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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

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

10-4-18// Newz: ;Pyramid House – Comp Sharing? – “Prove” adjustments?

Malibu Pyramid House in 3-D and Drone View

Just For Fun!!

27553 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA
Price: $5,695,000
Why it’s here: Here’s your prime directive: Live in the futuristic home as seen on season 3 of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Designed by Ellis David Gelman, the well-maintained and playful space features “four eclectic bedrooms,” an ocean-view terrace, and lavender and rose gardens spread over 2 acres.

See it in 3-D, Drone view, and lotsa photos here!!
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Is a la mode’s Smart Exchange Really a Smart Idea?

Excerpt: Alamode recently launched Smart Exchange to its users. The idea is appraisers can see what others have stated as property characteristics and transfer that information directly into your report. The system is based on mutual sharing, so if you participate, you will share all your comparable data with everyone else that is using Smart Exchange and you can see their data.

Lots more info plus appraiser comments at:

My comment: I have never used a la mode software, but do follow the Yahoo Group WinTOTAL. Lots of discussion there also. Of course, I am suspicious because Corelogic owns a la mode.

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Posted in: adjustments, appraisal how to, data, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, unusual home

9-27-18 Newz//Two Appraiser Brains? -Fannie Waivers – Frank Lloyd Wright Homes

Do You Have Two Appraiser Brains?

By George Dell
Excerpt: One appraiser brain says you must be “independent, impartial, and objective.” (USPAP) It wants to be good. It wants integrity and to sleep peacefully at night.

But there’s another brain. It’s primal and wants to survive. It has other responsibilities: meet the bills, feed the family, pay the mortgage, and pay government taxes/fees. And recorded in this brain is that part of the standards which say: Do what your clients expect; do what everyone else does. As paraphrased, the sole guides to an acceptable scope of work.

Worth reading. Short. Plus the comments.
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7 Fantastic Frank Lloyd Wright Homes

Excerpt: Dubbed by the American Institute of Architects as the “greatest American architect of all time,” Wright designed more than 1,100 buildings, 532 of which were eventually built. From his early designs in the low-slung Prairie School style to the efficient, affordable Usonian style inspired by the Great Depression, everything Wright created aimed to create spaces that he described as “eloquent and humane.”
Photos and info at:

https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/frank-lloyd-wright-homes-on-the-market

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Posted in: adjustments, appraisal how to, Appraisal Qualifications Board, appraisal waivers, commercial appraisal, Fannie, george dell, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, unusual homes

9-20-18 Newz// Zillow Addicts – Pyramid House – Favorite Podcasts

Unusual pyramid house in Malibu takes its cues from the sun and moon

Excerpt: This one-of-a-kind residence looks like it belongs in the swirling sands of Giza rather than on a hilltop in Malibu. The three-bedroom house was designed for two astronomy photographers and built to face the magnetic north like the needle of a compass. Sitting on one of the highest points in the Santa Monica Mountains, it has perfect vantage for observing the ocean as well as the movements of the sun and moon.

Read more and see the fotos plus video!! Currently listed for $2,999,000. Has been on the market for awhile.
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Posted in: Appraisal fees, MLS, mortgage loan volume, Podcasts, real estate market, unusual home, weird homes, zillow

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