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Lord of the Rings – Hobbit houses from the movie

Hobbit Homes

Excerpt:

The Hobbit scenes from Lord of the Rings Movie Trilogy were filmed on a hillside lot in Matamata, New Zealand. Now the little Hobbit Homes have become a tourist attraction, but also they became homes for some of the sheep from a nearby farm. The interiors of these white structures were never finished because the scenes shot inside were actually filmed on a studio set.

Although the place where these Hobbit houses rest under the sun are not an intimidating fun Disneyland-like  amusement park, one can visit the countryside and get a chance to learn more about the sheep raised here and even pet the lambs. From inside the little houses the scenery opens to a beautiful valley with trees scattered here and there. The panorama is almost untouched by humans and it gives one the feeling of being in the right place at the right time. Round entrances and windows blend beautifully with the green grass creating a surreal environment that could give Lord of the Rings fans an exquisite travel experience.

http://freshome.com/2010/10/25/cute-lord-of-the-rings-hobbit-houses-in-new-zealand/

Posted in: Strange homes, unusual home, unusual homes

Hobbit House of Montana

Excerpt:

The Hobbit House, in northwest Montana, about a three-hour drive from Spokane, Wash., is a guesthouse. Number of units: one. But it is a large unit. The Web site, which the reporter studies before arriving, shows a 1,000-square-foot structure built into a hill, on a 20-acre site dotted with structures that range from small to perfect for squashing with your foot: a four-foot stump-shaped troll house, a few round-door hobbit houses with chimney pipes and several shoe-box-size fairy houses.

But what is a visit to the Hobbit House without a tour of the shire? Into the RTV we go, accompanied by Mr. Michaels’s dog, Libby, a collie-shepherd mix. Here is a tiny sod-roof house belonging to Frodo, a Baggins relation; there, in the trunk of a tree, is a mother-son fairy abode (complete with two doors). Not everything is hobbitically accurate: there is a two-foot-tall hairy-back frog, because Mr. Michaels figured that if hobbits were hairy, their frogs should be, too.

“And look,” he says, steering the cart toward the sod-covered roof of the life-size guesthouse. “You can drive over the house, because it’s built into the ground. Right now, we’re 30 feet over your bedroom.”

Link to a story written by a New York Times reporter with a photo slide show
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/11/garden/the-hobbit-house-in-montana.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Posted in: Strange homes, unusual homes

AQB issues 2nd Exposure Draft of Proposed Supervisors/Trainees Courses

2 appraisers“One of the changes adopted by the AQB requires that individuals who become Supervisory Appraisers or Trainee Appraisers after January 1, 2015, complete a course that, at a minimum, complies with the specifications for course content established by the AQB. The course must be completed by the Trainee Appraiser prior to obtaining a Trainee Appraiser credential, and completed by the Supervisory Appraiser prior to supervising a Trainee
Appraiser.”

Written comments requested by January 11, 2013.

If this is an issue for you, be sure to speak out!! The AQB reads all comments.

Link: https://appraisalfoundation.sharefile.com/d/s8623b44b00f462db
Issued on November 29, 2012.

Posted in: appraisers

ASB issues 3rd USPAP Exposure Draft

The Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) has issued the following document:

Issued on November 30, 2012


Written comments requested by January 25, 2013

Third Exposure Draft of Proposed Changes for the 2014-15 edition of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)

 

 

This exposure draft includes:
Revisions to Reporting and Communication Requirements
Reporting Options
Retirement of STANDARDS 4 and 5
Other revisions and additions as needed to ensure clarity and relevance

Summary of proposed changes:
– Proposed Retirement of STANDARDS 4 and 5 (including revisions and additional Illustrations proposed for Advisory Opinion 21)
– Proposed Revisions to the DEFINITIONS of “Assignment Results,” “Report,” and “Scope of Work”
– Proposed Revisions to the RECORD KEEPING RULE- Report Options (includes proposal for options in STANDARDS 2, 8, and 10)
– Proposed Revisions to Advisory Opinion 11, Content of the  Appraisal Report Options of Standards Rules 2-2 and 8-2 and Advisory Opinion 12, Use of the Appraisal Report Options of Standards Rules 2-2 and 8-2
– Proposed Revisions to the COMPETENCY RULE
– Proposed Revisions to the PREAMBLE – When Do USPAP Rules and Standards Apply?
– Proposed Revisions to Standards Rule 3-5
– Certification Requirement Related to Current or Prospective Interest and Prior Services

The Board currently intends to adopt any revisions for the 2014-15 edition of USPAP at its public meeting in San Francisco on February 1, 2013.

Any such revisions would become effective on January 1, 2014, and any updates related to USPAP course material should be available by late summer 2013.

Link:  https://appraisalfoundation.sharefile.com/d/sbe05929a13844d89
Send Comments to ASBComments@appraisalfoundation.org

If there are any issues in this USPAP draft, be sure to speak out by 1/25/13!! This may be your Last Chance!! Members of the ASB read all comments.

Posted in: Appraisal Foundation, Appraisal Standards Board

2,300 sq.ft. House built in 2hrs 52 mins 29secs – a record!!

Excerpts:
embed [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2HqW-AAb20?rel=0&w=420&h=315]

A new World Record was set in 2005, as the 2 Hour House was constructed in 2hrs 52 mins 29secs. The event took place in Tyler, Texas, where volunteers from various building trades came together in an unprecedented show of team spirit. In July 2006, the 2 Hour House project donated $30,000 back to the East Texas community, through six non-profit charitable organizations. This clip is an excerpt from the 60-minute documentary. For information and to purchase the full-length DVD, visit http://www.2HourHouse.com

Scroll down the page to see the stats – here are a few:
•It takes a day to set the forms, dig footings and set steel.     8 min
• It takes a half a day to rough-in the plumbing.                    7min
• It takes a day to pour and finish concrete.                         40min

I love the music!! I shoulda been there drumming!!

Thanks to Brad Stinson of Zaio for this great link!!

Posted in: unusual homes

Balloons and Flying houses!!

zeppelin

Lift Your House With Balloons!!

Excerpt from article:
Back in 2009, Pixar Animation Studios released the immensely successfu

l “Up.” The comedy-action film went on to be nominated for five Academy Awards, becoming only the second animated film to receive the honor, behind Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”

In short, “Up” was a landmark film, both beautifully rendered and beautifully told. The film follows curmudgeon Carl

Fredricksen, who attaches balloons filled with helium to his home until he and it are lifted away on an exotic adventure.

As a company that deals with homes, Movoto Real Estate had to ask: How many balloons does it take to lift a house? Fortunately, great minds have already tackled the question. This, however, didn’t stop us from building on fellow balloon enthusiasts’ work and calculating how many balloons it would take to lift some of the world’s most famous structures–imaginary or not.
Before we get to the fun, we’ll recap how others have attempted to tackle this question. Read more at:
http://www.movoto.com/blog/novelty-real-estate/balloons/
Posted 11/25 by Robert Milo on Facebook – I am a real estate appraiser. Thanks, we all need a little humor!!

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House attached to balloons flies, sets world record

Article excerpt:

How hard can it be to lift a house with helium balloons? A National  Geographic team of scientists, engineers, and balloon pilots has demonstr

ated how to achieve such a feat, which was filmed for a new TV series called “How Hard Can It Be?” They conclude that, although it’s very difficult, it’s not impossible.

It took the team about two weeks to plan, build, and lift the house into the air using balloons. They needed about 300 weather balloons, each of which inflated to a height of 8 feet, in order to lift the 2,000-pound, 16×16-foot yellow house. Lifting off early in the morning outside of Los Angeles, the house floated for about an hour and reached an altitude of 10,000 feet. According to the National Geographic Channel, the floating house set a world record for the “largest balloon cluster flight” ever attempted. The entire aircraft of house and balloons was about 100 feet tall.

My comment: I love science!!!

Click here to Read more and check out the great video

Posted in: Strange homes, unusual homes

Background checks

man with question mark

fbi badge

Another AMC/client issue is requiring background checks. Some AMCs are asking for them and some are not. If one of an AMCs clients’ asks for a background check, it is easier just to get one from the AMC’s appraisers so that it is in the AMCs files if they need it.

I’m working on an article for my paid Appraisal Today newsletter about this issue, including what the AQB advises and where to go to get one you can use for multiple AMCs. There are some good reasons why clients (and state regulators)

want them. I got a background check when my license 20 years ago and have never gotten another one. And some bad reasons – privacy invasion, cost, hassle, etc.
I’m working on a series of articles on AMCs for my paid Appraisal Today newsletter, including trying to find out about these background checks.

Appraisal Today newsletter

Posted in: AMCs, lender appraisals

Arizona house built into a cave

Excerpt from article:
If you’ve been shopping for a cave, the Chulo Canyon Cave House in the desert hills near Bisbee, Arizona may be just the right fit. What looks like a smallish cabin from outside turns into a sprawling cavern that dives straight into the depths of a mountain. The owner-built cave home is just shy of 3000 square feet and has all the amenities of a typical ranch house and while the interior is naturally cooled, a series of natural pools up the hillside makes this cave house a truly unique eco retreat for the right spelunker.
http://assets.inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/01/Cave-House-Bisbee-Arizona-9-100x100.jpg  http://assets.inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/01/Cave-House-Bisbee-Arizona-3-75x75.jpg  http://assets.inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/01/Cave-House-Bisbee-Arizona-4-100x100.jpg
The main house itself is entered via a very modest, almost ramshackle entrance/sunroom. The cave is actually not naturally formed, and the yellow granite was blasted out by a specialist who supported the ceiling with steel rods. The result is surprisingly natural looking as the main living space is surrounded by roughly hewn undulating rock walls. The raw spaces have been carefully detailed with modern appliances, ample iron work and built in furniture and cabinets. Past the modern high end kitchen is the dining room, bedrooms and a full bath. Being in the desert the owner even wisely installed a dual flush toilet.

Read more:
http://inhabitat.com/the-chulo-canyon-house-is-built-right-into-a-cave-in-arizona/

Posted in: Strange homes

Texas AMC fee survey – disconnect between AMCs and appraisers

dollars floatingThe Texas AMC fee survey was taken in August, 2012. In the results, 10% of the appraisers said they received under $250 for 1004s and the AMCs said they paid no fees under $250.

No one really knows why there is such a disconnect. Survey requests were sent to all licensed AMCs and licensed appraisers. Not all responded or could be contacted. Only AMCs licensed in Texas were surveyed. The Texas licensing started in March, 2012.

In this month’s issue of the paid Appraisal Today newsletter I wrote an article “What are AMCs paying now? Fees a

re going up, but some appraisers are still working for low fees” and used various fee surveys.

The Texas Appraisers and Appraisal Management Company Survey is by far the most rigorous and was done by three universities, and was requested by a committee of the Texas State Senate. The survey was done in 8/12 and the report was available in 11/12.
Link to survey: www.talcb.state.tx.us/pdf/Texas_Appraiser_AMC_Survey_Report_2012.pdf

This is the first in a series of articles about AMCs that I am working on.

Here are the other AMC articles I have written rece

 

ntly:
– November, 2012: Who’s on your “approved AMC” list and why? Dump your bad AMCs! AMC rating grid
– October, 2012: AMC and appraiser liability -claims, blacklisting, lawsuits, etc.
– September 2012: this issue focused on AMC collection – how to collect from deadbeats and get all your billings paid!
– August 2012: AMC fees are going up! Many appraisers are swamped with work! You CAN get higher fees!!Win-win AMC fee negotiation for appraisers
– April 2012: 8 reasons why AMCs ask dumb questions – written by an industry insider

FYI, my first article on AMCs was written in 1994.

Appraisal Today newsletter

Posted in: AMCs

AMC asks appraiser to remove photos of black cat

black pantherHow the AMC  (maybe) saw the cat

<—————

Fair lending violations per AMC.

This first circulated on the Internet in September. I finally found the original source!!

This was from the famous/infamous real estate and mortgage news and commentary videos with Frank Garay and Brian Stevens.

I love the “Frank and Brian” video show!! It is mostly about mortgage lending but is sometimes about appraisers. They used to have an appraiser version, but one of the two appraisers went to work for the CA state regulator, so it was discontinued.

Foto of the The Two Guys
http://tbwsworkshop.com/unm/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Picture-8.png

Here’s link to the video to see them in action!!!
http://tbwsdailyshow.com/2012/09/18/real-estate-deal-delayed-by-a-cat/

Posted in: AMCs, lender appraisals