11 Secret Spaces Hiding in Famous Places
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 ;>
My comment: Wow!! I had no ideas these cities had high winds, especially those not in hurricane areas.
2016’s Best Small Cities in America
Small-city dwellers enjoy tighter networks, shorter commutes and an abundance of land, just to name a few advantages. Granted, there are tradeoffs such as perhaps fewer restaurant options or shorter business hours. But one of the best perks of living in a city with a relatively smaller population is cheaper cost of living – generally speaking, that is. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a two-parent, two-child family would need to earn $49,114 a year “to secure an adequate but modest living standard” in Morristown, Tenn., compared with $106,493 in Washington.
So which small cities outshine the rest? WalletHub’s analysts compared 1,268 cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 based on 30 key indicators of livability. They range from “housing costs” to “school-system quality” to “number of restaurants per capita.” Continue reading below for the winners of the top spots, expert commentary and a full description of our methodology.
My comment: Check your city – mine was listed!! But, did not rate high on cost of living with a median home price of around $800,000… But, you can see the mayor at the grocery store to complain about potholes ;>
Wells Fargo agrees to $50 million settlement over homeowner appraisal fees
Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) has agreed to pay $50 million to settle a racketeering lawsuit accusing it of overcharging hundreds of thousands of homeowners for appraisals ordered after they defaulted on their mortgage loans.
The proposed settlement, which requires court approval, was disclosed in a filing on Friday in an Oakland, California federal court. If approved, it will resolve nationwide claims that Wells Fargo charged much more than it paid for third-party appraisals, exploiting borrowers who could least afford it and driving them further into default.
The Coolest Empty Buildings in America
They’re weird, amazing, and available.
If you’ve got a few million bucks to play with, you’ll find that the country is littered with remarkable empty structures in various states of disrepair, just waiting for enterprising new owners with big dreams and deep pockets. Here are five of our current faves.
Here are a few:
Miami Marine Stadium: Miami, Florida
“Superman Building”: Providence, Rhode Island
Michigan Central Station: Detroit, Michigan
Fannie’s Property Inspection Waiver (no appraisal) effective 12/10/16 for all lenders
Notice dated 10/24/16. I suspected that this was where Fannie was going with UAD and CU. Refis only.. for now. $75 to waive the appraisal requirement. Fannie has been testing it for awhile with some lenders. You may see this referred to as “Day 1 Certainty”, the name Fannie has chosen.
Link to the 2 page fact sheet: https://www.fanniemae.com/content/fact_sheet/property-inspection-waiver-fact-sheet.pdf
Thanks to Dave Towne for this very interesting news!
My comment: I will have an article on this topic for my November newsletter, out November 1, including relevant details and what this means for you. Very interesting.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? POST YOUR COMMENTS AT www.appraisaltodayblog.com !!
Notice dated 10/24/16. I suspected that this was where Fannie was going with UAD and CU.
Refis only.. for now. $75 to waive the appraisal requirement.
Fannie has been testing it for quite awhile with some lenders. You may see this referred to as “Day 1 Certainty”, the name Fannie has chosen. They are also waiving reps and warranties (buy backs) so it will be very popular.
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.
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.
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.
Previous post on this topic: Coester Allegedly Engaged in Fraud Sued by Former Senior VP
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.
My comment: Thanks to Jonathan Miller for this Fun Link!!
Doll houses will never be the same for me ;>
Coming in the October 2016 issue of Appraisal Today
How to get higher appraisal fees !!!
- 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.
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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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org . 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.
Donation Fundraising for Louisiana Appraisers
Thanks (again) to Dave Towne for this info!!
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.
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.
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!!!
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!!
The history of urbanization, 3700 BC – 2000 AD
Watch as the world’s cities appear one-by-one over 6,000 years
Fascinating!! Take a break from appraising and check this out!!
By 2030, 75 percent of the world’s population is expected to be living in cities. Today, about 54 percent of us do. In 1960, only 34 percent of the world lived in cities.
Urbanization didn’t begin in the 1960’s. But until recently, tracking its history much further back than that was a challenging task. The most comprehensive collection of urban population data available, U.N. World urbanization prospects, goes back only to 1950. But thanks to a report released last week by a Yale-led team of researchers, it’s now possible to analyze the history of cities over a much longer time frame.
419.99 Mile Marker
Just For Fun
When zealous marijuana enthusiasts kept stealing the “Mile 420” highway marker, the State of Colorado got creative.
Another obscure factoid from atlasobscura.com ;>
Since the recreational use of marijuana was made legal in Colorado in 2012, the “Mile 420” post became a hot commodity. So hot, it kept disappearing – and the Colorado Department of Transportation got tired of replacing it.
Check out the photos (and try not to click on too many of the other weird stuff) at:
Refis skyrocketing per Zillow – Brexit
5 of the oldest homes in the country (listings) Video
Worth waiting for the commercial to end. Very short video. All were built before George Washington was born, back to the 16th century.
Professional attire for appraisers from Dave Towne, of course…
Recommended new attire to please all AMC’s who demand that ‘we’ dress professionally.
But this actually looks best with white shorts and silver edged flip flops!
The Most Insane Property Description Ever
Short descriptions, click here for some humor!! Reminds me of the times I am driving to the subject, hoping the house ahead is not the one I am appraising… Probably not the Most Insane, but definitely reality-based!!
These Neighborhood Amenities Can Kill Your Property Value
Excerpt: In real estate, the phrase “cash is king” is oft overused. However, if you’re struggling to sell a house in a bad ‘hood, then you already know that in reality, location is king. Purchasing a home in a great area, or an area that is up-and-coming, can help maximize the value of your home investment.
So what can tear your property value down faster than a tree through the roof? The following infographic from Realtor.com offers insight-and some will surprise you!
Link to original article:
My comment: Of course, the effect on value varies by location – cemeteries for example.