Appraisal News and Business Tips


75% of appraisers work solo

Real Estate Appraisal in the US: Market Research Report
Thanks to for this Most Interesting info!!

My comment: Unfortunately, the report costs $825. I’m not sure who would buy it, but below are some interesting excerpts. It does confirm that 75% of appraisers do not have any employees.

I did a surveys in 1992, just as licensing was beginning. At that time, relatively few appraisers worked solo (22%). 25% had 2-3 appraisers, 25% had 4-6 appraisers, and 27% had 7+ appraisers. The average was 5.4 appraisers per company. Number of years of experience of The business owners had 5-10 years of experience. I had three appraisers.

Around 1995 came a big crash, and many of us downsized to one appraiser. Few of us went back up to the old days. Newer appraisers in the mid-2000s hired lots of trainees to increase firm size. Most of them have gone back to one appraiser. Same Old Cycle. Nothing New.

Excerpts from report:

The top five firms in the Real  Estate Appraisal industry account for less than 15.0% of industry revenue  with the largest having a market share of just 6.2%. The larger participants in  the industry are generally subdivisions of large multinational property,  brokerage, and global real estate service firms. The vast majority of companies  operating in the industry are small, independent firms with few employees or  single-owner operators.

According to the US Census and IBISWorld estimates, 75.3% of establishments are nonemployers. From 2008 to 2010, the total number of  establishments in the industry was decreasing. The number of nonemployer  establishments was decreasing at a faster rate than employer firms. This trend, however, has reversed recently.

Click here to read more and post your comments at .


Excerpt from press release
Over the past two years, however, IBISWorld expects that industry revenue has recovered substantially, and estimates it will grow 6.7% in 2013 as the volume of real estate transactions increases and property values continue to recover from recessionary lows

Link to press release with more info:

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Posted in: appraisers

Source of Work – refis and foreclosures


As we all know, the housing market has been going through some major changes over the past years. As the market changes, so does the source of many appraisal assignments. This month we ran some polls to see how much work is generated from both refinance activity and foreclosure activity.

The first poll asked, “How much of your work comes from refinance activity?” and received a total of 5,404 responses. The results show refinance activity accounts for a good portion of the current appraisal assignments. No surprise there. The top answer was, “I do 51%-75% refinance work,” with 35% of the vote. A close second was, “I do 25%-50% refinance work,” with 30% of the vote. Quite a large group (20% of the appraisers) responded that more than 75% of their work is for a refinance loan. This work seems to be holding steady for now and should continue if interest rates stay at these historical lows.

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The second poll asked a similar question, but instead of refinance work, the focus was switched to foreclosure work. We had 5,395 total responses to this poll and we found that foreclosure assignments make up a much smaller portion of work volume for appraisers. There are a couple of potential reasons why foreclosure work isn’t as important for appraisers when compared to refinance work.

First, often foreclosure work is done by brokers providing BPOs, rather than by lenders ordering a full appraisal. Second, the default and foreclosure rate is actually falling rapidly in most areas of the country, which is good news for everyone. The top answer with 60% of the vote was that less than 25% of the work volume comes from foreclosures. Keep in mind that this answer includes those who get 0% of their work from foreclosures. About 22% of appraisers responded that they still get 25%-50% of their work from foreclosure activity. The last two possible responses of 51%-75% and more than 75% were essentially tied, each category receiving approximately 9% of the vote. So we can conclude appraisers are not currently heavily dependent on foreclosure activity for new assignments.

My comments: nothing new here. BofA’s recent appraiser layoffs and other layoffs due to shrinking foreclosures show that this is happening. They love their BPOs for foreclosures. There is work for Fannie and others trying to get money from appraisers who were to “high” in the boom time.

Posted in: appraisal

Appraiser education levels

Question: What is your highest level of education (non-appraisal related)? poll results

Didn’t finish High School. 93 votes     1.5%teacher and class
High School or GED 300 votes             5%
Some College classes 1,475 votes         25%
Community College Graduate (AA) 555 votes 9%
Tech school graduate 139 votes          2%
University Graduate (BA, BS, etc.) 2,947 votes 49%
Graduate Degree (MA, PhD, etc.) 506 votes 9%

Total Votes: 6,015

My comment: Down from the Stone Age, pre-licensing, when it was hard to get an appraisal job without a bachelor’s degree, but still 58% with at least a bachelor’s degree and only 6.5% with no college.

What level of education, training, and experience should a review appraiser have relative to the appraiser originating the report? poll results
More   2,772 votes   48%
About the same   1,993 votes    35%
Less   25 votes    0.4%
It doesn’t seem to matter these days   980 votes    17%

Total Votes: 5,770

Posted in: appraisers

Flintstone House in Burlingame CA

The Flintstone House is a free-form, single-family residence in Hillsborough, California[1] overlooking, and best seen from the Eugene A. Doran Memorial Bridge on Interstate 280.[2][3] It was designed by architect William Nicholson and built in 1976 as an experiment in new building materials, in the form of a series of domes. It was constructed by spraying shotcrete onto steel rebar and wire mesh frames over inflated balloons. Originally off-white in color, it was repainted a deep orange in the mid-2000s. The house contains three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Known popularly as “The Flintstone House”, it derives its name from The Flintstones, a Hanna-Barbera Productions animated cartoon series of the early 1960s about a Stone Age family.

My comment: it is very strange in an upscale neighborhood, visible from the freeway. I don’t think the neighbors like it ;>

Link to Wikepedia:

Posted in: unusual homes

National Appraisal Compliant Hot Line to start by 3/29/13 Appraisal organizations ask for delay

ASC notice to state regulators:
Excerpt: The Hotline will begin operation no later than March 29,2013. The Hotline will refer complainants to appropriate State and/or Federal agencies to handlecomplaints of alleged violations of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice(USPAP) and/or appraisal independence requirements. The Hotline will direct complainants tocontact you to formally file their complaint using the existing protocols established by your State.The Hotline does not initiate complaints, act on behalf of complainants, arbitrate complaints, assistin appealing the outcome of complaints, or follow up on complaint referrals previously provided

Link to full notice:

Feb 4, ASA/NAIFA sends letter to ASC asking for delay

Excerpts of a few bullet points:
– The ASC designed the appraisal complaint hotline system behind closed doors, and has failed to allow stakeholders to comment on it prior to final implementation:
– The ASC’s hotline system, as proposed, violates congressional intent and the clear language of the dodd-frank provision authorizing it:
– Congress intended the hotline to provide appraisers with an ability to report efforts to undermine their independence, not as a catch-all mechanism to be used against appraisers by persons disgruntled because the appraised value did not meet their needs or for other non-specific or Non-serious reasons:

Link to letter


Feb 12, AI/ASFMRA sends letter to ASC asking for delay


However, in speaking with state appraiser regulatory officials, practicing appraisers and others involved with real estate and mortgage finance, virtually no understanding of the hotline and its intended purpose, as well as the proposed protocol, exists. As such, we believe that the protocol could be met with unnecessary trepidation simply because to date the ASC did not seek stakeholder input. As such, we respectfully request that the ASC refrain from approving the protocol, and instead release the protocol for public comment, similar to the process used by the ASC in drafting Policy Statements. Since the hotline likely will impact other mortgage and real estate professionals and regulatory agencies, we believe that all stakeholders deserve to have an opportunity to review comment on the hotline before it is operational. This is the foundation of good government and, in this case, we believe that such a measure actually will engender support for the proposed protocol.

Link to AI/ASFMRA letter

My comments: The ASC was mandated by law to set this up. I have not read all these links, so I have no opinion. It is all up to you!!

Posted in: appraisal, Appraisal Foundation

House in the middle of the road demolished

A Chinese house that became an internet sensation after being left in the middle of new highway because its elderly owners refused to move out has been demolished.

Photographs of the house went viral on China’s social media websites last month after 67 year-old duck farmer Luo Baogen and his wife refused to sign an agreement allowing it to be demolished. This resulted in authorities building a planned road around the building. As the images spread around the world, the five-storey building became a symbol of protest against forced property demolitions, one of China’s most pressing social issues.

My comment: The Power of the Internet. WoW!!


Click here for the full article:

Posted in: Strange homes, unusual homes

So, just how accurate is the Zillow “Zestimate” anyway?

Thanks to appraiser Tom Horn for this Most Interesting video!

Have you ever wondered how accurate the Zillow “Zestimate” really is? Whenever I am doing appraisals I have homeowners tell me what their Zillow “Zestimate” is. I am sure they are hoping that my appraisal is similar to that number (if it is high), however the two could be close, but more times that not they are pretty far apart.

I actually just found out recently how you can determine the accuracy of Zillow in your area. Take a look at the video to learn how.


click here to see the original blog posting

1-1 GOOD AT final rev newslet

Posted in: appraisal

Leaf House Angra dos Reis, Brazil

Leaf House Angra dos Reis, Brazil

Located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Leaf House was inspired by Brazil’s Indian architecture, perfectly suited for the hot and humid climate of Angra dos Reis, which is just one hour south of Rio de Janeiro. The roof  in form of  big leaves protects all the enclosed spaces of the house from the sun – verandas and the in-between open spaces. All the open spaces are the main living areas, the essence of the design. They allow trade winds from the ocean to pass trough the building, providing natural ventilation and passive cooling. The architects see this as low-tech ecoefficiency where it has the greatest impact; as the concept of the architectural design.

There are no corridors, with the interior and exterior spaces being almost fused. Rainwater is taken from the roof for re-use. With its natural finishes, organic aesthetics and richness of details, the house is in harmony with the brazilian nature.

Links to arrticles and photos:

Posted in: unusual homes

Is the appraisal system broken?

Speakers – John Brenan, Director of Appraisal Issues – Appraisal Foundation and Melissa Cohn, President of The Manhattan Mortgage Company

junkyardNothing new, but at least they have an experienced appraiser (over 30 years) speaking. Of course, the mortgage person says the usual stuff about deal killer appraisers – out of area, QC delays, get rid of HVCC, loosen rules up, etc.

4:42 min long video, after relatively short commercial. Sorry, I was unable to “imbed” the video in this message. Click below to view. 

1-1 GOOD AT final rev newslet

Posted in: appraisal, lender appraisals

The 20 Loneliest Outposts At the End of the World

When humanity’s not trying to destroy itself, its steadily redefining its boundaries. Every passing year, we create further-flung outposts in places nature never intended to us to inhabit. Here are the loneliest places mankind has made its bed in search of the unknown, the overwhelming, and the great.

The Tektite I habitat, an underwater laboratory, located in Great Lameshur Bay, Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands in 1969

The Monte Rosa Hut, at an altitude of 2,795 metres, owned by the Swiss Alpine Club

The recently opened Halley VI Modular Research Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf, in northwest Antarctica

Link to all the outpost fotos:

Posted in: unusual homes