• VA Required to Encourage Hybrids – Senate Passes HR 7735

    By Dave Towne December 21, 2022

    Excerpts: The U.S. Senate has announced the passage of HR 7735, the Improving Access to the VA Home Loan Benefit Act of 2022.

    Under the terms of HR 7735, sponsored by Sen. Dan Sullivan and Rep. Mike Bost, the VA will be required to:

    • Issue certification requirements for appraisers;
    • Execute minimum property requirements;
    • Review the process for selecting and reviewing comparable sales;
    • Implement quality control processes;
    • Establish the Assisted Appraisal Processing Program; and
    • Establish the use of waivers or other alternatives to existing appraisal processes.

    This is not yet ‘law,’ but likely will be in the not too distant future. Has passed House and Senate. Needs Biden’s signature.

    To read more, click here

    My comments: Read the appraisers’ comments. The law is not surprising. The mortgage industry has been wanting this for a long time. I still recommend VA to appraisers as they are the only mortgage organization that wants to help the borrower instead of making as much money as possible

Where VA loans are soaring. Are you doing VA appraisals?

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 Bad appraisers, 2023 forecast, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.


Pella Iowa appraiser arrested for forgery, surrenders state license for fraud charges.


Excerpts: Randal Steenhoek, 59, was arrested last Friday by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and charged with three counts of forgery, all class D felonies. He is the owner of Pella-based Steenhoek Appraisal, Inc.

According to court records, an investigation started in August, in which an alleged victim informed police that Steenhoek forged signatures on official documents. The accusation comes as Steenhoek is not licensed to perform commercial property appraisals without review and needed approval from a qualified individual to perform those types of evaluations. The victim claims to police that multiple documents appeared to otherwise have their signature in December of 2021, but were instead allegedly signed by Steenhoek.

The arrest came after Steenhoek was ordered to voluntarily surrender his certifiable residential real-estate appraiser certificate on November 30th

To read more, click here

My comment: In the U.S., you are presumed innocent until convicted. But, giving up his appraisal license is an indication. Very few “bad” appraisers have been in the news since after the 2008 crash.


The top 10 most expensive home sales nationwide are giving us déjà vu

Excerpts: 2000 South Ocean Blvd. in Manalapan, Florida — $173 million (photo above) What that gets you: Netscape co-founder Jim Clark reportedly sold the 16-acre compound to Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, setting a Florida record in the process. (Needless to say, both are billionaires.) The compound spans the width of the island—Manalapan is about a 20-minute drive south of Palm Beach—and includes a 62,000-square-foot, 12-bedroom main house, along with multiple guest and staff cottages.


Amid dramatically negative changes in the US housing market, the spending habits of the very rich have stayed remarkably consistent.

The top 10 most expensive residential sales this year were—just like last year—spread among New York and the Hamptons, Los Angeles, and South Florida, according to a list compiled by Jonathan Miller, the president and chief executive officer of appraiser Miller Samuel.

Overall, 2022 was the second-highest year for sales of properties priced at $50 million and higher in history, according to Miller. (The best year ever was 2021.) This year, six properties sold for $100 million or more, whereas last year 10 did, according to Miller’s data. And 33 properties—at least as of Dec. 15, when he compiled the data—sold for $50 million or more, compared to 2021’s 49. Last year’s top 10 totaled $1.4 billion. This year’s total is a respectable $1.1 billion, about on par with 2019.

To read more and scroll down to see the homes, click here 


Change Your Templates!

Don’t be like me and make these mistakes I made in early January 2022:

  • I did not change my 2021 appraisal report templates before 1/1/22, especially those pesky templates I don’t use very often.
  • I did not get the 2021 computer subfolders set up by 1/1/22 and put early 2022 appraisals and photos into my 2021 subfolder. I file my electronic appraisals, and my photos, by year.
  • I kept writing 2021 on my manual personal checks for 2022 because I did not set up 2022 on 5-6 checks. Fortunately, Quickbooks keeps track of the year!
  • If you use calendars that have the full year on one page for 2022, throw them away or put them somewhere so you will see the right calendar. I hated it when I used the wrong one sometimes last year


  • New in the January 2023 Issue

  • Get started in attorney work by doing divorce appraisals – significantly higher fees, no UAD, no underwriters, no AMCs. Fees. Pressure. Divorce vs. lender appraisals. Marketing to attorneys. Where to get education. And more
  • Speaking at real estate sales meetings is an easy way to market your appraisal business. real estate agents are an excellent source of referrals for divorce appraisals. Lots of speaking tips.
  • Book Review – Identifying Residential Architectural Styles by Marc Nadeau This is the best book I have ever read on architectural styles! Goes way beyond just listing and describing them. Written by an appraiser, for appraisers.
  • Coming in the February issue:Expert witness for residential appraisers – High fees, little competition. Very detailed, expanding the January article on divorce.To read more about these topics, plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today.

    If these articles helped you get one more appraisal, it is worth the subscription price!


    What’s the difference between the Appraisal Today free Weekly email newsletters and the paid Monthly newsletter?

    Click here for more info!


    If you have any comments or info on any topics, please hit the reply button!! I’m always looking for something new ;>

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  • Forecasts: 2023 Mortgage Rates

    MBA Forecast: Recession Likely in 2023, Mortgage Originations to Decline 9% to $2.05 Trillion

    October 23, 2022

    Excerpts: The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) announced today that total mortgage origination volume is expected to decline to $2.05 trillion in 2023 from the $2.26 trillion expected in 2022. Purchase originations are forecast to decrease 3 percent to $1.53 trillion next year, while refinance volume is anticipated to decline by 24 percent to $513 billion.

    “MBA’s forecast calls for a recession in the first half of next year, driven by tighter financial conditions, reduced business investment, and slower global growth. As a result, the unemployment rate will increase from its current rate of 3.5 percent to 5.5 percent by the end of the year. Inflation will gradually decline towards the Fed’s 2 percent target by the middle of 2024.”

    Fratantoni believes that as the economy slows, longer-term rates, including mortgage rates, will begin to fall from current peak levels. However, there will continue to be significant volatility in rates in the near-term due to quantitative tightening by the Fed and other central banks, and as markets grapple with significant geopolitical, economic, and monetary policy uncertainties.

    To read more, click here

    Link to the most recent MBA monthly table of forecasts from 2022 to 2025, click here

    My comments: Of course, No One Knows what will happen! I chose MBA’s forecast as I have the weekly origination stats in this newsletter every week. they keep up on all the mortgage stats and have expert economists on staff.he

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  • .Portland Oregon Treehouse

    Excerpts: 2 guests. 2 bedrooms Airbnb $278 per night

    “This is Officially the Coolest Treehouse in the World” -Condé Nast Traveler

    (A web search for “This is Officially the Coolest Treehouse in the World” leads to a Condé Nast video of the residence.)

    The lower level was designed as a guest suite for visiting family members with a sitting room, bedroom, private bath, mini-decks, and endless views.

    To read more, click here

    My comments: I remember renting a lower-level waterfront apartment in a home in the Canadian Gulf Islands. The only access was by boat. I was speaking at an appraisal conference in Vancouver. I liked having the owner upstairs to answer any questions I had. My husband and I cruised the Gulf Islands many years ago in our small power boat. It was an incredible experience.

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  • 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.mba.orgNote: I publish a graph of this data every month in my paid monthly newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample go to www.appraisaltoday.com/order Or call 510-865-8041, MTW 7 AM 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.
  • No MBA origination stats this week. They may be available for next Friday’s email newsletter.
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  • Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA
  • Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today1826 Clement Ave. Suite 203 Alameda, CA 94501Phone 510-865-8041Email  ann@appraisaltoday.com<

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