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3-13-20 Coronavirus & Inspections – AVMs & Wonder Bread – Toilet Race

Appraiser’s (Changing) Role

Q&A with Mark Verrett, Chief Innovation Officer at Accurity Valuation

Excerpts: WRE: How can appraisers adapt to meet the profession demands?

Verrett: I think there are several ways to adapt to these challenges. The first is to work toward diversifying your practice away from 100 percent mortgage business niches. Our firm is a leader in green valuation, rural valuation, valuation consulting and litigation support and we help our offices diversify into those spaces. However, this solution isn’t for everyone….

To directly take on the challenges facing appraiser relevancy in the mortgage space, significant change is required. Appraisers need to unite to create a like-minded national voice that is not rejecting proposed changes for the profession, but rather working with stakeholders (regulators, lenders, clients, etc.) in conceptualizing, testing, tweaking, and ultimately modernizing the appraisal process on the mortgage side.

The appraisal community has a tough assignment in their role in this modernization. To be useful in the discussion, we need to challenge ourselves to be creative and open-minded, yet diligent in maintaining or, even better, improving the quality of the valuation being produced. I think it is extremely important for appraisers to listen and understand the needs of their clients and to creatively develop solutions that meet those needs.

Worth reading with some good ideas. To read more, click here

My comment: Accurity has franchisees and some very savvy appraiser officers and directors.

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Posted in: AMCs, appraisal business, Appraisal fees, appraisal management company, AVMS, future, lender appraisals, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, unusual homes, weird properties

Does a Bedroom Need a Window for Appraisals?

Does a Bedroom Need a Window To Be Legal?

Excerpts: Bedrooms are one of those features of a home that sounds good if there are more of them. I get calls all of the time from real estate agents asking if a certain room can be considered a bedroom.

Of course, there are other ways to look at this as well. There are two components to the value of a bedroom including the utility of the room to be used as a bedroom and also the actual square footage that it occupies in the house. Does a Bedroom Need a Window for Appraisals?

To read more, click here

My comment: Written for agents, but very good analysis of relevant market factors plus what building codes say (International Residential Code – IRC). I have an excellent article on bedrooms on the paid subscriber page, with lots of details on different standards, such as FHA. I get questions about what is a bedroom regularly from real estate agents.

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

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Posted in: adjustments, AMCs, appraisal regulations, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, weird properties

Building A Secure Appraisal Business

Building a Secure Appraisal Business

by Joshua Walitt

Excerpt: Like many of you, I got my start as a real estate appraiser in residential mortgage work. At the time, residential mortgage work was all that I knew, and for a time, all that I thought I could do!

As a residential real estate appraiser focusing heavily on 1004 work, I had blinders on and I had not adequately considered the many, many opportunities available to me. As I developed as a professional, I began to realize that the potential career paths, types of work, and the different roles available to a real estate appraiser vary widely. I think too often as appraisers we severely limit ourselves into what we can or can’t do and define the services we can offer to the marketplace far too narrowly.

The industry is changing, and I like to think of myself as being part of the change, rather than being apart from the change. As appraisers, we each need to ask ourselves: “Do I want to be a part of the change that is taking place in the industry, or will I be apart from it?” Either way, as things change in life and in business (and they will!), we are all faced with a choice about how we will adapt to the changes and overcome the obstacles we encounter along the way. As the appraisal industry continues to evolve and change, it’s important that we appraisers understand that we are capable of providing a very wide range of services in a variety of roles.

For example, here is a list of valuation-related services that appraisers are suited for and can diversify into…

To read more, click here

My comment: worth reading with lots of ideas. I have been writing about this since 1992.

Which Appraisal Clients are used the most?(Opens in a new browser tab)

Appraisal Humor

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Posted in: adjustments, appraisal business, data, weird properties

Urban, Suburban, Rural in Appraisals

Urban, Suburban, Rural?

By Tim Andersen, MAI

Excerpt: QUESTION: Can you help me to understand the differences between urban, suburban, and rural? Where I live and work, everything is essentially one big megalopolis for 30 miles in every direction. Therefore, in my reports, I tend to refer to everything as suburban. A reviewer called me on this, but I can’t figure out why. Please set me straight.

ANSWER: At one time, a location was urban if there were high-rise office buildings and no houses close by, suburban if there were merely low-rise office buildings and many houses nearby, and rural if there were no office buildings and lots of farms, ranches, and vacant land close by. However, that was back in the day, so we need new definitions….

To read more, click here

My comment: This is a tricky issue. This post has some good tips. Tim is a regular contributor to the paid Appraisal Today with much longer articles, focusing on USPAP, lender appraising, state board complaints, etc. He reviews lots of lender form appraisals and wants to help appraisers write better reports. More info at https://theappraisersadvocate.com/

10-20 UPDATE: For lots of Covid analysis and news, go to my new covidscienceblog.com

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

What’s the appraisal definition for suburban?(Opens in a new browser tab)

For lots more appraisal topics, Click  Read More below!

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Posted in: adjustments, appraisal, appraisal business, appraisal how to, appraisal regulations, data, E&O, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, unusual homes, weird properties

6 Reasons Appraisers Are NOT Needed

Appraisers Are NOT Needed???

Excerpt: You can buy a car in little to no time so why not a house? Over the years I have heard that the home buying process is too long. There are too many headaches for buyers and the process should be easier.

We are in a microwave society and everybody wants things instantly. This should, of course, carry over to the home buying process, right?

A house is probably the most expensive purchase people will ever make but that doesn’t mean that the process needs to consume your entire life, right? The appraiser just adds to the stumbling block that most home buyers face in getting into the house of their dreams. Today I am going to discuss 6 reasons that appraisers are not needed (wink, wink) in the home buying process.

Written for home buyers but good explanations for appraisers to use.

To read more click here

My comment: I have appraised many apartment properties. 2-4 unit properties are more difficult to appraise than a 60 unit apartment building, which I appraised recently! Owner occupants, motivations, etc. are big issues. 4 units are the most difficult.

My city has had rent control, which keeps getting stricter, for 4 years. CA recently passed rent control for the state. Must use actual, not market, rents in appraisals. Very, very difficult to appraise. 3 weeks ago I decided not to do them any more.

But, last week a family was thinking about selling their 4 unit property. I pre-screened them. If it had low rents, I don’t know who would buy it. Fortunately the rents were around 80% of market. They wanted to know if it was good time to sell. I told them I would let them know, then do the appraisal. Not a good market now.

I met one of the owners this week at the inspection. He brought a copy of the 2005 date of death appraisal and asked for an “update” or an “evaluation”, for a lower fee, which his sisters requested. I told him I could not do it and did not know any licensed appraiser who would do it. And told him to use a local real estate agent for free. I doubt if they would recommend not listing now as I speak with them regularly at open houses.

Appraisal Humor

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Top Ten Reasons Why It Is Great to be an Appraiser Humor(Opens in a new browser tab)

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Posted in: adjustments, appraisal, Appraisal Foundation, appraisal how to, AVMS, commercial appraisal, mortgage loan volume, Podcasts, unusual home, USPAP, weird properties

Tax records and Square Footage in Appraisals

13516718 – white wood texture with natural patterns

Tax Records is not the definitive source for square footage!

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpt:

Why is the appraiser saying it’s only 1,400 sq ft? Tax Records shows the home is 600 sq ft larger. This issue comes up ALL the time, so let’s talk about it. Tax records and Square Footage in Appraisals is a hot topic.

The truth: The Assessor’s records are generally reliable, but I’m just saying sometimes they’re not. Why is this? At times it’s as simple as the original builder not turning in accurate information when a house was built. Or maybe an owner took out permits but official records were never updated. Of course we’ve all seen instances where the tax roll shows two units on one lot, but there’s really just one house nowadays. Let’s not forget sometimes owners do an addition without permits, so the Assessor might actually be correct even though the house is technically larger or has even sold on MLS as a larger home. For reference, here are ten reasons why an appraiser’s sketch might be different.

For lots of comments and more info, click here

My comment: This one of the main reasons that AVMs will never be very successful for all homes. Over and over again, statistical analysis shows GLA is the most important physical feature overall.

Also, how bedrooms are determined varies a lot, depending on the local market and can vary over time. The assessor number of bedrooms may not match the appraiser’s. For example, tandem rooms. Finished basements can vary also.

I started appraising at a CA assessor’s office in 1976. In CA, State Board of Equalization regulated county assessors offices, so the procedures and terminology are very similar all over the state. However, GLA from the assessor may have different requirements than other sources, such as ANSI.

Proposition 13 passed in 1979, which only allowed an annual 2% increase in assessment per year, unless there was a sale or improvements (determined by permits). Over time, the information has become more and more out of date.

Data is not available for smaller counties if the assessor says it is confidential. Until the 90s, my county did not release any data, so I had to “guesstimate” on square footage for sales and listings. We finally got it when an MAI was elected assessor.

In the early 90s, I researched assessors records around the country. In some small rural counties the records were kept at the assessor’s home. They were not digitized and available for purchase by data companies.

Appraisers need to know which areas are not accurate. Sometimes GLA is “political”. Within a city, accuracy can vary. In my city the least accurate records are in the “Gold Coast” with many of the city’s larger, historic homes. In other nearby cities, some properties have low GLAs to keep the property taxes lower.

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

What is Included in Appraisal Square Footage?(Opens in a new browser tab)

How accurate is the reported square footage from the tax records in your primary service area?(Opens in a new browser tab)

10 reasons why public records and the appraiser’s square footage can differ(Opens in a new browser tab)

To read about lots more appraisal topics, continue reading below!

 

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Posted in: adjustments, Appraisal Foundation, appraisal how to, Mortgage applications, square footage, Strange homes, unusual home, weird homes

Appraiser Work Stress Humor

8 Funny Quotes About Appraiser Work Stress

Just For Fun!!

Excerpts: Real estate appraisal is an exciting and enjoyable profession—for the most part. But every appraiser knows that the job can be stressful at times, especially for those who are self-employed. If you’re having a hectic or frustrating day on the job, it helps to have a sense of humor. Here are some super funny quotes about work stress that we hope will brighten your day. Appraiser Work Stress Humor is what we all need!!

A few quotes

“‘Yay! It’s the weekend!’ Said nobody who is self-employed.”

“There cannot be a stressful crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” ­— Henry Kissinger

Very creative gifs! Sorry, they don’t work in these emails. To see them, click here

My comment: Very Funny and Realistic!

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

Which Appraisal Clients are used the most?(Opens in a new browser tab)

Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos for Appraisers(Opens in a new browser tab)

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Posted in: AMCs, appraisal business, appraisal management company, FUN, humor, Mortgage applications, real estate market, Strange homes, USPAP, weird properties

What is a Competent Appraiser?

“Damn Right I’m a Competent Appraiser…Aren’t I?”

By Tim Andersen, MAI

Excerpt: To appraise a property, and then report it according to USPAP, is a requirement USPAP demands and the states enforce. All too often, reviewers see in reports boilerplate (especially in the reconciliation) such as: “In my professional opinion, the value of the subject is $XXXXXX”. In the light of competency, look closely at SR1-6(a) and (b), the reconciliation standards rule. What is a Competent Appraiser?

If there is nothing more in the reconciliation than this single (essentially meaningless) sentence, the appraiser has not complied with SR1-5(a) and (b), thus evidenced a lack of competency. In turn, the appraiser certified to a lie, in that, in not complying, the appraiser omitted preparing the report in accordance with Standards 1 and 2 of USPAP. To add insult to injury, the appraiser has violated SR2-1(b) in that the above statement and certification, with no other context or explanation, are misleading. Three serious USPAP violations might stem from these 11-words.

Therefore, relative to the concept of competency, the deeper meaning is that the above 11-words are capable of generating three charges from the state. In addition, they can generate questions from reviewers. When appraisers appraise the property credibly, and then report the results of that appraisal in a non-misleading manner, they avoid both attention from reviewers and from the state. Thus, in turn, they save not only time and money, they show themselves to be competent. They appear more professional. Professionals can and do charge more for their time and efforts, right? Let us, therefore, be professionals.

My NOTE: This blog post starts with USPAP competency standards and includes an analysis of Competency and the Fannie forms Neighborhood section.

To read more, click here

My comment: Tim Andersen is definitely a USPAP Expert! He writes, speaks, teaches classes, etc. on USPAP topics. He also helps appraisers get their appraisals more USPAP complaint. He focuses on residential appraisal issues – state boards, reviewers, AMCs, etc.

Appraisal Humor

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Which Appraisal Clients are used the most?(Opens in a new browser tab)

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Posted in: AMCs, appraisal business, real estate market, USPAP, weird properties

10 Very Unique Bathrooms for Appraisers

Unique Bathrooms

Excerpt: The world is filled with remarkable restrooms. Some of them are no longer open to the public, such as the Stufetta del Bibbiena, a small bathing chamber with erotic-art-covered walls in the Vatican’s Papal Apartments. Others have been transformed into something totally new, like the London coffee shop that was once a Victorian urinal. But there are plenty of breathtaking bathrooms that are publicly accessible and just waiting to be wetted. These are 10 of the world’s most opulent and bizarre bathrooms. These 10 Very Unique Bathrooms for Appraisers are fascinating and unique!

Here are a few

  • Two story bathroom
  • Berlin Wall urinal
  • World’s Most beautiful public toilet

To read lots more info and see the good fotos To read more, click here

My comments: FYI, bathrooms are one of the very most popular topics in these free appraiser weekly emails. I have no idea why ;>

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

Very unusual bathrooms for appraisers(Opens in a new browser tab)

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Posted in: adjustments, AMCs, appraisal business, appraiser shortage, Mortgage applications, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, unusual homes

1-3-20 Newz: $65 Million Price Cut – No. of Bathrooms – Rate Forecast

Number of Bathrooms in New Homes

Excerpt: The Census Bureau’s latest Survey of Construction (SOC) shows changes in the number and shares of bathrooms and half-bathrooms of single-family homes started in the United States in 2018. The latest year’s data show that 3% of new single-family homes started had one bathroom or less, 64% had 2 bathrooms, 26% had 3 bathrooms, and 8% had 4 bathrooms or more. The term “bathroom” as used in this post refers to a full bathroom.
Interesting analysis, worth reading To read more, click here

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Posted in: adjustments, appraisal business, weird homes