6-26-20 Newz: Lot Size Mistakes – Reconsideration of Value- Unusual Mailboxes

Lot size mistakes 

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpts: I’ve seen it happen twice lately where Tax Records lists the lot size, but it’s actually incorrect. In one instance Realist showed the lot was five acres when in fact it was only two acres. In another example it said two acres when it was less than one. Yikes.

My advice? Thankfully most of the time we can trust the lot size in Tax Records, but it’s still a good idea to quickly double-check just to be sure. After all, listing the wrong lot size in MLS or an appraisal could lead to litigation, right? What we can do is view the plat map to see if there is anything abnormal as well as try to piece together the lot size (easy to do if it’s a rectangle)…

To read more, click here

Short with good map illustrations. Plus many, many appraiser comments. I guess it is a hot topic!!

My comments: Also check out Ryan’s local recent market video for some good ideas on how to show market conditions. Plus, all his graphs illustrating his local market.

When I want to know the lot dimensions to determine lot size, I always get a copy of the legal description (usually from the recorded deed). Assessor’s office maps are for assessment purposes and do not always match the legal description. Google Maps is a good way to determine parcel size if the site boundaries are clear.

When an owner asks about lot dimensions and lot line locations (usually a dispute with a neighbor), I always give the same answer: “I Always Assume the Fences Are Not on the Property Line. Hire A Surveyor! ”

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6-19-20 Newz: Strange Appraisal Terms – Appraiser Makes $280k Per Year – Mosaic Homes

Appraisal Terms That Are Out of This World

Just for Lotsa Fun!!

Excerpts: Since space is the only place that is pandemic free, I thought it would be fun to try to apply space and science fiction terms to real estate. Let’s take a little break from the stressful atmosphere we are experiencing here on earth and have a little fun. Perhaps you can think of more.

Here are two:

Orbit– The path homeowners take whilst following the appraiser around the home, trying not to follow too closely by maintaining at least six feet of distance. (Probably taking pictures of the appraiser in the PPE)

Black hole – The place where Zestimates go after being debunked by reality.

To read and see lots more, click here

My comment: I love Jamie Owens’ blog posts! Unbelievably creative!! Plus, outstanding/strange videos, animated gifs, etc. etc. I have been a big scifi fan since high school and used space videos in my experimental music band for many years.

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6-5-20 Newz: Waivers; Wavy House; Unemployment Help For Fee Appraisers

A Very Wavy House 

Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: “Everyone basically has this ‘Wow!’ reaction, and it’s pretty polarizing: You either love it, or you hate it,” Assemi says of the home, which is now listed for $599,000. Its roof mimics ocean waves and is covered with cedarwood shingles.

“It’s just so unconventional, but inside, it’s a regular house,” …

The home has three bedrooms and three bathrooms in 1,845 square feet, and its ceilings are 21 feet high. It comes with 6.22 wooded acres on Collins Creek at the base of the Sierras and Sequoia National Park, about 20 minutes from Fresno, CA.

Interesting article and lots of fotos: To read more, click here

My comment: Located in Sanger CA, close to Fresno in a primarily agricultural area. A very unusual home for this part of California!! The median home price in Fresno is $258,500 per Zillow. Can You say: over-improvement? In the Bay Area, our the median price is around $950,000.

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What’s the ONE thing that is most often overlooked by appraisers?

By McKissock

Excerpt: We recently asked our appraisal community, “What’s the ONE thing that is most often overlooked by appraisers?” We received a wide variety of answers ranging from big-picture oversights to specific details. The most common answer we received was “Highest and Best Use.”…

Highest and Best Use (HBU)

This was the top answer, which was written in by about 8% of survey respondents“First question when doing an appraisal is the highest and best use. If there are two very different opinions of value on a property, different HBU is often the reason.”…

Obsolescence

Obsolescence is another item mentioned by multiple survey respondents. Appraisers cited both external obsolescence and functional obsolescence as being frequently overlooked.

“External obsolescence for the subject property – When I’m reviewing appraisals, I see this more often than other oversights. When I was performing retrospective reviews for FNMA, their biggest complaint was that appraisers did not point out external obsolescence for the subject and/or its impact on marketability (if there was an impact).”

“Functional obsolescence – Appraiser focus has changed over the years as subject functionality has changed.”

To read lots more, click hereb>

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4-10-20 Newz: Fannie New FAQs; Appraiser Recovers From Virus; Risky Business

Fannie Mae COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions – Selling Updated: Apr. 08, 2020

From Dave Towne:
On Wed, April 8, 2020, FNMA issued a new FAQ bulletin regarding mortgage lending and appraisals during the Covid-19 “modification” period.
Click here to download Dave’s PDF. I have extracted the FAQ questions relating directly to appraisals/appraisers. I suggest you print these 6 pages.
Q54 – Q60 have ‘new’ info appraisers should review.
NOTE: While this FAQ is written by FNMA, it also applies to reports which will be sold to FreddieMac – because both GSE’s are working cooperatively in terms of how appraisal reports are to be completed.
NOTE 2: If you are doing an assignment for FHA, USDA or VA, you need to follow THEIR instructions because they have different guidelines for report completion.
Link to original full 14-page Fannie document https://singlefamily.fanniemae.com/media/22326/display

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Appraiser/Educator Bryan Reynolds is recovering from COVID-19

I had a bit of a difficult time with this podcast. We like to think we’re invincible, immune, unaffected, but that’s silly. We are, at the end of the day, all vulnerable. This chat with my long time friend and partner, Bryan Reynolds, brought that realization home, in stark reality and made it tangible and personal.
People, we damn near lost Bryan. Please give this podcast a listen. I’ve posted it here, largely unedited. This podcast is the epitome of authentic.
Hal Humphreys
Partner Appraiser eLearning
My comment:Listen to this podcast!! I saw the last podcast live on March 26. Hal Humphreys was the moderator, speaking from his front yard. He said that Dave had coronavirus. I am so glad that he is recovered! To watch his webinars, go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClb6iDQvzQqj4GOiKSCp8EA

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4-8-20 Newz: SBA Assistance – Inspection Survey Data – T.P.

SBA – $10,000 Disaster Loan Emergency loan/grant and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Check to see if the SBA has issued a disaster declaration in your area. COVID-19 has been declared a disaster.

The two programs are very different. 

1. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance – up to $10,000 loan – does not have to be repaid. For all appraisers. Sign up now! Appraisers reporting that it is very easy to do. They got their money quickly. Per SBA “within three days of a completed application by a qualifying business.”

2. Paycheck Protection Program – have to get from a bank that is doing them. Can be difficult to get now. See below.

An SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

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The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance – up to $10,000

This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available following a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.

Apply for this now! 

For more info https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance

To sign up. Covid19relief.sba.gov

Should you sign up for this? I did not think I was having any economic issues. I don’t do any lender apraisaals and am not exempt from stay at home. Then, I realized I am paying $725 per month for an office that I can only use for file storage and picking up mail. I can only do desktop appraisals. I don’t know if the IRS will accept them. I may be able to postpone them, but I have no idea for how long. I am applying today, after I go to my office and find the information I need.

For most appraisers, the future is very uncertain for lender work. Some are getting much less work because they will not do interior inspections. No one knows how long lenders will straighten this out. Or, maybe you’re thinking about not doing interior inspections, but will lose appraisal work until lenders shift to desktop and drivebys.

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Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

An SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. It must be done through a bank that participates in the program. Lots of information is required. 

This program is designed to help keep people employed by giving loans to businesses. It is being swamped with business that have closed. Drive down the street in your city or a shopping center and see how many businesses are closed. Large companies are shutting down. In California, many construction projects have been halted.

This program started April 3. Lots of problems as lenders are not sure about how to set it up.

A few tips for applying:

1. Most Important. Contact the bank where you have a loan or an account.

2. Check local social media. I got posts from alignable with some banks to check out.

3. Call banks. May take quite a few phone calls. Check the local newspapers for who is offering the loans.

I emailed the manager at my local bank. I have known him for over 30 years. I have had all my business and personal accounts there for over 30 years. They replied that were totally swamped with inquiries, but were only considering their own customers. It is now a branch of another Bay Area bank, which is relatively small.

For some appraisal companies, this allows you to keep paying employees. For example, you are doing non-lender work. This is not exempt in most states. Your business will be much lower. I am not sure about residential appraisal companies doing lender work that are very busy now.

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp

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4-1-20 Newz: Effects on Value; FHA/VA; Return to Normal?; Fun Video

The paid Appraisal Today April newsletter will be free on April 3, Friday.

It focuses on what COVID-19 means for appraisers. I researched and discuss details: why data is the key, what are the comps, etc. Topics such as using gloves and face masks. There is lots of mis-information out there. I use the experts – scientists, especially epidemiologists.

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SOCIAL DISTANCING IS CRITICAL. WE ALL MUST WORK TOGETHER TO SO THAT FEWER PEOPLE GET THE VIRUS. WE MUST MAKE PERSONAL SACRIFICES. FOLLOW THE ADVICE OF YOUR STATE AND LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS.

Louisiana is an example of what happens when lots of people gather together. Mardi Gras was February 25. No one knew much about it then.

On March 5 I took an appraisal class. No one did social distancing, even myself, or even talked about it. Some hand shaking. One person coughed and quickly said something got caught in his throat so attendees were somewhat aware of it. Hard to remember what those days were like… when there were live classes or meetings…

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BE GRATEFUL THAT YOU CAN STILL WORK!!

We all see shuttered stores, many businesses shut down, employees laid off. Appraisers are still working. Lenders need appraisals. You choose which personal protection to use. You decide which appraisals to accept. You can drive around while most of us are staying in our homes.

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Interior Inspections: Tough Choices for Appraisers

More comments in workingre article here:

http://www.workingre.com/interior-inspections-tough-choices-for-appraisers/

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You already know what think – Just Say No.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Turn down FHA with interior inspection. way too risky!!
  • Raise your fees a lot for interior inspections. They are risky.
  • Drivebys and desktops will take a lot of time getting photos from borrowers. Asking questions, Etc. Ask higher fees than you used to ask.
  • Take fewer assignments.
  • This will not last very long. Lenders are shifting to drivebys and desktops. Why risk heath and safety you, your family and others, for a few appraisals?

GSEs/FHA/VA and bank commercial lenders are trying to protect appraiser’s health and safety by eliminating interior inspections. Freddie Mac has new guidelines for apartment appraisals.

Read more!!

3-20-20 COVID-19 and Appraisers. What are lenders doing? – FREE Webinar – Interior inspections?

There are many, many issues which seems to be changing on a daily basis. I wrote this yesterday. There have already been changes I am sure. I am including links to relevant information below

The big refi boom is causing lots of desperate lenders and AMCs trying to find appraisers.

You don’t need more info on keeping safe as it is available all over. What I discuss today is shift from interior inspections to drivebys, forms, what lenders are saying, what real estate agents are doing, the market changes (maybe), liability, etc.

What are lenders and AMCs doing?

Some direct lenders, such as Citibank, are sending out emails about what they recommend. On the other side AMCs are acting like nothing has happened and sending out email blast low fee appraisal request. FYI, it is a lot easier for one lender to change. AMCs work for many lenders.

Info on what Citibank is recommending from VaCAP:

Many are fearful exterior only appraisals will be the end of the traditional appraisal as we know it. Right or wrong, exterior only appraisals are a possibility that may be acceptable in certain situations. VaCAP does not believe it will end traditional appraisals with interior inspections. The profession has been down this road before. It will not fly long term, especially if the market turns downward.

Some lenders are establishing COVID-19 protocols to follow and some have remained quiet on the subject. There are rumors that one lender has instructed appraisers not to inquire as the health of the occupants of the home due to privacy laws. Others like Citibank have developed their own protocol on how appraisers should handle COVID-19 concerns. There is great flexibility to the appraiser. See Citibank’s protocol below:

Worth reading. To read more, click here

Read more!!

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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2-28-20 Newz: Adjustments – Appraiser Personalities – Data Standards

The One Personality Trait Every Property Appraiser Must Have

Excerpt:

Unbiased (46%)

“As an appraiser, you MUST give an unbiased opinion of value based on the data you have collected and your experience for it to be valid.”

“If you can’t be unbiased you should not be an appraiser. It is the hallmark of what an appraiser does.”

“Every appraiser needs to be unbiased. You can have knowledge, experience, patience, and all the credentials in the world, but if you are biased in either direction you are doing your client a disservice whether it benefits you or them.”

To read the other top traits and other interesting comments, click here

My comment: I was trained at an assessor’s office. When I first started working there I was told never to even have a taxpayer pay for your lunch. We were trained to be unbiased. Lending was a big shock for me later, with the pressure for values and non-disclosures. Most say that ethics come from within you. But, maybe fear of losing your appraisal license could be a motivator.

I don’t think that USPAP, licensing, regulations, etc. has done much about this. All it does is make us pay for a new USPAP book and class every other year. Plus way too many changing regulations. Plus very uneven state board enforcement. Before licensing, lenders knew who on their panels were ethical. When I started worked at a biotech company doing real estate management, I knew which local commercial appraisers were ethical and who was not after making a few phone calls. Of course, to many AMCs, all appraisers are the same, are sorta stupid and maybe unethical.

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2-14-2020 Newz: FIRREA Under Attack – Spectacular Spirals – Lending Up to 2005 Levels

FIRREA Under Attack!

Excerpt: Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Congressman William Lacy Clay request a formal study/investigation into Title XI (FIRREA) and the recent dilution of its intent by the Federal Agencies. The letter to Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General, Government Accountability Office, addresses threshold increases, regulatory exemptions, appraisal waivers, the North Dakota appraiser certification waiver and evaluations in lieu of an appraisal. It is clear the Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee and Subcommittee Chairman on Housing, Community Development and Insurance see the issues surrounding the recent events.

To read the press release and appraiser comments, click here

My comment: finally someone in Congress is noticing what is happening and complaining to the GAO!!

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