Zoning and Appraisals

The Infamous History of Zoning in the Housing Industry (Video)

Excerpts: History of zoning in the housing industry and how past practices shape the problems we are currently experienced today.

What was the purpose of zoning in the very beginning? How exactly were these practices harmful to people of color? What are some of the problems we see today because of this? These questions and much more will be answered.

To watch the video, click here

My comment: A controversial topic. Today this often involves “downzoning,” allowing for properties to have more than one unit or more density – apartments, condos and townhomes.

Experts Say Zoning Changes Are Most Effective Path to Boost Housing Supply for a More-Balanced Market

Excerpt: A Zillow survey of economists and other real estate experts finds high costs are expected to slow construction and may lower homeownership among today’s 30-somethings. Relaxing zoning rules is what the panel says would be most productive to increase new housing supply.

Other ways include:

  • Ease the land subdivision process for landowners
  • Relax local review regulations for projects of a certain size
  • Accelerate adoption of new construction technologies (e.g., modular building, 3D printing of certain components)

To read more, including details and the full list of survey suggestions, click here

Zoning in the Appraisal Process

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Click here to subscribe to our FREE weekly appraiser email newsletter and get the latest appraisal news!!

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

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on unusual homes, slowing market?, appraisal business, mortgage origination stats, etc.

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

20174977 – new long empty road in the summer

Is the housing market starting to slow?

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpts:

c) The x-factor of mortgage rates: If mortgage rates dip below 3% again it could easily change the speed and trajectory of the market.

e) Say something different if the temperature changes: If the market speeds up in the coming months and we don’t end up seeing seasonal slowing, then that’s what we need to say. The best we can do at any given moment is interpret the stats in front of us and let that shape what we say. So, for now it looks like we see some slowing. What does the future hold? We’ll see….

Lots of good ideas. Good tips for appraisers.

To read a lot more, click here

My comment: Appraisers need to keep a very close watch on market changes. Locally, some market segments are different from others, for example, detached homes vs. townhomes vs. condos. We are all worried about a repeat of the 2008 crash, but most say it is very unlikely.

I am always surprised to hear that appraisers are still not making market condition adjustments, even when prices are going up. That’s why the 1004MC was done. It is a very easy adjustment to estimate. Take George Dell’s free time adjustment webinar below!!Getting too many ad-only emails?

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

4 ways to get only the FREE email newsletters and NOT the ad-only emails.
Click here for the list of 4 ways plus information on why I take ads, etc.

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

Managing Multiple Appraisal Deadlines.

By Doug Smith, SRA, AI-RRS

“Without the management of time, you will soon have nothing left to

manage.” William D. Reiff

Excerpt: The stress of managing multiple reports takes its toll on the appraiser’s ability to maintain confidence and make sound decisions under stress.

While technology now dominates our discussions and what we read in the trade magazines, appraisers must not overlook real and lasting productivity gains in management techniques and principles.

Some of these advantages the skills appraisers apply every day. Other techniques are not new but deserve even more emphasis.

To read the article with lots of practical productivity tips, plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today.

———————————————–

Not sure if you want to subscribe?

Sign up for monthly auto-renewal for $8.25!!

Cancel at any time for any reason!!!

$8.25 per month, $24.75 per quarter, $89 per year (Best Buy) 

or $99 per year or $169 for two years 

Subscribers get FREE: past 18+ months of past newsletters. 

To purchase the paid Appraisal Today newsletter, go to

www.appraisaltoday.com/products  or call 800-839-0227. What’s the difference between the Appraisal Today free weekly email newsletters in this blog and the paid monthly newsletter?

Click here for more info!

—————————————-

If you are a paid subscriber and did not get the June 2021 issue emailed on June 1, 2021, please send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com, and we will send it to you!! Or, hit the reply button. Be sure to put in a comment requesting it.

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

Who Needs Appraisers When One Has Cash?

Excerpts: That’s a question a good friend asked me after telling me that a home on the same street from them sold, in hours, for a much higher price than many other generally similar homes are selling for in the neighborhood. The buyers paid cash. I must admit, in the past year, there have been times when I have felt like many buyers don’t really care about value anymore.

Single-family homes often appreciate at different rates than condominiums and multi-family properties. That’s because they appeal to different segments of the market. All these different types of homes usually have different rates of price change. But a buyer wouldn’t necessarily know that or how to measure that. A good appraiser can and will measure these differences.

So, in this crazy market, while some buyers with cash may not care about how much over the market value they may pay, I believe that most buyers do care. Just because they are willing to pay more than the home appraises for is not an indication that they don’t care about the market value of the home.

To read more, click here

My comment: Worth reading. Good tips for understanding and communicating your current market.

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

What is Critical Appraisal Theory?

Is this profession built on a lie?

By George Dell

Excerpt: CRT (Critical Race Theory) is about regulations, laws and institutional settings, and even history. And how past facts, habits, and ways of doing things become embedded in our society or our profession.

CAT (Critical Appraisal Theory) is about regulations, laws, institutions, history, and change resistance. Humans and appraisers tend to resist change. It can be fearful of finding something or someone upending my years of learning, experience, habit, and success, all from a codified “proven body of knowledge.” Both are about how or why current laws and regulations (including appraiser licensing) have not made a difference, or worse.

The embedded inertia. The justification for personal righteousness at some point becomes circular.

To read more, click here

My comments: Once again, George has explanations I had never thought of before!! There is definitely been systemic racism in the housing market, starting where I live with geographic red-lining decades ago. Also discrimination in the rental market and agent “steering”. My house was red-lined.

FREE Time Adjustment Webinar by George Dell and Craig Gilbert June 30 noon, Pacific Time Excellent webinar. Second time offered. Worth attending. Please don’t wait, as it may fill up again with a limit of 500 attendees. The first time sold out.

To register for the webinar, click here

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

Darth Vader House in Houston

Just For Fun!!

Excerpts: The exterior of the contemporary home features narrow openings and sharp angles reminiscent of Darth Vader’s face-shielding helmet. But the owner was actually aiming for an aviation-inspired design – dark and mysterious. He wanted the inspiration to be the stealth fighter, the aircraft..

7,040-square-foot. Listed for $4.3 million.

To read more, click here

To see lots more photos, click here

My comment; Sorry, no Star Wars Memorabilia inside or outside. Waiting for a Star Wars fan to buy??

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

HOW TO USE THE NUMBERS BELOW. Appraisals are ordered after the loan application. These numbers tell you the future for the next few weeks. For more information on how they are compiled, go to www.mbaa.org Note: I publish a graph of this data every month in my paid monthly newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to https://www.appraisaltoday.com/products.htm or send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 7 AM to noon, Pacific time.

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

Mortgage applications decreased 3.1 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 9, 2021) – Mortgage applications decreased 3.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending June 4, 2021. This week’s results include an adjustment for the Memorial Day holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 3.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 13 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 5 percent from the previous week and was 27 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 0.3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 11 percent compared with the previous week and was 24 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Most of the decline in mortgage rates came late last week, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declining to 3.15 percent. This likely impacted refinance applications, which fell 5 percent for both conventional and government loans. With fewer homeowners able to take advantage of lower rates, the refinance share dipped to the lowest level since April,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Purchase applications were up slightly last week, and the large annual decline was the result of Memorial Day 2021 being compared to a non-holiday week, as well as the big upswing in applications seen last May once pandemic-induced lockdowns started to lift.”   

Added Kan, “The average loan size on a purchase application edged down to $407,000, below the record $418,000 set in February, but still far above 2020’s average of $353,900. Home-price growth continues to accelerate, driven by favorable demographics, the recovering job market and economy, and housing demand far outpacing supply.”  

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 60.4 percent of total applications from 61.3 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 3.9 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 9.5 percent from 9.6 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 11.2 percent from 10.9 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.4 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) decreased to 3.15 percent from 3.17 percent, with points decreasing to 0.34 from 0.39 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $548,250) decreased to 3.29 percent from 3.34 percent, with points decreasing to 0.32 from 0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.12 percent from 3.16 percent, with points increasing to 0.34 from 0.31 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 2.52 percent from 2.56 percent, with points decreasing to 0.29 from 0.31 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs remained unchanged 2.54 percent, with points increasing to 0.30 from 0.29 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.

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

Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA

Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today

1826 Clement Ave. Suite 203 Alameda, CA 94501

Phone 510-865-8041

Email  ann@appraisaltoday.com 

www.appraisaltoday.com

Appraising vs. the Public Good?

Has Appraising Failed the Public Good?

by Steven R. Smith, MSREA, MAI, SRA

Excerpts: The term Public Good is in the opening paragraph of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). An appraiser friend once wrote that our regulations and guidelines are intentionally ambiguous—and that may be. But what is crystal clear to me is that the industry has put the interests of its clients before the public good.

The Public Trust statement and the Ethics Rule have been largely ignored over the years with loan production put first…

What can an individual appraiser do to support the public good, even before they start an assignment? For me, the answer always has been to appraise the client and the appraisal assignment. There are some clients and assignments that simply should be avoided because of the wants, needs and desires of the client, with respect to the assignment results.

To read more, click here

My comments: I have known Steve Smith for a long time. To read more comments from Steve and other savvy appraisers, join the National Appraisers Forum, an email discussion group. I have been a member since it started. It is my “go-to” resource for appraisal topics. Moderated. Very different from Facebook and other appraiser online discussion groups where filling out forms and dealing with AMCs are discussed.

The future of residential appraising

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Click here to subscribe to our FREE weekly appraiser email newsletter and get the latest appraisal news!!

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

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on unusual homes, appraiser diversity, Cost Approach, liability, mortgage origination stats, etc.

Read more!!

What Types of Sales For Appraisals

Arm’s Length or Another Type of Sale? The 7 Sale Types Explained

What types of sales for appraisals

Excerpts: As a real estate appraiser, whether you’re considering the current terms of sale or analyzing previous sales of the subject property or comparable sales, it is imperative to know whether a sale is an arms-length transaction or a different type of sale. Sales due to a job relocation, estate settlement, foreclosure, or divorce may sell for less than the property’s market value.

By knowing the type of sale, you are better able to reconcile a current opinion of market value that falls above or below a current or recent transaction for the subject property.

Here are the seven valid sale types, explained in detail below:

  • REO sale
  • Short sale
  • Court ordered sale
  • Estate sale
  • Relocation sale
  • Non-arm’s length sale
  • Arm’s length sale

To read more, click here

My comment: Worth reviewing. Some good tips, especially for today’s crazy sales market!

Using home’s previous sales in appraisals

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Click here to subscribe to our FREE weekly appraiser email newsletter and get the latest appraisal news!!

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

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on FHA regs, USPAP, State Boards, appraisal business, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.

Read more!!

What Should Appraisers Wear?

What Should Appraisers Wear?

Excerpt:

Professional Dress

When we are observing properties, it is important that we dress professionally. If we are doing an appraisal for lending, we are a representative of our client. Although we are not an employee of the client, we do represent them. Often, we are the only person actually seen by participants in the transaction.

Photo above by BBH Singapore on Unsplash

Also, we represent ourselves, our business, so we want to dress professionally. We are professional licensed appraisers performing our work and should look as such. That said, what works for walking around properties, in between bushes, in the mud, etc.?

To read more and add your comments click here

My comments: Very interesting. From a female appraiser perspective, but applies to guys also.

Over my 45 years of appraising, I had differences in what I wear, from very professional (commercial) to casual for protection from bushes, dogs, etc. For residential appraisals, I prefer to keep my clothes from being damaged (heavy pants, strong jacket, collared polo shirts, and very sturdy shoes) from gravel, unknown stuff under weeds in the back yard, etc.). I live in a mild Mediterranean climate, so I don’t do much else except raincoats and a heavier jacket.  I don’t even want to think about snow, slush, and mud!!

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Wearing shoes in a house for appraisal(Opens in a new browser tab)

Click here to subscribe to our FREE weekly appraiser email newsletter and get the latest appraisal news!!

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

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on Fannie videos, crazy sales market, market conditions, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.

Read more!!

The UAD and Appraisers – Past, Present, and Future

The UAD and Appraisers – Past, Present, and Future

30 minute video

Speakers: Sean Murphy and Danny Wiley of Freddie Mac

Excerpt: They offer some insightful looks into the process and delve into the specifics that appraisers need to know.

What are some of the key updates for 2021? What can appraisers expect with these changes in the UAD? How will these changes impact the appraisal industry? These questions and much more will be answered between Sean, Danny, and Joan (moderator) as they dive into more about the UAD and Freddie Mac.

 

If it does not display, to watch the video, click here

My comments: Danny Wiley is an excellent speaker (starts after the first speaker). Worth listening to. Wiley is Freddie Mac’s Senior Director of valuation for Single-Family Credit Risk Management. Sean Murphy is the Credit Policy Risk Analytics Manager. Danny has been around for a long time, starting as a fee appraiser. He knows what is happening and what it means for you.>

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Click here to subscribe to our FREE weekly appraiser email newsletter and get the latest appraisal news!!

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

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on unusual homes,bias, appraiser shortage mortgage origination stats, etc.

Read more!!

What are Pass through Bedrooms for Appraisals

Pass-through Bedrooms

Excerpts: This may not be a major problem if the house has sufficient bedrooms to match what is typical and expected in the neighborhood. It can have a negative impact on the marketability of the home if this arrangement reduces the number of usable bedrooms from what is typical.
The floor plan layout of a home can have an impact on its market value: The impact on value is determined from market data and how buyers perceive it. Did the home sell for less because it has a different floor plan than what is typical and expected?
The cost to fix can vary: Depending on the current floor plan configuration and the location of the bedroom in relation to other rooms the cost can vary widely and this should be taken into consideration when comparing it to the value added by fixing the problem.
Written for home owners with a good discussion of cost to cure vs. value added.
To read more, click here
For more analysis by Ryan Lundquist (from 2016) of what I often see, click here The image above is from Ryan’s article.
My comments: I have had many discussions with real estate agents and home owners about this issue. The number of bedrooms in a house can be a significant factor in many markets. In my market most homes were built prior to 1940 and have modifications, such as additions, over time. The pass through bedrooms can seldom be fixed. I usually call them “dens”.

Read more!!

Appraisal Waivers Almost 50% of Fannie/Freddie Loans

An explosion of appraisal waivers. Is that good or bad?

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpts: Appraisal waivers have really exploded in recent years – especially during the pandemic. But how many are there exactly? Let’s look at actual numbers to walk away with some perspective. These stats are from January 2021 from AEI.

  • 47.4% of all Freddie Mac loans had a waiver
  • 44.5% of all Fannie Mae loans had a waiver
  • Waivers are far more common during refinances
  • Only 10-12% of purchases had an appraisal waiver in January
  • Non cash-out refinances have the most waivers (67-69%)
  • The higher your loan-to-value, the lower your chance of a waiver
  • Waivers have seen a dramatic increase during the pandemic

2) Seeing numbers: What real estate professionals experience with appraisal waivers with their clients can really vary. For instance, if you work with FHA borrowers putting very little down, you probably don’t see many waivers, but if you work with conventional buyers putting 30-40% down, you’re going to see more. This is why seeing actual stats is so important.

Read more of Ryan’s comments, see graphs, plus over 25 appraiser comments: click here 

To read the AEI report, click here

My comments: I wrote about this in the February issue of the monthly Appraisal Today. Also included is data on which states are doing the most, and least, alternative appraisals. I spent a lot of time trying to get any statistics from Fannie without success. I knew waivers were going way up, especially for purchases. AEI reports have the analysis

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Click here to subscribe to our FREE weekly appraiser email newsletter and get the latest appraisal news!!

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

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on unusual homes, Trip fees, waivers, solar, AVMs, mortgage origination stats, etc.

Read more!!

How to Fight Real Estate Agents’ Appraiser Blacklisting

How to Fight Real Estate Agents’ Appraiser Blacklisting

Excerpts: When a real estate agent “blacklists” an appraiser, the result is often that the agent’s lender/AMC contacts will stop using the appraiser completely (at the agent’s request), or occasionally, the lender will continue to use the appraiser but not assign the appraiser any of the transactions that that particular agent works on. In the case of the latter, sometimes the appraiser will be assigned an order only to have it canceled later that day once the real estate agent sees the appraiser on the order and calls the lender or mortgage broker to complain. I’ve talked to appraisers who have this happen several times a year with the same agent…

Having an order canceled and reassigned is sometimes the first and only indication to the appraiser that something fishy is going on, but some appraisers who abruptly stop receiving work from a client often don’t have to look far to figure out why. While “blacklisting” is sometimes more discreet, some appraisers actually have the real estate agent call them and tell them explicitly that they are going to actively prevent the appraiser from ever working on one of their transactions.

To read more, click here

My comments: Lender blacklisting has been around for decades. I remember when the blacklists were shared among lenders. Some appraisers said it was good to be on the blacklist of the not-so-ethical lenders.

Savvy AMCs (and lenders) often just don’t give the appraiser any more work. Putting an appraiser on a blacklist can be a big issue.

Good article with practical tips from Richard Hagar and the author.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Click here to subscribe to our FREE weekly appraiser email newsletter and get the latest appraisal news!!

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

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on unusual homes, Fannie Update, Bias, Humor, mortgage origination stats, etc.

Read more!!

Zillow Gets Pillowed Appraisers Laugh!

Zillow Gets Pillowed – Very Funny Video!

by Jonathan Miller

Excerpt: I met Rich Barton, Zillow CEO, at an Inman/Curbed party held during an Inman conference in Manhattan a long time ago, the evening before Zillow’s launch. I asked Rich, a very nice and fascinating person, what he did for a living, not realizing he was the co-founder of Expedia. Ugh. He also said they were launching their latest effort the following morning – a web site called “Zillow,” and he added “as in rhymes with pillow” to the description. Little did I know real estate would never be the same after that.

So this weekend’s SNL skit on Zillow was particularly delicious with all the “pillow talk.” Even Rich got a kick out of it.

To watch the video and read more comments, click here

Direct link to video on youtube click here

My comment: Warning. It contains some sexy parts, including two guys. It is a Saturday Night Live skit. Not for children and maybe some appraisers…

Zillow uses home photos for “appraisals”(Opens in a new browser tab)

 

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

Click here to subscribe to our FREE weekly appraiser email newsletter and get the latest appraisal news!!

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

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on adjustments, Fannie Photos, strange house, mortgage origination stats, Covid tips for appraisers, etc.

Read more!!

Why Appraisers Love Appraising!

7 Reasons to Love Being an Appraiser

Excerpts: 1. Being your own boss

“After ‘working for the man’ for 20+ years, I changed careers to be an appraiser. Working for myself has been the biggest reward, offering flexibility and a healthy work-life balance.”

2. Having a flexible schedule

“Being able to set my own hours, as long as I get the job done.”

“Tackle the workflow when its heavy, and enjoy the reprieve when it lightens up!”

For 5 more reasons and lots more comments, click here

My comments: I worked in labs for 7 years and was bored. I saw an ad for a county assessor’s office in 1975 that said “work in the field.” I worked on the 1970 census and loved going out at looking at houses all day long. I read a book at the library about appraising and got hired. After 45 years I still love it! I am never bored. No two properties are the same. Plus, I love being self employed. I was always a bad employee with too many opinions of my own.

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

Click here to subscribe to our FREE weekly appraiser email newsletter and get the latest appraisal news!!

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

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on , mortgage origination stats, Covid tips for appraisers, etc.

Read more!!