Appraisal News and Business Tips

Appraisal Standards Board

7-12-18 Newz// 3 Story Homes, Auction Prices, Portable Architecture

The Most Popular Article From Last Week’s Newsletter: Former Appraiser’s Hot Dog Stand!! FYI, unusual and weird stuff is very popular with appraisers ;>

Three-story Single-family Homes and Townhomes

Excerpt: Of the 729,000 single-family detached homes started in 2017, a little over 18,000 (2.5 percent) had three or more stories, according to National Association of Home Builder tabulation of recently released Census data.

In contrast, the 23,000 3-plus story townhomes represent 22.0 percent of single-family townhome starts.

More info here:

My comment: 3 story detached homes are not popular in very many areas. It is a long walk up to the 3rd floor. I have appraised them (attic conversions of a classic older home to a master bedroom, for example). I always look to see if an elevator can be added – usually has to be on the exterior of the home. Definitely a functional problem. I rarely see them on existing homes, except for attic conversions. Some newer detached homes have a small room on the 3rd story – family room, extra bedroom, etc.

For townhomes, I have seen a significant increase in 3 story new construction townhomes in my city (within the past few years) and other Bay Area cities. The first floor is a garage plus entry, second floor living room and kitchen, bedrooms on 3rd floor. Very profitable for home builders, especially in areas with high land prices and infill tracts. I have appraised them and the owners did not object to the 3 floors. There are sometimes a few townhomes that are 2 story.

My first apartment when I moved to San Francisco in my 20s was a third floor walkup. I vowed Never Again ;>

Read more!!

4-19-18 Newz//Corelogic acquires a la mode, USPAP Q&A problems, Earth-Friendly Homes

Earth-Friendly Homes and Buildings for Earth Day, Sunday, April 22

Just For Fun!!

Click on the fotos of lots of ecofriendly buildings for more info. Fascinating, sometimes Weird, and Fun!!

A few: Mathematical Puzzle House, paper house, skyscrapers, Recycled Concrete Tube House, etc.

http://www.ecofriendlyhouses.net/ecofriendlyhouses.html

Appraisal Institute Requests Appraisal Standards Board to Rework Q&As

Excerpts: The Appraisal Institute in an April 13 letter to the Appraisal Standards Board formally requested changes to or the retraction of Q&A 2018-12, Employing an Extraordinary Assumption when a Client Provides Inspection Data and Q&A 2018-13, Appraisal Reporting – Certifications and Signatures.

The Appraisal Institute believes this advice is antiquated and out-of-step with appraisal practice and long-standing USPAP principles about not dictating the form, format or style of an appraisal report. Perhaps most concerning to AI is the apparent inclusion of additional requirements in this advice rather than in USPAP itself.

My comment: I completely agree with the AI’s issues with Q&A 2018-12 and -13. The certification issue has been around since USPAP required that the “previous 3 years” be included in the certification. The ASB needs to modify USPAP itself as I don’t think it addresses these current issues in appraising very well. Unfortunately, the new edition was effective 1/1/18. 2 years to wait.

Read more!!

2-22-18 Newz//ASB Meeting Live Streaming, McMansions, Risky Appraisal Alternatives

Who Ordered All the McMansions? 10 Cities Where They’re Piled Highest

Excerpt: You know them when you see them.

The imposing, ostentatious structures looming over surprisingly wee plots of land. The crazily mismatched architectural styles. The hipped roofs, gabled roofs, and pyramidal roofs-all on the same house! The bank columns. The front yard Romanesque fountains. The puzzling profusion of window sizes and types. The gigantic, two-story front doors.

Click here for more info and where there are lots of them:

https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/metros-with-most-mcmansions

Read more!!

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

Is the Appraisal Profession Dying?

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

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

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

Worth reading at:

Read more!!

12-21-17 Newz//: AMC appraisal fraud, Fannie Appraiser Update, CoStar vs Xceligent

The Three Most Fascinating Homes In 2017

Just For Fun!!

Very unusual… and two are very low priced ;>
You just gotta see this 2 minute FUNNY video!!
Death and Breakfast, House with Big Cave, and Very Old Historic House

https://www.realtor.com/videos/video-behold-the-most-fascinating-homes-of-the-year/db7fb804-6cd6-4556-887c-49410eb6d77a

The Appraisal Standards Board has issued new Q&As for December 2017, dated 12/19/17:

Note: personal property and M&E not included in the list below
– Communicating Assignment Results Without an Appraisal Report
– Workfile Requirements When Communicating Assignment Results
– Adding an Intended User
– Assignment Conditions versus Client Conditions
– Proposed Construction Employing an Extraordinary Assumption
– Proposed Construction Employing a Hypothetical Condition

https://appraisalfoundation.sharefile.com/app/#/share/view/seea70b822d24fa59?

Read more!!

1-19-17 Newz//Trump Mortgage Nation, Windy cities, Bob Hope’s UFO Home

Bob Hope’s UFO Home Sells for $13 Million

Excerpt: At long last, Bob Hope’s UFO house has sold for $13 million, after first being listed in early 2013 with a price tag of $50 million.  Having gone through a couple of price cuts over the last three years, the most recent cut lowered the ask to $25 million. But with no comps available, how does one actually price a concrete space ship?  Seems that when $25 million was thrown at the wall, $13 million stuck.

My comment: Tough appraisal including measuring and the listing history ;>

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Top 10 cities with homes most threatened by heavy winds
CoreLogic gives its Windy City index

Excerpt:

In its latest report, CoreLogic rated the top cities at risk of hazardous wind conditions in its Windy City Index. The ranking among the nation’s largest 279 metros incorporates both the number of wind events, measured at the city center plus a 10-mile radius, as well as the total force caused by any severe wind gusts of 60 mph or more.
“Wind can cause significant damage whether associated with an actual hurricane or not,” CoreLogic Product Manager Curtis McDonald said. “Wind speeds of 92 mph, even without a hurricane – as seen in Tallahassee – can be a significant threat to life and property.”
Two of the top 10 cities
10. Charleston, South Carolina
Number of wind events: 12
Max wind speed: 86 mph
4. Cincinnati, Ohio
Number of wind events: 16
Max wind speed: 79 mph

My comment: Wow!! I had no ideas these cities had high winds, especially those not in hurricane areas.

Read more!!

12-15-16 Newz// Unique Airports, Deregulation and Appraisers, Victorians Under $200k

Beautiful airports and Victorians under $200,000

Unique and Beautiful Airports Around the World

Architecture that redefines what it means to travel in style.

All I can say is WoW!! Take a break for a few minutes and look at these photos…

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/photos-of-the-worlds-most-unique-and-beautiful-airports

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Affordable homes from all over the country (Hint: No fixers)

Just scroll down the pages.

7 Victorians under $200,000 (No tiny homes)

http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/victorian-homes-under-200k/

8 homes under $100,000 (Hint: no fixers)

http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/black-friday-bargain-homes-under-100k/

My comment: Wow!! Those Victorians in my city would be way over $1,000,000 on lots under 5,000 sq.ft. !!!


Sadly, The Appraisal Institute is now working against its local chapters by Jonathan Miller, posted 12/9/16
Read more!!

9-29-16 Newz: UAD absolute vs. relative, Tilting skyscraper, History of screws

Not much interesting newz this week, so I’m sending some interesting links, sorta appraiser-related – use of “they”, cul-de sacs, street grids and the history of screws;>

Debunking the Cul-de-Sac
The design of America’s suburbs has actually made our streets more dangerous

Excerpt: Descend from 40,000 feet into just about any major metropolitan airport in the United States, and patterns of the trajectory of American life over the last century become clearly visible. Old urban cores are etched out in tight grids modeled off a sheet of graph paper. Further out, all those neat lines and right angles begin their curling meander into suburbia. Sparsely populated roads loop through the countryside in an odd geometry designed around the residential real estate dream of post-war America: a cul-de-sac for every family.

This is where it’s most apparent – from an airplane window – that American ideas about how to live and build communities have changed dramatically over time. For decades, families fled the dense urban grid for newer types of neighborhoods that felt safer, more private, even pastoral. Through their research, Garrick and colleague Wesley Marshall are now making the argument that we got it all wrong: We’ve really been designing communities that make us drive more, make us less safe, keep us disconnected from one another, and that may even make us less healthy.

http://www.citylab.com/design/2011/09/street-grids/124/

My comment: younger people are definitely not doing as much driving, and fewer are getting driver’s licenses, as in the past. I got my driver’s license at 15 ½ like everyone else. The baby boomers are getting older. Suburbia requires having a car. What if you don’t want to drive at night, or don’t want to drive much any more? As an appraiser I used to drive a lot. Now I just don’t want to drive for many hours a day. Of course, there is a lot of traffic now that the recession is behind us and everyone is driving again.

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The Linguistic Turf Wars Over the Singular ‘They’

It could be close to mainstream acceptance.

Excerpt: Of all the turf wars that have complicated the landscape of grammar over the past few hundred years, the most complicated and frustrating may be that of the singular they.

It may be the most controversial word use in the English language-because it highlights a hole where a better-fitting word should go.

It creates a conflict between writers and editors who want things to follow the natural symmetry of Latin, and people who find they the only logical option for referring to a single person without a gender attached.

My comment: Almost everyone who writes anything, including emails, comes across this issue. I do. I have started using they more often, but did not know it was a new trend.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-linguistic-turf-wars-over-the-singular-they

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The Screw Heads That Tried, But Failed, to Topple Phillips

The history of the screw is long and surprisingly weird.

Excerpt: The screw is the ultimate example of an object that hides under our noses but we never think about.

It’s the most basic of building blocks, something that connects every one of our devices, manufacturing processes, and likely even the chair you’re sitting in right now. (One device that doesn’t tend to have screws? The air mattress.)

And generally, we never give screws a second thought. But I was thinking about them a lot the other night when I tried to screw a nut around a screw and misaligned it so annoyingly that it took a lot of physical might to unscrew that screw.

Where do screws come from? And what did we do in a world before them? As it turns out, screws have a surprisingly diverse and unexpected history, stretching from ancient Greece to what we think of them as today, essential parts of our literal foundations. In ancient Greece, for example, it’s claimed Archytas of Tarentum invented an early version. Leonardo da Vinci also had one, and, later, of course, it was a key part of the Industrial Revolution.

My comment: Very Interesting, as Usual…

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-screw-heads-that-tried-but-failed-to-topple-phillip

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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. No one knows when the inevitable crash will come. My fees have gone way up.
  • Pro Camera 9 – a great photo app for appraisers – only $4.99!! by Wayne Pugh, MAI, SRA – I want it and Love the price…
  • USPAP 2017-2019 2nd Exposure Draft – what has changed? Comments due by October 14!! Tell the ASB what you think. Draft reports (again). They keep trying…. And extraordinary assumption and sales history plus some less interesting topics (to me)

An excerpt from Advisory Opinion 37, Computer Assisted Valuation Tools:

Q: An appraiser used a regression analysis model that suggests a relationship between the size of a residence and the price per square foot of similar residences in a specific market. This relationship has not been confirmed by the actions of market participants. Can the appraiser use the regression analysis as support for the GLA adjustment in the appraisal?

A: No, because the appraiser does not know how 1the regression analysis model works, has not independently tested the conclusions it provides, and has no reason to believe the database is reliable.

Another Q: An appraiser has purchased a software package that has multiple functions, such as market analysis, deriving adjustments for physical characteristics, automatically inputting information from the local MLS, and more.

He uses the program to develop an adjustment for an in-ground pool.

A. No… (They could have used “they” instead of “him”. See above on linguistics and using “they”.)

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UAD absolute vs relative

Another good commentary from Washington appraiser Dave Towne!!

Why is it so many appraisers have trouble with UAD and the CU (Collateral Underwriter), and how to apply the Quality and Condition rating between the Subject and Comps?

Not long after the UAD was implemented/mandated by FNMA (in 2011), and then the CU evaluation system came along, FNMA began discovering that many appraisers were improperly Rating the comps Quality and Condition AGAINST the Subject in the grid. And they began telling appraisers what they were finding. FNMA also discovered, and revealed, that many appraisers were using the same Comps over and over again in different reports, but were using DIFFERENT rating ‘numbers’ for those properties – depending on the Quality and Condition they applied to the SUBJECT.

Applying an ‘opinion’ of the difference for the Quality and Condition is not how we are supposed to do appraisals. Although many appraisers were taught to do that years ago by their mentors, who were also doing it wrong. Unfortunately, FNMA never really said much about it then….until the CU process started. So bad habits started, and were transferred from one appraiser to another, and down the line.

Everything on the grid pages is ABSOLUTE to those properties. The Address, the Site size, View, Design, Actual Age, GLA size, Garage & Carport spaces, etc. Everything. As I like to say – “It is what it is, where it is, when it is.”

Yet many appraisers still think the Rating for Quality and Condition for Comps should be applied Relative-to the Subject. Uh….NO! The Comps are rated what they are, based on the Quality and Condition Rating Definitions that apply with UAD. (And so is the Subject.)

Over the years, I’ve read countless laments by appraisers who say the ‘UAD definitions’ are hard to understand, and don’t have ‘steps’ between the numbers so appraisers can try to engineer precise differences in the ratings and resulting adjustments. That line of thinking is basically hogwash. (If you think you need to make more precise adjustments, you can do so on the extra grid lines…such as ‘Add’l Qual Adj.’ or the same for Cond.

Why do I believe this is so? Let me ask you who believe UAD definitions are so difficult: Before UAD came along, did you ever include definitions of the ‘rating words’ we used back in the dark ages – in your reports? That can be answered 100% no (except by some very elite appraisers). Another question: Where did those ‘rating words’ come from, and can you quickly pull out your reference guide to bring up the definitions for those?. Again, probably 100% no. Before you whine, send me your definitions of Average(+) and Excellent(-), for both Quality and Condition – that you used prior to UAD.

So now we have UAD and the basically easy to use and understand definitions. These, by the way, should be included in every appraisal report – all the software vendors have definition pages to add into reports. Not including these in reports means you have produced a report that is NOT CREDIBLE per USPAP because without those, the reader(s) won’t know what the rating numbers and other codes mean.

Be sure to check out the many comments at:

http://appraisersblogs.com/UAD-rating-absolute-vs-relative

My comment: I thought this had been figured out by most appraisers many years ago. But, change can be difficult, especially something you have been doing for many years .Of course, if you don’t do work requiring UAD, you can do what you have always done – relative. I love relative!!

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What Your Street Grid Reveals About Your City

The surprising ways size and shape can impact a place’s economic productivity and walkability.

Excerpts: New York, of course, is not the only city built on a grid. Similar schemes could be found as far back as ancient Greece and Rome. But Manhattan’s design was the exemplar for what became the default pattern of American cities.

Still, not all grids are created equal. Some shape a walking-friendly streetscape. Others, not so much. Over at the Strong Towns blog, Andrew Price, a software developer by day who blogs about urbanism, has been writing about the math of the grid and what it reveals about a city’s economic productivity and walkability.

My comment: Very interesting article on street grids: math, different layouts, what the patterns mean…

http://www.citylab.com/commute/2013/12/what-your-street-grid-reveals-about-your-city/7746/

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Nonbank Lenders’ Market Share is at a Two-Decade High. Here’s Why

Excerpt: Depositories still dominate home lending, but nondepositories’ market share is the highest it has been in at least two decades.

The nonbank share of total mortgage originations was 42% in 2014, according to an analysis of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data by ComplianceTech and its LendingPatterns.com tool. Just five years before that, in 2010, nonbanks held only a 27% market share.

One reason for this is that banks’ attraction to mortgages tends to be opportunistic.

“Banks have historically been very fickle about the mortgage lending market,” said Maurice Jordain-Earl, managing director and co-founder of ComplianceTech.

http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/news/origination/nonbank-lenders-market-share-is-at-a-two-decade-high-heres-why-1086192-1.html

My comment: Ever heard of Quicken Loans? My loan is with them. Lots of appraisers work for their AMC. For appraisers, this means fewer lenders that don’t use AMCs. The non-banks use AMCs.

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Another interesting article on non banks: Why Nonbank Lenders Are the Future of Mortgages

http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/news/voices/why-nonbank-lenders-are-the-future-of-mortgages-1072042-1.html

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In San Francisco, a Tilting Skyscraper and a Deepening Dispute

Excerpts:

SAN FRANCISCO – The developers of the luxurious Millennium Tower laid out the risks and potential defects of the 58-story building in minute detail when its apartments went on sale seven years ago.

The Milennium Tower, which its developers say is the largest reinforced concrete building in the western United States, has now sunk about 16 inches and is leaning six inches toward a neighboring skyscraper.

The color and texture of the marble and granite hallways “may not be completely uniform,” said a disclosure statement given to potential buyers. The streets below the tower could be “congested and noisy,” and the landscaping in the common areas could change, subject to availability of certain species of plants.

But the 21-page disclosure document left out what owners of units in the buildings now say was a crucial detail: that the building had already sunk more than eight inches into the soft soil by the time it was completed in 2009, much more than engineers had anticipated.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/23/us/san-francisco-millennium-tower-dispute.html

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I just finished my mortgage application volume graph from 1/13 to 9/16 for my paid newsletter. For the first time, it was close to the peak in early 2013 a few weeks ago. That’s why appraisers are so busy. But, why are there so many complaints about high fees and long turn times now? Is is just media hype? Or have more appraisers quit working for AMCs???

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 28, 2016) – – Mortgage applications decreased 0.7 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 23, 2016.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 2 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index remained unchanged from the previous week and was 10 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 62.7 percent of total applications from 63.1 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained unchanged at 4.4 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications remained unchanged at 10.2 percent from the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 11.9 percent from 11.6 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.6 percent 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) decreased to 3.66 percent from 3.70 percent, with points decreasing to 0.33 from 0.38 (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 3.69 percent, with points decreasing to 0.28 from 0.29 (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 3.52 percent from 3.56 percent, with points decreasing to 0.21 from 0.23 (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 2.95 percent from 2.99 percent, with points increasing to 0.38 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 5/1 ARMs decreased to 2.92 percent from 2.96 percent, with points increasing to 0.40 from 0.26 (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.

9-1-16 Newz:: Statistics humor, Abandoned islands, USPAP 2nd draft

Why Not to Trust Statistics – Humor

Statistics cartoons. Just for Fun!!

Mean, median, range, correlation, variance, correlation coefficient. Amazing what you can do with stats!!

Can’t describe it. Just click here for the cartoons.

https://mathwithbaddrawings.com/2016/07/13/why-not-to-trust-statistics/ Thanks to Joe Lynch for this great link!!

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The Incredible Ruins of 12 Abandoned Islands

Excerpt:

Of all the many places around the world that have been abandoned by their inhabitants and left to slump into obscurity and ruin, islands seem among the most unlikely. What’s not to love about an island? Yet there are dozens of isles scattered throughout the world’s oceans that have been deserted by their residents and left all but forgotten.

Frozen in time with nothing but a story to tell, many of these ghost islands have taken on an eerie and enticing second life in their desertion and disrepair. Here are 12 abandoned islands in the Atlas, each of which has a intriguing story behind its decline.

Good photos and comments. Just scroll down the page.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-incredible-ruins-of-12-abandoned-islands

My comment: I live on an island in San Francisco Bay. Definitely very different mentality than non-islanders. I hate leaving the island. For the past two years, almost all my appraisals have been here. When I travel, I always go to any nearby accessible islands..

Read more!!

8-4-16 Newz// Data verification, AMCs-percent of work, Drones

Collection and Verification of Residential Data in the Sales Comparison Approach

Appraisal Practices Board, Issued June 30, 2016, First Exposure Draft

Deadline for comments is August 12, 2016

The document includes examples for lender and non-lender work plus references to lender requirements. Extensive discussions on scope of work for different types of assignments, such as relocation, individuals, effect of zoning, estates, etc. as well as verification sources, etc. etc.

Excerpt:

Example 2 – Client: Conventional Lender Effective Date: January 20, 2015

After the four siblings receive a market value range of $139,000 to $155,000 from the appraiser, they compare this range to a $140,000 cash offer they received from a buyer who was willing to close in one week. The siblings accepted the offer because they were motivated to sell. This new buyer purchases the residence on January 15, 2015, for $140,000 cash and then decides to finance the residence with a conventional loan. In this instance, the client is the lender.

For this assignment, the lender has specific requirements regarding what data points to verify and with whom the appraiser should verity those data points. The lender also has guidelines such as the minimal number of comparable sales the appraisal will report, and a time frame within which those comparables sold. The appraiser accepted the lender’s specific requirements and produced credible assignment results within these parameters. The final opinion of market value was $150,000, with an estimated exposure time of six months.

Every client and assignment condition will have different requirements for how much sales data is collected and how that data is verified. This can include using different sources, using different levels of verification, and concentrating on the verification of different data points. The overall goal for verification is to verify data to a level that is necessary for credible assignment results, not to necessarily verify all data and certainly not to verify all data to the same level. Different levels of verification are acceptable based on assignment conditions, availability of data, and the relevance of each data point.

https://appraisalfoundation.sharefile.com/share?cmd=d&id=s58e5be211d044a79#/view/s58e5be211d044a79

My comment: Finally the APB has something useful and practical for residential appraisers!! Be sure to read and comment on this 52-page draft. Worthwhile reading. Very comprehensive on this important topic. Discusses lender issues, including CU. I have not read the entire document but plan on reading it very soon.

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How Dirt Houses Became Beloved By The Tiny House Movement

Meet the wondrous cob.

Excerpts: It’s likely that earthen homes were among the oldest structures ever built by humanity. There are a few different techniques and many names for a building made mostly of, well, dirt, but the one that’s caught on in this recent revival of the material comes from England: Cob.

See the photo of: Ancient cob high-rise buildings in Shibam, Yemen.

Very interesting and detailed with photos:

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-dirt-houses-became-beloved-by-the-tiny-house-movement

Read more!!

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