Fastapp AMC Alleged Violations of AIR (Appraiser Independence Requirements)

Excerpts: The following court documents in the case Naftali Horowitz v. xxx, Fastapp AMC founder v. Fastapp AMC president, confirm what appraisers have been saying all along, that if you want high-volume AMC work, you have to lower your fees to 1980’s level, have 24 hour turn times, and, above all, be a number hitter.

Horowitz claimed that Andrews engaged in conduct constituting potential violations of the Appraiser Independence Requirements under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank Act”), including unlawfully seeking to influence an appraiser to encourage a targeted value to facilitate the making or pricing of the transaction in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1639e(b)(3).

… it began to become apparent to Andrews that Horowitz was not complying with appraisal independence standards. Instead, Horowitz would personally select one of a small number of his preferred appraisers for any given appraisal request… It thus became apparent to Andrews that Horowitz was engaged in a widespread scheme in violation of federal law by assigning appraisals to appraisers who would appraise values at requested values in exchange for order flow.

To read more plus over 50 appraiser comments, click here

My comment: Copies of the emails tell the story of “cooperative” appraisers getting most of the assignments. Very similar to the old mortgage broker days. A primary reason for Dodd-Frank.

AMC Fined for Appraisal Order Blast Violation

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 estate/trust appraisals and Fannie changesunusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.


Why You Should Hire Professionals to Measure Your Home

By Jamie Owen

Excerpts: Reasons:

  • They could verify if the area claimed for the county is accurate
  • Professionals will show where work is finished and where it’s still ongoing
  • Taking accurate measurements yields a more precise cost
  • They’ll let you know if including an apartment in the GLA is possible

Another reason to hire professionals to measure your home is to find out about your gross leasable area. Houses may, on occasion incorporate living spaces for teenagers or mother-in-law quarters, and as long as these rooms adhere to ANSI criteria, they are counted against the total amount of usable space in the home. If this isn’t done, the anticipated amount of habitable space will be off by a significant amount.

To read more, click here.

My comments: Written for homeowners, but valuable for appraisers. Is this a diversification option for you? Jamie’s post is excellent for appraiser marketing tips. I wrote about this in my monthly newsletter: “Home measurement services – how to use your measuring skills to make, money” available to paid subscribers. Lots easier with Cubisa!!


House on the beach in Manhattan Beach CA Made of Glass $7.5M

Excerpts: The 3,643-square-foot house has three bedrooms and three full bathrooms. Designed in 1996. The current owner put over a million dollars into it, upgrading and updating it to today’s standards. The house itself is like a piece of art,” Forbes (the agent) says. “There are tons of windows, and the ceilings are curved with these metal beams up above… Everything is amplified because of the light and the way it is laid out.”

And while it’s a nearly all-glass dwelling, the home is still plenty private.“You can’t see into it because of the way it sits on the lot,” Forbes explains.

To read more and see lots of photos, click here

My comment: I’ve always wanted to live in a glass house!


Appraisals for estates and trusts – the most popular non-lender appraisals – Parts 1 and 2

I have many tips on how to do them, how they differ from lender appraisals, how to get business, fees, etc. I have done many of them over the past 35 years.

Excerpts: These types of appraisals seldom require court testimony. Some other types of non-lender work, such as divorce, can require court testimony.

I strongly recommend estate appraisals if you want to diversify from lender/AMC work. Any appraiser can do them. The only tricky part is going into the past for comps and to see if the property has changed since the date of death. You are paid your total fee in advance (or 50% upfront and 50% before delivery). The effective date of the appraisal is almost always in the past.

DO NOT use any of the current Fannie forms for ANY non-lender appraisals. Use the General Purpose Appraisal Form or the Appraisal Institute form. Both are in your forms software package. Other non-lender forms are also available. Select the one you prefer. I recommend narrative reports for expert witness testimony.

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If this article helped you get one estate appraisal, it is worth the subscription price!


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


Fannie Appraiser Update: Manufactured Home Advantage Comparables

I received this email February 1, 2023. Direct email quotes are below.

“On February 1, we updated our policy for comparable sales used when appraising MH Advantage® properties. For these types of homes, appraisers must, when available, use other MH Advantage homes for the comparable sales. If fewer than three MH Advantage sales are available, then the appraiser must supplement with the best and most appropriate sales available, which must include site-built homes. Due to the limited amount of MH Advantage properties in the marketplace, we are expanding our policy to instruct appraisers to specifically consider site-built comparables when MH Advantage comparables are not available.

Visit Selling Guide B4-1.4-01, Factory-Built Housing: Manufactured Housing for more information. To read more, click here

Scroll down to MH Advantage Appraisal Comparable Selection Requirements

We’ve also refreshed our Appraisers page to improve your user experience and provide you up to date information on our appraisal related policies. Check it out and let us know what you think using the contact us button”

To read more, click here


John Lautner’s Garcia House in Los Angeles Lists for $16 Million

The modernist masterpiece is suspended 60 feet above a canyon in Los Angeles

Excerpts: The 2,596-square-foot home features three beds, three and half bathrooms, terrazzo flooring, a lava rock entryway, and a pool, which was added in 2008.

Built for Russell Garcia, a composer and arranger, the home not only has a unique architectural legacy, but also a Hollywood one. Previous owners—including Garcia, Gallo, and McIlwee and Damaschke—have worked in the film industry, and the house has even made its own big-screen appearances, most notably in Lethal Weapon 2 in 2011. “This is a true architectural masterpiece that is not only a functional home, but also a work of art,” Littlefield says.

To read more, click here

My comments: Seems like Hollywood connections are important in some parts of Southern California. We have very little of it in Northern California ;> I have seen a few Southern California appraiser websites with lists of the homes of Famous people that they have appraised.


My Recent Breast Cancer Diagnosis and What It Means For You

I got a mammogram in late November 2022, about one year after my previous one. I was diagnosed with breast cancer Stage 1, the lowest risk. I had ambulatory surgery (I went home the same day.) on January 4, 2023, to remove the tumor. I felt fine the next day and returned to work a few days later. I was very fortunate that my breast cancer was caught early.

Only 4 cancers have accurate screening available: breast, prostate, lung (for smokers mostly), and colo/rectal. We need screening for more cancers. Too many cancers are not discovered until they are very advanced, such as ovarian and pancreas.


My Message to Women (and any women you know): Get a regular mammogram.

Get a mammogram at least every two years.

I am 79 years old. Mammograms are not “recommended” for anyone over 74 years old. My health insurance company does not have this policy and allows annual mammograms. There is limited research for those over 74, and none are included in clinical trials. I could find no good reasons for this “policy.” The average age of breast cancer patients is 65 years old.


My Message to Men (and any men you know): Get a regular PSA test.

The American Cancer Society recommends that men over 50 years of age should have an annual rectal examination and PSA test.

More men diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer as PSA screening declines – new research

Excerpts: After two decades of decline, cases of prostate cancer rose by 3% per year from 2014 to 2019, a new report from the American Cancer Society has found.

Prostate cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the U.S., rose by 3% yearly from 2014 to 2019 after two decades of decline, with the increase mostly driven by diagnoses of advanced disease, researchers reported Thursday in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. January 12, 2023.

To read more, click here

If you want to donate to a Breast Cancer organization, click here for a list.

If you want to send or post all or part of my comments, you have my permission.


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, click here.

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 go to Or call 510-865-8041, MTW 7 AM to noon, Pacific time.

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


Mortgage applications increased 7.4 percent from one week earlier

Mortgage applications increased 7.4 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 3, 2023.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 7.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 8 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 18 percent from the previous week and was 75 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 4 percent compared with the previous week and was 37 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Applications rose last week as the 30-year fixed mortgage rate inched lower to 6.18 percent, its fifth consecutive weekly decline. The 30-year fixed rate is almost a percentage point below its recent high of 7.16 percent in October 2022,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “Both purchase and refinance applications increased last week and have shown gains in three of the past four weeks because of lower rates. Overall applications remained 58 percent lower than a year ago and rates are still significantly higher, however, this week’s results are a step in the right direction. Purchase activity that was put on hold last year due to the quick runup in rates is gradually coming back as rates ease and housing demand remains strong, driven by supportive demographics and the ongoing strength in the job market.”

Added Kan, “The average loan size on a purchase application increased to $428,500 – the largest average since May 2022. This increase is a sign that the recent upward trend in purchase activity remains skewed toward larger loan sizes and less first-time homebuyer activity, as entry level housing remains undersupplied, and buyers struggle with affordability in many markets.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 33.9 percent of total applications from 31.2 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 6.6 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 11.9 percent from 12.0 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 13.4 percent from 11.9 percent 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 ($726,200 or less) decreased to 6.18 percent from 6.19 percent, with points decreasing to 0.64 from0.65 (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 $726,200) decreased to 5.96 percent from 5.99 percent, with points increasing to 0.55 from 0.48 (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 decreased to 6.14 percent from 6.18 percent, with points decreasing to 0.88 from 0.99 (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 5.64 percent from 5.50 percent, with points decreasing to 0.63 from 0.73 (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 5.56 percent from 5.38 percent, with points decreasing to 0.80 from 0.83 (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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