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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 over 15,000 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!!

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Posted in: appraisal, appraisal business, Appraisal fees

3-22-17 Newz: AQB Degree and Experience .Raise Deminimus? .AMC High Consumer Fees

Are you paying unseen add-on fees for your appraisal?By Ken Harney, nationally syndicated real estate writer

Excerpt: Are you getting fleeced on appraisal charges when you buy a house or refinance? Could you be paying as much as double what the appraiser is receiving for actually doing the work, with the excess going to an undisclosed third party?

Many appraisers say yes. And they’re eager to let consumers know that when the appraisal charge is $500 or $800 or $1,000, they’re frequently being paid just a fraction of that. The rest is going to an “appraisal management” company…
Read the full article here and add your comments:
My comment: Finally, someone is writing about the AMC Consumer Ripoff!! I have been saying since 2008 that the best way to “fight” AMCs is to let consumers know they are getting ripped off!! Appraisers complain about how AMCs treat appraisers and low fees, but don’t seem to focus on consumers, who are paying much more.
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Read more!!

Posted in: AMCs, appraisal, appraisal business, Appraisal fees, appraisal management company, Appraisal Qualifications Board, commercial appraisal, fees, lender appraisals

3-16-17 Newz: Appraiser indicted, Public records sqft, 3-D printed house

3D Map Shows America’s Most Expensive Housing Markets

Excerpt: Which U.S. housing market is the most expensive?
 It seems like the question should have a single, straightforward answer. But with varying definitions of what constitutes a housing market and with different ways of measuring home value, the question is not so clear cut.
Using data from Zillow, this 3D map shows the cost of housing by U.S. county. The height of each area represents the average price per square foot of its homes.
My comment: Fascinating graphic. Lots of counties well under $100 per sq.ft. My urban county: $477. Other CA rural counties under $150. Warning: Can Be Addictive ;> I love Microcosm graphics!!
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Top 10 Affordable Small Towns Where You’d Actually Want to Live, 2017 Edition
Excerpt: But does this (small towns) mean you have to trade excitement for enervation? As the city-dwelling comedian Lenny Bruce once said, “I hate small towns, because once you’ve seen the cannon in the park, that’s it.” So we focused on life beyond the cannons-small towns offering up rich cultures and a surprising amount of fun side diversions.

Read more!!

Posted in: Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, state appraiser regulators, Strange homes, unusual home, unusual homes, weird homes

3-9-17 Newz .Non-lender fees .Mortgage volume since 2013 .AMCs gone wild

Why are barns painted red and the White House white?

Just for fun!! Great short video plus good explanation.
Excerpts: there are some paint choices that never seem to come up for question. Ever wondered why barns are red? Why is the White House white? And is the Golden Gate Bridge supposed to be … gold, instead of a reddish-orange?
My comment:
Also discusses: Why are green rooms green? For musicians, this is where you ‘hang out’ waiting to play. I have never been in a green room painted green ;> Now I know where the name comes from ;>
Click here to watch the short video and read the info below
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Strip-Mall Totems: The Trees of Sprawl
Just for Fun ;>
Excerpt: These forgotten or overlooked trees engage with us on multiple levels, whether we notice or not; they’re full of stories. Many, obviously, were planted – planted to soften a massive hardscape, arrest fresh-bared soil, comply with municipal regulations. A few might be legacy trees from pre-sprawl farmland or prairie copses. Others colonize the sprawl-scape via a bird’s gut or a propitious breeze.
My comment: Strip mall trees will never be the same again for me ;> check out the photos and the comments.
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Valuation Management Group Co-hosts Webinar with Fannie Mae – Collateral Policy & Technology Guidance for Appraisers, March 29 2017
Fannie Mae is presenting a free webinar for residential real estate appraisers on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 11 am EST. This webinar will cover collateral policy, technology guidance for appraisers, and the latest information on Fannie Mae’s appraisal policies. Fannie Mae agreed to a second event due to maximum capacity and positive feedback and response to the previous co-hosted event.
Julie Jones, Fannie Mae Credit Risk Analyst will be the presenter, and Jeremy Staudenmaier, also a Fannie Mae Credit Risk Analyst who helped develop the information, will be participating and answering questions. The goal of the webinar is for appraisers to gain a better understanding of Fannie Mae’s mission, to dispel common appraisal myths, and to improve communication with appraisers.

To register,click here:

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What will you do when business really slows down? Start looking for non-lender work when everyone else does?  

It’s a lot easier to get non-lender work when business is strong. There is very little competition. Other appraisers assume/hope/etc. that it will always be busy and do nothing. Lending always goes up and down.
I have been writing about getting non-lender work in my paid newsletter since 1992. For example, I can tell you how to get your business in the top of google search listing at no cost and just a few minutes of time. Half my appraisal business comes from Internet searches.
The two most popular non-lender work for residential appraisers is estate/trust and divorce. Subscribers learn the pluses and minuses of these types of non-lender appraisals and many other types. I have not done any lender work since 2005 and regularly turn down work as I am too busy.
 
If my articles help you get one non-lender appraisal,
it is worth the subscription price!! 
$8.25 per month, $24.75 per quarter, $89 per year (Best Buy)  
or $99 per year or $169 for two years 
Subscribers get, FREE: past 18+ months of past newsletters 
plus 4 Special Reports, plus 2 Appraiser Marketing Books!!
To purchase the paid Appraisal Today newsletter   go to
www.appraisaltoday.com/products  or call 800-839-0227.
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How much are you charging for non-lender work?
You should base your non-lender appraisal fees on what local borrowers are paying for their mortgage appraisals. Call around and ask.DO NOT charge what lenders and AMCs pay you. 
I keep hearing about appraisers charging low lender/AMC fees. I have no idea why. If so, they should never complain about low fees again.
My non-lender appraisal fees keep going up and up as borrowers keep paying more and more, due to high demand from lenders. I am still below what they pay, so it seems like a “good deal” to non-lender clients.

I have been writing about non-lender work since 1992 in my paid Appraisal Today newsletter.

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The ugly truth about appraisal fees
By Ryan Lundquist
Excerpt: The Issue: I was asked to appraise something challenging, so I quoted a fee that was higher than a standard fee in Sacramento but still reasonable for the job because the house was funky. Anyway, I was comfortable with the fee and it was accepted by the AMC (Appraisal Management Company) that the lender hired to manage the appraisal ordering process.
But then things got interesting because through the course of the transaction someone showed me an email from the loan officer where I learned the AMC was actually charging the buyer $345 higher than the fee I quoted. What the? That seemed excessive, but the real clincher for me was the email showed a chain of conversation with the AMC where they said I was the one who quoted the much higher fee. Not only was the AMC gouging the buyer in my opinion, but there was a blatant lie that I was the one dictating this fee that was 43% higher than the one I quoted.
Look, I’m not a complainer and I am a total optimist, but this is not okay on so many levels.
My comment: See above for non-lender fees. 
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Slow Pay AMCs
 by Dave Towne
Excerpt: Through several of the ‘media sources’ I read recently, I’ve learned that “a particular AMC” based on the west coast has a slow pay reputation.
As so often happens with low echelon AMCs with few clients, when business slows down, their payment process becomes a Ponzi scheme. Ultimately they go out of business.
I currently have an outstanding report with that AMC, but the payment due date to me is March 7. So I’m respectfully withholding their name publicly from others, until and unless they don’t pay me on time.
Over past years I’ve written about how appraisers MUST keep close track of their submitted reports and payments due for them. Too many appraisers get busy and neglect to monitor their Accounts Payable for their business.
My comment: A good reminder of AMCs that are in trouble. Read Dave’s suggestions. I am very strict and have loss less than $2,000 in 30 years of fee appraising. It was my fault for poor client screening. I write about this topic regularly in my paid Appraisal Today newsletter, usually when business slows down.
Click here to read plus the many comments.
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AMC Fined for Removing Appraiser from Panel
By Isaac Peck, Editor
Excerpt: Many states also have AMC laws that have stringent requirements that AMCs must notify an appraiser when he or she is removed from an appraisal panel. Unfortunately, the lack of enforcement actions against AMCs for such violations has caused many appraisers to question whether such regulations have any effect at all.
However, in a precedent setting move, the Washington State Department of Licensing has recently become the first regulatory agency to fine an AMC for removing an appraiser from an appraiser panel without proper notification. In September 2015, the American Reporting Company (ARC) was sanctioned for “removing a real estate appraiser from [an] appraiser panel without proper notifications” and failing to “provide [a] real estate appraiser [the] opportunity to respond to removal from panel.”
Click here to read the full article for lots more info, plus the comments from appraisers.
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Rules checking software gone wild!!
If the ‘story’ can be told using 3 comps, why are 4 or more really necessary?
By Dave Towne
Excerpt: Interesting report data from review of 1.5 million appraisals. A few of the stats:
– 4.72% of the appraisals Market Value is higher than the adjusted comp values. But real estate is not perfect, and sometimes it does make sense
– 12.10 % of the appraisals use comps from different Cities. And the concern is?
– 6.25% of the reports did not use 5 or more comps. And the concern is??
Be sure to read Dave’s full comments plus the comments at the end from other appraisers:

http://appraisersblogs.com/comps-rules-check-software 

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Mortgage loan origination volume from 2013 to 2017
This graph has been in every issue of the paid Appraisal Today since 1992. I use the data from the MBA below. Business has been slowing down since the peak in 9/16.
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HOW TO USE THE NUMBERS BELOW. Appraisals are ordered after the loan application. These numbers tell you the future for the next few weeks. For more information on how they are compiled, go to www.mbaa.org 
Note: I publish a graph of this data (see above) every month in my paid Appraisal Today newsletter. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to https://www.appraisaltoday.com/products.htm or send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 8AM to noon, Pacific time.
Mortgage applications increased 3.3 percent from one week earlier
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 8, 2017) – Mortgage applications increased 3.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 3, 2017. The previous week’s results included an adjustment for the President’s Day holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 3.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 16 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 5 percent from the previous week to the highest level since December 2016. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 15 percent compared with the previous week and was 4 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 45.4 percent of total applications from 45.1 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 7.7 percent of total applications to the highest level since October 2014. The average loan size for purchase applications reached a survey high at $313,300.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 11.8 percent from 12.3 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 11.6 percent from 11.7 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.9 percent from the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) increased to 4.36 percent from 4.30 percent, with points increasing to 0.44 from 0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100) increased to 4.27 percent from 4.23 percent, with points increasing to 0.26 from 0.25 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 4.18 percent from 4.07 percent, with points decreasing to 0.32 from 0.37 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.57 percent from 3.51 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.36 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.48 percent from 3.35 percent, with points decreasing to 0.20 from 0.29 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.

Posted in: AMCs, appraisal business, Appraisal fees, appraisal management company, Fannie, lender appraisals, Strange homes, unusual home, weird homes, weird properties

3-2-17 Newz .Appraiser identity theft .Data shows no appraiser shortage

HUD Fraud Alert: Appraiser Identity Theft

 Excerpt: Most of the schemes happened when an FHA roster appraiser provided his or her personal identification number (PIN) for the desktop appraisal software to a colleague or supervisor. Providing the PIN was often rationalized because

* It was needed to keep the process timely,
* A fast turnaround was requested by the lender, or
* It was a contingency for when the roster appraiser was away or unavailable.
While these actions may seem innocent enough, they raise severe risks for misuse because the appraiser can never be sure the PIN will only be used with his or her knowledge and for legitimate purposes. Over the last couple of years, OIG has received more than a dozen reports of identity theft by colleagues or supervisors. Following are some case examples of the various schemes.
The identity theft examples were in IL, CA and WA
Click here to read the 2-page Fraud Bulletin:

My comment: Read the bulletin for more info. There was a lot of this reported when trainees were used in the last boom. All the appraisers were sentenced to 3-5 years in prison.

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How much value does a huge backyard shop add?
Another good post from Ryan Lundquist!!

Read more!!

Posted in: AMCs, appraisal, Appraisal fees, appraiser shortage, forecast, Fraud, lender appraisals, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, new appraisers, trainees, unusual homes

2-23-17 Newz// Transportation failures, Polluted Cities, Appraisers Age

With Trump changes in the news, guess I need to put something in this email newsletter ;>


Big Banks Could Get Back in the Mortgage Market in a Big Way
Excerpt: For the past six years, there has been a quiet revolution in the mortgage market: Big banks like JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM), Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and Citibank (NYSE: C) have moved out and nonbank lenders such as Quicken, loanDepot and Caliber Home Loans have moved in – in a big way.
The revolution went largely unchallenged, but that may be about to change if the Trump administration removes regulations on the big banks and stops sending bad loans back to the banks for repayment. Deregulation would open the door for big banks to move back in.
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The Least Polluted U.S. Cities (and the Dirtiest)
Least polluted
1-Naples FL
2-Salem OR
10 – Salinas CA
Most polluted
1-Philadelphia PA
2-Los Angeles CA
10- Milwaukee WI
My comment: Worth reading. Very interesting results and a well written article!!
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5 Spectacular Transportation Failures

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Posted in: appraisal business, lender appraisals, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, new appraisers, Strange homes, trainees, Trumpish speculations, unusual home, unusual homes, weird homes, weird properties

2-16-17 Newz .Land surveys in 1784 .Common appraisal errors

 Land Surveys in 1784 – Alexander Hamilton vs. Thomas Jefferson

Metes and bounds vs. Meridians

Excerpts:
In 1784, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton squared off over the best way to divvy up newly American territory.
The two factions also had different ideas about how to divide the land. Jefferson and his allies wanted to use an innovative system of land division, which would use meridians and other abstract geographical reference points to measure out uniform parcels of land. Hamilton and his allies thought that would take too long. As long as settlers had been grabbing up land in America, they’d operated according to a principle of free settlement-essentially, first-come, first-serve. Hamilton wanted to divide up the land using the more traditional “metes and bounds” system, in which landmarks and other features of a piece of land are used to describe its borders.
The Public Land Survey System was created because, in the 1780s, the new United States of America needed money. The Revolutionary War had left the federal government with debts, and its leaders planned to raise funds by selling off land where American colonists had yet to settle.
My comment: Fascinating!! We all study how our country is divided geographically in our basic appraisal classes. George Washington was also a land surveyor. Surveyors were the predecessors to appraisers. RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors), the largest international appraisal association was founded in London in 1868.
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Common Appraisal Errors – Part 1
by Joshua Walitt, SRA, MNAA
Excerpts on adjustments: You don’t need to write a book. In fact, most adjustments can be summarized relatively succinctly. Consider the following when summarizing your adjustments:
* What specifically is the difference between the subject and the comp? This is normally apparent for garages and GLA, but may not be as easily discerned for condition or quality. In other words, regarding quality-related components, what specific characteristics make the comp different from the subject?

Read more!!

Posted in: appraisal, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, Strange homes, unusual home, unusual homes, weird homes, weird properties

2-9-17 Newz// Dodd Frank repeal?, Secret Places, CU ratings manipulation

11 Secret Spaces Hiding in Famous Places

Thousands of people pass through these destinations each day unaware there’s a hidden gem tucked inside.
Here are a few:
– Secret Apartments in the New York Public Library
– Secret Compartment in Leonardo da Vinci Statue – Italy
– Vanderbilt Tennis Club at Grand Central Terminal – New York
– Gustave Eiffel’s Secret Apartment – Paris
My comment: Just for Fun. Fascinating!! Good fotos and info. New York seems to have a lot of secret places…
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FREE ASC/Appraisal Foundation Webinar from Network of State Appraisal Organizations
On January 18th, NSAO sponsored a webinar with Jim Parks with the Appraisal Subcommittee and David Bunton with The Appraisal Foundation. The webinar received glowing reviews by those who attended and is available to those who missed it. The NSAO looks forward to other webinars in the future. These webinars are only possible because of your membership with VaCAP and other State organizations.

Read more!!

Posted in: adjustments, Collateral Underwriter, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, Strange homes, Trumpish speculations, unusual home, unusual homes, weird properties

2-2-17 Newz .Appraiser email scam .New Fannie updates .White House value

What is the White House Worth? Nearly $400 Million, Says Zillow

Excerpt: Want to buy the White House? Well, you can’t. But if you could, it would go for just under $400 million, says new hypothetical Zillow data.
According to the data, the White House has appreciated 15 percent since Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, and is currently valued at $397.9 million. Were it to actually be listed on Zillow, it would be the most valuable home on the site-and rightfully so.
My comment: Of course, we all know how accurate Zillow is ;>
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New Netflix Lemony Snicket series and Realtors – humor (Just for fun!!)
Excerpt:
Netflix release of “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”
The children fall in the care of Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris), their geographically “nearest living relative,” who is plotting to steal their fortune.  From here on out, the orphans initiate a process of guardian hopping following every next guardian’s death at the hands of Count Olaf.

Read more!!

Posted in: Appraisal Foundation, Fannie, humor, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, trainees, weird homes

1-26-17 Newz: Master baths .Failed appraisals .$220 million home

The Rise of the Luxurious Suburban Master Bathroom
How a utilitarian room turned into a pleasure palace.
Excerpts:
Bathrooms haven’t changed much since indoor plumbing became a standard feature in newly built homes at the turn of the 20th century.  This, coupled with changing societal expectations regarding the frequency of bathing and new technology such as the flush toilet, swiftly ushered in the era of the modern bathroom.
The story of the master bathroom was long in the making. A space we now deem a necessity is only around 36 years old. It’s one of many examples of how a cocktail of social, technological, and economic influences combine to create new standards of living, and change the face of not only architecture, but how we live.
My comment: Fascinating, with lots of historic bathroom photos and excellent commentary! No comment on “master” and fair housing ;>
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This Is What a $250 Million House Looks Like
As a glut of mega-homes hits the L.A. market, developers are taking it up a notch.

Read more!!

Posted in: Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, Strange homes, Trumpish speculations, weird homes, weird properties

1-19-17 Newz//Trump Mortgage Nation, Windy cities, Bob Hope’s UFO Home

Bob Hope’s UFO Home Sells for $13 Million

Excerpt: At long last, Bob Hope’s UFO house has sold for $13 million, after first being listed in early 2013 with a price tag of $50 million.  Having gone through a couple of price cuts over the last three years, the most recent cut lowered the ask to $25 million. But with no comps available, how does one actually price a concrete space ship?  Seems that when $25 million was thrown at the wall, $13 million stuck.

My comment: Tough appraisal including measuring and the listing history ;>

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Top 10 cities with homes most threatened by heavy winds
CoreLogic gives its Windy City index

Excerpt:

In its latest report, CoreLogic rated the top cities at risk of hazardous wind conditions in its Windy City Index. The ranking among the nation’s largest 279 metros incorporates both the number of wind events, measured at the city center plus a 10-mile radius, as well as the total force caused by any severe wind gusts of 60 mph or more.
“Wind can cause significant damage whether associated with an actual hurricane or not,” CoreLogic Product Manager Curtis McDonald said. “Wind speeds of 92 mph, even without a hurricane – as seen in Tallahassee – can be a significant threat to life and property.”
Two of the top 10 cities
10. Charleston, South Carolina
Number of wind events: 12
Max wind speed: 86 mph
4. Cincinnati, Ohio
Number of wind events: 16
Max wind speed: 79 mph

My comment: Wow!! I had no ideas these cities had high winds, especially those not in hurricane areas.

Read more!!

Posted in: Appraisal Standards Board, Collateral Underwriter, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, unusual home, unusual homes, weird homes, zillow
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