The State Appraisal Board Wants to Throw Me Under the Bus, Right?

by Barry Phillips and Tim Andersen

Excerpts: So, what do the investigator and the state board look for as part of their investigation? Again, simply put, the investigator and board look to see if the appraisal meets the requirements of USPAP’s Standard 1, and if the report meets the requirements of USPAP’s Standard 2. Everything else in such an investigation is merely an elaboration of the answers to these two questions.

Nevertheless, there is a warning due here. Increased numbers of state appraisal boards are looking at complaints against appraisers from the standpoint of the consumer, rather than that of the client and/or the intended user(s).

This, to a great extent, is a function of the current political climate. As all appraisers are aware, the consumer has no standing with the appraiser (assuming the consumer is not the named client or intended user). Nevertheless, state boards tend to favor the consumer (the complainant) over the appraiser (the respondent).

To read more, click here

My comments: Good analysis of how state boards work and what they look for. Tim Andersen, MAI, is definitely “The” USPAP Expert.

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 Fannie Modernization, non-lender appraisals, liability, lender bias, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.


Speed Regardless of Accuracy Under the Banner of Modernization

By Dave Towne

Excerpts: Fannie Mae is like a charlatan (a fake, quack) who presents different perspectives separately to those of us who really want to do good work. On the one hand, Fannie Mae says they really want more appraisers to be employable in the U.S., while their other side is demonstrating by actions and communications that appraisers are a pain for them.

It’s really disappointing that our honorable profession has been subjugated in the way it has.

And it’s really disconcerting to me that after nearly 22 years I’m finally to the stage recommending that appraisers avoid doing assignments for Fannie Mae if at all possible. I’m not the only one who’s come to this conclusion and publicly stated this position.

VA does not demand appraisers complete assigned appraisal assignments extraordinarily quickly. They give appraisers 7 – 10 days (depending on location) to submit the report after assignment. VA expects good quality and accurate information.

To read more, plus the appraiser comments click here

My comments: Discusses VA, FHA, etc. Worth reading. You know what I think: give up residential lender appraising, except for VA. I don’t think it will be getting any better.


How to Get Referrals for Your Appraisal Business

By: McKissock

Excerpts: Prospecting for new leads is a way of life in the real estate business. Appraisers, agents, and brokers live and die based on customer referrals. The most successful real estate professionals generate leads from their personal and professional networks, ensuring a full sales pipeline without spending a fortune on marketing. Here’s how to get referrals for your appraisal business.

Brand your appraisal practice

Make it easier for customers to send you referrals by developing a brand that they will remember. For example, instead of John Smith, Residential Appraiser, you might be “AppraisalMasters LLC” or “The Appraisal King.” Instead of having to look up your name and details to refer you, they can drop your brand name. Make sure you have an online presence so that prospects can easily look you up online.

To read more, click here

My comments: Some good ideas. Worth reading. Referrals are the key to success in doing non-lender work. Most of us don’t like hassling with getting work, especially since it was so easy when business was strong from AMCs. For decades, my “brand name” has been “Looking for a local appraiser for Estate and Trust appraisals in Alameda California?” I get lots of referrals from real estate agents, other appraisers, and Internet searches. Why this brand name? Alameda is a small town and somewhat unique. Plus, more important, I like living and working here and hate to leave the Island!


Don’t let these four appraiser liability myths

trip you up

by Peter T. Christensen

I worry that some myths about appraiser liability will never go away. These myths are repeated to the point that they’re basically accepted as fact. Here, I’ve collected four of the most common myths concerning appraiser liability in an attempt to bust them once and for all.

Myth No. 1

I don’t have personal liability for my appraisals because I organized my firm as a limited liability company.

Myth No. 2

Lenders require appraisers to carry E&O insurance because they routinely seek to hold appraisers responsible for loan losses.

To read more about these myths from an expert on appraiser liability, and get the truth,

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Encinitas Boat Houses Encinitas, California

These unusual houses look like giant boats that washed ashore on a residential street.

Excerpts: Among the bungalows lining the street the street in a California beach city are two most unusual houses. The buildings are shaped like boats, making them look like they’ve accidentally washed ashore and crashed within a residential area.

The S.S. Encinitas and S.S. Moonlight, collectively dubbed the “boat houses,” are located at 726 and 732 3rd Street. Local architect Miles Minor Kellogg paid homage to his sea captain father by creating the Encinitas Boathouses in 1928, using the reclaimed and recycled lumber from a landmark nightclub.

To read more and see more photos, click here

My comments: I have seen a lot of houses on the water, built over floating supports and houseboats in the water. But, never boats that were houses. But, I have never seen two boats in the middle of a residential neighborhood!


One-Room Schoolhouse in New Role as an Adorable Tiny Home

Excerpts: The recently renovated schoolhouse was built in 1860 to serve the farming community of Elizaville, NY—a hamlet in the towns of Clermont and Gallatin, which still had fewer than 2,000 residents as of 2022. The house has one-bedroom, one-bath and 706-square-foot house and a quarter-acre lot.

Despite the fresh coat of paint and a small but modernized kitchen and bath, the home retains many of its original features, including the loft bedroom, where the school’s headmistress once slept.

“There are still marks in the floors where the desks were lined up and students’ names etched into the wavy glass windows,” says listing agent Annabel Taylor. “The floors, windows, cupola, and metal roof are all original.”

To read more and see the photos, click here




Ohio Bank Paying $9M To Settle Redlining Complaint

DOJ says 100 of 101 Park National Bank MLOs were white, and it willfully bypassed minority areas.

Excerpts: Park National Bank (PNB) will pay $9 million to settle redlining allegations in minority neighborhoods in Columbus, Ohio, under a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

It is the sixth redlining settlement under the DOJ’s Combatting Redlining Initiative, which was launched in October 2021.

Excerpts: In the settlement, the DOJ said PNB, headquartered in Newark, Ohio, relied on its branch network, mortgage lenders concentrated in majority-white neighborhoods, and internal referrals to originate home loans in the Columbus lending area. Among the DOJ’s findings, from 2015 to 2021, all but one of the 101 mortgage lenders PNB employed in the lending area were white.

Experts in mortgage law say this is an important redlining case for mortgage originators, because it points to a financial institution ignoring non- and limited-English speakers.

To read more, click here

My comment: Somehow this got lots less publicity than alleged appraisal bias on one refi!


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: Apps are going up and down. Some appraisers are very busy, and many have little work. Varies widely around the country.


Mortgage applications decreased 8.8 percent from one week earlier

Mortgage applications decreased 8.8 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 14, 2023.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 8.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 8 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 6 percent from the previous week and was 56 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 10 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 9 percent compared with the previous week and was 36 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Last week’s increase in mortgage rates prompted a pullback in application activity. With more first-time homebuyers in the market, we continue to see increased sensitivity to rate changes. The 30-year fixed rate increased 13 basis points to 6.43 percent, which led to purchase applications declining 10 percent,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “Affordability challenges persist and there is limited for-sale inventory in many markets across the country, so buyers remain selective on when they act. The 10-percent drop in FHA purchase applications, and the increase in the average purchase loan size to its highest level in a month, are other indications that first-time buyers have pulled back. The spread between the jumbo and conforming 30-year fixed rates widened slightly last week to 15 basis points, but this was a much tighter spread compared to the past year. As banks reduce their willingness to hold jumbo loans, we expect this narrowing trend to continue.”

Added Kan, “Refinances also declined and accounted for just over a quarter of all applications, as rates remained more than a full percentage point above the same week a year ago. This leaves very little refinance incentive for most homeowners.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 27.6 percent of total applications from 27.0 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.3 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 12.7 percent from 12.3 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 11.7 percent from 12.8 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.5 percent from the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($726,200 or less) increased to 6.43 percent from 6.30 percent, with points increasing to 0.63 from 0.55 (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 $726,200) increased to 6.28 percent from 6.26 percent, with points increasing to 0.51 from 0.42 (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 6.33 percent from 6.29 percent, with points increasing to 0.94 from 0.91 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.89 percent from 5.78 percent, with points increasing to 0.65 from 0.57 (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 5.51 percent, with points decreasing to 0.72 from 0.90 (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

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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