Appraisal News and Business Tips

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1/24/18 News//New USPAP Q&A-Hybrids .Dying Appraisal Profession? .Cat Urine & Big Data

Is the Appraisal Profession Dying?

By George Dell
Excerpts: Yes. Appraisal as we know it is dying.
Can it be saved?  No.
So what should I do?  What should “we” do?

To answer these questions, we need to look at causes and conditions. Some of these are obvious.
– Judgment is good; Analysis is better.
– Human generalization is excellent; Computation is fast…

So what can we do? If we cannot be saved. If computers are faster. If we have complete data. If we too have software.  If we too can provide results instead of opinions…  Leads to an obvious question: Can an experienced appraiser do these things as well as, or better than those others?

Worth reading at:

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1-18-18 Newz//Hybrid Appraisal Rejected, Scope Creeping, UsPaP False Assumptions

Scope Creep – Head’em Off at the Pass!

By George Dell
Excerpt: Why do we have scope creep?
Possible answers include:
– The reviewer or clerk has to justify their existence;
– There is genuine concern about something;
– The work should’ve been there in the first place;

It’s important to remember that our entire system of appraisal production and review is belief-based.  It must be “worthy of belief.”  We have no objective standards.  Your work must be subjectively “credible” in the mind of the reader.

Read this short, interesting blog post at:

My comment: George Dell writes regularly for Appraisal Today. His articles are much longer than his blog posts, often expanding on a blog post.

UsPaP – A few of the more obvious false assumptions

By Barry Bates

Excerpt from blog post

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.)

To read the full post, click here

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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.

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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.

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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
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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

11-16-17 Newz//:Value Of Additional Bedrooms, 13 Animal-Shaped Homes, Timber Towers

Architectural menagerie

13 animal-shaped buildings

Just For Fun!!
Excerpt: Novelty architecture can take on many fantastical forms – think municipal water towers done up like peaches and soft serve-shaped ice cream stands – but animal-shaped buildings are in a league of their own.

Often built as roadside attractions meant to lure motorists off the highway, these completely functional structures serve a greater purpose than just kitschy ornamentation. Some are truly mimetic – that is, the building is representative of its original purpose be it a poultry shop, seafood restaurant or woolen clothing boutique. Others are more symbolic, which is probably a good thing.

Here are a few:
– Big Sheep Wool Gallery – New Zealand
– Turtle Building – Niagara Falls
– Crocodile Hotel – Australia

Good fotos and write-ups at:

Why Timber Towers Are On the Rise in France

Excerpt: Spurred by concerns over climate change and the negative impacts of concrete manufacturing, architects and developers in France are increasingly turning to wood for their office towers and apartment complexes.

Concrete was praised through much of the 20th century for its flexibility, functionality, and relative affordability. In France, the material ushered in an era of bold modernist architecture including housing by Auguste Perret and Le Corbusier. Today, however, wood is lauded for its smaller environmental footprint and the speed with which buildings can be assembled.

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11-9-17 Newz// Spite Homes, Appraiser Coalitions, Mortgages and Property Taxes

9 Unique Spite Houses

Excerpt:
Here are a few:
Tyler-Spite House – Frederick, Maryland
Montlake Spite House – Seattle
Equality House – Topeka, Kansas
The Cake House – Gaylordsville, Connecticut

Thanks to long time subscriber, and old friend, John Regan for this Most Excellent Link!!
Get more info and read the fun intro and fotos at:

My comment: The first house on the post is here in Alameda – 10 ft. wide plus “pop outs” on second floor. I saw it a few years ago when it was listed. It had a reasonably good floor plan and was on a corner so it had good interior light. The writeup made me think about my neighbors from hell that I would like to put a giant something between us. Or, do something ugly or strange to my house ;>

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11-2-17 Newz .Crazy Appraiser Stories, AirBnB and Value, 31 abandoned places

Crazy Appraiser Stories

Excerpt: I had a house where the 1st floor den was connected to the basement via spiral staircase. Wife did not want the appraiser to go down the spiral steps and said she would “show” room from the basement. Telephone rang, appraiser proceeded to the basement, opened the door and the room was full of whips, chains, and other erotica ala “50 Shades of Grey.” I said we would just call it a rec. room and shoot from the best angle to disguise the “toys”.
-Sharon Finnerty Cremen

My comment: I have heard this story a few times but never encountered it… Lots of other weirdness though, such as seeing the sky through a big hole in the ceiling, falling down backwards into a partially covered pond and destroying my camera, etc. Check out the Cat Photo and make up your own Cat Comments!! Here is mine: Those appraisers need to take more naps and Get A Life. I guess they do have a sense of humor occasionally though ;>

Check out the other stories and add your own to  the 26+ comments at:

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10-26-17 Newz//Haunted homes and Places, Liability Issues, Tax Savings

Haunted houses and places – Halloween is next Tuesday.

================================
Google Maps Listed The 31 Most Haunted Places In America And They Sound Terrifying
From cemeteries and churches to mansions and museums.
Here are a few:
13. Adam’s Street Cemetery – South Bend, Indiana
16. Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
26. The Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, Colorado
My comment: Photos, brief writeup and links. Most are east of Kansas. Only a few near me. Not sure what that means ;>
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38 Real Haunted Houses and the Stories behind Them
Here are a few:
4. The White House, Washington DC
8. The Pirate’s House, Savannah, Georgia
10. Lizzie Borden House, Fall River, Massachusetts
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Haunted House? Not a Deal Breaker for Many Homebuyers

Excerpt: According to the Haunted House Real Estate Survey realtor.com® released today, 33 percent of approximately 1,000 respondents said they are open to living in a haunted house, 25 percent might be, and 42 percent are not open to the idea.

About 40 percent of people who are open to a haunted home said they’d want to see that home price go down to put money down on it. Another 35 percent said it would have to be in a better neighborhood to make the move, 32 percent said they wanted extra footage and 29 percent said they’d move in if they had more bedrooms.

Only 8 percent of respondents said they require no additional perks to purchase a haunted home. Basically, they wouldn’t hesitate and would move right in.

What about if someone died in the house? Actually, 47 percent of those surveyed said they would live in a home where someone died, 27 percent said they might, and 26 percent said, “NO WAY.”

My comment: Very interesting results. What is the effect on value, if any. Up, down, none?? Maybe someone will pay me some big bucks sometime to figure it out…

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From Ghost Hunters to Exorcists: Who You Gonna Call for a Haunted House?

Excerpt: Shortly after physical therapist Sally Morgan moved into her charming, late-19th-century cottage in Northampton, MA, she realized that she and her two pet corgis were not alone.

The price of the two-bedroom fixer-upper had seemed almost too good to be true. She soon discovered why she had gotten a bargain.

“Within a week, I started to feel a presence in the house. There were cold spots, and the dogs would stop and look at [invisible] things,” says Morgan, now 59. “In the shadows in the evenings, you’d think you saw a lady in a long dress. But was it her? Was it the curtains? Was it the shadows?”
My comment: Very interesting – who are you gonna call???
 
Search for haunted homes and places in your city. I found some in mine!! 

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