The Sopranos – Lupertazzi’s Rough Up Appraiser

To watch, click the video above. Opens in You Tube.

Members of the Lupertazzi Crime Family rough up an appraiser who is involved with Tony’s HUD scam.

I will never forget “I’m only the appraiser!” I use the phrase sometimes ;>

It’s one of the few times appraisers are in movies or TV series!

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 non-lender appraisals, and types of bias,  Scams on black homes, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.


Glass-Walled, Midcentury Manse in Houston $3.1M

Excerpts: five bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 5,550 sq.ft., and a four-car garage on a nearly 0.92-acre lot. Built in 1970.

After a major interior makeover, the architecturally significant home is in Houston‘s upscale Piney Point Village neighborhood.

“Every room has huge windows that look outside,” Bering says. “That’s what makes midcentury architecture so appealing: It brings the outside in.”

Stehling designed an open layout with lots of natural light, thanks to walls of windows on all three stories of the atrium, attached to the rest of the home via a platform deck and glass-enclosed walkway. Sliding-glass doors lead out to the yard.

During the two-year renovation, the seller, who bought the home in 2017, updated the kitchen with a Bosch cooktop, Gaggenau appliances, and soft-close doors.

The owners created a show-stopping bedroom for themselves. The updated primary suite now has a free-standing, amoeba-shaped tub

Carefully preserved, throwback decor is found throughout—there are terrazzo floors and a conversation pit in the living room that’s surrounded by eye-catching rosewood paneling.

To read more, Click Here

To read the listing and see the virtual tour and 45 photos, Click Here


The Charges Against Us: A Look into Biases

by Tim Andersen, MAI

Excerpts: Many claiming and concluding that appraisers are racist bigots is very much consistent in the news today. However, it has become clear that, while some appraisers are racist bigots, this blanket accusation has no basis in fact…. Unfortunately, because there has been no organized and concentrated pushback from any real estate appraisal industry sector, the scenario of our opponents, as false as it is, is gaining traction.

Therefore, the appraisal industry must begin to push back. One of the fastest and most visible ways to begin this process of bringing the truth to the public is to require appraisers to understand what bias is. This means appraisers must understand bias in all its forms, not merely the one pernicious stain of racial bias. Our opponents have carefully framed their questions to bring to the forefront any potential racial biases on the part of appraisers and real estate appraisal in general.

Appraisers must, therefore, frame their response within the matrix of avoiding any of any and all types of biases, not merely racial biases. In addition, real estate appraisals must rid itself of the language and any practices that suggest bias in the appraisal process.

The Cognitive Bias Codex claims there are over 180 types of biases in which any researcher can engage. For the sake of simplicity, this article touches on merely three such biases: anchoring bias, selection bias, and confirmation bias. Again, these are not the only biases in which an appraiser can engage however, they are common biases. Once appraisers understand what they are, it may become possible to avoid them.

One type of bias in which real estate appraisers regularly engage is known as anchoring bias, or simply anchoring. According to The Decision Lab, anchoring bias is nothing more than a “…cognitive bias that causes us to rely too heavily on the first piece of information we are given about a topic.” Note this definition does not condemn someone for the mere act of anchoring but states that condemnation is oriented to someone who relies too heavily on a specific piece of information. An example of this in real estate appraisal is the purchase and sale contract.

When a property goes under contract, that is an excellent sign of what the buyer and seller conclude the property is worth. However, in a larger sense, the sense with which an appraiser must consider it, it is nothing more than another data point to be analyzed and then weighted appropriately in the appraiser’s final value opinion. Despite what some highly placed authorities in the GSEs mistakenly would have us believe, the contract price, in and of itself, is not indicative of a property’s market value. This purchase-and-sale price is nothing more than one sign of what one buyer is willing to pay and what one seller is willing to accept. In and of itself, it is not market value.

Another bias in which it is all too easy to engage is known as selection bias. Selection bias, according to Wikipedia, is “…the bias introduced by the selection of individuals, groups, or data for analysis in such a way that proper randomization is not achieved, thereby failing to ensure that the sample obtained is representative of the population intended to be analyzed.”

One example of selection bias in real estate appraisal is the appraiser’s dependence on MLS data for rentals, sales, and statistical analysis of the data, etc. Without a doubt, the multiple listing service is probably the greatest repository of real estate listing and sales data available to the contemporary real estate appraiser. Thus, the appraiser must be able to use this data source. Nevertheless, it is not the only source for data out there.

To read more, Click Here

My comments: When I first started reading this article, it seemed a bit technical. I was wrong. Good, understandable appraiser examples. Worth reading. Excellent analysis of bias. I know that we are human and are biased. This article goes way beyond racial bias, which is in the news. I wish the darn bias classes I have to take talked about this!

Tim Andersen is a regular contributor to the monthly Appraisal Today newsletter. He has some very interesting opinions and analyses. His next article, in the February issue, is “Does My State Reviewer Have to be Credentialled by the State?” Another controversial topic. You may be surprised by the answer!Are you getting too many ad-only emails?


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Bail Bond Appraisals – all cash, very high fees, little competition

Many appraisers are asked to do appraisals for property (bail) bonds. But most don’t because accept because of the typically very fast turnarounds. Appraising for bail bonds is an opportunity with relatively little competition and high fees, all cash.

Remember the old days with personal relationships with mortgage brokers? Meet at the office, chit-chat, and leave a brochure or flyer. They can provide names of attorneys who use property bonds.

Bail bond appraisals require research and personal (one-on-one) marketing. Some appraisers use postcard marketing to bail bond agents. But, to get started, I strongly recommend bail bond agent interviews to find out about your local market. Just drop in with a resume or other type of description of what you do.

Most appraisers, including myself, have only done a few. But I never did any marketing. There is demand, and marketing can definitely help.

I spoke with several local appraisers who specialize in bail bonds. They gave me many of the tips below.

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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. 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. Many appraisers are not busy. Some are busy, usually with non-lender appraisals


Mortgage applications increased 10.4 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 17, 2024) — Mortgage applications increased 10.4 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 12, 2024. Last week’s results included an adjustment to account for the New Year’s holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 10.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 26 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 11 percent from the previous week and was 10 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 9 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 28 percent compared with the previous week and was 20 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates declined across all loan types as Treasury yields moved lower last week on incoming inflation data, which helped to support a rise in mortgage applications. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate decreased six basis points to 6.75 percent, the lowest rate in three weeks,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “Compared to a holiday-adjusted week, both purchase and refinance applications were up, and the increases were heavily driven by the conventional market. Although purchase activity is lagging year-ago levels, refinance applications have improved from their recent low point and have been showing year-over-year gains, albeit at low levels. If rates continue to ease, MBA is cautiously optimistic that home purchases will pick up in the coming months.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 37.5 percent of total applications from 38.3 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 5.9 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 14.3 percent from 14.4 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 14.2 percent from 16.3 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.5 percent from 0.4 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($726,200 or less) decreased to 6.75 percent from 6.81 percent, with points increasing to 0.62 from 0.61 (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 6.86 percent from 6.98 percent, with points decreasing to 0.42 from 0.43 (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 6.46 percent from 6.56 percent, with points decreasing to 0.80 from 0.84 (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 6.24 percent from 6.41 percent, with points increasing to 0.59 from 0.55 (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 6.14 percent from 6.17 percent, with points increasing to 0.68 from 0.56 (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.


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Foreclosures in Black Communities Due to Overvaluation

By Anna Renard, Florida Certified Residential Appraiser

Excerpts: About 2 years before the crash of ‘08, I ran across a company out of DC called “Metro Grapevine” and “Metro Dream Homes.”

It was a Ponzi scheme marketed by a black to blacks only. It was by invitation only. They promised if you bought your home through their program, they’d pay it off in seven years and you never had to make a payment.

The requirement was to buy a home of your choice, offer $50,000 to $150,000 more than its list price with the caveat that at least the amount you offered over list plus $25,000+ would be paid to Metro Dream Homes at closing. Viola, just like that, you’d own the home in 7 years without ever making one mortgage payment.

The guy leading this show was vitriolic in accusing whites keeping the blacks down and this was to help the black man. (I watched many of his speeches in churches. It was vitriol).

I tried turning them into the FBI twice. They said they didn’t have the manpower for it until it reached a higher dollar theft. So it continued, despite warnings on the few social media sights that was around at the time, until there was not enough money coming in to float the top

To read more, including appraiser comments, Click Here

My comments: The Big Issue is overvaluation. Many minority buyers were suckered by fraudster lenders into bad loans resulting in the 2008 crash. Heavy residential appraiser regulation was a result, although lenders were at fault, not appraisers. Some interesting situations in the appraiser comments section.


Fairy-Tale Ending? $5M Hobbit-Style Lodge on the Lake in Michigan Needs Owner With a Vision

Excerpts: 3 bedroom, 3.5+ baths, 3,449 sq.ft., 0.75 acre lot

Located in Rapid City, MI, the hobbit-style house originally hit the market for $7 million last year. But that price tag got a trim to its current $5 million ask over the summer. The property last changed hands in 2021 for $1.2 million, according to®.

“It is currently under construction, and they have been working on the exterior of the home over the fall and now into the winter,” explains realtor® Jake Bishop, who works with listing agent Don Fedrigon, of Re/Max Elk Rapids.

“The previous owner of the home passed away. She was building her dream home and sadly passed away before it was completed.”

From the rounded copper roof to the circular front door and curved walls inside, the eye-popping design was intended to wow at every turn while offering front-row views of 18-mile Torch Lake. To read more, Click Here

My comment: Very interesting fixer. Check out the photos!


A Pre-Listing Appraisal Help Sell An Expired Listing?

As a seasoned residential real estate appraiser with three decades of experience, I’ve witnessed firsthand how a pre-listing appraisal can be a game-changer. In this blog post, I’ll delve into the benefits it can offer, providing you with insights that can significantly enhance your ability to sell that stubborn property.

A pre-listing appraisal is an invaluable tool that provides a comprehensive and unbiased assessment of a property’s value before it hits the market, or even after it has sat on the market for a while and failed to sell.

Let’s explore how this process can be a game-changer for real estate agents struggling with expired listings: To read more, Click Here

My comments: Thinking about doing pre-listing appraisals? This post has very good ideas for marketing to real estate agents..


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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