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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

12-23-17 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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

1-12-17 Newz .New scam: owners pose as renters, 21 day turn times

Haunting Photos of Europe’s Abandoned Buildings, From Steel Plants to Castles

Excerpt: Photographer Hans Van Vrouwerf first started shooting abandoned buildings in 2010. He started with an old stone factory in a village in the Dutch countryside and when he got home, Van Vrouwerf started to research other buildings. As a committed urban explorer, with the countries of Western Europe as his backyard, he has sought out derelict buildings not only in his home base of the Netherlands, but also in Belgium, Germany, France, and Luxembourg.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/haunting-photos-of-europes-abandoned-buildings-from-steel-plants-to-castles 

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What’s the most disturbing history you’ve learned about a house you were selling?
More than 5,000 comments in 48 hours on Reddit
Excerpt: At first glance, it’s a simple question: What’s the most disturbing history you’ve learned about a house you were selling.
But what started out as a 13-word question on share-site Reddit, spiraled into unsettling long responses from tons of users, generating more than 5,000 responses in only 48 hours.
My comment: Wow!! I thought I had seen some bad stuff as an appraiser, but it was nothing compared to these comments. Warning: can be disturbing, especially the dead bodies. Be sure to check out the comments (and threads)

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Posted in: AMCs, appraisal business, fees, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, unusual homes, weird properties

1-5-17 Newz .The Two Americas and Real Estate .McMansion Hell

FHA handbook 4000.1 quarterly update

No Changes to policies but it is always best to have the latest version when trying to figure out what FHA wants and underwriter/reviewer hassles.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) published the quarterly update to its Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 (SF Handbook). This update incorporates previously published Mortgagee Letters into both the online and portable document format (PDF) SF Handbook.
http://www.allregs.com/tpl/public/fha_freesite.aspx  for Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 December Update
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McMansion Hell!!
 Lots of interesting stuff. Go to the link below and look at some of the pull down links in the upper left for lots more info!!
This link is for one of the many pages – McMansion in Bentonville County, Arkansas
Cannot be described. Lots of photos with sometimes snarky comments. Just gotta see it  ;>

Read more!!

Posted in: AMCs, FHA, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, weird homes, zillow

12-29-16 Newz .CHANGE YOUR TEMPLATES .Beautiful fireplaces .Very old maps

CHANGE YOUR TEMPLATES!! SET UP NEW SUBDIRECTORIES IF YOU FILE ON YOUR COMPUTER!!

Don’t be like me in early 2016 and:
– Have a buncha early 2016 stuff in my 2015 computer subfolders. I file my electronic appraisal copies, and my photos, by year. Last year I did not get 2017 subfolder set up for a few months and put a few months of 2017 appraisals into my 2015 subfolder.  NOT good!!
– Not change all my appraisal report templates, especially those pesky condo templates.
– Keep writing 2016 on my personal checks. Business checks are done in Quickbooks, which keeps track of the current date.
When deciding what to write about in my newsletters, I just look in the mirror as I am an appraiser!! It also reminds me of what I need to do. Of course, most of us procrastinate on paper files, such as for bookkeeping receipts, etc…. instead of throwing them in a box for months ;>
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2016 – what happened of interest to appraisers?
Not much new happened in 2016. Mostly the same old stuff – shortage of appraisers, AQB trying to reduce requirements, turn times and fees up, etc.
What’s new
– Trump possible changes/uncertainty – dump CFPB, Dodd-Frankenstein, etc. No one knows what will happen regarding appraisals, lending, etc. Maybe I will get a lower marginal tax rate someday!!
– Mortgage rates increase some in late 2016, but still well below previous low rates. Lower mortgage volume predicted for 2017.
– Fannie’s Property Inspection Waiver
– Freddie’s plan for fewer appraisals
– Revised FHA handbook
Of course, the most popular topics in these email newsletters are weird houses and buildings, real estate agent humor, and appraisers going to jail (not many now) ;> Not a lot of clicks on AQB changes, etc.

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Posted in: unusual homes, weird homes

12-22-16 Newz//: Strange real estate listings, Turn times

Popular (and sometimes strange) real estate listings

 Take a break and check out these listings!!

The 4 Most Interesting Home Listings of 2016 – Fun Video

Video is 2 minutes and 40 seconds long and very entertaining!!

Can’t describe it. You just gotta see it!!

http://www.realtor.com/videos/video-the-4-most-interesting-home-listings-of-2016/943a657f-f1fc-4290-b608-fe158002f548

……….

2016’s top 10 most popular (and sometime strange) homes for sale

Here are 3 of them

No. 1 is the country’s biggest fixer-upper – over 60,000 sq.ft. in Texas. Price: Listed for $3.6 million

5. The cave dwelling, Undisclosed address, Festus, Missouri. Price: Listed for $314,900

10. The ‘Amityville Horror’ house, 108 Ocean Ave, Amityville, New York. Price: Listed for $850,000, entered into contract in November

http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38783-here-are-2016s-top-10-most-popular-homes-for-sale

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Posted in: Appraisal fees, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, unusual home, unusual homes, weird homes, weird properties, zillow
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