Appraisal News and Business Tips

Blog

5-26-16 Newz AQB college degree .Living tree architecture .AMC violations

8 Extraordinary Pieces of Architecture Grown From Living Trees

Excerpt:

We usually use trees as building material in the form of struts and planks. But all over the world, people have found ways to create dwellings, bridges, and sculptures out of trees without even cutting them down. Using trees to create living structures is much slower to build (read: grow) than traditional methods, but it creates some truly fantastical natural creations. Take a look at some of the world’s coolest feats of arbortecture.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/8-extraordinary-pieces-of-architecture-grown-from-living-trees

My comment: All I can say is WoW!! Great photos plus some text info. Just Click On It!!

———————————

Celebrity names not adding to appeal for home buyers?

May. 16, 2016 – 3:00 – Douglas Elliman Broker Chris Leavitt on the challenges celebrities face trying to sell their homes.

Very funny commercial before the short 4 minute video – Fox news.

Another great one from Jonathan Miller. I guess he watches a lot of tv and tweetlings, when not doing lotsa graphs and other stuff ;>

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/4895807387001/celebrity-names-not-adding-to-appeal-for-home-buyers

Read more!!

Posted in: appraisers, FHA, forecast, future, lender appraisals, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, state appraiser regulators

5-19-16 Newz: Fannie CU 3.2 – Inflated appraisals – Professional attire

5 of the oldest homes in the country (listings) Video

Worth waiting for the commercial to end. Very short video. All were built before George Washington was born, back to the 16th century.

http://www.realtor.com/videos/video-time-travel-through-five-of-the-oldest-homes-in-the-u-s-/17cbb54f-71b3-4170-a8af-17864c820fde?playlist_id=ec2ed8e8-16a1-46f8-a91e-c6753b0417e0

—————————-

Professional attire for appraisers from Dave Towne, of course…

Recommended new attire to please all AMC’s who demand that ‘we’ dress professionally.

But this actually looks best with white shorts and silver edged flip flops!


Read more!!

Posted in: appraisal management company, Collateral Underwriter, forecast, future, humor, lender appraisals, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, unusual home, unusual homes

Builder gets “favorite” appraiser for higher value

Inflated numbers: Are builders, lenders and appraisers working together? (in Atlanta, GA)

Excerpts:

A local banker is blowing the whistle about what he calls improper dealings in a metro subdivision.

One official told Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Jim Strickland that on the surface, it smacks of the housing crisis all over again.

(Editor’s note. The first appraisal did not “make value”).

“And he (the builder) said, ‘I want you to go with my preferred lender, Brand Mortgage. They’ve never had a problem getting the value needed,'” he said.

In a filing with federal regulators, Brand Mortgage admits it has partial ownership of its own appraisal firm, Valuation Management Group.

VMG dispatched a different appraiser.

“And they came back with a value $25,000 higher than the original appraisal. The same as the sale price, coincidentally,” Laymac said.

Check out the article and the short video of the news story. Worth waiting for the commercial to be over.

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/2-investigates/inflated-numbers-are-builders-lenders-and-appraisers-working-together/276808445

My comment. Nothing new. I quit doing new home tract appraisals many years ago. Builders have been pressuring appraisers for inflated values for as long as I have been appraising – in good and bad markets. They try to get higher appraisals so they can increase their prices. Borrowers, including appraisers, just want to get their purchase loans. No comments below the original story. What do you think? Post your comments below!!

Posted in: AMCs, lender appraisals, mortgage loan volume

5-12-16 Newz .Geographic competency .Killing home values .Fair housing

The Most Insane Property Description Ever

Short descriptions, click here for some humor!! Reminds me of the times I am driving to the subject, hoping the house ahead is not the one I am appraising… Probably not the Most Insane, but definitely reality-based!!

http://www.thebrokeagent.com/blog-1/2016/4/the-most-insane-property-description-ever

——————————-

These Neighborhood Amenities Can Kill Your Property Value

Excerpt: In real estate, the phrase “cash is king” is oft overused. However, if you’re struggling to sell a house in a bad ‘hood, then you already know that in reality, location is king. Purchasing a home in a great area, or an area that is up-and-coming, can help maximize the value of your home investment.

So what can tear your property value down faster than a tree through the roof? The following infographic from Realtor.com offers insight-and some will surprise you!

Link to original article:

http://blog.rismedia.com/2016/these-neighborhood-amenities-can-kill-your-property-value

My comment: Of course, the effect on value varies by location – cemeteries for example.

Read more!!

Posted in: appraisal, appraisal business, appraisers, Collateral Underwriter, Fannie, forecast, future, lender appraisals, listings, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, Strange homes, unusual home, unusual homes, weird homes

What is the farthest you have traveled to complete an appraisal and still be considered geographically competent?

Poll from www.appraisalport.com

Thanks again to Steve Costello, AppraisalPort Relationship Manager, for sending me these Most Interesting weekly poll results

5-12-15 poll on distance-geog competent

My comments: Many commercial appraisers cover wide geographic areas. Some do the entire U.S and sometimes other countries. Fortunately, the “wing dippers” – appraisers flying in for a few days from other parts of the country to appraise a commercial property – definitely declined after licensing. I somehow had a “bad attitude” about helping them…

As we all know, distance from the subject is not the best “only” criteria. If you work in a rural area, usually you have to drive long distances.

But, I know many appraisers here in the San Francisco Bay Area who work in many counties. Travel distance does not always mean much if you work in a more urban area. Huge variations among all the cities. I cut down my area to be more profitable – driving time is lost money. Appraisers sell our time. I don’t work in San Francisco, 10 miles from my office. Very tricky to appraise. I decided not do appraisals that required crossing a long bridge.

Posted in: appraisers, lender appraisals

5-5-16 Newz .Using listings .CU update .Low inventory and stats

Collateral Underwriter Update from Fannie Mae

Source: Appraisal Buzz

Excerpt:

The Buzz staff recently asked Zach Dawson, Director of Collateral Policy and Strategy, Fannie Mae, to provide appraisers with an update on the development of Collateral Underwriter.

A few of the questions:

– Buzz: Can you bring us up to date on CU? What have you learned from this data initiative?

– Buzz: Can you tell us more about AQM and the objectives of that project?

– Buzz: How many appraisers does Fannie Mae refuse to accept appraisals from?

https://www.appraisalbuzz.com/collateral-underwriter-update/

My comment: Definitely hits the Hot Topics!! Nothing much new, but good to directly from Fannie Mae, in writing…

—————————————-

Can Living Near a Starbucks Boost Your Home Value?

Excerpt:

It seems that being close to a Starbucks does have a marked effect on home values, particularly in the East, according to a Zillow report.

Between 1997 and 2014, homes within walking distance, or one-quarter mile, of a Starbucks appreciated 96 percent. Compared to the national average for the same time period, 65 percent, it seems having a barista close by is a smart real estate move.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/zillow/2015/08/19/starbucks-boost-home-values/#4084f9eb2c70

———————

Does a new Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s in Your Neighborhood Increase Your Home Value?

Excerpt:

A 2015 study by the real estate information company RealtyTrac analyzed this trend. The study included 4 million homes located in a ZIP code with either a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s location, finding that average property values in a ZIP code with Trader Joe’s appreciated by about 40 percent since they were purchased, while homes with a Whole Foods in the ZIP code appreciated by nearly 34 percent, which matches the national average increase according to the survey.

http://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/does-the-new-whole-foods-in-your-neighborhood-increase-your-home-value

Read more!!

Posted in: AMCs, appraisal business, Appraisal fees, appraisal management company, appraisers, Fannie, fees, FHA, forecast, future, lender appraisals, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, state appraiser regulators, Strange homes, unusual homes, weird homes

Do your listing comparables have any effect on your final opinion of value?

Another great poll from www.appraisalport.com.
My comments: I have always looked at listings, pendings, expired, etc. to tell me what is happening in the market today. Sales are the past.

Recent articles below in the May 2016 issue of the Paid Appraisal Today discuss using listings, particularly in markets that are declining or increasing. Lenders, of course, are way behind. They are just now complaining about low appraisals on purchases and want appraisers to use pending sales. Also, having no closed sales higher than the listing price is ok!!

  • Practical tips on qualifying the 1004MC and preparing a Market Conditions Summary – most examples are declining markets
  • No man’s land & the aggressive real estate market
  • How to handle rapidly increasing prices in your market

Posted in: adjustments, appraisers, future, lender appraisals, listings

4-28-15 Newz .Revision requests .Stunning churches .FHA letters

Stave Churches Are All Wood, Dragons, and Beauty

These austere churches mix Nordic dragons with Christian saints.

Excerpt:

Some of the most stunning churches in the world are also some of the simplest. Stave churches are wooden houses of worship that combine the austere, peaked architecture of Christianity with the Nordic designs and motifs of a Viking great hall.

Stave churches are characterized by the “staves,” or thick wooden posts, that hold them up. Using the same woodworking prowess that made the Vikings such adept shipbuilders, traditional stave churches were often built using nothing more that expertly crafted joints and joins, with no nails or glue. The only stones used were in the base of the structures.

Take a break from appraising and Check out the beautiful fotos and interesting article at:

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/stave-churches-are-all-wood-dragons-and-beauty

——————–

Game of Thrones-style mini kingdom in Oregon

Excerpt:

Let’s set the scene: You’re perched overlooking the mountains in your own 8,881-square-foot castle set on 700 acres dotted with trees and natural rock formations. All you can see for miles is your own lush, unspoiled property – this is your mini-kingdom. Your home, an ode to nature with curved walls and cloud-shaped windows, is easily a setting from an episode of Game of Thrones. But you aren’t the Lord of Winterfell, you’re certainly not scheming like CerseiLannister, and this home for sale in Ashland, OR, is not in the Seven Kingdoms but instead a fantasy-worthy getaway called Shining Hand Ranch.

Read more!!

Posted in: adjustments, AMCs, appraisal business, FHA, forecast, future, lender appraisals, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, Strange homes, unusual homes, weird homes

Do you still enjoy appraising after all the new rules?

Poll: Now that we have been living for some time with all the new rules governing residential appraisal, do you still enjoy doing the actual appraisal work?
www.appraisalport.com

My comments: Hmmm…. All the analyses (Appraisal Foundation, Appraisal Buzz, etc.) about the appraiser “shortage” don’t seem to mention this. How many appraisers are working for AMCs? Low fees are mentioned sometimes. They also don’t mention the “brain drain” of experienced appraisers not willing to work for AMCs. Many appraisers that I know do little, if any, AMC work.

Who wants more appraisers? AMCs. Supply and Demand. The more appraisers there are, the more the fee competition, and the lower fees.

Once again, they also just look at “appraisers” There few problems with commercial appraiser “shortages” due to the issues above because they don’t work for AMCs, although fees are low in many areas, including where I live. Definitely no trainee problems.

Direct lenders have increased requirements, but you know what they are and don’t get 5-15 pages of “requirements” plus call backs. Yes, there are shortages in rural areas that are not close to a metropolitan area where appraisers travel from (less than 2 hour drive, one way, for example). Shortages of rural appraisers is nothing new. It has always been that way.

I wrote about this issue in the November 2015 issue of the paid Appraisal Today: “Staying positive with unreasonable fees and Scope Creep from AMCs”

I also spoke about it on a Dustin Harris 12/13/15 podcast, “How to Stay Happy as an Appraiser”

Click here to listen

http://theappraisercoach.libsyn.com/075-how-to-stay-happy-as-an-appraiser-with-ann-orourke

 

Posted in: AMCs, appraisal business, appraisal management company, lender appraisals

4-21-16 Newz .Levitating houses .Murders in house .Unhappy appraisers

Levitating houses?

Excerpts:

… One architect’s proposed solution for low-lying cities that have trouble with flooding. Inspired by amphibious houses, Lira Luis’ concept asks: what if buildings could avoid flooding simply by not touching the ground at all?

As sea levels rise, some low-lying cities have started experimenting with floating buildings and amphibious houses. But one architect has another unlikely sounding suggestion: What if buildings could avoid flooding simply by not touching the ground at all?

Architect Lira Luis thought of the concept as she was working on another installation that happened to be on water and required invisible, easily removable attachments. She started using magnets for the attachments, and when she accidentally held the magnets the wrong way, she noticed that they repelled each other even through a layer of water.

Click here to read. A bit “techie” but fascinating.

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3058400/this-architect-is-trying-to-build-houses-that-can-levitate

Thanks to Matt Cook for posting this Most Interesting Link!!

My comment: This is very relevant for predicted increases in sea levels. I live in a low-lying coastal city in San Francisco Bay. Recently, part of the city’s flood maps were revised to 100 year flood levels, requiring flood insurance if you have a federally insured loan. As usual, all the complaints from owners were about having to buy flood insurance. My house is about 5-6 feet above typical high tide now. When there are very high “King” tides (high tide plus heavy rains), it is closer to high tides. Flood maps for all coastal areas in the country are being revised.


Read more!!

Posted in: AMCs, appraisal business, Appraisal fees, Appraisal Foundation, appraisal management company, appraisers, Fannie, FHA, forecast, lender appraisals, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, Podcasts, Strange homes, unusual homes, USPAP, weird homes