Appraising Luxury Homes

What Are the Top Luxury Markets in North America Right Now?

Excerpts: Where are the hottest high-end real estate markets? Whether you’re looking to specialize in luxury home appraisals or you’re simply reading up on the latest market trends, you may want to pay attention to areas where luxury homes are in high demand.

According to the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing’s February 2024 report¹, the single-family luxury home segment is showing promising signs of growth. Both inventory levels and new listings increased significantly in recent months, leading to an 18 percent increase in sales and a 1.6 percent increase in the median sold price. Even more telling, contract signings for homes priced at $1 million or more have increased by 11 percent over last year, and demand remains high among affluent buyers.

According to the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing’s February 2024 report¹, the single-family luxury home segment is showing promising signs of growth. Both inventory levels and new listings increased significantly in recent months, leading to an 18 percent increase in sales and a 1.6 percent increase in the median sold price. Even more telling, contract signings for homes priced at $1 million or more have increased by 11 percent over last year, and demand remains high among affluent buyers.

Top list of luxury home markets in 2024. You may be surprised!

To read more, Click Here

My comments: In this newsletter, I always know what are hot topics. Constant Contact gives me the number of clicks. Most popular is usually Claudia’s advice at the top of every email. Also popular are large luxury homes with a photo.

I have been thinking for a while about including appraising luxury homes, since my subscribers like to read about them. Maybe a possible specialization? There were not many where I worked, so I did not specialized in them But, I see my area, East Bay California is listed now! The median home price in the Bay Area is around $1,300,000.

Check out the list of areas in the article to see if any are close to you.

Lenders have always had special, very small lists of appraisers who can appraise these homes. I assume the AMCs have these types of lists. Some may not have them. You definitely must get a higher fee for them.

I know several appraisers who have been doing them in my area for a long time. To do them, it is best to work in an area with many luxury homes. You need to network with the brokers that sell them.

The post above is also a promo for McKissock’s Certified Luxury Home Appraiser Program. 14 hours of CE for $650. I have not taken it, but I don’t know of many other types of diversification with a certificate. Might be interesting even if you don’t know if you want to do them.

CubiCasa – Home Measurement From Inside A House

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How to Find Comps With Few Sales

The challenge of pulling comps in 2024

By Ryan Lundquist

February 14, 2024

Excerpts: Pulling comps in 2024 is tough. Think about it this way. If we have 40% fewer sales happening, that means there are 40% fewer comps. Yikes. Let’s talk about this. I also have some market recap visuals to unpack what’s been happening in 2024 so far.

GO BACK FURTHER IN TIME:

One of the things I’m doing more often today is looking at older comps in the immediate neighborhood. I find myself scouring 2021 onward especially. The truth is there are portions of 2021 and 2022 where prices are exactly the same as today too, so if I use an older comp, I don’t always need to adjust for the way the market has changed. But backing up, I can look at older stuff for the sake of research, but this doesn’t mean I’ll use a super old comp in a report. In short, it’s not enough today to go back 90-180 days because there just aren’t enough data points in so many cases…

WATCH THE MEDIAN TREND

The median price for the region doesn’t translate rigidly to neighborhoods, so be careful about saying stuff like, “The median is up 3% this year, so neighborhood prices are up 3%.” Maybe. Maybe not. Look to the comps most of all. In my experience, some people get really upset when I share median trends because the sentiment is the median isn’t a perfect metric (true)…

EXPAND TO OTHER NEIGHBORHOODS:

Looking up other nearby neighborhoods is something I’ve done much more of lately since sales volume has plummeted. The ideal is to compare areas with similar prices, but even if the price point is a bit different, it can be valuable to see what is happening in a different nearby neighborhood. I may or may not use comps from a different neighborhood. I’m just trying to understand what the market is doing…

To read more and see the graphs with excellent illustrations, Click Here

My comments: Very good tips from Ryan. Market conditions is the easiest adjustment to make. This is my first choice for any unusual homes without current data in any market. I quit making dollar adjustments on form appraisals many years ago, but I always do market conditions adjustments when needed. I appraise a lot of 2-4 units and regularly go to other neighborhoods for comps.

I have been doing this for many years. I do a lot of estate appraisals, which are not current value.

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2024 Updated UAD and URAR – What does It Mean for You?

2024 Updated UAD and URAR – What does It Mean for You?
The Appraisal World Is Changing

January 25, 2024

Excerpts: There has been a lot of talk about the Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) and Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (URAR) redesign initiative, and how it will make life easier for appraisers. What exactly does this mean? In this post, we’re providing an overview of the UAD and URAR, what’s changing, and what benefits these changes will bring.

How will these UAD and URAR changes be beneficial?

A redesigned, dynamic URAR will replace the numerous and separate appraisal forms and can be used for different property types, such as two-to-four units, condominiums, and manufactured homes, and for different scopes of work, such as interior and exterior inspections, updates, and completion assignments.

The new URAR will be better organized and populated based on the property type and characteristics.

The standardized data in the new UAD will allow appraisers to better define the property (outbuildings, additional units, site influences, energy efficient and green features, etc.).

Concerns that require attention will be easily identified in each section of the report instead of being buried in an addendum.

Photographs will be included in relevant sections to make descriptions easier for appraisers and enhance reader understanding.

To read more, Click Here

My comments: A brief summary of the coming changes. See below for more timeline information.

———————-

Freddie – Updated UAD and Forms Redesign Timeline

The Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) and Forms Redesign team has released an updated timeline. The overall timeline has not changed; however, we wanted to provide the industry with more milestone details to help in development, testing and training to prepare for the new UAD and Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (URAR).

To see the timeline (from 2018 to 2026) PDF, Click Here

Too large to include in this newsletter.

To go to the Freddie UAD page (mostly technical) Click Here

To go to the Fannie UAD page, Click Here

——————–

A few comments from Dave Towne:

My concern at this point is ‘training’ materials will be available in Q4 2024, but actual implementation of the ‘new reporting process’ won’t begin until Q3 2025 with limited production, into 2026.

As someone who’s potentially interested in ‘training’ appraisers on the new process, it seems to me that providing training in Q2 2025 would be more appropriate than 6 months before. But we’ll have to see how things progress as this time-line gets more firmed up.

To read the recent appraisersblogs.com post with new comments from Dave plus other appraiser comments, Click Here

My comments: No date changes, but more information on the timeline. Maybe there will be some appraisers left to do full appraisals…

The UAD and Appraisers – Past, Present, and Future

5-24-18 Newz//UAD and Fannie Form Changes. Floating Island. Refis dropping

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New 2024 USPAP Q&As

New USPAP Q&As

January 16, 2024, the Appraisal Standards Board released new Questions and Answers covering important topics in the profession today including:

Demographics

Does demographic information relating to race (such as Census data) constitute “information relating to” a protected characteristic?

Artificial Intelligence

Question:

What is an appraiser’s USPAP obligations when using artificial intelligence (AI) in an appraisal assignment?

Personal Inspection

I recently completed an appraisal on a residential dwelling for Lender A that sells loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the report was completed on a GSE form. Lender A decided not to grant the loan and the borrower then engaged Lender B to obtain financing. Lender B engaged me to perform a new appraisal assignment on the same property. Lender B indicated there wasno need for me to re-inspect the home, since my previous inspection date was only a few days earlier.

To read these new Q&As Click Here.

My comments: AI and demographics are “hot topics” now. I am glad the ASB is explaining them.

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USPAP Myths for Appraisers

Five USPAP Myths Dispelled in 2024 USPAP

By Daniel A. Bradley, SRA, CDEI, McKissock Learning

On May 5, 2023, the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) voted to adopt changes to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), which will become effective January 1, 2024. These represent the first changes to USPAP in four years. Many of the changes will not have a significant impact on the way appraisers practice but are nevertheless important for public trust.

Appraisers and the public have traditionally held several misconceptions about USPAP, and these changes should help to dispel some of those myths. There are five myths and misconceptions that are addressed in the changes to the 2024 USPAP.

  • Myth 1: USPAP Allows Discrimination as Long as the Appraiser’s Conclusions are Supported
  • Myth 2: The Removal of the Definition of Misleading from USPAP Reduces Liability for Appraisers
  • Myth 3: An Inspection of the Subject Property by a Third Party is the Equivalent of a Personal Inspection by an Appraiser
  • Myth 4: Appraisers are not Required to Analyze Prior Non-Sale Transfers of the Subject Property
  • Myth 5: The USPAP Update Course Cycle is the Same as the USPAP Publication Cycle

To read more, Click Here

My comments: It’s worth reading, especially if you do residential lender appraisals. Lender issues are a significant factor in USPAP and Myths 1 to 4. I suppose it is because most appraisals are done (now) for residential lending purposes. Many thanks to Dan Bradley for writing about the 2024 USPAP changes.

2024 USPAP For Appraisers

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Lenders Not Using AMCs for Appraisals

Lenders Not Using AMCs for Appraisals

By: McKissock June 23, 2023

Excerpts: Some appraisers seek alternate ways to find work outside of appraisal management companies (AMCs). One strategy is to pursue opportunities to be engaged directly by financial institutions and banks by being included on their fee panel. To help you get started, we asked our appraisal community, “What advice can you offer on how to identify financial institutions and banks that engage appraisers directly, without involving AMCs?” Here’s what they said.

Below are helpful tips on how to find financial institutions and banks that engage appraisers directly on fee panels. In a nutshell, our survey respondents recommended that you should:

  • Look for small, local banks and lenders.
  • Network to build relationships.
  • Join the Mercury Network.
  • Simply ask around!

To read more, click here

My comments: Short and worth reading. When I started fee appraising in 1986, my first client was a small local bank with a few nearby branches. After AMCs took over, the bank continued to do their own appraisal management. Their volume went up and down with mortgage rates, but they always had some appraisals to fee out. Even today, their regular fee appraisers get some work.

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What Do Appraisers Look For in a Sales Contract?

What Do Appraisers Look For in a Sales Contract?

Why must an appraiser be given a copy of the sales contract? First and foremost, Standards Rule 1-5 in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) states that we are to: “analyze all agreements of sale.” That’s the real reason why—because USPAP says so.

Secondly, the appraiser is likely familiar with the local real estate contract forms, customary terms, and conditions of real estate transactions in the area, and might be able to identify irregularities and comment on them.

Thirdly, and more importantly, there may be provisions in the contract that identify concessions, non-real property items included in the sale, or other unusual conditions that would give the appraiser the opportunity to comment on or explain in the appraisal report as to why there is a difference between the indicated market value of the subject property and the contract price.

To read many practical tips, click here

My comments: Worth reading. Answers a lot of appraiser questions. Of course, I have always preferred not knowing the sales price as it seems like a conflict for an objective, unbiased appraisal.

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The Power of Praise for Appraisers and Clients 3-24-23

The Power of Praise

By Rachel Massey, SRA, AI-RRS, CDEI

Excerpts: …I received a really nice compliment from a reviewer with the Farm Credit Bureau. I had completed a complex appraisal assignment and was expecting multiple revision requests, but instead, got a note saying how thorough my appraisal report was and thanking me for the work. A couple days later, I got a call from a relocation company reviewer on another mind-boggling relocation assignment. Again, I was expecting multiple questions about the report since it was complex and atypical for the area. Instead this reviewer proceeded to tell me that it was one of the most detailed and well-developed reports he had seen in all his years reviewing relocation work. Boy I wish I had that one in writing!

Granted, I tend to be a bit verbose because I like to write, and I believe that it is important that my work be understandable, and not just now but in the future. I tend to put a similar amount of effort into the communication side for all clients, and like to think that my work product is solid. This begs the question of why two reviewers went out of their way to compliment my work, when it seems that almost every mortgage assignment that I complete for a production group, comes back with stipulations.

Stipulations that I forgot to add a listing which was a requirement of the engagement agreement (yes, I missed that) or that I didn’t put a sketch of an unfinished basement in the report (yes, I missed that as well). No words of thank you for an otherwise job well done. I missed something, fix it.

To read more, click here

My comments: Rachel is one of my favorite appraisal authors. She has seen all sides of the residential appraisal profession. Rachel has shifted between lender staff appraiser and reviewer and fee appraisals. Currently, she is a reviewer for a large lender. You could send a link to this article to a Very Picky or Very Supportive reviewer.>

Why Appraisers Love Appraising!

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Appraiser Gets Subpoena – What to Do 3-17-23

Appraiser Gets Subpoena – What to Do

Excerpts: As an appraiser, you don’t have to be sued or be facing a lawsuit to find yourself on the receiving end of a subpoena—staring down a lawyer who is peppering you with questions.

Appraisers are often subpoenaed in legal disputes involving third parties, usually being tied to the dispute for no other reason than having appraised a property involved in the dispute. If the appraiser is not a party to the lawsuit, then typically they are being subpoenaed for documents and/or being called as an expert witness, sometimes without pay, to testify regarding a past appraisal.

First, subpoenas are court orders and you must not ignore the subpoena or you will find yourself in contempt of court. Tim Andersen, MAI, MSc, USPAP instructor and CEO of TheAppraisersAdvocate.com, says that if an appraiser doesn’t want to comply with a subpoena they can try to fight it, but that requires hiring a lawyer, which can be costly and has its own challenges. “One approach is to protest the subpoena to the judge indicating that your records are private, and requesting that your records be treated as confidential and not be made part of the public record. The judge, however, will do whatever s/he chooses to do,” reports Andersen.

To read more, click here

My comments: This is an excellent article on this topic. Read it to find out the issues. If you lost this link later, when you need help, Google “Dealing with a Subpoena Workingre”. This is specifically for appraisers. If you find other links online, they are not as useful.

I have never been served with a subpoena, but this is a regular topic among appraisers. I get calls occasionally from appraisers about this.

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How to Reduce Appraisal Revision Requests

How to Reduce Appraisal Revision Requests

By Clear Capital November 14, 2022

Excerpts:

To cut down on appraisal revision requests, it is important to keep these best practices in mind:

Communicate in a timely manner

Address the request thoroughly and professionally. Add additional commentary where appropriate.

Ask questions. If you disagree with the request for appraisal submissions or have concerns or need clarification, please reach out for clarification.

1. Explain ‘How’, not ‘Why’ in the appraisal report

The most common frustrations arise when the appraiser focuses more on the type of adjustments made while the reader would look for the ‘how’ in the appraisal report. For example, if a positive or negative adjustment was applied in the report, the reader wants to know how the adjustment was determined.

“How did you determine that the subject comparable was inferior or superior in condition? Don’t leave the ‘how’ part out while applying adjustments. Be sure to address those questions; it will certainly help you in the long run.” says Ken Folven, Senior Director, Appraisal Quality Assurance at Clear Capital

2. Reduce lengthy commentary

In some cases, appraisers provide lengthy boilerplate commentary in an attempt to avoid a revision request. This strategy often backfires because parties involved in the lending process cannot find the specific information they are looking for in the report. Inconsistent commentary can result in common requests for revision.

Prior to submission, read the letter of engagement in detail, which highlights the customer-specific information, and make sure to include all required information in your report. Organize your commentary and explain your comparable selection process briefly.

“I always recommend organizing commentary by adjustment rather than by comparable and make it a habit to review the pre-delivery rules,” says Khan.

Derek Mitchell, a California-based Senior Appraiser at Clear Capital, has a different approach: “I use a lot of characteristic-based comments as opposed to comparable-based comments because it cuts down on the amount of writing that I have to do and the amount of reading the reviewer has to do,” Mitchell says. “It tends to get redundant when you’re just talking about different comparables but the same characteristics.”

In addition, staying up-to-date with Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and GSE guidelines and industry requirements also goes a long way in drafting error-free reports that would otherwise create unnecessary revision requests.

To read more, click here

My comments: Good practical tips. We all hate revisions unless maybe it was because we forgot to put the value in. I did this sometimes in appraisals for a local bank ;> Your clients hate them also. They take appraisers too much time and can sometimes make you very upset, which interrupts your workflow.

What Causes Appraisal Revisions?

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