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

12-13-18 Newz:// Futuristic Homes / Declining Prices? / Coester?

Futuristic Houses With Some Weird Architectural Designs

Just For Fun!!

Excerpts: You may have watched Transformers, robots that transforms to a vehicle. Well, that’s exactly how these house designs are made. Futuristic? Sure it is. Considering that we need space to build our homes, now we can just take our homes to wherever it is we like. It transforms from a box to a home. How cool is that?

Some of these sleek, weird houses look like they’ve been ripped out of the twenty-second century and some look like they’re from the next millennium. Get ready to move into the freaky saucer homes of tomorrow.

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Fannie Appraiser Update: Special Edition for Rural Appraisal

December 2018

Excerpt: Get tips for appraising rural properties, learn more about our manufactured housing appraisal policy, read about recent appraisal policy updates, and more in the latest Fannie Mae Appraiser Update.

We love hearing from you! Please continue to use the Contact Us form for appraisers to share what’s on your mind and to submit feedback and questions on appraisal topics.

Topics include:
Adjustments, Comps, Cost Approach, etc. tips relevant for most appraisers.
Click here to download the Update PDF
My comment: Even if you don’t appraise rural homes, there are some good tips in this document for all of us! Who never gets a weird house to appraise?
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Education

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Posted in: adjustments, Fannie, lender appraisals, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, Strange homes, threshold, unusual homes, weird homes

12-6-18 Newz// Threshold Proposed Increases, Ancient Cave Homes

Proposed appraisal threshold increases keep coming – both residential and commercial !!

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House Republicans Push to Ease Property Appraisal Rules Before Giving Democrats Control
Verification of Real Estate Values Would Drop by More Than Half Under Proposal
Source: Costar

Excerpts:

Republicans in Congress and U.S. financial regulators are proposing to ease appraisal rules for real estate sales financed by credit unions, prompting critics to warn the move could recreate some conditions that fueled the financial crisis more than a decade ago.

The proposals are part of a larger push by the Republican leadership in the House, which will hand over control to the Democrats next month, to roll back financial industry regulations while the GOP is still in charge in that chamber. The National Credit Union Administration is accepting comments until midnight on Monday on its plan to increase the threshold for nonresidential sales to $1 million, which it said would boost the portion of sales not requiring an appraisal to two-thirds of all transactions from 27 percent. About 210,000 commercial property transactions were valued at $1 million or less in 2017, according to CoStar data.

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18 Appraisal Groups send letter opposing credit union new commercial threshold

Excerpt: The letter noted that the federal banking regulatory agencies – the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Reserve Board – earlier this year approved increasing the commercial appraisal threshold from $250,000 to $500,000

“We are deeply concerned the NCUA proposal, if finalized at $1 million for commercial real estate transactions, will result in a regulatory ‘arms race’ between the Agencies and the NCUA,” the letter said. “This would result in the NCUA – the agency with the least direct experience in overseeing business and commercial real estate lending – effectively driving the appraisal policies for the entire financial regulatory system.”

The letter also noted that legislation adopted this year by the U.S. House (and awaiting action by the Senate) would link commercial appraisal threshold levels for two of the U.S. Small Administration’s most popular loan programs to those established by the federal banking regulatory agencies. “This (NCUA) proposal will likely impact not just credit unions and banks, but SBA lenders and risks associated with SBA loans,” the letter said.
The NCUA did not propose changes to the appraisal threshold for residential loans. “We support the NCUA’s proposal to maintain the $250,000 threshold level for residential real estate transactions,” the letter said.
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Sign the Petition!! (residential)

Written by Ryan Lundquist and Jonathan Miller
Almost 3,000 have signed the petition as of yesterday!!

Excerpt:

While the current administration clearly believes in deregulation, this doesn’t sound like a move to protect the American consumer and the United States housing market. As recent experience tells us, it’s going to cost us.

Please sign the petition to send a message to federal regulators that exposing the consumer and taxpayer to unnecessary mortgage risk is not supposed to be their role.
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Posted in: appraisal regulations, commercial appraisal, FHA, lender appraisals, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, threshold, unusual home, unusual homes, weird homes, weird properties

11-29-18 Newz// Proposed $400k threshold for appraisals -The American Garage – a very strange room

$400,000 Proposed bank threshold for appraisals to be replaced by evaluations

Below are links to the proposed rule, what others are saying, and where to send your comments on the proposed rule.
OCC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Exempt Residential Real Estate Transactions of $400,000 or Less from Appraisal Requirements
Excerpts: Rather than requiring an appraisal, the proposal would require that residential real estate transactions exempted by the threshold obtain an evaluation consistent with safe and sound banking practices.

Read what the OCC says in their announcement – one page www.occ.gov/news-issuances/news-releases/2018/nr-occ-2018-123.html

Comments will be accepted for 60 days from publication in the Federal Register.

Instructions in the full Full 69-page proposed rulemaking. Download the above link and search for comments

The word “evaluation” is included many times in the document. Google evaluation to see what it says.

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FDIC, OCC, Fed propose raising appraisal threshold for first time since 1994. Good analysis of how many loans would be affected:

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Push to cut back on home appraisals sparks controversy
By Ken Harney, long time nationally syndicated real estate writer who regularly writes about appraisal issues

Excerpt: The Trump administration wants to eliminate professional appraisals on a large number of home-sale transactions – a move that critics say could push the country back toward the see-no-evil days of mortgage lending that preceded the housing crash.

Includes comments from appraisers Ryan Lundquist and Pat Turner plus Appraisal Institute.
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Link to Appraisal Institute letter
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Get rid of appraisers while nobody’s looking
By Ryan Lundquist

 

Excerpt: I’m guessing these “evaluators” will be real estate agents who do BPOs, employees at banks and data firms, and probably some appraisers who need the work at $75-$100 a pop.

Read it here, plus the appraiser comments, of course.
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My comments:
– FIRREA increased the deminimus from $200,000 (1989) to $250,000 in 1994, but appraisals were still done. Why? Fannie and Freddie’s investors wanted them. FHA, VA, etc did not adopt the deminimus.
– What is an ‘evaluation’ and who does them? Hopefully, someone will tell me what is an evaluation?
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Posted in: AMCs, evaluations, FHA, marketing, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, Strange homes, unusual home, weird homes

11-21-18 Thanksgiving Thoughts For Appraisers

My Comments: I sent this last Thanksgiving also. I received it from an old friend. It “spoke” to me, especially as an appraiser and business person. This is a different, very personal, way to look at what we can be thankful for in our daily lives. Feel free to forward this to whomever you want, changing the subject line if needed.

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Be Thankful

These words from an unknown poet remind me to be thankful on Thanksgiving and all the other days, too.

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times, you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.

I love the thought that Thanksgiving is less of a meal and more of a mindset. May your Thanksgiving be filled with friends, family, love and all that is important to you.
Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA
Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today
2033 Clement Ave. Suite 105
Alameda, CA 94501 Phone 510-865-8041
Fax 510-523-1138
Email   ann@appraisaltoday.com
Posted in: Uncategorized

11-15-18//Newz: – Ball Houses – No Appraisers Left? – Misleading and USPAP

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Bolwoningen Ball Houses

 Excerpt: Bolwoningen consists of 50 sphere houses. The balls are made of cement, reinforced with fiberglass. They are mounted on the base in the form of a cylinder. Each sphere’s diameter is 18 feet and each has 11 round windows. The layout of these structures is quite unusual. In the center of the sphere there is a bathroom and a tiny bedroom, and a living room and kitchen, are located on the second floor-level. The house can be completely disassembled and transported to any other place (the weight of this building is only about 2755 lbs). In addition, this building can be placed not only on the ground, but also on water, on a stationary platform.

Locals didn’t quite appreciate the vision of the architect, but there are plenty of tourists, who would love to visit or even experience living in these futuristic houses.

My comment: Fascinating!! It was built in 1984 and is surrounded by standard homes. Check out the 2 links above and/or google bolwoningen ball houses
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What Would Happen if There Were No Appraisers?

By Tom Horn
 
Excerpt:
7 Consequences of Eliminating Appraisers From Mortgage Transactions
1) Questionable accuracy due to faulty county records
2) No reconsideration of values
3) No critical thinking that takes into consideration nuances of the market

Click here for more commentary and to see the other 4 reasons.

My comment: Very good analysis!! Needs to be sent to all the people who say appraisals are not needed…
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Posted in: appraisal how to, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, USPAP, weird homes

11-8-18 Newz// 8 ft Wide Townhome – Election and Banking Regs – Template Tips

What’s 8 Feet Wide and Has an Elevator? Manhattan’s Tiniest Fancy Townhouse – asking $5 million.

Excerpts: On a cobblestoned lower Manhattan street near the approach to the Brooklyn Bridge, a four-story house is about to go on the market for $5 million. The widest room measures 10 feet.

Small houses have a long history in New York. A Dutch-style gabled house at 75 ½ Bedford St. in Greenwich Village built in 1873 is 9 ½ feet wide. It is “popularly known as the smallest house in the city,” according to the city’s landmarks preservation commission. Its tenants have included poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, and anthropologist Margaret Mead.

My comment: I wonder what an 8 ft wide floor plan, with an elevator, looks like???
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7 Quick Tips for Using Appraisal Templates

Excerpt: Use these tips for proofreading appraisal reports:
5. Proofread Will a few typos or misspellings ruin your appraisal career? Probably not. However, they do seriously undermine your professionalism and suggest that you lack attention to detail. Take the time to ensure you are putting forth polished reports.

Focus on your most recent edits. When you edit something, it’s easy to introduce new errors, such as missing or repeated words. Proof new content and comments two to three times after you edit them, but also home in on those areas again during your final proof.

For more very good tips that we can all use click here:

My comment: I use a few templates for form reports and my assistant has to very carefully check each appraisal I writeup to be sure everything is okay! I gotta make sure I change the effective date of the appraisal and signed dates around the first of the year, of course…
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Posted in: appraisal business, appraisal how to, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, unusual home, weird homes

11-1-18 Newz// $245M listing – Land value – Living Underground

$245M Bel Air CA mansion is nation’s most expensive listing

Originally listed for $350M, it’s still a potential record-breaker after a price cut

Excerpts: The limestone clad mansion in Bel Air owned by the late TV executive Jerry Perenchio just got a price cut.

But at $245 million, the commanding French neoclassical residence, which measures 25,000 square feet, is still the most expensive listing on the open market in the U.S.

The property, which came up for sale last year for a staggering $350 million, has long been the cream of the crop among high-end estates…

A 105,000-square-foot mega-mansion built on spec, also in Bel Air, has a ridiculous $500 million price tag, but it’s not listed on the open market.

My comment: And I just read that the Southern California market is in a slump… who knows about this price range ;>
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Living Beneath the Ground in an Australian Desert

For about a century, residents of Coober Pedy have escaped the searing heat by building their homes underground.
Excerpt: “Bars and restaurants are underground, churches, all these children growing up living underground,” Ms. Merino said in a telephone interview about the residents’ social and private lives. “There’s nothing different about them; they’re not cave men. They’re normal people choosing to live in a different way.”

My comment: I have been reading about this place for awhile, but the author, who “stumbled upon” it has an excellent Fascinating article with great photos!!
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Posted in: adjustments, appraisal how to, forecast, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, Strange homes, weird homes, weird properties

10-25-18 Newz// Maps streets-buildings – Warming Oceans – Actionable Education

A Map of every building in America

Excerpts: Classic maps answer questions like: How do I get from Point A to Point B? These data images, instead, evoke questions – sometimes, simply: What’s that?

We found fascinating patterns in the arrangements of buildings. Traditional road maps highlight streets and highways; here they show up as a linear absence.

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In the August 8 2018 issue of this email newsletter, I published the link

Visualizing the Hidden ‘Logic’ of Cities

Excerpt: Some cities’ roads follow regimented grids. Others twist and turn. See it all on one chart.

Excerpt: In Chicago or Beijing, any given street is likely to take you north, south, east, or west. But good luck following the compass in Rome or Boston, where streets grew up organically and seemingly twist and turn at random.

Fascinating!! Check it out at:
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Posted in: appraisal business, Appraisal Foundation, appraisal how to, Appraisal Standards Board, appraisal waivers, Fannie, forecast, george dell, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, real estate market

10-19-18 Newz: ;Beach House Survives – FHA Appraisal Problems – Buy This Book!

Among the Ruins of Mexico Beach Stands One House, Built ‘for the Big One’

Excerpts: The elevated house that the owners call the Sand Palace, on 36th Street in Mexico Beach, Fla., came through Hurricane Michael almost unscathed…

As they built their dream house last year on the shimmering sands of the Gulf of Mexico, Russell King and his nephew, Dr. Lebron Lackey, painstakingly documented every detail of the elevated construction, from the 40-foot pilings buried into the ground to the types of screws drilled into the walls. They picked gleaming paints from … a palette of shore colors, chose salt-tolerant species to plant in the beach dunes and christened their creation the Sand Palace of Mexico Beach.

Very interesting. Worth reading. The aerial photos of the beach are striking – one intact beach house left.
For lots more info, photos and videos, google Sand Palace of Mexico Beach

My comment: I am so glad I live on the Left Coast. Most of it is elevated, with the beaches at water level. Plus, no big areas of rivers and streams draining into the ocean causing flooding. Much colder ocean than the East Coast. Of course, for us the Big One is a major earthquake, which I try not to think about ;>
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Mortgage-industry layoffs are picking up

Excerpt: JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Movement Mortgage this month were the latest companies to announce layoffs of hundreds of mortgage workers due to a downturn in business. Many more people in the industry can expect to lose their jobs in the coming months, Fannie Mae says.

“I do believe you will see more layoffs,” Fannie’s chief economist, Doug Duncan, said during a telephone interview. Hiring in the mortgage business has traditionally been boom and bust. Companies add staff during refinance booms and then lay off workers when the rates tick up. Given the cost to hire and fire people, the companies tend to wait and see if the downturn is permanent, Duncan said. There is usually a six-month lag before the layoffs pick up steam.

That time has arrived, Duncan said.

 “We are at the beginning of that I would say,” he said. “It is a cyclical business and it is driven by the cyclical behavior of interest rates. So, none of that should be a surprise to anyone. The only thing different in this cycle was that it was policy that drove rates, so they were so low for so long.”

https://www.scotsmanguide.com/News/2018/10/Mortgage-industry-layoffs-are-picking-up/

My comment: Looks like appraisers are finally thinking about doing non-lender work. An ad for my paid newsletter was sent out by workingre today, with twice the number of new subscribers as compared with the typical response. Appraising is cyclical as it depends on mortgage lending…
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Posted in: adjustments, FHA, forecast, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, unusual home

10-11-18 Newz://Dome Homes – Tandem Bedrooms – Competency

8 Dome Homes Ideal for Well-Rounded Buyers

Excerpt: Geodesic dome homes always strike a chord with buyers looking for a different type of house.

They’re also in favor these days thanks to their cosmic, forward-looking designs. Futurist and architect Buckminster Fuller conceived the geodesic dome in the belief that the shape of these rounded dwellings was the most efficient use of resources possible, and that the homes were ideal for mind, body, and spirit.

Here are a few:
– 37849 W Johnson Lake Ln, Marcell, MN Price: $129,000
– 35685 Lake Summit Dr, Temecula, CA Price: $775,000 – Two connected domes
– 5825 E Saguaro Rd, Cave Creek, AZPrice: $469,000 – Price includes a large maze

Check out the fotos and info at:

My comment: They all kinda look the same to me ;> I have never appraised one, but don’t miss it. Very few here. Just use other odd ball properties as comps I guess. There is one in a nearby city that I drive by regularly as a reminder of what I don’t want to appraise ;>

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Is the market tanking or softening?

Video by Ryan Lundquist
About the Sacramento CA market, but applies to all markets
21 minute video. Worth watching.
More articles by Ryan at http://sacramentoappraisalblog.com
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Posted in: adjustments, appraisal how to, data, mortgage loan volume, state appraiser regulators, unusual home, zillow