Newz// Giant turtle home, Revised FHA 4000.1, Bad AMCs

The Most Unusual Homes Available Right Now, for sale or for rent, From A Luxury Cave To A Giant Turtle

Excerpt:

Good investment or not, wacky homes sure are fun to look at and can be rewarding to owners in ways more profound than money (more on that below). So we went in search of some of the most interesting homes available today. We found a house shaped like an onion, an Irish castle and a home meant to look like a fishing reel.

My comment: Just For Fun!! I wanna rent one of the vacation rentals. The Turtle House in Egypt is only $54 to $96 per night!! And you thought some of the weirdo homes you appraised were strange… take a look at these! And, of course, Ace Appraiser Jonathan Miller is mentioned in the first paragraph ;>

http://www.forbes.com/sites/samanthasharf/2016/09/23/from-gold-mines-to-torpedo-testing-plants-the-most-unusual-homes-available-right-now/

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What is your current appraisal turn time (order receipt to submission)?

www.appraisalport.com poll

 

 

My comment: I wonder how many are over 2 weeks? 8 weeks?

WHAT DO YOU THINK? POST YOUR COMMENTS AT www.appraisaltodayblog.com !!

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Viginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals (VaCap) Open Letter to AMCs

A few weeks ago, Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals (VaCAP) sent out an open letter to the AMCs. This letter was republished by many coalitions, and appraiser groups across the country; liked and shared on Facebook and broadcast on several industry blogs. VaCAP received an overwhelmingly positive response from the letter. We even heard from several Realtors applauding our efforts! Activity is still ongoing with comments! Click here to read the letter and comments!

We heard you loud and clear…

The letter can now be signed by individual appraiser here on AppraisersBlogs. We will gather signatures and submit the signed letter to the FDIC, CFPB, Comptroller of the Currency and our Federal Reserve Board.

Note: To protect the appraiser identity from retaliation, only the initial of your last name and state will show on line. The copies sent to the FDIC, CFPB, Comptroller of the Currency and our Federal Reserve Board will have your full name.

Excerpt of a few points on the list:

  • – The use of an AMC has decreased the income of the appraiser, thereby harming local economies.
  • – The use of an AMC has increased the turn time for the delivery of the appraisal.
  • – AMCs operate on a fast and cheap model which has deteriorated the quality of appraisals
  • – AMCs have caused undue stress on the appraiser by demanding constant updates
  • – AMCs hire unqualified employees that lack comprehension of the appraisal process.

My comment: I usually don’t put in links to negative blog posts, but this seems to hit all the AMC issues, plus has something you can do. AMCs have been around since the 1960s but were never like this before. It is definitely a Big Mess and bad for the consumer (higher appraisal fees, delays in getting loans, etc.) Of course, they are doing what their lender clients want, but their methods are not good. There are some AMCs that are okay. Some appraisers have found a few they work for. Note: There is an ad in the middle of the post.

http://appraisersblogs.com/appraisers-sign-vacap-amc-letter/

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In the October 2016 issue of Appraisal Today

Fees are going way up!! How to get higher appraisal fees during this boom time!! By Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, PDQ and Doug Smith, SRA, AI-RRS . Lots and lots of practical tips.

Excerpt from the article:

How many appraisers are raising their fees?

I have been telling appraisers to raise their fees since early 2015. Below are two results of

appraisalport weekly polls.

Results from an April 2015 AppraisalPort weekly poll

Question: How long has it been since the last time you actually raised your fees?

  • 1 year 17%
  • 2-3 years 18%
  • 4-6 years 18%
  • 7+ years 26%
  • I can’t remember – I normally just accept the fee my client offers. 21%

Back in April 2015 not many appraisers were raising their fees.

In the past year, have your standard fees for a typical non-complex assignment changed?

Results from Appraisalport September 2016 poll.

  • Decreased 3
  • Stayed about the same 42
  • Increased by less than $50 27%
  • Increased by less than $100 18%
  • Increased by more than $100 11%

More appraisers are raising their fees in 9/16, but 45% have not still raised their fees! A few years ago I raised my non-lender fees to close to what borrowers pay. Why do appraisers keep working for low fees when they are so busy that they can’t take any more work? Or, they are not super busy, but want to get higher fees? Fear of never getting any more work. This is common to almost every business person, including myself. But it is not good when it keeps you from making more money, as it always does.

To read the full article with lots more data and practical tips for getting higher fees, plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today.

$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

plus 4 Special Reports, plus 2 Appraiser Marketing Books!!

To purchase the paid Appraisal Today newsletter go to

www.appraisaltoday.com/products   or call 800-839-0227.

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17 Things Appraisers Should Do Before Hiring an AMC Client

October 4th, 2016 9:54 AM

Here are two of them:

7. Google the AMC’s name and see what comes up. This might seem obvious, but some AMCs have been in the news for lawsuits related to unfavorable treatment of appraisers. You do not want to waste your time vetting an AMC that has a bad reputation. Even if no lawsuits come up, a quick Google search could result in a feel for the company and let you know if this is a company you want to work for. Remember that homeowners might think you work for this AMC when you show up to do the appraisal. Is this a company that you are okay with if homeowners get confused and think you work for them?

17. Check the AMC’s data protection policy and ask what steps have been taken to keep your private information safe. Also ask if the AMC has ever had any data breaches and if so, determine what systems have been put into place to ensure that data breaches do not happen again. Does the AMC have a policy that requires them to alert appraisers if they believe a data breach was possible?

Click here for the full Most Excellent List!!

www.aqualityappraisal.com.blog

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AMC Notes from Appraiserville by Jonathan Miller

Excerpts:

There was a CNBC article this week by Diana Olick that caused an uproar in the appraisal industry: ‘Massive’ shortage of appraisers causing home sales delays. Besides the incorrect inference of the title, the article was centered around Brian Coester, CEO of the Maryland-based CoesterVMS, currently one of the most controversial personalities in the appraisal management industry…

So I spoke with Diana Olick about the article this morning. I’ve known her for a long time and read all her stuff. She clearly did not realize what CoesterVMS represents to the appraisal industry but learned this from the outpouring of negative comments on the article by outraged appraisers. She understands now. How great is it that appraisers are getting out there and speaking their mind!

I told her that Coester is a notorious AMC in the middle of a big lawsuit that the entire appraisal industry is following. The shortage of appraisers is a myth being perpetuated by AMCS like Coester since their model only works if they pay appraisers a third to half the market rate for appraisal services.

My comment: I definitely think the current AMC model is broken, from the consumer, lender, appraisal and appraiser sides. I don’t really understand how it got so bad. I started writing in my paid newsletter about AMCs in the early 1990s. AMCs started in the were never like this before. Mostly they just paid lower fees. None had really low fees, scope creep, harassing and demeaning appraisers, etc.

To read more, Scroll down the page to Appraiserville

http://www.millersamuel.com/note/september-30-2016

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Miller was on a recent Voice of Appraisal radio interview with Phil Crawford.

Miller’s interview starts at -25:09 or 17:20 (download) 43:31 minutes total

http://www.voiceofappraisal.com/podcasts Episode 123

My comment: In last week’s email newsletter I said that the 2016 peak is almost up to the 2013 peak. In 2013 no one was complaining about high fees and turn times. In their discussion Miller said it was different because of CU/Scope Creep. He also said that business had been very slow between 2008 and 2012 and appraisers were glad for work. Appraiser attitudes about working for AMCs is much, much worse now. Good comments…Very few appraiser complaints about direct lenders and non-lender work.

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Revised FHA handbook

Thanks to Dave Towne for this info!

HUD/FHA recently updated and revised the 4000.1 Handbook…..actually on June 30, 2016………..but notice about this was sent out Friday, Sept. 30.

http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/sfh/handbook_4000-1

When the page opens, scroll down the page and you’ll see two entries on the left regarding the Handbook. If you open the PDF link, and let it load…it will actually show you the changes made to the appraisal section (and others).

Note….the handbook is 1000+ pages, but only about 40 or so apply to appraisals.

Note that the revised handbook has ‘moved’ the Appraiser and Property Requirements section to II D, from its former position in B.

Buried in the revision is new info on how to account for specific named ‘appliances’ in a home you are appraising. See II D 3e.

It’s going to take someone with more time (than I have now) and expertise to determine what exactly HUD changed in the reporting requirements about “appliances that remain and contribute to value.” One needs to read the former 4000.1 Handbook and compare that to this revised edition to fully understand the implications of what HUD wants reported.

You will want to compare the attic observation requirement also. Revision 4000.1 has this in II D 3k.

Crawl space observation is in II D 3m.

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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 https://www.mba.org

Note: I publish a graph of this data every month in my printed newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to www.appraisaltoday.com/productsor send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 8AM to noon, Pacific time.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 5, 2016)

Mortgage applications increased 2.9 percent from one week earlier

according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 30, 2016.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 2.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 3 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 5 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 0.1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 0.2 percent compared with the previous week and was 14 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 63.8 percent of total applications from 62.7 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 4.5 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 10.0 percent from 10.2 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 11.4 percent from 11.9 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.7 percent from 0.6 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 3.62 percent, the lowest level since July 2016, from 3.66 percent, with points decreasing to 0.32 from 0.33 (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 $417,000) decreased to 3.60 percent from 3.64 percent, with points decreasing to 0.25 from 0.28 (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 3.50 percent from 3.52 percent, with points decreasing to 0.16 from 0.21 (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 2.93 percent from 2.95 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 5/1 ARMs remained unchanged at 2.92 percent, with points increasing to 0.44 from 0.40 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased 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.

9-22-16 Newz: Appraisers in the news, Coester lawsuit, Miniature homes

The Revolutionary Concept of Standard Sizes Only Dates to the 1920s

Nearly everything in your home is a certain size, thanks to German architect Ernst Neufert.

Excerpt: Almost every kitchen counter in the United States is 36 inches tall. And 25 inches deep. Eighteen inches above the counters are the cabinets, which are 16 inches deep.

Where do these sizes and dimensions come from? Have they always been so exact?

Building standards, as these numbers and rules are often known, are everywhere, helping shape everything from your kitchen cabinets and the sidewalk in front of your house to the layout of your favorite restaurant. Despite their prevalence, building standards really only came into being in the last century. A major turning point in their wild proliferation arrived in the 1920s, when the German government made the then-radical decision to standardize the size of office paper.

My comment: Fascinating!! Lots more info and images at the link below.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-revolutionary-concept-of-standard-sizes-only-dates-to-the-1920s

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What does the CU interface look like to underwriters?
Below are links to see. Here’s a tidbit – 50% of appraisals have no or 1 messages.
Learn More About Collateral Underwriter’s Powerful Features and New Look

Do you have questions about using Collateral Underwriter® (CU™)? Register to attend the upcomingAsk the Expert webinar on September 27, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET. Additional webinars and eLearning courses are available on the CU web page.

Have you heard about CU’s easier-to-use design and layout coming later this year? Check out the preview. You can also view the new CU infographic for an overview of CU’s powerful features. CU gives you the feedback you need, when you need it, with a CU risk score, alerts, and messages provided real-time in the Uniform Collateral Data Portal® (UCDP®). For all the latest news and resources, visit the CU web page.

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Scheer Motion to Dismiss Coester vs Scheer Lawsuit

Excerpt: More CVMS Fraud and Coester’s Fraudulent Activities Revealed

Robert Scheer, former Coester Senior VP, has filed a motion to dismiss Coester vs. Scheer lawsuit. There are also whispers in the appraisal community that Brian Coester’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit against him was denied. Looks like Scheer vs. Coester lawsuit is going to trial. Scheer continues to reveal more dirt against Coester while appraisers continue to flood social media with comments, and sometimes with humorous reactions…

This article includes the motion to dismiss.

http://appraisersblogs.com/cvms-fraud-coester–scheer

Previous post on this topic: Coester Allegedly Engaged in Fraud Sued by Former Senior VP

http://appraisersblogs.com/Coester-VMS-lawsuit-fraud-forgery

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Dollhouse Real-Estate: Inside the Elite Market for Miniature Homes

Priced as high as hundreds of thousands of dollars, these elaborate dollhouses count sex therapist Ruth Westheimer and a member of Qatar’s royal family as collectors

Excerpt: This Victorian-style home features four bedrooms, one bathroom and ornate period details like a clawfoot bathtub, crystal chandeliers and mahogany fireplaces. It is currently on the market, fully furnished, for $149,000. Since the home is roughly 18 square feet, the price comes to about $8,278 per square foot.

http://www.mansionglobal.com/articles/39456-dollhouse-real-estate-inside-the-elite-market-for-miniature-homes

My comment: Thanks to Jonathan Miller for this Fun Link!!

Doll houses will never be the same for me ;>

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Coming in the October 2016 issue of Appraisal Today

How to get higher appraisal fees !!!

 Topics include:

  • Why AMC fees started going up last year.
  • Comparison of AMCs, direct lenders and non-lender fees. Why they are very different.
  • How to find out what AMCs are say they are paying and what appraisers are really getting.
  • Lots of fee negotiating tips

 Not just a lot of ranting. Practical advice on how to successfully make more money during this Boom that will not last forever.

To read the full article, plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today.

$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 plus 4 Special Reports, plus 2 Appraiser Marketing Books!!

To purchase the paid Appraisal Today newsletter go to

www.appraisaltoday.com/productsor call 800-839-0227.

 If you are a paid subscriber and did not get the September 2016 issue, emailed September 1, 2016, 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 ;>

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APPRAISERS IN THE NEWS. THE ARTICLES BELOW ARE ABOUT FEES, TURN TIMES, APPRAISER SHORTAGE, ETC. THEY WERE WRITTEN FOR LENDERS, REAL ESTATE AGENTS, HOME OWNERS, AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC. All allow comments, which can be very interesting!!

5 things to consider about higher appraisal fees and longer turn-times By Ryan Lundquist. Written for real estate agents and home owners

Excerpt: 4) Not Getting All the Money: A loan officer I spoke with was frustrated that his Borrowers were paying $550 for conventional appraisals and $750 for jumbo appraisals – and still experiencing longer turn-times. When he told me the Appraisal Management Company (AMC) he uses though, that’s where the problem comes in. This AMC regularly pays appraisers $350, which means they’re pocketing 40% of the fee the Borrower thinks is going to the appraiser. A few days ago on Facebook there was an appraiser who had an offer from an AMC to appraise a property for $850, but the AMC was charging the Borrower $1,385. Let’s remember appraisers are supposed to be paid “customary and reasonable” fees under Dodd-Frank, but a reasonable fee is what the appraiser gets – NOT what the Borrower pays.

My comments: Well written – for real estate agents and home owners, but has good explanations for everyone. (Ryan’s blog is primarily marketing for his appraisal business.) This article also discusses the decline in the number of appraisers in California, with data, but is relevant for many other states.

http://sacramentoappraisalblog.com/2016/09/20/5-things-to-consider-about-higher-appraisal-fees-and-longer-turn-times

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Appraiser Shortage? By Greg Stephens, SRA, MetroWest AMC

Reprinted from a June 2016 mortgage magazine. Written for lenders.

Excerpt: A topic very relevant to mortgage professionals has been receiving increasing attention lately-the question whether there is or is not a shortage of appraisers? Regulators, as well as market participants, have been weighing in, and depending upon who you talk to, the answers vary. The problem so far is that most of the discussion has been anecdotal.

What also needs to be included in stakeholder discussions on the topic is the status of future appraisers in the pipeline to replace the aging population of practicing appraisers.

To answer the question-not only whether there is a current shortage, but also if there is the potential for a shortage either in the near future (three to five years) or perhaps even longer, I conducted some in-depth research to glean as much factual information as possible.

My comments: This article has some good data on declines in number of trainees, problems with ASC data,lenders not allowing trainees to sign on their own, etc. Written for mortgage lender publication. Of course, it does not discuss low fees, scope creep, and treating appraisers “poorly” as a reason for the shortage of appraisers willing to work for many, or all, AMCs.

http://www.nationalmortgageprofessional.com/news/60306/appraisal-industry-update

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Need an appraisal right away? It may cost more than you’d expect. By Ken Harney. Written for the general public. Syndicated in national newspapers.

Excerpt: The problem is part work overload, part resentment over fees. In many markets, diminishing numbers of experienced appraisers are available – and willing – to handle requests for their work on tight timetables and at fees sometimes lower than they earned a decade or more ago.

The net result: The system is getting gummed up. …. A recent survey of agents by the National Association of Realtors found that appraisal problems were connected with 27 percent of delayed closings, up from 16 percent earlier this year.

In some cases, panicked lenders and management companies are offering appraisers fat bonuses and “rush fees” to meet deadlines. The extra charges can range from $200 to $1,000 or more, turning $500 appraisals into $1,200 or $1,500 expenses, which typically get paid by home buyers.

My comment: Harney has been a nationally syndicated real estate columnist for a long time.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/need-an-appraisal-right-away-it-may-cost-more-than-youd-expect/2016/09/12/5ce8fa98-790c-11e6-bd86-b7bbd53d2b5d_story.htm

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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 https://www.mba.org

Note: I publish a graph of this data every month in my printed newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to www.appraisaltoday.com/productsor send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 8AM to noon, Pacific time.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 21, 2016)

Mortgage applications decreased 7.3 percent from one week earlier,

according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 16, 2016. The prior week’s results included an adjustment for the Labor Day holiday

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 7.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 15 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 8 percent from the previous week to the lowest level since June 2016. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 7 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 15 percent compared with the previous week and was 3 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

 

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 63.1 percent of total applications from 62.9 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 4.4 percent of total applications.

 

The FHA share of total applications increased to 10.2 percent from 9.6 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 11.6 percent from 12.0 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.7 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to its highest level since June 2016, 3.70 percent, from 3.67 percent, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.36 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) increased to 3.69 percent from 3.64 percent, with points decreasing to 0.29 from 0.36 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.56 percent from 3.50 percent, with points decreasing to 0.23 from 0.27 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 2.99 percent from 2.97 percent, with points increasing to 0.35 from 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 2.96 percent from 2.87 percent, with points

decreasing to 0.26 from 0.37 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased 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.

9-15-16 Newz// Rush fees, Flying saucer homes, $1.1 billion home

A Map of the Last Remaining Flying Saucer Homes

All the 1960s Futuro Houses left in the world.

Just For Fun!! Take a break from writing up those darn appraisal reports ;>

Excerpt: The Futuro House, in all its space age retro splendor, is like a physical manifestation of 1960s optimism. Shaped like the Hollywood idea of a flying saucer, the Futuro is a plastic, prefabricated, portable vacation home built to easily adapt to any climate or terrain, from mountain slopes to the seaside. After enjoying a heyday in the late ’60s and early ’70s, the remaining Futuros are now scattered across all parts of the globe, from the Australian beaches to the mountains of Russia, like secluded relics of midcentury technoutopianism.

Very interesting!!

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/a-map-of-the-last-remaining-flying-saucer-homes

My comment: I love atlasobscura.com. The strange homes and buildings I include in these emails are just the tip of the iceberg!!!!

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What is your typical rush fee?

www.appraisalport.com poll.

 

My comment: Rush fees are another way to make more money during this boom time, to save for the downturn when AMC fees will drop.

The most critical appraisals are those for purchases, which can require rush fees to get appraisers to drop their regular refi business and do them.

I am hearing about widely varying AMC fee increases from around the country, depending on the local market supply of appraisers willing to work for AMCs I guess. Savvy AMC appraisers reply to low bids with an increased fee. After a few weeks, sometimes their fee is accepted. Local appraisers I know only work for a very few select AMCs, if any. But, when business slows way down, they take more AMC work. I also hear from appraisers in the same market with widely varying fees that they will accept.

What do I do? Rush fees stress me out too much as I am very backed up. I just put new appraisal requests in my queue, which is typically around 60 days. Sometimes I will do one faster if it is a special circumstance and/or a referral from a local real estate agent, but I don’t require a rush fee. When I used to do appraisals for purchases, I always gave them priority but never charged a rush fee. I am definitely in the minority!!

What do you think? Post your comments at https://wp.me/p7jsxG-Cl !!!

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The Most Expensive House In The World Could Sell For $1.1 Billion

Just For Fun!! Take a break from writing up those darn appraisal reports ;>

Excerpt: What can justify a $1.1 billion price tag for a house?

Before searching for the features behind the number, let’s clarify that in this case, “the house” is rather a large, opulent mansion on the French Côte d’Azur, set in a “small” privileged refuge between Nice and Monaco frequently described as the ‘billionaires’ playground.’

First, there’s the house itself, with the understated name Villa Les Cèdres-The Cedars-at the center of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, known in French as a “presqu’île,” or “almost island.”

The description of the magnificent property in the French press includes 10 bedrooms, a ballroom, concierge, a chapel, 50-meter swimming pool dug into the rocks, a winter garden and stables for 30 horses.

My comment: I could take a few months (or more) to do an appraisal for a trip to France to appraise this property… Or maybe just an open house tour ;>

Very interesting!!

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ceciliarodriguez/2016/08/20/at-1-1-billion-the-most-expensive-house-in-the-world-in-france-goes-to-market

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Beware of unknown desperate AMCs sending email solicitations

An appraiser I know, who only works for one AMC, received an email request from an AMC he had never heard of. He replied politely that he was not interested. He was added to their approved list and bombarded with requests for appraisals every day. It was a lot of hassle to get his name removed.

I seldom get any AMC appraisal requests by email or phone, or request to join their panel. I must be on a Do Not Call or Email List ;> I have been replying to emails saying I have never worked for an AMC. They are really getting desperate!! Now, I am thinking about not even replying.

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In the June 2016 issue of Appraisal Today

FHA attic inspection requirement 

Excerpt: Inspection Tips – Insulation and attic access by Doug Smith, SRA, AI-RRS

When blown in insulation is added, the installer will often add an extension or dam to the scuttle that makes it difficult to fully observe the full attic.

Formerly, attics had walkways which when blown in insulation is applied, these walkways were covered with insulation. If the scuttle is in a closet and closet shelves make it difficult to fully access the attic, the difficulty with attic must be reported and a photograph taken to demonstrate the difficulty with attic access.

However, if the access is blocked by personal possessions, it may be practical to enlist the help of the homeowner to make the attic or scuttle accessible. In the instant case of the underwriter stating that a full inspection is required, the underwriter is incorrect.

The appraiser must document why a full inspection was not performed when there is not an accessible attic. Suggested language might include: “A full attic inspection was not

performed as the subject property does not have a readily accessible attic and only has scuttle access.” Along with a photo of what can be seen from the scuttle, the appraiser might add that the appraiser completed a head and shoulders inspection of the attic.

Remember to check the block on page one of the form that the attic is accessed by a scuttle. If the property has a full attic, note if a full inspection was performed and comment how access was gained either by stairway or drop stair.

To read the full article, plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today.

 $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

plus 4 Special Reports, plus 2 Appraiser Marketing Books!!

 

To purchase the paid Appraisal Today newsletter go to

www.appraisaltoday.com/products or call 800-839-0227.

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Selling a $5 Million, Seven-Story Basket Is No Picnic

Its size, location, and fundamental basket-ness make it tough to sell, even at a steep discount

Thanks (again) to Jonathan Miller at http://www.millersamuel.com/housing-notes/

Excerpts: “You might see it three or four miles off before you come around the bend, and then you say, ‘That is a basket. That is unquestionably a basket,'” said Tom Rochon.

It is a basket, or rather, a seven-story office building shaped like one-a massive facsimile of the signature picnic basket made by the company once headquartered there. Some 40 miles outside Columbus, Ohio, the basket building, as it’s locally known, is one of the area’s grandest attractions, inviting quirky selfie-seekers, architecture nerds, and, of course, basket enthusiasts.

When the property – slightly larger than another Ohio landmark, Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-was listed 18 months ago, the asking price was $7.5 million. Now it’s on the market for $5 million, or about $28 a square foot, about half of what traditionally shaped office buildings in the area usually sell for… commercial property in the area typically ranges from $50 to $80 a square foot.

The basket was built for about $32 million and finished in 1997.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-07/selling-a-5-million-seven-story-basket-is-no-picnic

My comment: I regularly write about weird properties in my weekly emails, including the Basket House a few years ago. Finally we find out what it is (not) worth. Definitely an Appraisal Challenge!!

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Status Quo Bias: ‘Linear” Thinking in the Real Estate Industry

by Jonathan Miller

Excerpt: When we look at forecasting, planning, trending or anything that includes a look out over the future, I find the real estate industry (i.e. appraisers, real estate agents & brokers) generally thinks along linear lines.

For example:

When housing prices rise…they will rise forever.

When housing prices fall…they will fall forever.

When sales activity rises…they will rise for ever.

When inventory falls…it will fall forever.

When rental prices rise…they will rise forever.

…and so on.

Where does this status quo bias come from?

Click here for some more interesting comments..

http://www.millersamuel.com/status-quo-bias-linear-thinking-in-the-real-estate-industry/

My comment: Of course, I completely agree. It is very important if you work in a market like mine, where residential prices seem to go from stable to increasing and back overnight. I have no idea why. I go on the broker open house tour every week and see what agents are saying. For example, only 1 or 2 offers vs. 5-6 and longer days on market

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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 https://www.mba.org

Note: I publish a graph of this data every month in my printed newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to www.appraisaltoday.com/products or send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 8AM to noon, Pacific time.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 14, 2016

Mortgage applications increased 4.2 percent from one week earlier,

according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 9, 2016. This week’s results included an adjustment for the Labor Day holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 4.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 17 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 2 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 9 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 15 percent compared with the previous week and was 8 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 62.9 percent of total applications from 64.0 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 4.6 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 9.6 percent from 9.5 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 12.0 percent from 11.9 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.7 percent from 0.6 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 3.67 percent from 3.68 percent, with points decreasing to 0.36 from 0.37 (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 $417,000) decreased to 3.64 percent from 3.66 percent, with points increasing to 0.36 from 0.30 (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 3.50 percent from 3.52 percent, with points decreasing to 0.27 from 0.35 (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 increased to 2.97 percent from 2.96 percent, with points unchanged at 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs remained unchanged at 2.87 percent, with points increasing to 0.37 from 0.30 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased 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.

What is your typical rush appraisal fee?

My comment: Rush fees are another way to make more money during this boom time, to save for the downturn when AMC fees will drop.
The most critical appraisals are those for purchases, which can require rush fees to get appraisers to drop their regular refi business and do them.
I am hearing about widely varying AMC fee increases from around the country, depending on the local market supply of appraisers willing to work for AMCs I guess. Savvy AMC appraisers reply to low bids with an increased fee. After a few weeks, sometimes their fee is accepted. Local appraisers I know only work for a very few select AMCs, if any. But, when business slows way down, they take more AMC work. I also hear from appraisers in the same market with widely varying fees that they will accept.
What do I do? Rush fees stress me out too much as I am very backed up. I just put new appraisal requests in my queue, which is typically around 60 days. Sometimes I will do one faster if it is a special circumstance and/or a referral from a local real estate agent, but I don’t require a rush fee. When I used to do appraisals for purchases, I always gave them priority but never charged a rush fee. I am definitely in the minority!!
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9-8-16 Newz// Increasing fees, Flawed FEMA maps, Loan apps way up

How many appraisers are increasing their fees?

Poll: In the past year, have your standard fees for a typical non-complex assignment? www.appraisalport.com

 

 

 

 

My comment: Good news that the majority of responses were for increased fees. But, less than $50 annual increase is low. If you work for AMCs, your fees will drop when business slows down, assuming you are not getting very low fees now. If you don’t ask for higher fees now, or drop AMCs that insist on low fees, you are losing lots of money. I keep increasing my fees by $50 every 3-4 months and am still below other local appraisers’ fees. Remember, there is little or no AMC “loyalty” to appraisers. They will not remember you when business slows down and you really need work.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? POST YOUR COMMENTS AND READ OTHER COMMENTS AT www.appraisaltodayblog.com

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McMansion Hell in Roseville CA

Just for Fun!!

Excerpt: Nothing in this world is a better metaphor for what politicians and marketers like to call “The American Dream” than the Californian tract house. Imagine – you too, could have your own sloppily put together plot of land on a nice street lined with other sloppily put together plots of land.

But you, of course, want your sloppily put together plot of land to be different from the sloppily put together plots of land of your peers. Now, your houses may have been built at the same time with the same plan by the same builder, but damn are you not determined to find a way to stand out from the crowd.

Finally, after the nth hour of HGTV, it dawns on you: the windows.

http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/149807609446/roseville-ca

My comment: check out other interesting stuff on this web site. I didn’t even know there were any McMansions in Roseville!!

Read more!!

How many appraisers are increasing their fees?

Poll: In the past year, have your standard fees for a typical non-complex assignment?

www.appraisalport.com

My comment: Good news that the majority of responses were for increased fees. But, less than $50 annual increase is low. If you work for AMCs, your fees will drop when business slows down, assuming you are not getting very low fees now. If you don’t ask for higher fees now, or drop AMCs that insist on low fees, you are losing lots of money. I keep increasing my fees by $50 every 3-4 months and am still below other local appraisers’ fees. Remember, there is little or no AMC “loyalty” to appraisers. They will not remember you when business slows down and you really need work.
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8-25-16 Newz://What are C&R fees when fees are changing?, 8 colorful cities, Flooded appraiser donations

Donation Fundraising for Louisiana Appraisers

Thanks (again) to Dave Towne for this info!!

Excerpt:

The Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Coalition (LAREAC) has started a fund raising campaign using PayPal, which will be used to equally provide donated funds to affected appraisers who are suffering as a result of the massive flooding last weekend. PayPal is being used because its administrative fee is less than another more-well-known crowd funding web site.

There are approximately 8-10 presently known appraisers who have had their homes nearly destroyed in the flood.

http://appraisersblogs.com/donation-disaster-louisiana-appraisers

My comment: last week I wrote about donations to Bill Cobb, whose house was flooded. It is great that this donation method is done also.

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8 Colorful Cities that Look Like They Were Designed by Crayola

See the world in a whole new light through these vibrant locales.

Just for Fun!!!

Excerpt:

Many cities are known for their distinctive profiles and unique landmarks, but all across the globe there are regions that are landmarks in and of themselves thanks to their insane colorations. From a all-blue town in Spain that is a leftover from a Smurf marketing stunt, to a Venetian island that looks as though it was born of an intense acid trip, some of the most colorful locations in the world aren’t the biggest, just the most eye-popping. Check out eight cities and towns that offer vibrantly colorful views which are just as unforgettable as any big city skyline.

My comment: None are in the U.S. Too conservative I guess…

Great article with lots of photos and comments!!

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/8-colorful-cities-that-look-like-they-were-designed-by-crayola

Read more!!

What are Customary & Reasonable fees when residential fees are changing?

I don’t think that residential fees have ever gone up this quickly, both for non-AMCs and some AMCs. Keeping up on residential fees in my local market is tough. Of course, the “flip side” is that fees will go down when the boom is over, especially AMC fees.

Some consider VA fees as C&R, but they are increasing also in some areas.

Although some AMCs keep looking for appraisers who will do a quick turn time for a low fee, it is becoming more and more difficult as fewer appraisers are willing to do this.

I recently attended a CE class nearby that focused on AMCs, who said that there were big issues with turn times and fees from their lender clients. The September issue of the paid Appraisal Today will have an article on what was discussed at the class, “AMCs tell All to residential appraisers”.

Why were fees relatively stable for decades? Prior to HVCC, in my market, fees would gradually go up over time, increasing $25 to $50 when demand was very strong. Most fees were in a fairly narrow price range. We made money on the easy tract homes and lost money on the “tough ones”.

Why have fees gone up so dramatically? Appraisers are reporting turning down (or not responding to) 20-30 or more requests a day from AMCs. Residential appraisers had never competed much on lender fees prior to HVCC. I do commercial appraisals, where bidding has always been done. Fee ranges of $1,500 to $3,000 for the same property have never been unusual. The time and cost of bidding is included in the fee. Most AMCs have been using bidding as there was an oversupply of appraisers. When business is slow, they offer lower fees. Now that business is strong, they pay higher fees. Of course, there are still some appraisers doing them for low fees.

Appraisal Today Paid Newsletter

In some areas, AMCs are desperate for any appraisers at any fees to accept appraisals, especially for purchases. Particularly tough are markets where an AMC has one, or a few appraisers. NAR warned real estate agents not to try for 30 day closes.

How do AMCs handle the high fees? This depends on their lender agreements. TRID is a factor as loan officers usually set the fees, which are very difficult to change. Some lenders will allow AMCs to charge more for a specific appraisal. If not, the AMC has to pay the additional cost.

What about turn time? If a loan needs to close quickly, such as a purchase loan, some lenders are offering very high fees. Be careful taking them – be sure to see how difficult the appraisal will be before accepting as turn time is very critical. Also, you will doing less work for a regular “A list” clients.

6-30-16 Newz // Most dangerous roads-Fees going up-Brexit and mortgages

The most dangerous places to drive in the world

Take a break and check out these places…

Excerpt:

Driving can be dangerous, and every one of us who attempt to control those speeding steel boxes of ours will, at some time or another, experience a dangerous or life-threatening situation. But the truth is, despite the occasional error of judgement or climate, driving in the US is largely safe, and you will most likely get to your destination calm and in one piece (or just in one piece, because traffic, right?). The world, however, is not the US, or even western Europe. And as you will see, driving styles, laws, and road conditions vary so much, that what might be an everyday commute for a native of Afghanistan would be a death-defying (or outright death-inviting) thrill ride for a driver in the Land of the Free.

http://www.grunge.com/15503/dangerous-places-drive-world/

My comment: Guess I won’t complain (as much) about getting stuck between 2 giant big rigs on the freeway ;>

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Complaints about high appraisal fees and long turn times

RAISE YOUR FEES!!!

Appraisers Remain Under Siege – Jonathan Miller

(Scroll down the page past the second graph)

Excerpt:

Here is a series of feedback from Rob Chrisman in his must read newsletter on the mortgage industry. It is a heavily read source of in-the-trenches mortgage insights that I subscribe to. He gave me permission to share his recent content on the appraisal industry and will share more of it in the coming weeks. I inserted my thoughts following each quote:

“And appraisals are always a hot topic. I received this note from an originator. “Our appraisal environment is out of control. Appraisals we used to get in 1-2 weeks have quickly gone to 3-4 weeks. Appraisals that were just $400 are now $550 and sometimes up to $1,100 for FHA and conventional appraisals. With the rules regulating appraisers on how to become an appraiser and how appraisers have to monitor everything an apprentice appraiser does, it is causing our homebuyers hardship. With the appraiser’s current workloads and the amount of appraisers we have lost in recent years, there is no motivation to bring apprentices on (due to those regulations), leaving the current appraisers working night and day to keep up with their workloads. That is also causing them to keep moving up the appraisal fees (basically rush fees to keep pushing who can pay the most up the line).”

Miller’s comments

It’s called “market forces” and because the AMC movement has gutted the industry, there are much fewer competent appraisers left. And please lay off the “hardship” angle. It’s tired and worn out. Mortgage rates are at historic lows and with the Brexit they will likely stay that way for a while. As I have said before, there is not a shortage of appraisers, there is a shortage of appraisers willing to work for half the market rate.

Worth reading, especially for Jonathon’s comments. http://www.millersamuel.com/note/june-24-2016/?goal=0_69c077008e-ca10724b99-116855313

Link to Chrisman article – scroll down the page to “And appraisals are always a hot topic”

http://www.robchrisman.com/2016/06/11/june-11-letters-notes-on-password-protection-mechanics-liens-and-the-current-state-of-the-appraisal-business/

My comments

Why are complaints about appraiser fees and turn times increasing so much? Supply and Demand. AMCs and lenders not allowing trainees to sign on their own – no new appraisers. AMCs trained their appraisers to bid against each other. Now, they are getting payback.

The Appraisal Foundation is frantically trying to reduce requirements for appraiser licensing in response to the current appraiser shortage. But, the problem is that lenders will not allow trainees to sign on their own. There was no shortage in the last boom prior to 2008.

In all the previous boom periods, since lenders started using appraisers in the 1930s, the increase in volume was handled by hiring armies of trainees who left the profession when business slowed down. Prior to licensing, lenders did this. After licensing, fee appraisers did it. But, soon after 2008 lenders would not allow trainees to sign on their own, so there was no one to handle the increase in business.

When AMCs took over appraisal ordering, many experienced appraisers left the profession due to low fees, increasing lender requirements, hassles, etc. Some stayed, who had direct lender clients or were willing to work for AMCs.

The AMC fee model is a bidding system, with AMCs often looking for the lowest bid. Now, sometimes they spend days looking for an appraiser who will work for low fees. Some of us have finally adapted by significantly increasing our fees.

AMCs have trained us to bid against each other. Even when business is very strong, AMCs continue to try to get low fees. Finally, after 8 years of this, appraisers have realized that when there is a shortage of appraisers we can increase our fees. We finally learned about Supply and Demand. This never occurred before.

Many appraisers (and other business owners) have great difficulty turning down work, even with low fees. After years of telling appraisers to raise their fees, finally some appraisers are listening.

Read more!!

6-23-16 Newz:: San Francisco under water – Funny owner DIYs – C/R complaints

 In 100 Years, $77 Billion Worth Of San Francisco Property Could Be Underwater

Excerpts:

Around the city, more than 200,000 commercial and residential buildings-along with major infrastructure like the airport-are at risk from either temporary flooding or permanent loss due to sea level rise if the city does nothing to prepare. Even more dangerously, the risk extends well inland, and isn’t limited to property directly on the coast.

Armed with the new maps, San Francisco is currently creating a strategy to try to save as much property as possible. “It’s almost inevitable that, in the end, the plan will be a combination of multiple approaches,” says VanderMarck. “One approach in some areas will be to surrender to the fact that seas are rising-it’s impractical, either economically or for other reasons, to try to defend against that in certain areas.” In other places, the city may build higher walls or other defenses.

In the Ocean Beach neighborhood, for example, it’s likely that the city will reroute portions of the road that’s currently along the water, replacing some areas with open space, while also building up dunes and protecting some infrastructure like a wastewater tunnel. On Treasure Island, where the city is planning to build a new sustainable community, any new housing will be set back from the water, with parks along the edges-parks that very likely will be reclaimed by the bay.

My comment: FEMA is rezoning all the coastal properties in the U.S., including my small island city in San Francisco Bay. Of course, the big complaint was having to buy flood insurance for those who have mortgages….

Check out the full article and the very interesting graphics:

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3060770/in-100-years-77-billion-of-san-francisco-property-could-be-underwater

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Not C/R fees? File a complaint with the FDIC!!

Excerpt:

Here is what VaCAP received from an appraiser who reached out to the FDIC:

I just had a call from an extremely pleasant lady named Susan Welch from the FDIC Consumer Response Center (1-800-378-9581). I had sent a note over regarding an AMC attempting to get me to sign a “Base Fee Letter” agreeing to a drop of my base fee for full appraisals to $325 from $400-500. She said the FDIC is VERY interested in hearing from appraisers regarding AMCs paying low fees. As you know FDIC regulates the banks, who are responsible for third party oversight with AMCs they engage. FDIC wants Regulation Z to be followed and will enforce it for appraisers.

Incidentally I opted to have them proceed while keeping me anonymous, a la whistle blower status. Susan said she would be surprised if they had not investigated this within 90 days.

FDIC bank examiners will contact the bank involved and look at their procedures for engaging appraisers, look at fees appraisers are actually paid versus what is considered C&R based on things like the VA sheet and go from there.

Click here for more info plus read the comments:

http://appraisersblogs.com/low-amc-fees-fdic-appraisers-regulationz

Read more!!