Appraisals – Check the Water Source!

Excerpt: We continue to see claims alleging that the rural property appraiser failed to adequately identify or report details surrounding a water source. In one claim, the appraiser correctly noted that the property was serviced by a “private water well.” It was later discovered that the well was not located on the property which was appraised. Unfortunately, the well was actually located on an adjacent lot that, at one time, was part of the subject lot prior to the lots being subdivided.

My comments: An appraiser lost a lawsuit because he said the vacant parcel had public water access. It did not even though many lots nearby were developed. Nearby, I noticed a large water tank. It was shared by four nearby homes. This was not in a rural area. I worked for 4 years in rural areas. Water access was critical. If there was no access, trucks had to bring the water.

Appraisers – check the water source!

10-12-17 Newz//FHA-Appraisers responsible for water quality reporting?, Hybrid appraisal survey)

Appraisal Business Tips 

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My Comments on Market Changes

My inbox is flooded with news emails about opinions on what is happening now and forecasts for the future. (Most of the information in these newsletters comes from emails. I am on many email lists.) It looks like the change is starting because of increasing mortgage interest rates. I have included some of the articles below.

Fannie and Freddie have long said that they want appraisers to tell them about their markets. Include graphs and charts in your appraisal to show your clients what is happening now and why they need human appraisers.  

It is extremely important for appraisers now to closely track changes in your local markets at least once every day and tell your lender clients about it. When will it affect your market? No one knows if there will be foreclosures or when they will start. The number of potential buyers will decrease as rates go up in many markets.

Segments may be very different from the overall stats. A few examples:

  • Different price ranges – first-time homebuyers, high end
  • New homes – what is happening?
  • Detached vs. townhomes and stacked condos.
  • All cash and investors
  • How many offers
  • No inspections or appraisals?

COMPS ARE THE PAST. YOU MUST KNOW YOUR MARKET TRENDS. TRACK AND GRAPH THE NUMBER OF LISTINGS VS. PENDINGS AND EXPIREDS, DAYS ON THE MARKET, PRICE CHANGES, ETC. 

Today is NOT the same as 2008+, with its massive fraudulent loans made to unqualified buyers. Computer modeling did not predict the 2008 crash. Many were in denial that it was coming and refused to listen to appraisers. We have never seen a pandemic real estate market before. Did anyone think in early 2020 that home values all over the country would go off the charts? No one did. Appraisers wrote up long disclaimers about how they did not know the effects. Some still include them in their appraisal reports today.

Watch the excellent 4-minute video with Mark Zandi, “There’s a comeuppance coming in the housing market”. It discusses how today is different from 2008 and what is happening today. Before becoming the chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, he was a real estate economist. I listened to him for many years about real estate economics. He is very savvy. I agree with what he says about real estate. I am unsure about inflation. To watch the video, click here

I have been writing about these upcoming changes in these newsletters for a while now. Ryan Lundquist writes about this almost every week. He has lots more details and examples of graphs that can help you see what is happening in your market. www.sacramentoappraisalblog.com He writes for the Sacramento, CA market but what he writes is relevant for other markets also.

Two days ago the Fed raised rates by 0.75%. Recession? Lower inflation? Real estate market?

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Appraisers – The Past and The Future

Appraisers – The Past and The Future

The Path that Brought Us Here

by Richard Hagar, SRA

Excerpts: A wise man by the name of Jim Irish, former chief appraiser for the Federal Reserve Bank out of Topeka, Kansas, once told me something very profound: “The government is rarely proactive but always reactive.” Translation: laws, rules, and guidelines are usually developed after a problem smacks us upside the head. Since hearing this, I have found that it also applies to large enterprises.

Appraisers continued to tell lenders that they drove by each of the comparables used in the report. Years later, when lenders, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, and the VA spot-checked reports, they found out that the condition or location of many comparables didn’t match what was reported. So, the reactive response was to require the appraiser to affirm, under penalty of perjury (which stands to this day), and provide original photographs of each comparable.

Failure to inspect triggered client engagement letters stating the absolute requirement to personally inspect each of the comparables, provide original photographs, and create a system that inspects the photographs and can tell when a photograph is used twice or sourced from the MLS or county—clients know who’s lying to them and fees are lower because of it.

To read more, click here

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Prepare for Change

by Richard Hagar, SRA

Excerpts: In my career, I’ve been through four major changes in the market and our business, so what’s about to happen isn’t my first rodeo. I’m going to point out some things that will make a few people angry. However, I’m trying to help by pointing out how you can become better and profit from the change.

Waivers

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac allow “appraisal waivers” (loans where no appraisal is required), and in the past, waivers were limited to fewer than 5% of the loans they purchased from lenders. However, their waivers have increased to 48% of their loan purchases over the past year. Imagine that 48% of the loans no longer require an inspection or appraisal.

Prior to 2022, Fannie Mae’s UAD system reviewed approximately 20,000 appraisals a day produced by approximately 40,000 appraisers. This indicates that appraisers were providing one appraisal every other day. Now, consider that waivers reduce the rate to an appraisal once every 4 days. Ouch.

To read more, click here

My comments: I have known Richard Hagar for a long time. He can sometimes be negative or even harsh but has good ideas

The future of residential appraising(Opens in a new browser tab)

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Appraisal Comps in Lopsided Markets

Different colorful shapes wooden blocks on beige background, flat lay. Geometric shapes in different colors, top view. Concept of creative, logical thinking or problem solving.

Choosing comps in a lopsided market

By Ryan Lundquist
Excerpt: QUESTION: With so many listings receiving offers above list, and people having to pay the shortfall between the appraised value and the contract price, how do appraisers look at comps? If a property sold at $580,000, but it actually appraised for $547,000, and the buyer paid the difference, which number do you use? $580,000 or $547,000?
ANSWER: Here are a few things on my mind.
1) Weigh the comps:
In any market (not just today), we have to weigh the comps. Or another way to say it is, we have to appraise the comps so to speak. What I mean is if something clearly sells for too much, it’s reasonable to give that property less weight in our analysis. Likewise, if a property sells for too little, we might also give less weight to that sale. Granted, selling for too little isn’t as common lately, but in past markets we regularly considered whether short sales or bank-owned sales sold below market value.
2) One sale doesn’t make or break the market:
It’s important to note one sale doesn’t make or break the market. This means one lofty “lone ranger” sale doesn’t all of a sudden mean the rest of the market will go to that level. This would be like saying that record-breaking $7M sale in Shingle Springs from August will pull the rest of the market up. Nah, I don’t think so. Or Zillow buying a house for $40,000 more than the comps will cause the rest of the market to rise. Nope. If one sale closes at $580,000, but the rest of the market is below $550,000, we won’t arbitrarily accept $580,000 as the new neighborhood price threshold. The same would hold true if a different house sold at $450,000. This one “low ranger” (sorry) won’t automatically drag the rest of the market down.
To read more plus lots of comments, click here
My comment: Some good comments and tips for this crazee market!!

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Three 2022 Residential Appraisal Forecasts

Three 2022 Residential Appraisal Forecasts

The 20 appraisal events that will surface, occur or continue on into 2022
By Tim Andersen, MAI
Excerpt of three of the Events:
6. So far, appraisers have not organized themselves to fight the bogus bias and discrimination charges against them. Despite the need for such pugilistic organization, however, the status quo won’t change.
9. More and more state appraisal and taxing authorities will recognize Fannie Mae’s move to use the ANSI measurement standards by adopting those standards themselves. While this is likely a positive step, it will result in another level of regulation and standards imposed on appraisers.
10. State appraisal boards will continue their migration toward becoming consumer advocacy agencies; thus, their migration away from their original purpose, the credentialing, educating, and disciplining of real estate appraisers.
Warning: some are very controversial!
To read all 20, click here. I posted this on my blog, so you can make comments!

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Appraisal Errors from Reviewers and State Boards

25 Common Errors in Appraisal Reports

Excerpts: As a real estate appraiser, much of your success relies on your reputation as a competent professional. Unfortunately, certain appraisal violations are quite common—including errors in appraisal reports. Make sure you’re aware of these mistakes so that you can avoid them. Here’s a compilation of the most common errors and deficiencies found in appraisal reports by reviewers, regulators, and appraisal boards.
  • Not stating the report option utilized.
  • Not providing enough analysis for the intended user or reader to understand the report properly.
  • Inconsistencies between the description of the subject property in the improvements section and the photographs, sketch, sales comparison grid, and other areas in the report.
  • Inappropriate use of boilerplate commentary in the appraisal report to describe the neighborhood or to explain the reconciliation of the sales comparison approach.
  • Failure to summarize the support and rationale that supports the highest and best use opinion.
  • Not complying with the most current USPAP.
  • Failure to explain the exclusion of the cost and or income approaches.
To read more, click here
My comments: This was originally published by McKissock in 2019 and updated in 2020. We can always use these reminders. We know them, but sometimes forget to do them, update templates, boilerplate, etc.

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How Do Driveways Affect Appraised Value?

What’s The Size of Your Driveway?

By Jamie Owen
Excerpt: It really depends on how the appraiser is looking at it. Are they reporting the width of the driveway, the depth, or how many cars can fit on the driveway?
Most appraisers reflect the width of the driveway. Why? For one thing, many lenders prefer the driveway size to be reported this way. This is likely because it is less subjective. For instance, if the appraiser reports the driveway size based upon the number of cars that can fit on it, what kind of automobile are they using for their measurement? After all, a driveway may be able to accommodate a larger number of smaller cars than bigger ones.
Does it affect value? As is the case with nearly every aspect of a home, the answer is, it depends.
For instance, in high-density neighborhoods where street parking is limited, the size of the driveway could make a difference in value. On the other hand, in other high-density neighborhoods, many homeowners may use public transportation. If this is the norm for the neighborhood, the size of the driveway may not have any impact on value.
To read more and see fun animated gif, click here
My comments: Worth reading. Lots of topics are covered. Check out the fun animated gifs, etc.
In San Francisco, for example, off-street parking is at a premium in many neighborhoods. My brother bought a house 25 years ago with no off-street parking (primarily single family homes). I warned him, but he really wanted the house. It was a hassle then, but now, it is very difficult to find parking as many neighbors rent rooms to tenants with cars.
A significant issue with ADUs is where will the car(s) park? Will they take up the neighbors’ on-street parking?
I moved to San Francisco in 1968 and worked in a lab 20 miles away. The closest parking was 2-3 long blocks away when I got home from work. I moved from Tulsa, OK, where there was lots of parking everywhere. I never lived in a place without off-street parking again!
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Humor for Appraisers

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How to Respond to a Reconsideration of Value for Appraisers

How to Respond to a Reconsideration of Value (ROV) Request

By McKissock
Excerpts: While the ROV process is an appeal process, it is not to be used for changing the value or altering other assignment results simply because someone is dissatisfied with the outcome. Similar to performing an appraisal assignment, your role as an appraiser is to respond impartially, objectively, and without bias to an ROV request.
When you receive a reconsideration of value request, there are proven ways to handle these requests, adhere to USPAP and applicable regulatory requirements, and preserve a rock-solid relationship with your client. Best practice is to respond in a professional manner, remain positive, respond accurately and timely, and always operate ethically.
Twelve tips for responding to an ROV request. Here are the first five:
1. Confidentiality
2. Pause before responding
3. Meet deadlines, if attainable
4. Take the ROV seriously
5. Start with a positive
To read about all the tips, click here
My comment: Comprehensive with good tips. Well written. Read this if you do ROVs.
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2-16-17 Newz .Land surveys in 1784 .Common appraisal errors

The First Appraisal – About 3,200 Years Ago

Appraisal Business Tips 

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Market Decline Coming for Appraisals?

Is There a Market Correction on Its Way? 

by Steven W. Vehmeier

Excerpt: When will the market correction arrive?

I have no idea, but there will be warning signs, and that’s what this blog article is about. Fluctuations in market activity are common, but unseasonal and ongoing changes of any of the signs listed below can often be red flags. Additional indicators can be some of the factors that led up to the last market bust; there are plenty of articles online with which to familiarize yourself.

What will be the early signs?

Some early warning signs of housing market correction are:

A) Listing inventory in MLS starts to climb steadily. Increasing inventory is generally a sign that buyers have stopped buying (due to prices being too high or a lack of consumer confidence), or there are just fewer ready, willing, and able buyers in the marketplace.

B) Days on Market for listings increase. This event is usually linked to item (A) above.

C) Listing prices begin to stabilize, and reductions in listing prices become more common, which is a sign the market is becoming saturated…

So many appraisers missed the early signs in the last boom’s bust that resulted in claims (valid or not) of over-valuations followed by lawsuits, E&O insurance claims, and regulatory disciplinary actions. Maybe this time, we should pay closer attention to the indicators…

To read lots more tips, click here

My comments: Most Excellent list of what to look for. Very comprehensive. I have been appraising during many up and down cycles in Northern California, starting in the late 1970s at 2%+ per month, followed by a crash in 1980 when interest rates went up to 15%+. Those were the days when lenders told appraisers not to make time adjustments!! Even though we don’t like the 1004mc, it forced lenders and appraisers to look at price changes.

No one knows when the increasing market peaks, but there are signs of a decline, listed in the blog post above. I sold my house in March 2008 and did not anticipate the market crash a few months later. I was very lucky. There had been some modest price declines for about 6 months previously.

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Location, Location, Location In Appraisals

What’s Location Got to Do with It?

By Steven W. Vehmeier

Excerpts: We’ve all heard the old mantra that real estate is all about “location, location, location.” A perfect example of the importance of location in appraising can be found in The Villages in central Florida.

The development called “The Villages” has seventy-eight communities, each called a “village,” ranging in size from 100 to around 1,500 homes in each. In total, there are somewhere around 140,000 residents, and the home prices in these individual villages range from the low one-hundred thousand up to a couple million. In some cases, villages located near and/or adjacent to each other can vary significantly in price….

An appraiser not familiar with The Villages could easily over-or under-value a property by mixing villages. For example, let’s say the subject is a 3-bedroom, 2-bath, 2,000 square foot home with a two-car garage on a typical sized lot. It would not be hard to find hundreds of homes with similar physical characteristics nearby; however, some might be located in the “wrong” village…

Can we apply this “village” concept to other areas? Are there typically many villages or neighborhoods in and around most major cities? Do the same principles apply in comparable selection and resultant values? Of course, they do!

To read more, click here

My comments: Very interesting “case study.” Tim Andersen soon will have two articles on neighborhoods and what USPAP says in Appraisal Today monthly newsletters.

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Why is the Appraisal Under Sales Price?

Top Ways to Defend Your Work When the Appraised Value Comes in Under Sales Price

Excerpt: As a real estate appraiser, you’ve likely encountered assignments in which the purchase price is not supported by the available comps. So, what are the best ways to address complaints and requests in these situations? To find out, we (McKissock) asked appraisers, “What’s your top tip for defending your work when the appraised value comes in under sales price?” Here’s what they said…
How to prevent and prepare for complaints and requests
Many survey respondents emphasized the importance of making sure your work is as detailed and well-supported as possible—by means of careful comparable selection and analysis, thorough documentation, and clear explanation of why the available comps do not support the contract price…
To read more, click here
My comments: Lots of good ideas. Worth reading

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