57 Weird Real Estate Agent Photos

Excerpt: Yes, many great real estate photos really capture the house. This post though is a tribute to the other kind that we’ve all seen – hilariously terrible MLS photos.

From horror movie-esque semi-abandoned homes for rent to home decor that overshot “unique”, the owners and agents behind these funny ads thought things were perfect just as they were for their photos and open houses.

Caption for Photo Above: That way, you can still work on the garden even if it’s raining!

To read more, click here

My comment: We all love these photos! If used in the MLS on a comp, makes you wonder how it sold ;> Or an expired listing that didn’t sell. Data for those fixer homes (contractor specials).

More Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos for Appraisers

Appraising Weird Stuff is Challenging!

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on USPAP Update Mistakes on Bias, Real Estate Market analysis, the FED raises interest rates, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.


Iconic Zigzag Midcentury House in Sarasota, FL

Excerpts: Built in 1959 and designed by Tollyn Twitchell for Ralph Twitchell Architects, the 3,419-square-foot, ranch-style home is listed for $3 million.

It sits in the Sarasota beachfront neighborhood of Lido Shores, an area that’s a haven for modern architecture. It features homes built by architects affiliated with the Sarasota School of Architecture, a loose-knit regional style founded by the architect Ralph Twitchell.

With four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, she says the home was built “to blend in with the surroundings.”

It features a covered lanai along with walls of windows and takes full advantage of the temperate climate.

The three-year renovation was completed in 2019, including a new roof, windows, landscaping, and updated plumbing, HVAC, and electrical. Baths and bedrooms were expanded as well. A saltwater pool is also on the property.

To read more and see lots of photos click here 


Spiking housing supply & fewer buyers

July 25, 2022 

By Ryan Lundquist 

Excerpt: Finally. We’ve seen a massive change in housing inventory. But is it because sellers are rushing to list their homes? Nope. That’s not the culprit. Let’s talk about supply and some things on my mind about today’s market.

Four things about Today’s Housing Market

1) The spike in housing supply is NOT due to sellers:

In a short period of time, we went from having three weeks of supply in the Sacramento region to ten weeks. What is causing this change? It’s easy to pin this on sellers rushing to list, but that’s NOT the case. This is actually about fewer buyers getting into contract.

We’ve seen close to two thousand fewer sales since May, which means listings that normally would’ve sold are still on the market. In other words, the spike in supply came from weakening demand rather than more listings hitting the market.

To read more, click here

My comments: Why do I include Ryan’s blog posts? He gives ideas for graphs and tables to illustrate your local markets. His market is showing changes. Check out Ryan’s other recent blog posts for ideas on how to analyze your market and help your clients understand what is happening.

I am getting buried in emailed news releases on changing markets, mostly national. But what matters is your local market. For example, here in the Bay Area, newspapers report a drop in median sales price from $1,500,000 to $1,400,000, about 7%. But, that includes a very wide range of cities. In previous price declines, such as 2008, the percent decline varied significantly. For example, in my city, it was 30%. In a nearby city, one neighborhood declined about 80%

My city is different today as we have lower median prices, around $1,000,000 with different percent price declines in previous downturns. Market segments include price ranges, size, architectural styles, stacked condos, townhomes, school districts, etc. All markets have segments.

Look at the dollar changes, not just percent: a 7% drop here, is a $100,000 price drop. If the median home price in your market is $200,000, a 7% drop is $14,000. What effect does this have?


New in the August 2022 Issue of Appraisal Today

  • Comparison of lender and non-lender appraisals. Side-by-side comparisons and brief summaries of many types of non-lender appraisals.
  • What is a functionally obsolete appraiser, by Richard Hagar, SRA. Lots of ideas for increasing your skills to get more challenging appraisals with higher fees.
  • Markets are changing. What does USPAP say about trends? by Tim Andersen, MAI. Tim discusses every section of USPAP that has trends advice.

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ASC Says Appraisal Foundation’s USPAP Update Bias Section is Misleading

By Jonathan Miller

Excerpt: ASC just sent a letter to state appraiser regulatory officials pointing out that the USPAP update course is factually inaccurate and puts appraisers in legal jeopardy if they follow it.

Excerpt from the ASC letter to TAF: The new fair housing module contained in the 7-hour continuing education course reflects welcome effort, but fails to provide accurate and effective guidance to appraisers. The module provides an inaccurate summary of fair housing law, while failing to include any content from the applicable statutes themselves (namely, the federal Fair Housing Act) or its implementing regulations. It also fails to provide specific guidance and examples of what is prohibited by law.

To read more click here

My comment: Jonathan Miller’s writings can be sometimes harsh and negative, but this one is worth reading. I have subscribed to his newsletter for many years.

I took the USPAP update class earlier this year. Fortunately, the very knowledgeable instructor included practical advice and examples.


Round Midcentury Time Capsule in Sarasota, FL

Excerpts: Built in 1971, the 1,268-square-foot, two-bedroom home is listed for $899,000. Another round structure, the nearby Hilton Leech Art Studio, is said to be the inspiration for this round home.

Inside, a single bathroom in the middle of the house is also round. It features a rounded door, an oversized shower and bathtub, and a rounded vanity and mirror.

An orange entry door with circular windows leads to the two bedrooms in one direction and the rounded living space and kitchen in the other. A turquoise kitchen features a circular counter and vintage appliances, including a washer and dryer.

Published reports say the home’s furnishings are not part of the sale.

To read more, click here


For The Fed, 2022 May Be 1979 All Over Again

Today’s Fed faces similar challenges – high energy and food prices plus inflation

Excerpts: In August 1979, inflation was above 11%, unemployment was just under 6%, and Americans were lined up around the block waiting to fill their cars at gas stations due to fuel shortages. So, Volcker — just eight days after taking the helm of the Federal Reserve — led his colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to increase the federal funds rate (the interest rate banks charge one another for overnight loans) by 25 basis points to 11.2%. Two days later, the FOMC upped the discount rate, the Fed’s primary lending rate to commercial banks, by 50 basis points to 10.5%.

Today, Powell and his FOMC colleagues face an economy strikingly similar to 1979, when gas prices increased 52.5%, home heating oil prices climbed 56.5%, and food from grocery stores jumped 9.5%. The Consumer Price Index, measured at 13.3%, pushed inflation that year just above 11%.

To read more, click here

My comments: Well written and worth reading. I started appraising in 1975 and remember high inflation and 2% per month increases in home prices in my semi-rural Northern California county (much higher percent increases in the Bay Area). Then the Fed acted in 1979 by increasing interest rates to decrease inflation. Most people in the late 1970s purchased what they could and did not wait to buy, as prices were going up (Inflation mentality).

After 1979, mortgage rates went up to 18%. Home prices declined. There were very few sales or refis. Most residential lender staff appraisers were laid off. Some got teller jobs in bank retail locations.

In 1986, when rates dropped, the few appraisers left were very busy. There was no licensing, and I could easily start my fee appraisal business. I was immediately swamped with residential lender work.


DATES: 1/18 TO 7/22



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.

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

Mortgage applications decreased 1.8 percent from one week earlier

Mortgage applications decreased 1.8 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 22, 2022.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 1.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 2 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 4 percent from the previous week and was 83 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 0.4 percent compared with the previous week and was 18 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

Mortgage applications declined for the fourth consecutive week to the lowest level of activity since February 2000. Increased economic uncertainty and prevalent affordability challenges are dissuading households from entering the market, leading to declining purchase activity that is close to lows last seen at the onset of the pandemic,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Weakening purchase applications trends in recent months have been consistent with data showing a slowdown in sales for newly constructed homes and existing homes. A potential silver lining for the housing market is that stabilizing mortgage rates and increases in for-sale inventory may bring some buyers back to the market during the second half of the year.”

Added Kan, “With mortgage rates remaining well over 5 percent, refinance applications are now 83 percent below last year’s pace.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 30.7 percent of total applications from 31.4 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 9.1 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 12.1 percent from 12.4 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications remained unchanged at 10.6 percent from the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.6 percent from the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($647,200 or less) decreased to 5.74 percent from 5.82 percent, with points decreasing to 0.61 from 0.65 (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 $647,200) increased to 5.32 percent from 5.31 percent, with points increasing to 0.43 from 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 5.54 percent from 5.50 percent, with points decreasing to 0.85 from 1.02 (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 increased to 4.95 percent from 4.88 percent, with points decreasing to 0.67 from 0.76 (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 4.67 percent from 4.60 percent, with points decreasing to 0.76 from 0.96 (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  ann@appraisaltoday.com 


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