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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5-15-20 Newz: 700 Missing Sales – Comml Appraisals Down – 22 Unusual Homes

Weird or Wonderful? 22 Homes That Are Anything But Ordinary

JUST FOR FUN! TAKE A SHORT BREAK NOW. YOU DESERVE IT!!!

Excerpts: Homebuyers and renters who dare to be different often put down roots in alternative dwellings that others eschew. Even if your inner compass tells you to steer clear of the offbeat or the outlandish, you may enjoy window-shopping these eccentric estates with …

Here’s one – foto above:

Sky-high Single Family Home in Prescott, Arizona

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the Falcon Nest, a ten-story dwelling whose 124-foot stature makes it the tallest single family home in North America.

To read more, click here

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Fannie Appraiser Update

Undated. Received by email on 5-13-20

NOTE: This is about exterior only and desktops. These appraisals are NOT the same as the old “drivebys” where you assumed the inside was like the outside, no owner interviews, etc. The old Desktops (aka comp checks) are not the same now. Lots more research is required.

Excerpt: As Fannie Mae has begun to examine appraisals completed using our temporary appraisal flexibilities in Lender Letter LL-2020-04, Impact of COVID-19 on Appraisals, one issue we’ve observed is that some appraisals rely on assumptions about the subject property condition. Whether completing an exterior-only or a desktop appraisal, the appraiser must have a data source for all the relevant characteristics including interior condition. Obtaining that information, whether it be from homeowners or other sources, is not only encouraged, but is required. This is addressed in the FAQs regarding the temporary flexibilities (Q47):

As stated in Lender Letter LL-2020-04, the appraiser’s certification #10 was removed recognizing that the appraiser may have to rely on information from an interested party to the transaction (borrower, real estate agent, property contact, etc.) and additional verification may not be possible. The removal of this certification acknowledges this could affect the assignment’s results. If adequate information is not available to complete the appraisal, the assignment cannot be completed.

Excerpt:

My comment: Of course, a big problem is that few of them are being done now. I am sure this is the reason why there is so much confusion. They are a lot of work. You could decide just to turn them down if you get requests for very few of them.

Also, some clients order the “traditional” 2055, where you drive by, take a few photos, and assume the inside is like the outside. This is NOT acceptable for GSEs and VA. You MUST ask your client what type of 2055 they are ordering or, who are they selling the loan to. FHA does not use 2055s.

I sent out similar information last week. This is the “official” notice with references. You MUST take the time to learn about all the changes and do a lot more work than before. That is why you should charge the same for full appraisals, exterior, and desktops.

To read more, click here

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5-8-20 Newz: Cash-out Refis Declining – Inspection Warnings – Snowboarding Cat

USPAP Q&A April 24, 2020

2020-04: Apppraisal Development – Inspections 

Personal Inspection of Exterior plus Remote or Virtual Inspection of Interior

Question: If an appraiser makes a personal inspection of the exterior of a property as part of a mortgage finance transaction (or in any other assignment) and then receives interior photos, video, or other technology-based view(s) of the subject, can the appraiser state that they performed an interior inspection?

Response: No. A personal inspection of the interior of the property by the appraiser is not the same as viewing the interior virtually or remotely. It would be misleading for an appraiser to indicate that an interior inspection of the subject property was performed, when, in fact, the appraiser only viewed interior photos, video, or other data from technological solutions. (See Conduct sectionof the ETHICS RULE, Disclosure Obligations of the SCOPE OF WORK RULE, and Advisory Opinion 2, Inspection of Subject Property.)

My comment: My apologies for last week’s very confusing explanation of this… The explanation plus USPAP references above is very clear.

To read the original document plus other recent Q&As, click here
Update to Fannie Lender Letter (LL-2020-04)

Impact of COVID-19 on Appraisals

May 5: Extension of effective date: extending the application dates eligible for these temporary flexibilities to Jun. 30, 2020

To read this Lender Letter click here. Has updates going back to March 23. Hard to keep track of all of them!

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Virtual Inspection Tools From Fannie’s letter above on April 14. 

Appraisers may use virtual inspection methods to augment the data and imagery that is used for either a desktop appraisal or an exterior-only appraisal. 

All traditional appraisals require the appraiser to perform a complete onsite interior and exterior inspection of the property. A virtual inspection cannot be used as a substitute for the onsite interior and exterior inspection for a traditional appraisal. 

Additionally, an onsite interior and exterior inspection is required for the Appraisal Update and/or Completion Report (Form 1004D) used to confirm completion of renovation for HomeStyle Renovation loans. Virtual inspections using video and photographs provided by the borrower or contractor can be used to evidence renovation progress to disburse additional renovation funds as described below.

My comments: YOU MUST GO INSIDE THE HOME FOR A INTERIOR INSPECTION APPRAISAL. YOU CANNOT:

– Stand outside the house and tell the borrower which photos to take.

– Take photos through the window.

– Use Virtual Inspection Tools

I guess appraisers are doing this. Don’t risk your license!!

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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11-22-19 Newz: Appraisal Fees – Previous Careers – Dungeon

What Was Your Previous Career Before You Got Into Appraisal?

Excerpts:

The Top 3

  • Real estate sales (14%)
  • Mortgage lending (8%)
  • Insurance (5%)
  • Assistant or admin work (5%)
  • Banking (1%)
  • Others: 63%

To read more, click here Check out the respondent comments and a list of some of the many previous careers

My comment: I was a chemist before I started appraising. Really like learning about science in school, but 7 years of lab work was too boring. I felt trapped inside. Saw an ad for “appraiser assistant” at the local county offices. “Work in the field.” I had never heard of it, so read a book about it at the library (1974). I got the job and still love appraising!! I didn’t see many science careers on the “Other” list. But, I think it prepared me well for appraising as I was trained to be very objective and analytical.

Read more!!

11-8-19 Newz: Zestimates – Fee Transparency – Science and Appraising

National Appraisers Forum

By Dave Towne

Excerpt: Appraisers, if you would like to learn from highly qualified peers (other than me! :), post questions, or offer your own comments, consider joining the FREE group, National Appraisers Forum (NAF). Use this link.

This is one of the best appraiser groups as all commentary is respectful. While not everyone always agrees with certain points, the discussions are not demeaning. There is a wealth of info participants share freely on a wide number of topics. The group has several moderators who monitor the posting activity.

One key point, NAF participants are not anonymous. You must use your name (at a bare minimum) when participating, which is required when signing up… Moderators are asking that anyone who wants to join should give their name as licensed, the state they are in, and their license number.

To read more, click here

My comments: This is my favorite appraiser online group! I get many emails from various sources for this newsletter and have been a member of many online communication places. Before the internet was widely available, I hosted live chats on aol and compuserve. Since then I have watched many online places. Unfortunately, just like any other topic, sometimes the groups end up doing lots of “flaming” (attacking another participants, etc.), negative comments, off topic, politics, etc. I quit going to these places.

Of all the groups I have subscribed to, National Appraisers Forum is the best for me. I have been a member since it started, or soon after. No complaining about AMCs, off topic, trolling and flaming, etc. The founder, Steve Smith, and the moderators keep it this way. Regular contributors are “high end” appraisers with many years of experience. Hot topics are often discussed.

There are well managed appraisal groups on Facebook, but it is too hard to for me to follow the threads, so I don’t go there very often. But, it may work for you.

Another major factor is that you must use your real name, so we know who is commenting. Allowing anonymous postings can easily decay into a mess.

I will be updating my article ” How to connect with other appraisers online. What’s the best group for you? ” in a future issue of the paid Appraisal Today discussing other email chat groups, how to find other groups or start your own, Facebook, etc.

Read more!!

10-18-19 Newz: What is Risk? – Fascinating Islands – Fees – Data Standards

What’s all this stuff about risk?

By George Dell

We seem to be hearing stuff about risk recently. Why?

Back in the old days, before internet but after the wheel – It was my challenge as a new appraiser to scratch together four or five comps, then put three of them on a form, or perhaps even all five on a table. We called the table a ‘grid,’ presumably because it looked like the grid on a bird cage.

I soon discovered I was free to fly around inside the grid cage all I wanted. I adjusted to what I had. I learned to live inside the cage.

Then flying electrons came. They flew right through the grid. There were many. Sometimes even a dozen or more. All claiming to be comp messages. It was too much. I had the five. Should be enough. Yep. That’s what my trainer said. That’s what my appraiser education said. And sure enough, it was on my test for my new appraiser license…

To read more, click here

My comment: Next month’s paid Appraisal Today will have a long article, “Adjust your adjustment, or adjust your attitude?  The Hype and the Reality” by George Dell. Very interesting!

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The Future of Residential Lender Appraisers

What if you don’t want to do desktop bifurcated appraisals or do the very tough appraisals that don’t work for AVMs? Or wait, once again, for the lender market to finally come back.

There are many forces trying to get field appraisers out of doing full valuations for mortgage loans. Automation and Artificial Intelligence will increase this trend, as it has done in other professions. For example, Quicken software dramatically decreased demand for manual bookkeepers. Once lenders can determine which properties will work well with an AVM, and they will, there will be fewer human appraisals.

Recently, several appraisers emailed and called me saying their non-lender work would go down due to fee competition from desperate lender appraisals. Yes, this does happen in downturns, especially when it first starts going down fast. Estate appraisals are easy, and this market is affected. Plus other non-lender markets.

What is the answer? The only answer I know is to do litigation support. In my area, there are very few residential appraisers who will testify in court. When they go up against an MAI who does 1-2, or fewer, residential appraisals per year, they win. Good demand, repeat business, fees much, much higher than any other type of appraisal business, respected as an expert. Almost the opposite of AMC appraisals.

Why are residential appraisers very reluctant to do Expert Witness court testimony? Fear of the unknown I guess. I did them in the past and had no problems with testifying as an expert in court or in a deposition.

Next month in my monthly paid newsletter, I will have an article on Litigation Support and Court Testimony.  I have been writing a lot about doing non-lender work. There are lots of options, but this is by far the most profitable with very little competition.

1-17-19 Newz: $2M deminimus? – $3M Funding for Res Appr Startup – Appeals Board Members Fall Asleep

Should we raise the deminimus to $2 million? Or $5 million?

By George Dell
Excerpt: To simplify this discussion, let’s note two facts:  Appraisers can perform ‘evaluations’, normally using the same scope of work as an unlicensed “evaluator”.  What’s the difference?  It appears to me that there is one key difference.  The question is then:  Which part of the service is not required?  Is it the integrity/ethics, or the performance (such as using the right data and analysis)?

It appears to me that since unlicensed persons can charge less, have less tax/fee burden (for licensing, education, and errors/omissions insurance- the less ethical, less responsible ‘evaluator’ can always outbid the licensed appraiser every time.

Read the full blog post and appraiser comments. What do you think? Add your comments.

My comments: Interesting analysis by George, of course!! Credit unions are proposing to raise the commercial deminimus to $1,000,000. I didn’t know they made commercial loans. Guess they forgot about the commercial crash in the late 1980s.
As long as Fannie and Freddie (and their investors) require res appraisals, it won’t have a big effect on residential. The FIRREA deminimus in 1989 was $200,000. No effect on much of anything, even though we thought the Sky Was Falling.

The usual Mortgage Cycle: Good Business = lower requirements. Bad Business = higher requirements.

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9-20-18 Newz// Zillow Addicts – Pyramid House – Favorite Podcasts

Unusual pyramid house in Malibu takes its cues from the sun and moon

Excerpt: This one-of-a-kind residence looks like it belongs in the swirling sands of Giza rather than on a hilltop in Malibu. The three-bedroom house was designed for two astronomy photographers and built to face the magnetic north like the needle of a compass. Sitting on one of the highest points in the Santa Monica Mountains, it has perfect vantage for observing the ocean as well as the movements of the sun and moon.

Read more and see the fotos plus video!! Currently listed for $2,999,000. Has been on the market for awhile.
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