Fannie’s New ANSI FAQS July 2022

Standardized Property Measuring Guidelines

Excerpts: Updated guidance, including some new and substantively revised FAQs

In response to your feedback, we’ve updated the Standardized Property Measuring Guidelines with some new and substantively revised FAQs, including clarifications on the terms “declaration” and “statement of finished sq ft.”

A few of the Q&As

Q5. When common practice in the local market differs from the ANSI standard, can the appraiser modify the subject’s GLA to conform to local custom?

Q6. The standard mentions a “statement of finished sq ft”; does Fannie Mae require appraisal reports to make an affirmative statement that the standard was followed?

Q7. The standard describes three scenarios in which a “declaration” is required. What is the difference between the statement of finished sq ft and the declarations?

Q19. Will appraiser adherence to the ANSI standard cause confusion when the subject GLA differs from other sources such as MLS or public record?

Q20. The GLA of comparables available to appraisers may not be based on the ANSI standard. How should appraisers manage this issue?

To Read this 5-page Update click here


Bryan Reynolds speaks with Fannie Mae representative about the new ANSI FAQ. 37-minute podcast. Listen to this podcast!!

The Appraisal Update – Episode 109 | Fannie Mae’s New ANSI FAQ

Speaker: Bryan Swartwood III, Fannie Mae Credit Risk Senior Manager – Single Family Collateral Policy

Topics: The two Bryans discuss below grade, subject GLA different from MLS, comps not measured using ANSI, what happens to appraisers not following ANSI, ceiling height below 7 ft., manufactured homes, using exception code, and many more from the FAQs.

To listen to the podcast, click here

It is on the top of the web page now. scroll down the page looking for Episode 109. If possible, a copy of the ANSI Standards and the new FAQs makes it easier to follow the speakers. I subscribe to The Appraisal Update Podcast from Appraisal eLearning.

My comments: I listened to the podcast. The speaker was very good with practical advice. Reading the 5-page FAQs was okay, but the speaker helped me remember and understand what was written.

I received the Fannie email notice on July 19, 2022, at 10:30 Pacific time. The Appraiser eLearning podcast was available on July 19 at 2 PM. Whether or not FAQs were original, revised, or new is not indicated in the document. I did not compare it to the original Fannie FAQs.

When Fannie first announced in December 2021 that ANSI would be required on April 1, 2022, there was lots of confusion among appraisers who had never used ANSI or were not using it properly. ANSI was designed by home builders, not appraisers or lenders. Also, what Fannie wanted was not clear.

ANSI standards and Fannie requirements sometimes appeared to conflict. The forms were not designed to accommodate ANSI, such as where to put the different square footages on the form. Owners, reviewers, underwriters, real estate agents, and many others who read the appraisals are sometimes confused. These FAQs help to answer some of the questions.

ANSI Z765-2021 Resources for Appraisers

Appraisal Business Tips 

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 sex dungeon, appraisal violations, complaints, liability, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.


Built in 1668, the Joshua Culver House in Connecticut


Price: $345,000

Year built: 1668

3 bedroom, 1 bath, 1,728 sq.ft., 0.68 sq.ft. lot

The Joshua Culver House: This three-bedroom home is one of the oldest houses in the village of Old Mystic—and in the entire country.

Four fireplaces. Other historic features include wide-board pine flooring and some built-ins. The house is located near downtown and close to lots of walking paths and biking trails.

To read more click here  Scroll down the first page to see all 10 old homes.

To see more photos, a virtual tour, and information for this property, click on the address to go to the MLS listing.

My comment: Wow! In my area, the only old buildings remain from the 21 Spanish Missons along California coastal area (1769 until about 1833). There are a few left near where I am. My city was established on June 6, 1853. It is 10 miles from San Francisco and became a suburb with ferries taking people to work or shop, in San Francisco. The California Gold Rush started on January 24, 1848.


8 Common Violations Made by Appraisers

By McKissock


1. Use of inappropriate sales. One of the big problems is use of inappropriate sales in a sales comparison approach.

2. Use of unsupported site value. the cost approach. That’s something that a lot of boards have cited as a prevalent deficiency or shortcoming in appraisal reports.

3. Failure to analyze sales history. …also common. This is surprising to me because it is so easy for someone else to check if you omit or don’t analyze the sales history. A reviewer or an underwriter can check that from their desk in about three seconds. So if you fail to do it, chances are someone is going to find out about it.

4. Failure to analyze the purchase agreement. This sometimes goes along with failure to analyze three-year prior sales history.

5. Failure to include number and title with signature

To read more, click here

My comment: These violations are nothing new. They keep being repeated in lists of violations over and over for many years.Getting too many ad-only emails?


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What to do when you get “That Phone Call” about your appraisal report? Advice from an attorney who defends appraisers. 

We all get these phone calls!!



• If you get a phone call about your appraisal report, whether it be friendly or nasty, DON’T get taken off guard. Compose and calm yourself. Listen to what is being said and to what is being asked. DO take notes, so you can remember the contents of the call.

DON’T discuss an appraisal with someone who is not your client. You must have the client’s permission to discuss the appraisal with a third party-no matter how nice that third party might appear over the telephone!

• If the phone call comes from the client, or if you receive the client’s permission to discuss the appraisal, DON’T answer questions or provide information “off the top of your head”. Find out exactly what are the problems or concerns of the caller. DO ask questions. Then get the appraisal report and the file and review it, objectively to determine if the problem, questions, or criticisms are justified.

DON’T admit that you did anything wrong. Even if you find that there is an error in the appraisal, that error may not have been the cause of any loss. Even if a review appraiser wrote down your value by 10%, if the loan is still current and performing, how has any party been harmed? Even if there was a small error in your square footage calculation if the adjusted value was still high enough to support the loan, how has any party been harmed? Making admission of fault or liability could also serve to jeopardize your insurance coverage.

This is a quote from an article in the July 2022  monthly newsletter, which also includes statements/disclaimers to copy and paste into your reports.

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How To Build a “Sex Room”

Netflix’s new series “How To Build a Sex Room” doesn’t require viewers to guess about its subject matter. It’s all there in the title!

Throughout the years, we’ve seen more homeowners construct dedicated “intimacy rooms”—like sex rooms or BDSM basements—inside their homes, but this is the first time this trend has been packaged in the form of a renovation reality show. On the show, you work with your general contractor, Mike. What did he think when Netflix approached him about doing this type of construction? He was all in for it! It’s not the regular construction, you know—not like building out a kitchen or a bathroom. So there are a lot of different and interesting elements that are going into that room. And there are construction challenges.

For example, don’t try to put a sex swing in the ceiling without putting it in a ceiling joist. It’s never going to work. What is the most requested things in sex rooms that you design? Sex swings. So boring. I need to work on finding a really beautiful sex swing that I can customize for a client. I like people to bring me fantasies and experiences that challenge me. I always love a challenge.

To read more, see photos, and see a video of the original Sex Dungeon, click here

Whatever Happened to the ‘Sex Dungeon’ House in Pennsylvania?

Excerpt: A vanilla home in the suburbs outside Philadelphia with a sexy secret in its basement whipped up a storm earlier this year when it went up for sale. The listing photos prominently featured a lavish BDSM “sex dungeon” outfitted with top-of-the-line implements for a kinky night (or day!) in.

When the listing agent, Melissa Leonard, snagged this one-of-a-kind property, she decided to simply lean in, without hiding the basement from prying eyes. She felt that the space, and all of its accoutrements, was too much to spring on unsuspecting buyers without warning. Her decision to present the house without sparing a single detail helped to make the home a viral sensation…

After the listing became infamous, its owners decided to take the house off the market and turn it into a full-time BDSM rental. Before it landed on the market, the basement (which has a separate entrance and bathroom) had already been rented out on Airbnb as a sexy destination.

Now, the whole house, which has plenty of upscale amenities, is available to rent by the day for consenting adults under the company name, Maison XS, advertised on Facebook and Instagram.To read more click here

My comment: I wrote about the original listing in this newsletter. It was one of my most popular links! Also very popular was a one-topic newsletter I wrote a while ago on April Fool’s Day: Fannie’s database of appraisal data was hacked and lost. Some appraisers believed it or maybe hoped it was true ;>


Markets changing is all over the news. What is happening in your market? Buyers take power from sellers. It’s their turn.

By Ryan Lundquist 

Excerpt:1) More buyers are getting info contract below list.

It’s been rare to get into contract below the asking price, but we’re finally starting to see that change. Buyers can now actually get an offer accepted and take more time to shop too. Sellers would be wise to recognize buyers are pickier about getting into contract (and staying in contract). The black line represents 2022, and there has been a sharp shift away from the insanity of last year. These stats are technically looking normal at the moment, but let’s not ignore abnormal things (dropping volume).Figuring out normal: The red line in visual above is the pre-pandemic average so we can compare today with then. The goal is to create a benchmark to show what “normal” looked like before things got crazy.

To read more, click here

My comments: Sales are the Past. You cannot rely on regional data on price changes. You Must analyze all your market data. Every very local market, and market segment within that market, is different.

Ryan has been analyzing his local market for many years. He has the best analyses and graphs I have seen. They give appraisers lots of ideas for following trends. He has been writing about trends recently, almost every week when his market started changing. Use Ryan’s graphs to show how your subject’s market is changing.

Check out Ryan’s other recent blog posts about market changes. In many markets, what is happening is changing.

The future is somewhat uncertain. He has been writing about this for many years, as his markets go up and down.

I get many real estate-related emails every day. Most are about national, regional, or state trends about dropping listing prices and/or sales prices, buyers backing out of sales, etc. Very wide variations from stable to declining, to increasing prices. I decided not to include national real estate news links about market changes. Redfin has good national trends information.

To read the press releasesclick here


$80M Evergreen Crystal Palace For Sale Above Table Rock Lake in Missouri

Excerpts: First time offered for sale since its completion in the 1990s, Evergreen Crystal Palace is a truly one-of-a-kind residential/corporate retreat sited high above Branson West’s Table Rock Lake. The enormous, 5-level, 25,000 square foot glass structure was designed by architect Dennis Spencer and built for Robert Plaster, founder and former chief executive officer of Empire Gas. The site has over 350 acres.

The News-Leader (local newspaper) published an article on the residence stating that it would cost $6 million to complete and was apparently the most expensive home ever built in Missouri. The paper also revealed that the property would include an 8,000 square foot garage with space for 14 vehicles, as well as, four offices, 12 guest suites, 2 master bedroom suites and a helicopter landing pad. Mostly untouched since the 1990s, the mansion showcases extensive use of green marble, brass and glass…

To read more, see photos and watch the video, click here

My comments: I could not find record of the sale. The original listing company still has it listed on their website.


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.My comments: Rates are going up. Some appraisers are very busy and others have little work. Varies widely around the country.


Mortgage applications decreased 6.3 percent from one week earlier

Mortgage applications decreased 6.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 15, 2022.The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 6.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 17 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 4 percent from the previous week and was 80 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 7 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 16 percent compared with the previous week and was 19 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage applications declined for the third week in a row, reaching the lowest level since 2000. Similarly, with most mortgage rates more than two percentage points higher than a year ago, demand for refinances continues to plummet, with MBA’s refinance index also falling to a 22-year low,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Purchase activity declined for both conventional and government loans, as the weakening economic outlook, high inflation, and persistent affordability challenges are impacting buyer demand. The decline in recent purchase applications aligns with slower homebuilding activity due to reduced buyer traffic and ongoing building material shortages and higher costs.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 31.4 percent of total applications from 30.8 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 9.5 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 12.4 percent from 11.7 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 10.6 percent from 11.2 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 ($647,200 or less) increased to 5.82 percent from 5.74 percent, with points increasing to 0.65 from 0.59 (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 $647,200) increased to 5.31 percent from 5.25 percent, with points remaining at 0.38 (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 increased to 5.50 percent from 5.49 percent, with points decreasing to 1.02 from 1.08 (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 4.88 percent from 4.93 percent, with points increasing to 0.76 from 0.72 (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 4.60 percent from 4.71 percent, with points increasing to 0.96 from 0.77 (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 Email

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