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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

12-13-19 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.

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

12-6-19 Newz: Appraisal Shelf Life – AVMs – Neighborhood Analysis

What’s the Shelf Life of An Appraisal?

Except: All of this has let me to the question du jour. What is the shelf life of an appraisal? I am asked on a regular basis, “How long the appraisal is good for?”. The simple answer is, one day. Namely, the effective date of the report. Real estate appraisals reflect the appraiser’s opinion of value of the property being appraised, based upon a specific point in time. Why?

Real estate values are changing every day. Like food, there are external forces that affect the value of a home, and how rapidly it changes. Does that mean that the appraised value will be dramatically different the day after the effective date of the appraisal? Probably not. However, no appraiser can see into the future to know what tomorrow will bring.

To read more, see fotos and comments click here

My comment: I love these very creative articles. I have no idea how he does mashups of appraisals and all types of other topics! Plus I thought I understood food shelf life. Now I know a lot more ;> Creative videos and animated gifs, etc. Lotsa fun!!

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Posted in: AMCs, appraisal business, appraisal how to, AVMS, computers, marketing, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, Strange homes

11-29-19 Newz: Choosing Comps – VA and Bifurcated – Most Expensive Homes

By George Dell

Excerpt: This question caused me to rethink the relationship of ‘spiritual’ or ‘mental health’ principles to profitable business practices. From last year’s blog, the research showed benefits with: relationships, physical and emotional health, reduced anger/isolation, sleep, self-esteem, and even improved brain power! Cool.

So, do these things cost me money? Or do they help make more money?

Let’s start with the obvious: what’s in an appraiser’s required belief system: Standards, ethics, and conduct. Recall that USPAP requires you to be worthy. Worthy of belief. Credible.

So, what in that list helps me make more money?

To read more, click here

My comment: Very good appraisal comments for Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays! Worth reading.

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Posted in: appraisal business, appraisal how to, bifurcated appraisals, george dell, hybrid appraisals, Mortgage applications, real estate market, unusual homes, va, weird properties

11-22-19 Newz: Appraisal Fees – Previous Careers – Dungeon

What Was Your Previous Career Before You Got Into Appraisal?

Excerpts:

The Top 3

  • Real estate sales (14%)
  • Mortgage lending (8%)
  • Insurance (5%)
  • Assistant or admin work (5%)
  • Banking (1%)
  • Others: 63%

To read more, click here Check out the respondent comments and a list of some of the many previous careers

My comment: I was a chemist before I started appraising. Really like learning about science in school, but 7 years of lab work was too boring. I felt trapped inside. Saw an ad for “appraiser assistant” at the local county offices. “Work in the field.” I had never heard of it, so read a book about it at the library (1974). I got the job and still love appraising!! I didn’t see many science careers on the “Other” list. But, I think it prepared me well for appraising as I was trained to be very objective and analytical.

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Posted in: adjustments, AMCs, appraisal business, Appraisal fees, appraisal management company, lender appraisals, Mortgage applications, real estate market

11-15-19 Newz: Adjustments – Angle Measurements – Zillow iBuying Problems

Accurate Measurements with Odd Angles

Excerpt: Imagine a 2,100 square foot, one and a half story house with an attached garage, porch, and deck. You probably imagined the typical bungalow. Now, imagine that house having 48 corners and only 4 of them are 90 degrees. I recently had an experience with just that house. Some architect, thinking they were Frank Lloyd Wright reincarnated, decided to build this house on a high bank cliff overlooking the Puget Sound. Don’t get me wrong, it was a pretty cool design, but I knew right away when I received the order for that appraisal that I was going to need some help.

To read more, click here Lots of reviews of the product, plus other similar products.

My comment: $19.95. An inexpensive product we all need!! They have been around for awhile, but most appraisers did not know about them. I appraise a lot of Victorians. Very useful!!

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Posted in: adjustments, appraisal business, bifurcated appraisals, real estate market, square footage, zillow

11-8-19 Newz: Zestimates – Fee Transparency – Science and Appraising

National Appraisers Forum

By Dave Towne

Excerpt: Appraisers, if you would like to learn from highly qualified peers (other than me! :), post questions, or offer your own comments, consider joining the FREE group, National Appraisers Forum (NAF). Use this link.

This is one of the best appraiser groups as all commentary is respectful. While not everyone always agrees with certain points, the discussions are not demeaning. There is a wealth of info participants share freely on a wide number of topics. The group has several moderators who monitor the posting activity.

One key point, NAF participants are not anonymous. You must use your name (at a bare minimum) when participating, which is required when signing up… Moderators are asking that anyone who wants to join should give their name as licensed, the state they are in, and their license number.

To read more, click here

My comments: This is my favorite appraiser online group! I get many emails from various sources for this newsletter and have been a member of many online communication places. Before the internet was widely available, I hosted live chats on aol and compuserve. Since then I have watched many online places. Unfortunately, just like any other topic, sometimes the groups end up doing lots of “flaming” (attacking another participants, etc.), negative comments, off topic, politics, etc. I quit going to these places.

Of all the groups I have subscribed to, National Appraisers Forum is the best for me. I have been a member since it started, or soon after. No complaining about AMCs, off topic, trolling and flaming, etc. The founder, Steve Smith, and the moderators keep it this way. Regular contributors are “high end” appraisers with many years of experience. Hot topics are often discussed.

There are well managed appraisal groups on Facebook, but it is too hard to for me to follow the threads, so I don’t go there very often. But, it may work for you.

Another major factor is that you must use your real name, so we know who is commenting. Allowing anonymous postings can easily decay into a mess.

I will be updating my article ” How to connect with other appraisers online. What’s the best group for you? ” in a future issue of the paid Appraisal Today discussing other email chat groups, how to find other groups or start your own, Facebook, etc.

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Posted in: Appraisal fees, bifurcated appraisals, Fannie, fees, george dell, Mortgage applications, weird properties, zillow

11-1-19 Appraisal Waivers – What’s In GLA – Superstitions

Appraisal Waivers 

(from Rob Chrisman’s email newsletter)

And wouldn’t home loans be streamlined if the owner of the loan/investor didn’t care about the value? No appraisals! On the flip side, what if every home loan required three appraisals? That would sure bog thing down. The topic of waiving appraisals (who, what, where, when, why) is a hot one. The general belief is that the PWI is not as much predicated on the home, nor the loan structure, and more in the availability of prior appraisals in the area. Appraisals being in “machine language” making them readable, and the data more subject to compiling and valuation algorithms is hot stuff. And some wonder that if Freddie and Fannie are under government conservatorship, could that information be subject to a FOIA request?

To read more, click here NOTE: The appraisal waiver section is down the page. Easiest to search for appraisal waiver.

My comment: I have been subscribing to Rob Chrisman’s newsletter for a long time. It focuses on lenders and mortgage originator news, but sometimes has some interesting material on appraisals. In this one, there is some analysis from the appraiser side. Nothing new for appraisers, but it is always good to see what loan officers and lenders are reading.

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Posted in: data, Fannie, FUN, humor, square footage, weird properties

10-25-19 Newz: Fannie Waivers – No Bifurcates? – Market Cycles

We Don’t Need No Stinking Bifurcates… Do We?

By Tim Andersen, MAI

Excerpt: QUESTION: I’ve heard so much lately about hybrid appraisals. I really don’t understand them. I guess, though, my biggest question about them is whether they are USPAP compliant. Some heavy hitters in appraisal have said they are not USPAP compliant, they pollute the industry, they will degrade us appraisers to the point we are no longer necessary. Some equally heavy hitters have said none of that is true, and that appraisers should be doing them since clients want, to coin a phrase, a painter to paint their house (cheap & fast), not Michelangelo to create an immortal work of art in it (expensive & slow). Since hybrid appraisals do not require me to inspect the property, how can a hybrid appraisal report be USPAP compliant? Do I have to list the inspector in the Certification since inspecting the property is significant appraisal assistance? How are state boards going to look at hybrid appraisals? I do not know what to think. Help!

To read Tim’s answer, click here

My comment: I love Tim’s blog postings. He has been writing articles for the paid Appraisal Today on evaluations, suing state boards, and What’s changed in USPAP 2020-2021? (coming in the Dec. issue) He is definitely a USPAP expert!!

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Posted in: bifurcated appraisals, cost approach, Fannie, hybrid appraisals, Mortgage applications

10-18-19 Newz: What is Risk? – Fascinating Islands – Fees – Data Standards

What’s all this stuff about risk?

By George Dell

We seem to be hearing stuff about risk recently. Why?

Back in the old days, before internet but after the wheel – It was my challenge as a new appraiser to scratch together four or five comps, then put three of them on a form, or perhaps even all five on a table. We called the table a ‘grid,’ presumably because it looked like the grid on a bird cage.

I soon discovered I was free to fly around inside the grid cage all I wanted. I adjusted to what I had. I learned to live inside the cage.

Then flying electrons came. They flew right through the grid. There were many. Sometimes even a dozen or more. All claiming to be comp messages. It was too much. I had the five. Should be enough. Yep. That’s what my trainer said. That’s what my appraiser education said. And sure enough, it was on my test for my new appraiser license…

To read more, click here

My comment: Next month’s paid Appraisal Today will have a long article, “Adjust your adjustment, or adjust your attitude?  The Hype and the Reality” by George Dell. Very interesting!

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Posted in: Appraisal fees, data, Mortgage applications, real estate market, weird properties

10-11-19 Newz: Appraisal Waiver Train – Multiple Offers – Secret Doors

Banks Are Driving the Appraisal Waiver Train

By Jonathan Miller

Excerpt: Look at the ASC members and their North Dakota waiver vote on July 9, 2019

Only FHFA and HUD voted against the North Dakota Waiver. Those specific agencies deal with appraisers first-hand and understand their role in the risk management process. The remainder are bank regulators or in the case of CFPD, represent consumer interests (and the agency has been gutted over the past several years to reduce its pro-consumer efforts).

In other words, banks are driving the waiver train. They want to remove a pain point from the mortgage process to grow more origination volume. The Federal government has already proved it will be willing to back up the banks if the economy collapses so why not keep pushing for removing of all pain points?

To read more, click here

My comment: Nothing new. Lenders have wanted to get rid of appraisals for decades. Impediments to The Deal.

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Posted in: adjustments, appraisal business, appraisal waivers, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, weird homes