What’s The Size of Your Driveway?

By Jamie Owen
Excerpt: It really depends on how the appraiser is looking at it. Are they reporting the width of the driveway, the depth, or how many cars can fit on the driveway?
Most appraisers reflect the width of the driveway. Why? For one thing, many lenders prefer the driveway size to be reported this way. This is likely because it is less subjective. For instance, if the appraiser reports the driveway size based upon the number of cars that can fit on it, what kind of automobile are they using for their measurement? After all, a driveway may be able to accommodate a larger number of smaller cars than bigger ones.
Does it affect value? As is the case with nearly every aspect of a home, the answer is, it depends.
For instance, in high-density neighborhoods where street parking is limited, the size of the driveway could make a difference in value. On the other hand, in other high-density neighborhoods, many homeowners may use public transportation. If this is the norm for the neighborhood, the size of the driveway may not have any impact on value.
To read more and see fun animated gif, click here
My comments: Worth reading. Lots of topics are covered. Check out the fun animated gifs, etc.
In San Francisco, for example, off-street parking is at a premium in many neighborhoods. My brother bought a house 25 years ago with no off-street parking (primarily single family homes). I warned him, but he really wanted the house. It was a hassle then, but now, it is very difficult to find parking as many neighbors rent rooms to tenants with cars.
A significant issue with ADUs is where will the car(s) park? Will they take up the neighbors’ on-street parking?
I moved to San Francisco in 1968 and worked in a lab 20 miles away. The closest parking was 2-3 long blocks away when I got home from work. I moved from Tulsa, OK, where there was lots of parking everywhere. I never lived in a place without off-street parking again!

Humor for Appraisers

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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 Real estate market, ROVs, forecasting, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.


Live Inside a Sculpture: Iconic Steel House in Texas

Excerpt: The structure is a shell within a shell. Bruno built the steel exterior, insulated the inside, and then built another layer of steel. There is a slight echo inside.
Most of the windows are stained glass, and winding stairs connect the floors. Inside, it’s a well-rounded experience with archways and curves—nothing is square.
Some of the walls are covered with a plasterlike substance that could allow for a coat of paint, but the steel still sometimes comes through.
“I don’t think that the house is meant to be a warm and cozy house. People are not going to go stay in it because it is warm and cozy,” she says. “They’re going to want to stay in it because it’s iconic. It’s different. There’s nothing like it.”
As currently configured, there are three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms inside the 2,200-square-foot steel structure. It’s also equipped with electricity as well as central heating and air.
To read more and see interesting photos, click here

Reconsiderations of Value: Satan’s Own Seed, Right? (Podcast 9.5 minutes)

By Tim Andersen, MAI
Excerpts: Some clown wants a reconsideration of value (ROV)?! ROVs are Satan’s own seed, right? Probably, that obnoxious broker told the borrower to file the ROV! This would not be even an issue if that idiot, the greedy broker, had priced the property correctly! So, now what? I’ve got to stop everything else I’m doing to babysit the ego of a cretin real estate broker!? This is BS! I’m going to send that stupid broker an email with two words. The second one will be “you!” but the first will not be “Thank”!”
Has a reconsideration of value (ROV) ever prompted you to react this way (or in one similar to it)? In truth, they are a major PITA (pain in the butt). They take a lot of time away from the money-making of real estate appraisal. They are a tacit accusation that some part of your appraisal was wrong. And if you later change your value conclusion, that is florescent orange, flag-waving admission, you were wrong! So, what’s an ethical, honest appraiser to do?
In the podcast, we cover three ways to deal with reconsiderations of value. Actually, the best way is to appraise and report so that idiot broker can’t demand an ROV. When we properly explain WHY it is we did/did not do something, it is hard to request that ROV. When we don’t, it’s easy.
To listen to the podcast, click here
My comment: Tim Andersen, USPAP Expert Extraordinaire, has some good, practical tips. He teaches, writes, and consults with appraisers if they have a state board complaint or want to do better appraisals. His website is www.theappraisersadvocate.com

How to Reduce Your Appraisal Stress!!

  • How to reduce your appraisal stress. Don’t let other people “push your buttons”

  • How to handle angry borrowers and agents: Ask, Listen, Repeat, Relate by Dustin Harris

  • The Angry Property Owner – What to Do? By Ryan Reynolds

If one of these articles gives you good ideas for reducing your stress, it is worth the subscription price!!

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Buckle up for next year’s housing market

By Ryan Lundquist
Excerpts: Predictions: First off, nobody knows the future, so I take predictions with a grain of salt. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that it’s impossible to predict the future with certainty. With that said, it seems most data sources are predicting anywhere from 2-7% home price growth for 2022.
So far, it seems like the theme is, “The wild stallion market of 2021 will become tamer.” And almost everyone has disclaimers to say what happens with rates, and inventory could change the prediction. Calculated Risk has a table with specific predictions. https://calculatedrisk.substack.com/p/2022-housing-forecasts-second-look
By the way, here’s a real estate prophet test I made a few years ago (SEE ABOVE)
To read more, click here
My comment: Check out the Calculated Risk link above to see national forecasts for 2022. See how Ryan uses graphs to illustrate his market.

Sculptured House Golden, Colorado

This iconic science fiction house still looks like something from the future.
Excerpt: Motoring down the scenic drive west on Highway 70, away from Denver, Colorado, into the foothills and sprawling mountains, an odd structure appears south of the freeway. An oval shape seems to float just above the trees at the top of a cliff, looking at the highway below. It would be understandable to think you’ve spotted a UFO, since the Sculptured House is known for its sci-fi history.
Built in 1963, the Sculptured House has many names. Dubbed “the Flying Saucer House,” “the Sleeper House,” and “the Spaceship House,” the futuristic domicile was built by architect Charles Deaton. Perched on the top of Genesee Mountain, the eccentric private residence has appeared in a number of movies, TV shows, and photo shoots.
Most famously it was used as one of the main sets for Woody Allen’s science fiction comedy Sleeper (1973), but it was on also seen on MTV’s Extreme Cribs, HGTV’s Home Strange Home, an episode of American Guns, and has also been included on Forbes’ list of Ugliest Mansions.
To read more and see the photos, click here

How Appraisers are Handling Market Value (Video: 23 minutes)

George Dell, Speaker
Excerpt: How has this new market been different than what is considered “normal?” In what ways are appraisers reacting? How is this information beneficial to the future of appraising? George will answer these questions, and much more will be answered
To watch the video, click here
My comments: For me, George’s videos make it easier to understand the “big picture” than his writings. I have heard him speak to appraisers many times. He is an excellent speaker.
The video discusses market value in today’s market, “Dell Operative Definition of Market Value.”
I have been following his writings for many years. He is on a mission to bring appraisers to using data and analysis in their appraisals – going beyond “3 comps” (Appraisal Modernization?).
I also liked seeing his office instead of a “virtual” background image (see photo above) ;>
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. I have been following this data since 1993. 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 7 AM to noon, Pacific time.

Mortgage applications increased 2.0 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 8, 2021) – Mortgage applications increased 2.0 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 3, 2021. The previous week’s results included an adjustment for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 2.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 45 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 9 percent from the previous week and was 37 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 28 percent compared with the previous week and was 8 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
“Mortgage rates declined for the first time in a month, prompting a pickup in refinancing, with government refinances increasing more than 20 percent over the week. While the 30-year fixed mortgage rate and 15-year fixed mortgage rate both declined only one basis point, the FHA rate fell 7 basis points, driving the surge in government refinances. Borrowers are continuing to act on these opportunities, but if rates trend higher as MBA is forecasting, the window of opportunity to refinance will continue to get smaller,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “The purchase market was slower last week, with applications falling after four consecutive increases. Activity is still close to the highest level since March 2021, which is a positive sign as the year comes to an end. Purchase activity continues to be constrained by a lack of inventory, combined with rapid rates of home-price appreciation and mortgage rates higher than in 2020.”
The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 63.9 percent of total applications from 59.4 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 3.0 percent of total applications.
The FHA share of total applications increased to 9.9 percent from 8.9 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 10.7 percent from 10.0 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.5 percent the week prior.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) decreased to 3.30 percent from 3.31 percent, with points decreasing to 0.39 from 0.43 (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 $548,250) increased to 3.33 percent from 3.27 percent, with points decreasing to 0.30 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 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.35 percent from 3.42 percent, with points decreasing to 0.32 from 0.35 (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 2.62 percent from 2.63 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.31 (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 2.98 percent from 2.48 percent, with points decreasing to 0.21 from 0.27 (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

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