Appraisal News and Business Tips

Blog

UsPaP – A Few More Obvious False Assumptions

By Barry Bates

The appraisal client is always the intended user.

A lovely concept out in the ether somewhere, but hardly ever the case in practice. The client (who engages the appraiser) is a lending technician or AMC drone; the intended user is an underwriter, servicer or portfolio manager. (This assumes the fact that only about 10% of appraisals are ever done for anybody other than a mortgage
company.)

Pretending that they’re the same person (based on the legal concept of a corporation as a person, which facilitates all kinds of evil) allows the left hand, which is handing out cash, to avoid confronting the fact that the right hand is removing money from the borrower’s savings account.

USPAP is intentionally not specific

Finally, the old TAF argument in support of USPAP that its lack of specificity
is only the result of trying to avoid “micro-management” of the appraisal process is just what we former Army wiretappers used to call “cover noise”. It screens from hearing the fact that as it stands, USPAP can be used either to exonerate or
execute an appraiser on political motives regardless of the issue at hand. That’s
why more procedural detail is needed, not less.

Appraiser Judy fails the geocompetence test when she gets a citation from
her state for not having a subscription to local MLS. Yet when appraiser Willie
walks when he fails to check online sources or MLS after the property owner assures him the property is not publicly listed for sale. This same thread of delusion seems to run throughout USPAP, undoubtedly promulgated by crusty old MAIs. If any carbon-based life form tells you something, it’s okay to believe it’s true without any further investigation. Just throw in an extraordinary assumption, even though it’s invalid because it’s impossible or unreasonable.

Another reason for more specificity is the utter failure of the HVCC /Dodd-Frank AMC experiment. Instead of being coerced by a mortgage broker,
today’s appraiser is systematically coerced by onerous documentation
requirements, intimidating email, multiple requests for reconsideration and
arbitrary blacklisting. Appraisal quality is depressed by AMC expropriation of what
was once 50% of a normal appraisal fee. Moreover, residential fees in general
haven’t changed for 20 years.

NOTE: This is a very brief excerpt from Barry’s article in the January 2018 issue of the paid Appraisal Today monthly newsletter. More excerpts coming very soon!!

Posted in: Barry Bates, USPAP

1-11-18 Newz//Is it jUSt PAP?,Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos

Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos

Just For Fun!!

Most Excellent Photos and Very Creative Captions!!
Very, very funny and weird!!
You just gotta see them! Cannot be described.

10 Homes for Under $100k

Here are a few:
1701 Cleveland Ave, Waco, TX Price: $97,000
1724 Myrna Ln, Memphis, TN Price: $85,000
94-6428 Palaoa Rd, Naalehu, HI Price: $92,000

Click on each one for the full listing info. They are not all fixers or tiny homes!!

Check them out at:

My comment: I want the Hawaii house ;>

Read more!!

Posted in: AMCs, appraisal management company, real estate market, USPAP, weird homes

Is it jUSt PAP?

By Barry Bates

Appraisal is not rocket science, but it’s been around for about 300 years and it worked pretty well when the principles were kept simple and the consequences for ignoring them were disastrous. It would also have been nice if individual lending institutions still had to hold their own loans into perpetuity.

The “Just Pap” is more unpopularly known as the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, which came into being after the last big residential mortgage greeding frenzy (the failure of S&Ls in a 17%-mortgage-rate environment during the late 1980s).

Before your friendly author proceeds violently to eviscerate this not-even-very-well-meaning document, let’s get a minor but nonetheless irritating question off the table. Now you have to pay $75 for a copy of USPAP when, as a matter of public law, it should have been free to read. The solution? The  Appraisa; Foundation put it out on the web where it’s free to read (uspap.org), but you can’t download it or search it effectively. So you still have to pony up the bucks.

My central thesis today, children, is still that a bunch of crusty old MAIs and soulless bank appraisers saw an opportunity in 1986 to create a bureaucracy that funds free trips to meetings where crusty old MAIs and soulless bank appraisers can assemble to get pleasantly drunk. This entity became The Appraisal Foundation, an organization designed to foster high appraisal standards that are written in weasel words even Donald Trump could circumvent.

It’s hard to know where to start; there are so many things wrong with USPAP. As an overview, suffice it to say that its structure appears to be designed so that over the long haul, most responsibility for bad loans can be offloaded to appraisers making less than $100K per year.

NOTE: This is a very brief excerpt from Barry’s article in the January 2018 issue of the paid Appraisal Today monthly newsletter. More excerpts coming very soon!!

========================================

About Barry Bates

I have known him personally for over 30 years. He has a wide variety of appraisal “experiences” over the years, which he writes about. In his 42 years of appraising he has had different jobs, from a staff appraiser to senior management. He is lots of fun to chat with!

Barry would like to hear from you!! Send an email to barrettbates@gmail.com

========================================

Want to read more of Barry Bates’ controversial, humorous and really Out There comments? Subscribe to Appraisal Today monthly newsletter!!

========================================

To find out more about the newsletter, click the ad below.

Prices: 1 year subscription is $99, $89 for automatic renewals. Monthly and quarterly payments are also available (credit card only).

Posted in: USPAP

1-4-17// Newz .National MLS Database?, No college degree?, .AMCs in trouble?

A National MLS Database?

Excerpt: Instead of considering the consolidation of the governance and management structures of the MLS, thereby providing coast-to-coast cooperation among brokers, we should instead focus on MLS data and technology infrastructure, and support the movement toward a national database system.

This would create a vast information network available to application developers who, until now, couldn’t offer tools to agents and brokers without expensive and time-consuming customization for every individual MLS.

My comment: The author is vice president of Business Development for Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®), created by NAR. More info at www.narrpr.com . Very interesting and worth reading. Poor real estate data has been a problem forever. Non-standardized MLS data is a nightmare for appraisers. This database would be accessible to appraisers, CU, and AVMs I assume. Of course, we all know how accurate MLS data is…

No bath tubs?

Excerpts: For years, the common wisdom among both brokers and designers was that every home needed a tub. But changing lifestyles and the demand for more space are now driving some homeowners to swap out their tubs for chic, high-end showers.

There is no definitive data on whether ripping out a tub could harm resale value – or any way to quantify how many people are doing that – said Jonathan J. Miller, president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel. But “for a young family, not having a tub is an issue,” he added, “so the risk of impacting the value rises as the apartment size rises.”

My comment: Just something to think about… I often see bath tubs that are seldom used. But rarely see a home with no tub.

Read more!!

Posted in: AMCs, appraisal business, Appraisal Qualifications Board, CU, data, Fannie, Mortgage applications, new appraisers, real estate market, unusual home

12/28/17 Newz//Home prices since 1870, Change your templates!!, Very unusual airports

CHANGE YOUR TEMPLATES!!, computer folders, etc.

  • Appraisal template(s) forms, and narrative appraisals, proposals/bids, etc.
  • Set up new (sub) folders on your computer for 2018, such as 2018fotos and 2018appraisals. Every year, starting January 1, I keep using 2017 on my personal checkbook. I am setting up  about 10 checks with the year already on them so I finally will get this right ;>
  • Note: this depends on what you have already set up. Or, maybe it is time to think about setting up folders if you have difficulty finding files.

RECORD YOUR 1/1/18 AUTO ODOMETER READING AND DON’T LOSE IT!!

For your mileage log. I also always go to my mechanic for oil change, etc. to get an “official” odometer reading, which the IRS prefers. I learned a lot after miserably failing my IRS audit of my “recreated” mileage log as I did not have one.

Is Your Life Integrated? – George Dell

Tools for work, tools for life.

Excerpt: This time of the year for many is a time of reflection and hope. My reflection today is how some principles of our profession may be principles of a successful life; what those principles may be, and how they’ve contributed to my joy and sense of satisfaction and service.

Very interesting. Worth reading!!

My comment: I have known George for many years. He has appraisal ideas I have never seen anywhere else. He is a regular contributor to the paid Appraisal Today.

Read more!!

Posted in: AMCs, appraisal business, appraisal management company, appraisal waivers, real estate market, weird properties

12-21-17 Newz//: AMC appraisal fraud, Fannie Appraiser Update, CoStar vs Xceligent

The Three Most Fascinating Homes In 2017

Just For Fun!!

Very unusual… and two are very low priced ;>
You just gotta see this 2 minute FUNNY video!!
Death and Breakfast, House with Big Cave, and Very Old Historic House

https://www.realtor.com/videos/video-behold-the-most-fascinating-homes-of-the-year/db7fb804-6cd6-4556-887c-49410eb6d77a

The Appraisal Standards Board has issued new Q&As for December 2017, dated 12/19/17:

Note: personal property and M&E not included in the list below
– Communicating Assignment Results Without an Appraisal Report
– Workfile Requirements When Communicating Assignment Results
– Adding an Intended User
– Assignment Conditions versus Client Conditions
– Proposed Construction Employing an Extraordinary Assumption
– Proposed Construction Employing a Hypothetical Condition

https://appraisalfoundation.sharefile.com/app/#/share/view/seea70b822d24fa59?

Read more!!

Posted in: AMCs, Appraisal Standards Board, bad appraisers, Fannie, Fraud, Strange homes, unusual home, unusual homes, USPAP, weird homes

12-14-17 Newz, Underground Digs, AirBnB values, FHA loan limits and PACE

Digging into our drive to tunnel, bore, and head underground.
Just For Fun!!
Excerpt: The deepest tunnelers among animals, crocodiles that can burrow 39 feet down, cannot compete with us at all. Humans have traveled, in the deepest mine in the world, almost 2.5 miles underground (to say nothing of our boreholes, which go nearly three times deeper). The longest and deepest traffic tunnel in the world, the Gotthard Base Tunnel, makes it possible to cross the Alps in 40 minutes or less. The world’s major cities are criss-crossed by tunnels carrying water, sewage, wires, and people. Montreal has an entire subterranean city for its residents to navigate in the cold winter.

My comment: Fascinating!! I have not appraised any properties with tunnels, but I have seen many (and traveled through some) over the years. Railroad and mass transit trains, abandoned tunnels to nowhere, underground parts of cities (mostly abandoned), old mining tunnels, etc. I have seen (and appraised) lots of basements though, some way below ground ;>

How much is Airbnb driving up home prices and rents

Excerpt: The researchers looked at rents and home prices in the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S. between 2012 and 2016. They found that a 10% increase in Airbnb listings leads to a 0.39% increase in rents and a 0.64% increase in house prices.

“That may sound minuscule, but between 2012 and 2016, rents rose by about 2.2% annually [on average in the 100 areas], so a 0.39% increase in that context isn’t very small at all,” says Dr. Edward Kung, an assistant professor of economics at the University of California Los Angeles and one of the study’s authors. The same is true for home prices, which rose by an average of about 4.8% annually in the 100 areas, he adds.

My comment:

Seems like Airbnb rentals are all over, such as my small city, not just in popular vacation spots. From an appraisal point of view, Airbnb rentals are tricky. More cities are regulating them. A lot more hassle than renting out an ADU for a year, for example. Tax issues for owners. To me, seems like it is business value rather than real estate value. Very confusing!!

Appraiserville from Jonathan Miller’s Housing Notes

Check out the topics below
– The Appraisal Industry Needs Better PR
No one knows what we do.
No one appreciates what we do.
– More on Tristar Bank in TN (you know, the one that shouldn’t be in the mortgage business)
– Loan origination graph 2006 to 2017
– The Next Appraisal Bombshell: Economic Growth Regulatory Reduction and Consumer Protection Act

Scroll down the page to Appraiserville, and maybe make a few stops along the way ;>

Read more!!

Posted in: adjustments, appraisal how to, FHA, real estate market, weird properties

12-7-17 Newz//Appraisal Waiver Threat, Very Modern Churches, New USPAP Q&As

A Tour of the World’s Most Unrepentantly Modern Churches

Worship at the altar of striking architecture.
Excerpt: Outside the town of Almadén, in central Spain, nestled on a scrubby hillside, there is a chapel. You’d be forgiven for thinking it is an art gallery, or perhaps a particularly modern-looking winery, or the home of an eccentric tech mogul. Planes of concrete fold into one another, creating elegant, severe triangular surfaces that frame a wooden doorway marked by tapering planes of glass. But inside there is only sunlight-and a cross. Known as the Valleaceron Chapel, it was designed for the property by the architecture firm S-M.A.O. in 2001.

Click here to see the very interesting photos. For more info and fotos, google the name and location of the churches (under each photo – copy and paste).

My comment: I have seen lots of very interesting and creative U.S. churches (religious buildings) in many places. I don’t really know why church congregations are willing to be “out there” in their architecture but I love looking at these buildings!!

Read more!!

Posted in: Uncategorized

11-30-17 Newz// My Client the FBI, 50 Lane Traffic Jam,Third Party Inspections

China’s 50-Lane Traffic Jam Is Every Commuter’s Worst Nightmare

What happens when a checkpoint merges 50 lanes down to 20.

Excerpts: Thousands of motorists found themselves stranded on Tuesday in what looks from above like a 50-lane parking lot on the G4 Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway, one of the country’s busiest roads. Some are dubbing the traffic jam a “carpocalypse,” while others are calling it “carmageddon.”:

China is no stranger to these ridiculous traffic jams, especially on national highways. In 2010, gridlock spanning more than 74 miles on the stretch between the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Beijing left drivers with nowhere to go for a staggering 12 days. That time blame fell on everything from road construction to broken down cars and fender-benders.

My comment: Check out the photos. Wow! One of my nightmares is getting stuck in a big traffic jam, but I never thought about one as bad as this…

https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2015/10/chinas-50-lane-traffic-jam-is-every-commuters-worst-nightmare/409639

A Mysterious Device Revealed

Excerpt: On Monday, I distributed a photo (see below), which was taken by a western US appraiser at the subject property, and asked if anyone could accurately describe what this device is:

The property owner was not at the property when the appraiser was there, and the appraiser was frankly stumped as to what this ‘thing’ is.

By late afternoon Monday, the appraiser was able to talk with the property owner, and was told about this contraption. Meanwhile, dozens of appraisers wrote back with suggestions or positive “it’s a” statements.

My comment: There was a fun email thread on this topic. To sign up for Dave Towne’s emails, send an email to dtowne@fidalgo.net He has been writing a lot recently about hybrid appraisals (non-appraiser does the site inspection). Very controversial. I am working on an article for this topic in the paid Appraisal Today newsletter.

Read more!!

Posted in: appraisal, hybrid appraisals, statistics, Trumpish speculations, weird properties

11-22-17 Newz//Thanksgiving Thoughts For Appraisers

Thanksgiving Thoughts For Appraisers

My Comments: I wrote up my usual Thanksgiving comments about family, friends, etc. which is what we all think about at Thanksgiving time. But, yesterday I received this from an old friend. It “spoke” to me, especially as an appraiser and business person. This is a different, very personal, way to look at what we can be thankful for in our daily lives. Feel free to forward this to whomever you want, changing the subject line if needed.

Be Thankful  

These words from an unknown poet remind me to be thankful on Thanksgiving and all the other days, too.

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times, you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.

I love the thought that Thanksgiving is less of a meal and more of a mindset. May your Thanksgiving be filled with friends, family, love and all that is important to you.
Gray
Join Our Mailing List!!
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 business