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Every unusual home has appraisal comps

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I regularly write about hot topics in appraising and appraisal business management issues
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Tips for choosing comps on a unique home (straw-bale house)

By Ryan Lundquist
Excerpt: It almost sounds like the big bad wolf story, but there really are homes built from straw. Literally. Today I want to mention a few things about this type of construction, share some photos of a local straw-bale house, and then talk briefly about how I approached appraising this one.
Worth reading to find out what Ryan did!!

My comment: Very good tips on appraising unique homes. No lender issues as the appraisal is pre-listing and not for a lender… Sacramento  is a Very Strange place for a straw-bale home!!

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

For Covid Updates, go to my Covid Science blog at covidscienceblog.com

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

Read more!!

Posted in: adjustments, AVMS, bpos, deminimus, FHA, marketing, Mortgage applications, Strange homes, unusual home, weird homes, weird properties

Appraisal Adjustments Yes, No, Maybe

 

In Search of “Perfect” Adjustment Factors

By Richard Price

Excerpt: Although a “perfect” adjustment may not exist, the search for perfect adjustments in appraisal reports is becoming a hot topic with many interesting articles, continuing education courses, and webinars addressing the subject. The message is clear. If an appraiser can’t support the adjustments, the results of the appraisal are subject to question, leading to several possible outcomes; none of them good. So, we will define the “perfect” adjustment factor as the best and most appropriate adjustment that should be made to the comparables.

https://www.appraisalbuzz.com/in-search-of-perfect-adjustmment-factors/

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Adjustments, now what?

By George Dell
Excerpt: We’re told to “support” our adjustments.  We hear words like “prove” your adjustments. . . as if there were some magic formula which can give an exact, correct, and absolutely true number.

It used to be so easy. . . Our trainer gave us a sheet with the “right” adjustments. Simple.

USPAP Standards Rule 1-1 says we must be aware of, understand, and correctly employ recognized methods and techniques. What are they? Who recognizes them? How do I apply them?

So, what are these methods and techniques? Let’s look.

In The Appraisal of Real Estate (ARE) p.46, it says: “Qualitative analysis techniques may also be applied for elements of comparison for which quantitative adjustments cannot be developed.”  So, it seems the very first reference in the ARE says some adjustments cannot be quantitatively developed!

For lots more Dell Adjustment Writings, go to the Adjustment Archives:

https://georgedell.com/category/adjustments

My comments on adjustments: CU in 2015 revealed residential form appraising’s “dirty little secret”: lack of support for adjustments.

Before starting my appraisal business in 1986, I worked part time for a local appraiser for 3-4 months. I went out with him first on a few lender appraisals. I will never forget asking him where the adjustments came from. He said “we use these” with no explanation. Later I asked other appraisers and they had the same answer.

Finally, about 3-4 years ago, I quit doing adjustments on form appraisals except for market conditions and factors that significantly affected the value, such as a very good view. Those adjustments were supported.

Appraisal Business Tips

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

For Covid Updates, go to my Covid Science blog at covidscienceblog.com

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

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Posted in: adjustments, AMCs, hybrid appraisals, marketing, Mortgage applications, Strange homes, weird homes

Using home’s previous sales in appraisals

The problem of giving too much weight to previous sales (or not enough)

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpts: It must be worth more than it sold for in the past, right? In many cases, YES. But sometimes NO. Let’s talk through some things to consider when pulling comps and noticing a previous sale. I find many of these points coming up lately in conversation, so I hope this is helpful.

8 issues are discussed.
Here are a few
2) Unique property:
3) Unicorn buyer overpaid
8) Not penalizing because it sold too low

Closing advice: I recommend paying close attention to previous sales to get clues to understand how a property fits into the market. But don’t get so stuck that you don’t see the most important thing – current comps.

Good topic I have not seen discussed in detail before. Worth reading. Lots of comments!!

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

For Covid Updates, go to my Covid Science blog at covidscienceblog.com

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

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

Condo vs. Townhouse for appraisers

Is It a Condo, a Townhouse, a Site Condo or None of the Above?

Excerpt: When appraising townhouses, I always search the MLS for both single-family attached sales as well as condominium sales. Why? It’s because at times, there is confusion between the differences. Often I see real estate agents list townhouses as condos when they are not actually condos and visa versa.

I totally understand why. When it comes to townhouses, it is impossible to know from an outward appearance whether or not it is a condo, or not. Before we get into that, what is a condominium and what is a townhouse?

Well written article. Worth reading.

My comments: The first question in appraising is always “what are you appraising?”. Some appraisers just look at what structure is there. You are appraising the form of ownership, the land and what is attached to the land. With condominium form of ownership, you own the airspace. It does affect what you can do with a home. Some people don’t like HOAs and dues. I sold my house on the water in 2008. There was a large rear yard that was on a “tidelands lease” with an annual payment to the city. It was recently re-listed and only included the original 4,000 sq.ft. lot, not the leased land. Both showed up on plat maps. I wonder what the appraiser for the sale will say about it?

About 20 years ago I appraised a detached home in a project built in the 1980s with both attached (stacked condo style,  duets – sets of 2 semi-detached homes, and townhome (attached) style) plus detached homes. The owner, the HOA president was surprised to learn that they were all condos. I had a title report I showed to him. (The detached homes are now called site condos.) Another nearby small development of sets of two homes (duet or semi-detached) built in the 1960s did not have any common ownership or dues. I have seen these in other nearby cities also.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

For Covid Updates, go to my Covid Science blog at covidscienceblog.com

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

Read more!!

Posted in: AMCs, appraisal how to, AVMS, commercial appraisal, data, listings, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, Strange homes, unusual homes, weird homes, zillow

Appraisals and Altered Listing Photos

Digitally-doctored listing photos are on the rise

Excerpts: It will cost $2.40 for a paint job, $24 to replace flooring, and $40 to remove a wall or add a swimming pool.

Digital photo manipulation has become so widespread and cheap that home sellers are increasingly using the technology to spruce up their listings, the Wall Street Journal reported. This has the potential to create new headaches for end users, investors, appraisers and brokers…

Furthermore, with federal regulators pushing for automated appraisals that will make use of online listings, the hazards of doctored images could be spread to the general public.

My comments: How do AVMs and CU deal with this? Appraisers can always contact the agent to confirm what the home looked like. CU robo emails/calls to agents and somehow integrate this into the data?

Lenders and AVMs are now using agent MLS comments. I recently spoke with an appraiser where the lender disputed one of her comps because the MLS mentioned it was “close to shopping” and she did not. Yes, it was very close to a historic shopping street, but there was little to no off street parking on this street, as it was taken up by employees in the stores. The comp had 9 off street parking places for 2 units and sold for a premium price. Typically there is 1 or 0 parking spaces per unit in the historic apartments on the comp’s street. I recently tried to go to an open house on the street. The closest parking space was 3 blocks away. I skipped the open house. The agents often mentioned “close to shopping” to say something positive about their listing’s location.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

For Covid Updates, go to my Covid Science blog at covidscienceblog.com

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

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

FHA appraisal problems

Common FHA Violations

Excerpt: I’ve been performing FHA appraisals since 2000. Believe it or not, on a regular basis, I have home owners and real estate agents who tell me that some of the things I point out as FHA violations, were never mentioned in other FHA appraisal inspections. So, I thought I would mention some relatively common FHA violations I see when making my FHA inspections.

My comment: Funny Fotos and Videos!! I have seen similar photos around but there are many here in one place. Written for home owners, but good reminders for appraisers.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

Common Appraiser Violations

For Covid Updates, go to my Covid Science blog at covidscienceblog.com

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

Read more!!

Posted in: appraisal business, AVMS, deminimus, hybrid appraisals, mortgage loan volume, Strange homes, unusual home, USPAP

What’s the difference between the Appraisal Today free weekly email newsletters in this blog and the paid monthly newsletter?

What’s the difference between the Appraisal Today free weekly email newsletters in this blog and the paid monthly newsletter?

They are very different.
To see what is in the paid Monthly newsletters, see the FREE appraisal business articles at Appraisal Business Tips
To see samples of the free weekly emails,  go to www.appraisaltoday.com and scroll down the page to see links to the last 10 newsletters are available.  
In the Free weekly emails, there is a very wide range of topics each week. They are links to online articles with brief excerpts. I write short comments. I get lots of emails with information every day plus blog posts. I look for the most interesting topics and include them. I write the newsletter on Thursday, to go out early Friday morning. I do not typically plan what is in the newsletters. It is very last minute, as I try to make the content as recent as possible, appropriate for a weekly newsletter. Weird homes and properties are typically the most popular topics. Plus business and appraisal “how to” tips. It is advertiser supported.
It is a lot of fun deciding what to put in the newsletter and finding out which topics are the most popular. Hint: weird houses are very popular. USPAP is not very popular, but I put it in so you know what is happening.
I started the free email newsletter in 1994 with 4 subscribers. Bruce Hahn still subscribes. It is advertiser supported.  One of my first advertisers was Liability Insurance Administrators, who runs an ad in every email.
The paid monthly newsletters are totally different. They are typically about a few appraisal and business topics. I sometimes work on an article idea for several years before finally writing up an article. I do the research and writing plus have guest authors. They are 12 to 17 pages long and take a long time to write up. Since they are in PDF format, the newsletters can be any length. I have never taken ads.
The paid newsletter was started in June, 1992 with 250 subscribers, starting in print and shifting to PDF in 2008. There have never been any ads.
To see what the paid newsletter is like, see the FREE appraisal business articles at Appraisal Business Tips 
The paid newsletter started as a printed newsletter in 1992. The 12-18+ pages are print style PDFs with 3 columns and wordprocessing (1 column) formats. The articles are much longer than this email, from 1 to 8 (or more) pages for each topic.
Everything is original, not just a link. Most of the articles are written by myself, but I have always had contributors. I like to write about business topics, so there are lots of marketing, etc. articles. When there are hot topics, such as CU, AMCs, etc. I write about them. Plus other appraisal related topics, mostly done by contributors.
Ever since I got my MBA in 1980, I look at everything from a business point of view. I had been appraising for 5 years at that time, but never took even a basic economics class. I needed to learn more bout business to be a better appraiser. For unknown reasons I don’t like to write about appraisal topics, although I love discussing them with other appraisers!!
I never run out of topics to write about. I regularly get ideas by communicating with other appraisers by phone or email.
If there is a topic you would like to read about, send an email to ann@appraisaltoday.com

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If you want a free sample newsletter, send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com requesting it.
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Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA
Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today
2033 Clement Ave. Suite 105
Alameda, CA 94501 Phone 510-865-8041
Fax 510-523-1138
Email   ann@appraisaltoday.com
Posted in: appraisal, appraisal business

Zestimate Obsession and an Appraisal

Obsessively Checking Zestimates

Excerpts: If you own a home, or want to own one, chances are you’ve spent some time with one of the many apps that estimate home values. As real estate prices have risen in recent years, watching one’s equity grow – at least on paper – has become something of a national pastime. Some would call it an obsession.

“I check my Zestimate way more than my 401(k),” said Bradley Reed, a homeowner in Cleveland, referring to Zillow’s proprietary tool.

“On a slow week, I might check it every other day,” said Krista Burns in Doylestown, Ohio.

Listen or read the story and twitter comments, see some fotos, etc. Add your comment at the bottom.

My comment: Zesimates are free, but often not accurate. They work well in newer conforming subdivisions, but not well with older homes.
I listen to the marketplace podcast almost every day, listened to this one last week, and really liked it. Fortunately, with this link you can read the transcript or listen to it plus read some twitter comments. I know that real estate agents have lots of problems with it. I wonder how many appraisers look at Zestimates? You may be surprised!! Some even include it in their appraisal reports and explain why their value is different.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

For Covid Updates, go to my Covid Science blog at covidscienceblog.com

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

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Read more!!

Posted in: real estate market, Strange homes, weird properties, zillow

Non-lender Appraisals Good fees and few hassles

Private Appraisal Work, the Final Frontier

By Rachel Massey

Author’s Note: Private appraisals aren’t really the “final frontier” for appraisers but it is a good metaphor. Private work for courts and disputes predates modern lending appraisals, so they should actually be considered the “first” frontier…but never let a good Star Trek saying go to waste!

As mortgage work has started to slow down in large swaths of the country, and likely will continue to do so, the temptation to move into the private arena is appealing. This is an area where our work is valued by those who need it the most. Private work is not lending work, and there are different requirements for different clients. Intended use and users rule supreme. Do I have the patience to walk someone through the process who is not experienced? Maybe yes, maybe no. This is not a place where I would want to spout off a bunch of expletives to a client who bothers me, but instead try to step back and ask whether I need to explain it differently so it is understandable. The onus is on me, the appraiser, to help my client understand.

My comment: A good intro to non-lender work. Marketing and client communication is very different. I have written many articles about non-lender work since 1992 in my paid newsletter.

The article “Should you do non-lender work? Pluses and minuses of both lender appraisals and each different type of non-lender appraisal.” Is in the October 2018 issue and can help you decide if non-lender work will work for you.

Appraisal Business Tips including non-lender work

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

For Covid Updates, go to my Covid Science blog at covidscienceblog.com

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

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Read more!!

Posted in: Appraisal Standards Board, mortgage loan volume, state appraiser regulators, Uncategorized, USPAP, weird properties

Will the last appraiser turn out the light?

Is the Appraisal Profession Dying?

By George Dell, MAI

Excerpts:
Yes. Appraisal as we know it is dying.
Can it be saved? No.
So what should I do? What should “we” do?

The data has already been gathered. The analytics software is free. The pictures have already been taken. “Let’s Make a Deal!”

Analysis requires judgment. Human generalization is enhanced by computation. Complete data can be enhanced/cleaned as well as “confirming a comp.” A point value is an inherent part of a predictive value distribution. A documented, reproducible result is the most credible, believable answer.

My comments: I believe that human appraisals will still be needed. There are times that a human appraiser is needed to interpret results, and “go beyond” the data for Highest and Best Use, Unusual properties, etc. Lenders will move to computerized risk management, once investors will accept this. Most residential lender valuations will not need humans as the value of an individual property in investors’ portfolios is not critical. Of course, when the market inevitably crashes, there will be no appraisers to sue to recover some of the lost money. Maybe our E&O premiums will go down.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

For Covid Updates, go to my Covid Science blog at covidscienceblog.com

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

Read more!!

Posted in: AMCs, AVMS, future, george dell, mortgage loan volume, statistics, USPAP, weird properties, zillow