Appraisal News and Business Tips

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About this blog

This blog has recent full FREE email newsletters (that start with the date and Newz) plus excerpts from the email newsletters where you can post comments. This newsletter has been sent out almost every week since June, 1994. I started with 6 subscribers on Compuserve. Now it is up to 17,000 subscribers!! To subscribe to the free email newsletters and get them them when they first come out, go to www.appraisaltoday.com and sign up in the big Yellow Box!!

Looking for a topic? Use Search box on the right side. There are hundreds of posts on this blog, starting in 2012. 

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Posted in: appraisal, appraisal business, Appraisal fees

9-13-18 Newz// Disasters – Working Together – Nonbank lender risk

When a Disaster Strikes, Are You Prepared?

By Bruce Ford
Excerpt: In 2017, California experienced the most destructive wildfire season on record. There were over 9,000 fires that burned covering 1,381,405 acres. The fires destroyed anything in its path. Damaging more than 10,000 structures and resulting in over 40 causalities.

The author, Bruce J. Ford, Chief Appraiser of NorCal Quality Appraisals and California native… collaborated with other appraisers in the area to help those in need.

Read this article for lots more info:

My comment: Disasters can occur anywhere, any time. Fire, flood, hurricanes, etc. In my area, the 1989 earthquake and the 1991 Oakland firestorm were the most recent. I will never forget driving by all the remaining fireplaces trying to find the properties I had appraised to see which were gone. It was very, very sad. Now, I really worry about the failure to do much about the large amount of trees and brush that are a significant fire hazard in the Oakland/Berkeley hills and many other Bay Area cities.

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Posted in: appraisal business, commercial appraisal, lender appraisals, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, unusual home, unusual homes

9-6-18 Newz//School Premiums – Cabin Fever – Appraiser Diversity

Where Are the Largest Public School Real Estate Premiums in U.S.?

Excerpt: Coastal cities and their suburbs dominated the California list, with America’s most expensive prime public school areas dotting California-from the mansion-speckled towns around Silicon Valley to the affluent school district of Rancho Santa Fe, outside of San Diego.

Note:  This article focuses on California, Washington state and New York city.

Click here to see a map of the school ratings where you appraise, used to live, live now, etc. Definitely accurate for my city. Yes, being in some districts make a difference in value… Fascinating!!

https://www.greatschools.org/

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Posted in: adjustments, appraisal how to, appraisal waivers, appraiser shortage, Fannie, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, unusual home, unusual homes, weird homes

8-30-18 Newz// Form or Not? – Apocalyptic Architecture – CU-Just a Machine

To Form or Not To Form? What will it be? A new 1004?

By George Dell
Excerpt: What’s the difference between a form and a data entry page? Will “forms software” even be necessary? Will the result require less appraiser expertise – or more? Will it encourage the “form-filler” people, or will it require some real understanding of problem identification, data selection, predictive methods, and communication? Will the transmittal require both an electronic data stream and human actionable views?

Will it require appraisers at all? Or will the “data analysts” simply create the ultimate model.

These are big questions. From my point of view, some of the answers are obvious. But first, let’s outline how we can even ask the right questions . . .

My comment: Fannie Mae has been planning on revising the forms. I have known George for quite a while, heard him speak and taken his class. Looks like people are finally starting to pay attention to what he says about stats, data, etc.!! His blog posts are fine, but sometimes you want more. The September issue of the paid Appraisal Today will have George’s 6 page article, “Why, Why, Why? Why do we put “stats”, “graphs”, “data,” and “science” together?”
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Posted in: adjustments, appraisal how to, Collateral Underwriter, Fannie, statistics, Strange homes, weird properties

8-23-18 Newz//Schizophrenic Adjustments – Neighborhood Names – Appraisal Disputes

Neighborhood Names That Attract Wealthy Buyers

Excerpt: You may be able to judge a neighborhood by its name. Some neighborhoods containing certain names tend to attract the wealthiest residents and boast the highest home values, according to a new study by Porch.com, a home improvement resource.

Neighborhoods that include names like “Hills,” “Island,” and “Village,” for example, tend to report some of the highest average household incomes in the country. On the other hand, the lowest home values were found in neighborhoods with words like “Fort,” “Junction,” and “Rock” in their names.

In the richest neighborhoods, researchers found places that had names using the words “Village,” “Valley,” and “Heights” tended to exceed $100,000 in average household incomes. For example, in Texas, 22 neighborhoods and communities that contained the name “Village” had average household incomes of more than $174,000. Colorado and Michigan communities that contained the word “Village” in the name also contained some of the states’ wealthiest residents, too.

My comment: Neighborhood name adjustments?? I wonder how CU handles this?
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Posted in: adjustments, appraisal business, appraisal how to, forecast, george dell, lender appraisals, mortgage loan volume, Reviews, weird properties

8-16-18 Newz//Market starting to tank? ;Unusual Homes ;Public Trust Failed?

Bye-bye 1004MC, Hello Analysis

By Rachel Massey, SRA, AI-RRS
Excerpt: What does this mean to the residential practitioner operating in the mortgage space? It means that the requirement for analyzing the market remains, and it is now up to the practitioner to support their opinion, without the benefit of a flawed format. Appraisers can now choose how they present their analysis, which may include multiple sources to support an opinion. Fannie Mae is clear that the one-unit housing trends section should reflect properties that are directly competitive with the property being appraised. The following information relates to several different ways to support trends, but is not an exhaustive list.

Read the full article here:

My comment: FHA and VA still require 1004mc, plus some lenders and AMCs. Freddie is expected to drop the requirement.
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Posted in: 1004MC, appraisal classes, george dell, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, weird homes

8-9-18 Newz//No more 1004MC?? ;Witch Windows ;North Dakota Waivers?

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Markets slowing down. Price declines??

Housing market is showing signs of cracking: ‘Anything-goes list-price strategy is no longer working
Excerpt: But the slowdown is also tied to overheated prices. Even in the hottest markets, there is a limit to affordability, and that limit is clearly now being hit.

In pricey Southern California, sales of both new and existing homes fell sharply in June compared with a year ago, according to CoreLogic. Demand is still quite strong, and while prices continue to gain, more listings are showing price reductions.

My comment: If I knew when the prices peak, I would be rich and get the Nobel Prize!! It is very tricky. Beware of price declines starting. Keep close watch on lots more listings than pendings. Few, or no, offers way over list. The bottom of the market is easy to see. Fast declines, then stabilizes for quite a while.
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The problem of overpricing in real estate

By Ryan Lundquist

 

Excerpts: Overpricing is a problem. You’d think in such a “hot” market that it wouldn’t be an issue, but it is. I’m not trying to dog sellers, but let’s talk about some of the most common pricing mistakes right now. I hope this helps.

5) Sales instead of comps: The most common pricing mistake I see is pricing according to a sale down the street that really isn’t comparable. So a seller says, “I know that house is totally remodeled with a pool, but someone’s going to pay the same amount for my house.” My advice? Price according to similar homes that are actually getting into contract rather than dissimilar properties. Be careful about hijacking price per sq ft figures too.

My comment: Written for real estate agents, but helpful for appraisers. I encountered this when doing a retrospective estate appraisal for a house that will be listed. The owner kept going on and on about a home nearby that sold for $1,100,00 that was “smaller” than hers. Fortunately, I was not doing current value ;>

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Posted in: adjustments, appraisal how to, appraisal waivers, Fannie, mortgage loan volume, Strange homes, unusual home

8-2-18 Newz .1004MC dropped, Treasury Proposes Appraisal Downsizing, Rural Appraisals

No more 1004MC for Fannie appraisals

Date: 7/30/18 1:46
My note: This was posted in an appraiser yahoo email discussion group I have subscribed to since it started awhile ago. The person who sent it is very reliable. I have known him personally for many years. Below is the email. When I used to travel a lot to appraisal conferences, sometimes Fannie would make comments on significant changes. This was one of those comments. When I speak I am a lot more candid than when I write for unknown reasons. Maybe Fannie speakers do the same sometimes.
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Posted discussion group message:
“I’m in Nashville at the National Appraisal Institute Conference. I just left a presentation given by the collateral policy managers at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

The Fannie spokesperson said that Fannie Mae has decided not to make the 1004MC a required from anymore; the change will be effective as of the new Selling Guide update, which is expected to come out next week.

I asked Freddie if they planned to drop the requirement as well? They said they had considered dropping it when the new reporting formats were finalized, but also said in light of Fannie’s announcement, they may not wait until the form-changes and adopt that decision sooner.

The Fannie spokesperson said that just because Fannie won’t requirement doesn’t mean a lender might not still want it. So, she warned not to expect all lenders to adopt the change instantly.

In my opinion, I think most lenders will opt out of the 1004mc form, but will require something else (data/analysis) in the report to support the market condition identification and adjustments (if warranted). So I don’t anticipate the need for market condition analyses to go away (and it shouldn’t, in my opinion) but I do anticipate more flexibility in the manner we (individual appraisers) want to present that data.”

What I think about 1004MC: The 1004MC forced appraisers to make market conditions adjustments, which lenders had to accept. When I started my appraisal business in 1986, I was told by local, well respected appraisers that lenders “did not want any time adjustments.” Apparently this had been going on for many years. During price declines in the 1990s, I personally knew appraisers who went out of business because they refused to not make time adjustments. All my lender clients allowed them or they were off my approved client list.

I started appraising in the 1970s at assessor’s offices. We were making 2% per month time adjustments. Guess I just got “bad training” for lender appraisals ;>

Appraiser comments: Of course, there were lots of appraiser comments. Dave Towne’s are below:
~1 Lenders and AMC’s (and the other gov’t agencies) won’t back down on requiring the 1004MC form in reports. So you will have to do it, regardless of what the GSE’s do.

~2 Some report users may design their own market conditions reporting form, and demand its inclusion in reports per their own assignment conditions.(One no-longer-in business-by that-name AMC did this in 2008, and demanded their form be included even after the MC form became mandated – until appraisers loudly complained.) These may not be acceptable to other lenders/users. So we could have a situation where multiple users have different forms required, which will greatly complicate completion of reports in a timely manner.

~3 The several report software providers may design something to replace the MC form, which you could then be used in reports. But if 4 (or more) different ones exist, the same situation as in #3 will occur.

~4 The GSE’s may have another form already prepared to replace the MC Form and will demand it be used instead. (By the way….”new appraisal report forms” to replace the current ones are nowhere ready to be released, at least from what the GSE’s have said in the past couple of months.)

~5 Smart, and well versed, appraisers will continue to provide supportable documents and analysis to show market trend activity – which they’ve already been including in reports as a substitute to the MC form. Appraisers who have not been doing this should take steps to learn how to document subject/comparable market trends that are specific to each assignment, and not just a regurgitation of ‘regional’ or ‘national’ trends data reported by others that may not directly apply to the appraisal assignment.

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Posted in: AMCs, appraisal business, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, statistics, USPAP, weird properties

7/26/18// Newz .Funny Appraisal Ad, IL C/R Survey, Basements and GLA

The best appraisal ad I have ever seen – cats playing instruments, song appraisal re-title contest, etc.

 Just For Fun!

Short Excerpt: … submit a favorite song title– be it classical, jazz, rock, religious, country, or whatever- adapted to the appraisal business. Here are a few examples for starters (with a little literary license):
  • Appraising Pink Houses (John Cougar Mellencamp)
  • Measuring the House that Built Me (Miranda Lambert)
  • What Goes Up, Must Come Down (Spinning Wheel by Blood Sweat & Tears, describing the housing market)
  • Everything Happens to Me (Frank Sinatra)
Subject  line: Wednesday Wild Ideas from Intercorp
If you didn’t open it, or “opted out” of getting ads, Click here to read the full “ad” and see the cats!!

My comments: I have been doing ads for my newsletters since 1992. Boring. Boring. Boring. Yesterday’s Intercorp ad was the best I have ever seen!! Of course, my favorite is the cat playing cello. I play electric cello so I can amplify and use effects in my experimental music band, playing together for 8 years ;> Here’s link to a gig:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk8zXPJ6hVA

AI Education

Great Spaces: Lakefront Living Goes Luxe

Just For More Fun!

Excerpt: To celebrate summer, in this month’s edition of Great Spaces, we’re highlighting some seriously serene lakefront properties, from Minnesota all the way to sunny Florida.
Click here to see the fotos:

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Posted in: adjustments, appraisal how to, commercial appraisal, humor, statistics, trainees, unusual home, unusual homes

7/19/18 Newz//Price declines? .History of Appraisals .Whale House

The History of Appraisals

By Ed Pinto
Excerpt: Many say “history always repeats itself” and in the case of appraisals, it may be for the best. We sat down with Edward Pinto, the Co-Director of AEI’s Center on Housing Markets and Finance as he shares with us his discoveries from the original FHA forms.

Dating back to the 1900’s Ed found the tools needed to bring the appraisal process back to how they were originally called for – based off of the market value and the information proved by the expert, the appraiser.

Very interesting and worth reading:

My comments: I have published several articles in my paid Appraisal Today about the history of appraising, going back to the Bible: the Book of Moses!! I have been inspired to republish them in the September issue of the paid Appraisal Today.

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Posted in: AMCs, appraisal business, Appraisal fees, appraisal how to, Fannie, fees, Mortgage applications, unusual home

7-12-18 Newz// 3 Story Homes, Auction Prices, Portable Architecture

The Most Popular Article From Last Week’s Newsletter: Former Appraiser’s Hot Dog Stand!! FYI, unusual and weird stuff is very popular with appraisers ;>

Three-story Single-family Homes and Townhomes

Excerpt: Of the 729,000 single-family detached homes started in 2017, a little over 18,000 (2.5 percent) had three or more stories, according to National Association of Home Builder tabulation of recently released Census data.

In contrast, the 23,000 3-plus story townhomes represent 22.0 percent of single-family townhome starts.

More info here:

My comment: 3 story detached homes are not popular in very many areas. It is a long walk up to the 3rd floor. I have appraised them (attic conversions of a classic older home to a master bedroom, for example). I always look to see if an elevator can be added – usually has to be on the exterior of the home. Definitely a functional problem. I rarely see them on existing homes, except for attic conversions. Some newer detached homes have a small room on the 3rd story – family room, extra bedroom, etc.

For townhomes, I have seen a significant increase in 3 story new construction townhomes in my city (within the past few years) and other Bay Area cities. The first floor is a garage plus entry, second floor living room and kitchen, bedrooms on 3rd floor. Very profitable for home builders, especially in areas with high land prices and infill tracts. I have appraised them and the owners did not object to the 3 floors. There are sometimes a few townhomes that are 2 story.

My first apartment when I moved to San Francisco in my 20s was a third floor walkup. I vowed Never Again ;>

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Posted in: adjustments, AMCs, appraisal, appraisal how to, Appraisal Standards Board, AVMS, Mortgage applications, unusual homes, USPAP, weird homes, zillow
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