Appraisal News and Business Tips

Blog

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. 

Read more!!

Posted in: appraisal, appraisal business, Appraisal fees

2-14-2020 Newz: FIRREA Under Attack – Spectacular Spirals – Lending Up to 2005 Levels

FIRREA Under Attack!

Excerpt: Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Congressman William Lacy Clay request a formal study/investigation into Title XI (FIRREA) and the recent dilution of its intent by the Federal Agencies. The letter to Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General, Government Accountability Office, addresses threshold increases, regulatory exemptions, appraisal waivers, the North Dakota appraiser certification waiver and evaluations in lieu of an appraisal. It is clear the Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee and Subcommittee Chairman on Housing, Community Development and Insurance see the issues surrounding the recent events.

To read the press release and appraiser comments, click here

My comment: finally someone in Congress is noticing what is happening and complaining to the GAO!!

Read more!!

Posted in: adjustments, appraisal, appraisal business, appraisal how to, appraisal regulations, data, E&O, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, unusual homes, weird properties

2-7-20 Newz: Obsolete Appraisers – Apartment AVMs – Outlier Sales

Not getting distracted by outlier sales

By Ryan Lundquist

It’s been a record-breaking couple of years. In New York we saw the highest residential sale ever in the United States at $238M. Then a couple months ago California got a new record with the Beverly Hillbillies mansion at $150M. And now there’s a listing in Bel-Air that just hit the market at $500M. The truth is it’s easy to get distracted by the bling of outlier sales because of how lofty the prices are, but here are a few things to keep in mind….

1) These sales don’t pull the market up: Outlier sales don’t pull the rest of the market up, and they have nothing to do with the entry-level market or affordability for the average person.

2) I just gotta have it: My observation with the highest sales is sometimes cash buyers offer prices that seem disconnected from what looks reasonable on paper. This doesn’t happen in all situations, but sometimes it does where the buyer simply says, “I just gotta have it.”…

For lots more tips, plus a few graphs, click here

My comment: When doing any type of statistical analysis, it is important to look at the outliers, high or low, so you can eliminate them in your data set. Very easy to do.

Read more!!

Posted in: adjustments, appraisal, Appraisal Foundation, appraisal how to, AVMS, commercial appraisal, mortgage loan volume, Podcasts, unusual home, USPAP, weird properties

1-30-20 Newz: Tax Records SqFt. – Weird SFR Zoning – 5 ft. Wide Home

13516718 – white wood texture with natural patterns

Tax Records is not the definitive source for square footage!

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpt:

Why is the appraiser saying it’s only 1,400 sq ft? Tax Records shows the home is 600 sq ft larger. This issue comes up ALL the time, so let’s talk about it.

The truth: The Assessor’s records are generally reliable, but I’m just saying sometimes they’re not. Why is this? At times it’s as simple as the original builder not turning in accurate information when a house was built. Or maybe an owner took out permits but official records were never updated. Of course we’ve all seen instances where the tax roll shows two units on one lot, but there’s really just one house nowadays. Let’s not forget sometimes owners do an addition without permits, so the Assessor might actually be correct even though the house is technically larger or has even sold on MLS as a larger home. For reference, here are ten reasons why an appraiser’s sketch might be different.

For lots of comments and more info, click here

My comment: This one of the main reasons that AVMs will never be very successful for all homes. Over and over again, statistical analysis shows GLA is the most important physical feature overall.

Also, how bedrooms are determined varies a lot, depending on the local market and can vary over time. The assessor number of bedrooms may not match the appraiser’s. For example, tandem rooms. Finished basements can vary also.

I started appraising at a CA assessor’s office in 1976. In CA, State Board of Equalization regulated county assessors offices, so the procedures and terminology are very similar all over the state. However, GLA from the assessor may have different requirements than other sources, such as ANSI.

Proposition 13 passed in 1979, which only allowed an annual 2% increase in assessment per year, unless there was a sale or improvements (determined by permits). Over time, the information has become more and more out of date.

Data is not available for smaller counties if the assessor says it is confidential. Until the 90s, my county did not release any data, so I had to “guesstimate” on square footage for sales and listings. We finally got it when an MAI was elected assessor.

In the early 90s, I researched assessors records around the country. In some small rural counties the records were kept at the assessor’s home. They were not digitized and available for purchase by data companies.

Appraisers need to know which areas are not accurate. Someties GLA is “political”. Within a city, accuracy can vary. In my city the least accurate records are in the “Gold Coast” with many of the city’s larger, historic homes. In other nearby cities, some properties have low GLAs to keep the property taxes lower.

Read more!!

Posted in: adjustments, Appraisal Foundation, appraisal how to, Mortgage applications, square footage, Strange homes, unusual home, weird homes

1-24-20 Newz: Amrock suspends CA fee appraisers – Neutrality – Missle Silos

8 Funny Quotes About Appraiser Work Stress

Just For Fun!!

Excerpts: Real estate appraisal is an exciting and enjoyable profession—for the most part. But every appraiser knows that the job can be stressful at times, especially for those who are self-employed. If you’re having a hectic or frustrating day on the job, it helps to have a sense of humor. Here are some super funny quotes about work stress that we hope will brighten your day.

A few quotes

“‘Yay! It’s the weekend!’ Said nobody who is self-employed.”

“There cannot be a stressful crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” ­— Henry Kissinger

Very creative gifs! Sorry, they don’t work in these emails. To see them, click here

My comment: Very Funny and Realistic!

Read more!!

Posted in: AMCs, appraisal business, appraisal management company, FUN, humor, Mortgage applications, real estate market, Strange homes, USPAP, weird properties

1-17-20 Newz: Appraisal Creep – Spot Value – MLS Most Popular Words – Competency

Appraisal Creep – The Hidden Reason Why House Prices Are Too High 

Excerpts: Appraisal values should not be influenced by the price of the listing, but could a bias exist that proves otherwise? “Does the typical appraisal protect you from overpaying for a house?” asks John Wake in his article, The Hidden Reason Why House Prices Are Too High (And Income Growth Is Too Low) — Appraisal Creep.

The study looked at houses where two appraisals were done, one after they were foreclosed on and Fannie took ownership, and a second appraisal when they were under contract. Both appraisals were done within 6 months of each other and no repairs were made to the houses in the meantime. After adjusting for general house price appreciation between the first and second appraisals, the study found the second appraisals were 4.2% higher than the first appraisals…

The study made a few suggestions. The one I mentioned in the Forbes.com piece was not giving the appraiser the contract price. On one hand, the contract price holds a lot of information in it. On the other hand, releasing the contract price seems to skew the resulting appraisals a lot.

Appraisal Buzz short interview To read more, click here

Read lots more analysis and graphs in his very good Forbes article, To read more, click here

Read more!!

Posted in: AMCs, appraisal business, real estate market, USPAP, weird properties

1-10-20 Newz: Unique Bathrooms – Manufactured Homes – Appraisal Modernization

10 Unique Bathrooms

Excerpt: The world is filled with remarkable restrooms. Some of them are no longer open to the public, such as the Stufetta del Bibbiena, a small bathing chamber with erotic-art-covered walls in the Vatican’s Papal Apartments. Others have been transformed into something totally new, like the London coffee shop that was once a Victorian urinal. But there are plenty of breathtaking bathrooms that are publicly accessible and just waiting to be wetted. These are 10 of the world’s most opulent and bizarre bathrooms.

Here are a few

  • Two story bathroom
  • Berlin Wall urinal
  • World’s Most beautiful public toilet

To read lots more info and see the good fotos To read more, click here

My comments: FYI, bathrooms are one of the very most popular topics in these free appraiser weekly emails. I have no idea why ;>

Read more!!

Posted in: adjustments, AMCs, appraisal business, appraiser shortage, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, unusual homes

1-3-20 Newz: $65 Million Price Cut – No. of Bathrooms – Rate Forecast

Number of Bathrooms in New Homes

Excerpt: The Census Bureau’s latest Survey of Construction (SOC) shows changes in the number and shares of bathrooms and half-bathrooms of single-family homes started in the United States in 2018. The latest year’s data show that 3% of new single-family homes started had one bathroom or less, 64% had 2 bathrooms, 26% had 3 bathrooms, and 8% had 4 bathrooms or more. The term “bathroom” as used in this post refers to a full bathroom.
Interesting analysis, worth reading To read more, click here

Read more!!

Posted in: adjustments, appraisal business, weird homes

12-27-19 Newz: Humor – CA Appraisers 50% Decline – Bracketing – Change Your Templates!

Very Funny appraisal commercials
Just For Fun (and maybe some ideas)

Here are a few titles:
  • Hire An Appraiser… Avoid Getting Into A Stinky Situation!
  • Looking For An Appraiser? Ask Any Cat!
  • Homeowners, Don’t Get Eaten Alive By The Shark

To read more and see the Fun Videos, click here

My comment: I love the humor at https://clevelandappraisalblog.com Fun animated gifs and video commercials!!!

Read more!!

Posted in: adjustments, appraisers, climate change, FUN, humor, Mortgage applications, new appraisers

12-20-19 Newz: Appraiser Wins Lotsa Pizzas – $1B Appraisal Error – Past and Future

Good News: Appraiser wins $100 worth of Aurelio’s pizza every month for next five years

Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: Alvin “Chip” Wagner thought he received a crank call when Aurelio’s Pizza CEO Joe Aurelio phoned to tell him he’d won 60 months of free pizza in honor of the chain’s 60th anniversary.

“I had the call on speaker and my wife said, ‘I think this is really Joe,’” Wagner said.

To read more, click here

My comment: I have known Chip for many years. He deserves pizza plus a little big of fame ;> Appraiser in the Good Newz!! Thanks to Jonathan Miller for this Fun link!!

Read more!!

Posted in: AMCs, appraisal business, appraisal management company, bad appraisers, FUN, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, unusual homes

12-13-19 Newz: Fannie Appraiser Update – “Affordable” Mansions – Pyramid House

Fannie Appraiser Update December 2019

Topics:

  • Multiple parcels
  • Significant appraisal defects
  • How are you modernizing?
  • How appraisal waivers fit with our risk mindset

To read more, click here

To go to Fannie’s Appraiser Page, click here

Lots of info, including their updates. I use it a lot. Read this month’s newsletter and the old newsletters.

My comment: Some useful info in the Update. Of course, appraisers are worried about appraisal waivers. Fannie has a short explanation about the risk and when they are used. I have known for decades that some properties were low risk and appraisals were not really “necessary”. Especially with a low LTV, good credit, etc. CU has so much data now it is much easier to make a determination. Bifurcated are coming. Fannie decided to postpone them without an appraisal, but I am sure this is the future.

Read more!!

Posted in: appraisal business, bifurcated appraisals, george dell, hybrid appraisals, Mortgage applications, unusual home, va