Appraisal News and Business Tips

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2-15-18 Newz//Fannie Appraiser Webinar, Magical Appraiser Wand, Refis Dropping

The Magical Appraiser Wand

By George Dell
 
Excerpt: Can you just give me some magical software which will calculate my adjustments?

I get asked questions like this often. Can you just show me how to do a graph a client wants? Can you just give me your class stuff so I don’t have to come all that way? So often, the question degrades into something like “Why does the regression software give stupid answers?” I pushed the magic button!

People do not like the answer. You’re paid to do an analysis, not wave a magic wand, or push a magical appraisal button. We have another name for that, it’s called an AVM.   In addition to a point value prediction, AVMs can be tested for reliability. This is called the FSD (Forecast Standard Deviation). The AVM. It gets results. It’s fast. It’s cheap. And it provides a measure of reliability – the FSD.

Why would a client want something slower and more expensive with no measure of reliability? Why hire a pesky appraiser?

Click here for the answer!!

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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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12-14-17 Newz, Underground Digs, AirBnB values, FHA loan limits and PACE

Digging into our drive to tunnel, bore, and head underground.
Just For Fun!!
Excerpt: The deepest tunnelers among animals, crocodiles that can burrow 39 feet down, cannot compete with us at all. Humans have traveled, in the deepest mine in the world, almost 2.5 miles underground (to say nothing of our boreholes, which go nearly three times deeper). The longest and deepest traffic tunnel in the world, the Gotthard Base Tunnel, makes it possible to cross the Alps in 40 minutes or less. The world’s major cities are criss-crossed by tunnels carrying water, sewage, wires, and people. Montreal has an entire subterranean city for its residents to navigate in the cold winter.

My comment: Fascinating!! I have not appraised any properties with tunnels, but I have seen many (and traveled through some) over the years. Railroad and mass transit trains, abandoned tunnels to nowhere, underground parts of cities (mostly abandoned), old mining tunnels, etc. I have seen (and appraised) lots of basements though, some way below ground ;>

How much is Airbnb driving up home prices and rents

Excerpt: The researchers looked at rents and home prices in the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S. between 2012 and 2016. They found that a 10% increase in Airbnb listings leads to a 0.39% increase in rents and a 0.64% increase in house prices.

“That may sound minuscule, but between 2012 and 2016, rents rose by about 2.2% annually [on average in the 100 areas], so a 0.39% increase in that context isn’t very small at all,” says Dr. Edward Kung, an assistant professor of economics at the University of California Los Angeles and one of the study’s authors. The same is true for home prices, which rose by an average of about 4.8% annually in the 100 areas, he adds.

My comment:

Seems like Airbnb rentals are all over, such as my small city, not just in popular vacation spots. From an appraisal point of view, Airbnb rentals are tricky. More cities are regulating them. A lot more hassle than renting out an ADU for a year, for example. Tax issues for owners. To me, seems like it is business value rather than real estate value. Very confusing!!

Appraiserville from Jonathan Miller’s Housing Notes

Check out the topics below
– The Appraisal Industry Needs Better PR
No one knows what we do.
No one appreciates what we do.
– More on Tristar Bank in TN (you know, the one that shouldn’t be in the mortgage business)
– Loan origination graph 2006 to 2017
– The Next Appraisal Bombshell: Economic Growth Regulatory Reduction and Consumer Protection Act

Scroll down the page to Appraiserville, and maybe make a few stops along the way ;>

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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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11-2-17 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.

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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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9-21-17 Newz//Pivot- Not enough Appraisers To Too Many Appraisers, Appraising New Home In Old Neighborhood

How do we value a brand new house in an old neighborhood?

By Ryan Lundquist
Excerpt: Tip #5. The wrong one & modern homes: Just because something is brand new does not mean it’s going to fetch top dollar. If it’s the wrong type of house for the neighborhood, buyers might actually pay less for the property. It’s like when someone builds a plain earth-tone stucco tract home in a classic area with Tudors and Bungalows. Despite being new it might actually sell with a price discount if it doesn’t have any hint of era charm for the neighborhood. On the other hand there are modern homes popping up all over Sacramento (CA) and beyond that seem to defy this idea. These homes definitely don’t blend into the neighborhood at all in terms of design, but they’re still fetching high prices. Keep in mind though modern homes tend to carry wide appeal, so they are often able to break the mold of the neighborhood and still command a price premium because of their style. In short, modern homes are not vibeless tract homes, so it’s not really the same thing.
Click here to read the other 4 great tips plus some interesting comments!!

http://sacramentoappraisalblog.com/2017/07/26/how-do-we-value-a-brand-new-house-in-an-old-neighborhood/ 

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9-14-17 Newz:// No Appraisal Waivers, How Many Comps Are Enough?, Ugliest House

Google Street Views – First Big Update with Lots More Big Data!!

Excerpt: The car-top rig includes two cameras that capture still HD images looking out to either side of the vehicle. They’re there to feed clearer, closer shots of buildings and street signs into Google’s image recognition algorithms.
Those algorithms can pore over millions of signs and storefronts without getting tired. By hoovering up vast amounts of information visible on the world’s streets-signs, business names, perhaps even opening hours posted in the window of your corner deli-Google hopes to improve its already formidable digital mapping database
My comment: Fascinating article. Check it out. I use Street Views a lot, but sometimes the images are fuzzy and are hard to figure out. Looking forward to improvements, but on the minus side, more data available that field appraisers provides now.

36 Appraisal Organizations Send Letter to Party Leaders of House Committee on Financial Services and Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on “No Appraisal” Waivers

Excerpt: 36 industry groups are attempting to prevent the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSE’s) from issuing appraisal waivers by sending a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, and the House Financial Services Committee addressing its concerns. AI recommends the halt of the waivers until the GSEs can demonstrate that the proposed program does not harm the consumer, is properly monitored, and integrates proper safeguards to prevent fraud.
We are writing this letter to raise concern over the new appraisal waiver programs recently implemented by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the ” Government Sponsored Enterprises.”)  We believe these programs will create unnecessary and unacceptable risks for taxpayers and homeowners, and they come at a time when markets are at all-time highs – when risk mitigation should be tantamount. We ask you to call on the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to prevent the Enterprises from implementing the appraisal waiver programs until they can demonstrate the appraisal waiver program:

My comment: Worth reading. Read the names of all the organizations that sent the letter. I can’t remember when so many appraisal organizations agreed on anything!!

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9-7-17 Newz// Appraisers Helping Appraisers, SBA needs appraisers, It’s OK to Say No

Help Texas Appraisers Affected by Hurricane Harvey!

This fundraising campaign is co-sponsored by Mark Skapinetz (What’s It Worth Appraisal Services), Joe Mier (Joseph Mier & Associates), Lori Noble (The Noble Appraiser), Jonathan Miller (Miller Samuel Inc. Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants) and Phil Crawford (Voice of Appraisal).
As of 6pm 9/6/17 (West Coast time), at least two appraisers have donated the cost of an appraisal fee. 125 appraisers had contributed a total of $9,646 in the past 5 days.
If you have been affected by storms, you can apply to these folks to be considered to receive funding:
Mark Skapinetz:  wiwapp@gmail.com
Phil Crawford:  info@voiceofappraisal.com
Lori Noble:  lori@trpcg.com
Thanks to Dave Towne for these email addresses!
More info at:
Click here to donate
My comments: I prefer to give to people I know as it very satisfying. I started doing it 5-6 years ago. A former employee of mine became disabled and unable to work. I sent her $200 a month until she passed last year. A musician friend (my mentor), who is 82 years old, was trying to live on a small Social Security check. He sent me a Christmas card that mentioned some of his paintings for sale. I purchased a few for $400. Recently another musician friend in San Francisco was being evicted from his apartment after living there for over 25 years. I have been helping him send his records, CDs, etc. to friends around the country by using my UPS account.
I don’t know anyone personally affected by the Harvey disaster, but I contributed $100 as to help appraisers directly. I prefer to do this instead of donating to a charity. I also donate to charities, particularly local ones. I have my Amazon Smile account set up to automatically donate to the local Meals on Wheels. My living trust includes a large donation to my local NPR station, which I listen to every day.

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