now a private waterfront home for sale in Cumberland, ME. Listed for $575,000, the house on is on the Piscataqua River. The river wraps around this property and runs underneath the back side the whole length. It continues beyond it, wraps around a point, and continues upriver from there.

The 1,200-square-foot living space, with two bedrooms and one bathroom, sits below the former mill, with exposed logs in almost every room.

For more info and lots of fotos, click here


Who’s Really completing bifurcated/hybrid appraisal reports?

By Dave Towne

Excerpt: This essay has been “rattlin’ around my cranium” for a few months from the time I acquired two ‘case study’ report examples in early 2020. I’ve recently received a third bifurcated report, which has similar appraiser data. So now is a prime time to spill the beans, so to speak.

To read more, including appraiser comments, click here

My comment: Personally I prefer to go inside and have not done drivebys for many years. However, I don’t see a problem with appraisers doing these types of reports. They have been in use for decades, mostly for portfolio appraisals in the past.Getting too many ad-only emails?


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Make use of your driving time by exercising


Arm and hand exercises

  • For steering wheel exercises, put your hands in the 10:00 and 2:00 position.
  • Squeeze the steering wheel tight, pushing inward for 2-3 seconds, then release.
  • Keep a relaxed grip on your steering wheel, to keep tension from moving up to your face, neck, and shoulders. One at a time, lift your fingers off the steering wheel, then lightly put them back.

Lower body exercises

  • Tighten your thigh muscles, hold for 2-3 seconds, then relax.
  •  Squeeze your buttocks, hold for 2-3 seconds, then release.
  • Shift your weight from right to left side of your buttocks, sometimes called “walking”.
  • Push the small of your back forward, then back into your seat, pushing your hips forward.

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Portland’s Boomerang House

Excerpt: Listed for just under $1.8 million. The home was built in 1947, and was completely renovated by the current owners in the past few years.

To see lots of photos, click here 

My comment: don’t ask me to measure this one!! Give me the architect drawings so I can do a takeoff. Interesting interior floor plan!!


How the Rollout of COVID-19 Vaccines Could Help,and Hurt, the U.S. Housing Market

Excerpts: Now, as the long-awaited vaccines are being rolled out, home buyers and sellers are eager to take real estate’s temperature. Will prices finally cool off? Will the big cities come back? And will more homes finally go up for sale?

“Some people will feel comfortable listing their home during the first half of 2021,” says Ali Wolf, chief economist for Zonda, a real estate consultancy. “Others will want to wait until the vaccines are widely distributed. This suggests more inventory will be for sale in late 2021 and into the spring selling season in 2022.”

“As the risk of serious illness declines because more people are vaccinated, we expect to see more sellers,” says Hale.

To read more, click here

My comment: I am getting my second Moderna shot Feb. 18. Finally I can do some things I have delayed, such as getting my car repaired and renting a car. I am 77 with diabetes at high risk. I suspect others who have been thinking about selling may do it, especially those over 65 which have 75% of covid deaths.


COVID-19 Recent posts covidscienceblog.com

Time to upgrade your face masks? Covid is primarily transmitted through the air.

Deciding what face masks you want and then figuring out how to buy them is very confusing. These posts took me a long time to research and write. The original post was too long, so I divided it into two separate posts. There is some overlap between the two posts.

Surgical and Cloth Face Masks – What to Buy and Where to Purchase

KN94, KN95 and Elastomeric Respirators: What and Where to Buy


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 www.mbaa.org 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 https://www.appraisaltoday.com/products.htm or send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 7AM to noon, Pacific time.


Mortgage applications increased 8.1 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 3, 2021) – Mortgage applications increased 8.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 29, 2021.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 8.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 10 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 11 percent from the previous week and was 59 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 0.1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 8 percent compared with the previous week and was 16 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

“After increasing for three consecutive weeks, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped 3 basis points to 2.92 percent. The one-week reversal in the recent upswing in rates drove an increase in both conventional and government refinance activity, as borrowers continue to lock in these historically low rates. MBA’s refinance index hit its highest level since March 2020 and jumped 60 percent year-over-year,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Purchase activity was unchanged last week, with a 1 percent increase in conventional applications offset by a 3 percent decline in government applications. Average purchase loan amounts in early 2021 continue to rise across all loan types, driven by a strong pace of home sales, tight housing inventory and high home-price growth. Conventional, FHA and VA purchase loan sizes all set new survey records last week.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 71.4 percent of total applications from 70.7 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained unchanged at 2.2 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 9.1 percent from 9.4 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 12.1 percent from 12.4 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.4 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 2.92 percent from 2.95 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.32 (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 3.12 percent from 3.17 percent, with points increasing to 0.32 from 0.31 (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 increased to 2.94 percent from 2.88 percent, with points decreasing to 0.29 from 0.34 (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 increased to 2.44 percent from 2.43 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.32 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 2.88 percent from 2.60 percent, with points increasing to 0.46 from 0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased 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

Email  ann@appraisaltoday.com 


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