Appraisal News and Business Tips

Collateral Underwriter

8-25-16 Newz://What are C&R fees when fees are changing?, 8 colorful cities, Flooded appraiser donations

Donation Fundraising for Louisiana Appraisers

Thanks (again) to Dave Towne for this info!!

Excerpt:

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.

http://appraisersblogs.com/donation-disaster-louisiana-appraisers

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!!!

Excerpt:

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!!

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/8-colorful-cities-that-look-like-they-were-designed-by-crayola

Read more!!

7-15-16 Newz//CU Crumbles-Refi mania-Urbanization since 3700 BC

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.

http://metrocosm.com/history-of-cities/

——————————————

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:

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/41999-mile-marker

——————————-

Refis skyrocketing per Zillow – Brexit

Read more!!

5-19-16 Newz: Fannie CU 3.2 – Inflated appraisals – Professional attire

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.

http://www.realtor.com/videos/video-time-travel-through-five-of-the-oldest-homes-in-the-u-s-/17cbb54f-71b3-4170-a8af-17864c820fde?playlist_id=ec2ed8e8-16a1-46f8-a91e-c6753b0417e0

—————————-

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!


Read more!!

5-12-16 Newz .Geographic competency .Killing home values .Fair housing

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!!

http://www.thebrokeagent.com/blog-1/2016/4/the-most-insane-property-description-ever

——————————-

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:

http://blog.rismedia.com/2016/these-neighborhood-amenities-can-kill-your-property-value

My comment: Of course, the effect on value varies by location – cemeteries for example.

Read more!!

NEWZ// 2-4-16 – Adjustments-Unwanted mansions-Why homeowners don’t refi-Loan buybacks

 5 Reasons Homeowners are not Taking Advantage of Refi Opportunities

Excerpts:

Historically low mortgage rates have been circling the housing market for several years now. Low mortgage rates present opportunities for homeowners to refinance their homes, but recent data and analysis shows that they are not taking advantage of billions of dollars in savings.

Although the number of refinancers may appear to be large, it is actually down from over 7 million in April 2015. Black Knight reports that interest rates were under 3.7 percent during this time, and the 20-year rate was 3.96.

Black Knight Data & Analytics SVP Ben Graboske explained, “This population is diminishing, and as mortgage interest rates rise, it will only continue to shrink further.”

Here are the five:

Lower credit scores and income.

Hassle and upfront expense.

Not enough equity.

Inconsistent job history.

Lack of assets.  

Lots more info plus a link to the original study.

http://www.themreport.com/news/data/01-25-2016/5-reasons-homeowners-are-not-taking-advantage-of-refi-opportunities

My comment: interesting analysis plus a link to the nerdwallet full analysis. I have always wondered why so few people are not doing refis with rates still at historic lows.

——————————————

 CU Quick Guide Videos Now AvailableNew short videos (~4 min) show how to easily use the Collateral Underwriter® (CU™) web application to research common messages. Watch the Quick Guide Intro to the Comp Selection Message to see how to use CU to review appraisals with a material difference between the appraiser-provided and CU model-selected comparable sale rankings. The Quick Guide to Data Discrepancy Messages shows how to quickly view other appraiser observations when there is a discrepancy in reported data (either from what the appraiser previously reported or from what other appraisers have reported.) Want to learn how other lenders have leveraged CU? Review this new Housing Industry Forum article which details how lenders that maximize the use of CU have been able to make the underwriting process more efficient while improving appraisal quality and reducing appraisal-related loan defects.Additional CU live webinar dates are also now available:

CU User Interface Basic Training: Feb 10, 2016 from 2 – 3:30 p.m. ET

CU User Interface Advanced Training: Feb. 18, 2016 from 2 – 3:30 p.m. ET

Maximize your Appraisal Review Efficiency and Effectiveness with CU: Feb. 24, 2016 from 2 – 3 p.m. ET

For more information on CU visit the CU web page. 

My comment: see how CU works, from the lender side. 

——————————-

America’s Most Unwanted: The Neverland Ranch and Other Unsold $100 Million Mega-Mansions

Excerpt:

Michael Jackson’s $100 million Neverland-formally known as Sycamore Valley Ranch-is still stuck on the block.

Listed last May (sans the King of Pop’s amusement park), the 2,698-acre compound in Los Olivos showcases a 12,598-square-foot, French Normandy-style main house with six bedrooms and nine baths. Other structures include three separate guesthouses, a 5,500-square-foot movie theater with a stage, numerous barns, animal shelter facilities, and a maintenance shop.

Check them all out at:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kristintablang/2016/01/26/100-million-mega-mansions-for-sale-neverland-ranch-jeff-greene-rancho-san-carlos-palazzo-di-amore-le-palais-royal

My comment: if they ever do sell… very, very long exposure times!

===============================================

 

Adjustments – “Support” vs. “Proof, what should you do?

New in the FEBRUARY 2016 issue of the paid Appraisal Today

Adjustments Part 1 – Are you making too many adjustments? Lots of ideas, research, etc.

– Support vs. proof for adjustments by Bob Keith. A very good explanation of Scope Creep on adjustments. He is the former Executive Director 

of the Oregon State Appraisal Board and is a consultant for appraisers with state board complaints

Identifying Residential Architectural Styles by Mark Nadeau,SRA, Book review. Read my review to decide if you want to buy the book.                        

Two good, practical residential books, with very good tips on adjustments  Book reviews. 

The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal, 6th Edition – Read my review to decide if you want to buy this book. 

Cancel at any time. For any reason!!

$8.25 per month, $24.75 per quarter, $89 per year (credit card only),  

or $99 per year or $169 for two years (no credit card required) 

Subscribers get, FREE: past 18+ months of newsletters plus 4 Special Reports!!

If you are a paid subscriber and did not get the January 2016 issue, emailed Jan. 4, 2016, please send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com  requesting it and we will send it to you!! Or, hit the reply button. Be sure to put in a comment requesting it ;>

==============================================================

Fannie, Freddie Unveil New Appeals Process for Loan Repurchases

Excerpt:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac unveiled an appeals process Tuesday that will allow an independent arbitrator to resolve disputes between lenders and the government-sponsored enterprises over loan repurchase demands.

The new independent dispute resolution process, which was approved by the Federal Housing Finance Agency and endorsed by the Mortgage Bankers Association, is an effort to provide lenders more certainty that they won’t later face costly repurchase requests if a loan goes bad.

http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/news/secondary/fannie-freddie-unveil-new-appeals-process-for-loan-repurchases-1071121-1.html

My comment: Maybe lenders will be less paranoid about appraisals causing buybacks and cut back on Excessive Appraisal Requirements.

——————————

One-third of realty transactions are plagued by delays, some of them fatal By Ken Harney

Excerpt:

According to the study, of the 32 percent that experienced delays, 46 percent were triggered by “financing issues,” which is up from 40 percent during the first half of 2015. Appraisal-related problems caused 21 percent of the delays and home-inspection issues in 14 percent. Of the nearly 1 of every 16 (6 percent) of deals that turned into total disasters and fell through, home inspection and financing were the primary culprits. Sixteen percent went south because of the appraisal.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/one-third-of-realty-transactions-are-plagued-by-delays-some-of-them-fatal/2016/01/19/0d74d684-beb9-11e5-83d4-42e3bceea902_story.html 

My comment: maybe that’s why some AMCs are pressuring/asking for more when you “come in” under the sales price. Their clients, the lenders, don’t like deals falling through…

—————————————-

Study finds discrepancies between reported and actual home sales prices By Ken Harney

Are some realty agents hyping the pricing information on closed sales they report to their local multiple listing service, or MLS? And if so, should you care?

A first-of-its-kind study by appraisal and real estate experts suggests that maybe they are and maybe you should. Researchers compared closing documents – which are supposed to indicate the final price in sales transactions – with the prices that agents actually reported to their MLS and found that in nearly 1 of every 11 cases (8.75 percent) there were discrepancies. Overstatements of final price exceeded understatements by a ratio of nearly 3 to 1. In one case, the price reported to the MLS was 21.4 percent above the actual closing price.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/study-finds-discrepancies-between-reported-and-actual-sales-prices/2016/01/26/86d11660-c435-11e5-a4aa-f25866ba0dc6_story.html

My comment: And AMCs worry about discrepancies on public records and appraisers on GLA!! Another reason Big Data (CU) fails and needs appraiser input. 

———————————————————–

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 www.mbaa.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.htm  or send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 8AM to noon, Pacific time.

Mortgage applications decreased 2.6 percent from one week earlier 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 3, 2016) – Mortgage applications decreased 2.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 29, 2016.  The previous week’s results included an adjustment for the Martin Luther King holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.  On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 11 percent compared with the previous week.  The Refinance Index increased 0.3 percent from the previous week to its highest level since October 2015.  The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 7 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 11 percent compared with the previous week and was 17 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 59.2 percent of total applications from 59.0 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 5.9 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 12.9 percent from 12.7 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications remained unchanged from 11.1 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) decreased to its lowest level since October 2015, 3.97 percent, from 4.02 percent, with points increasing to 0.41 from  0.40 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.  This is the fourth straight weekly decrease for this rate.  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 its lowest level since April 2015,  3.84 percent, from 3.89 percent, with points increasing to 0.26 from 0.25 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.  This is the fourth straight weekly decrease for this rate.  The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.80 percent from 3.83 percent, with points decreasing to 0.35 from 0.38 (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 3.22 percent from 3.28 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.37 (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 3.00 percent from 3.09 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.  The effective rate decreased 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

 
To purchase the paid Appraisal Today newsletter  go to

www.appraisaltoday.com/products.htm  or call 800-839-0227. 

 

Fannie is tracking photos from appraisals

“(Bob) Murphy (Fannie Mae) does acknowledge that Fannie Mae is able to track photos in each appraisal, a practice many appraisers have long suspected, which means that Fannie Mae is able to detect when appraisers reuse comparable photos in different appraisals and flag appraisals which contain outdated photos as deficient.”

My comment: I have been hearing for awhile about appraisers who use the same smoke alarm photo in all their appraisals. Be careful out there. Fannie is watching!!

Appraisal Today newsletter

What are the most frequent adjustments that appraisers make?

Source: Corelogic

Excerpts:
Using a national sample of approximately 1.3 million appraisal reports between 2012 and 2015, new analysis from CoreLogic shows which home features are being adjusted the most frequently, as well as which are being adjusted for the most money, thereby having the greatest impact on appraisal values.
So what is being adjusted and how often? CoreLogic analysis reveals that some type of adjustment was made on 99.8 percent of appraisal reports reviewed. Figure 1 shows the various features adjusted on appraisal reports in relation to how often that adjustment was made, as well as the financial impact, or value influence, it had on the appraisal report.
Differences in Living Area was the most adjusted feature at 96.4 percent. Other features that were adjusted on 50 percent or more of appraisal reports were Room, Car Storage, Porch and Deck, Overall Condition and Site Area. It is significant to point out that the frequency of an adjustment is indirectly correlated to the financial impact, as four of the top five most adjusted features resulted in relatively low average dollar adjustments. For example, Room adjustments were very common at 70.4 percent but had minimal value influence, recording an appraisal adjustment of only $2,246 on average. Conversely, a Quality Rating adjustment had the highest value influence, with an average adjustment of $14,748, but accounted for only 18.7 percent of all adjustments.
Although the adjustment features that result in the highest value adjustment levels (Condition, Quality and Location) are harder to quantify, appraisers are professionals who can do this and adjust their reports appropriately to reflect the most precise appraisal for the home.
My comment: Interesting results. The actual dollar amounts don’t mean much as they are aggregated from all over the country. But, the frequency of adjustments and their relative amounts are worth checking out. What I see is that too many adjustments are being made for items that don’t affect value much and are hard to support. Savvy appraisers are not making adjustments for items such as porches and deck. Many are putting 0 in the grid to indicate that no adjustment is needed. Some appraisers only make adjustments for market conditions and GLA. Other differences, such as condition and location, are considered in the reconciliation. For example, if the subject has superior condition as compared to the comps, a value on the higher end of the range of adjusted comps is selected.
Fannie is focusing on adjustments in the new CU 3.0. They have been focusing on Q and C ratings. I will be writing about what all this means in the November, 2015 issue of the paid Appraisal Today.
Click here to see the adjustments graph and full article. Very interesting and worth checking out.

Appraisal Today newsletter

It’s Not a Comp, It’s a Sale – Lies, Damn Lies…and FNMA 'statistics'

Another “good one” by Dave Towne, Washington appraiser and commentator

Something’s been gnawing at my craw ever since January when FNMA’s wonderful CU was unleased to the world.  And before that, which still continues, is the AQM process they still use to judge the work of appraisers.

No one else has written about this, or even mentioned it, so I will: It has to do with the word “Comp” which is used liberally by FNMA.

What exactly is a “Comp?”

In FNMA’s world, it’s any property that they obtain, either by their vast AVM process which examines millions of property transactions, or properties that have been extracted from appraisal reports submitted by appraisers……..yes, your work.  In their fuzzy logic, it’s a “Comp” considered for your report if they say it is.  It is not!

A true “Comp” is a property viewed and/or analyzed by a real living, breathing, mirror fogging appraiser who compares that sold property against the subject property in terms of multiple features, characteristics and amenities.  It is not determined by an AVM or algorithm within the vast bowels of FNMA.  Until the property has such analysis done by an appraiser, it is merely a SALE……it is not a “Comp.”

This FNMA lie really became evident to me on 4/20/15 when FNMA released a news release about how CU has been integrated into their on-line Desktop Underwriter software mortgage lenders use, which you can read here:  http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/about-us/media/corporate-news/2015/6239.html?p=Media&s=News+Releases&from=RSS

Within that news release is this quotation from a VP at a mortgage lender:  “The collateral information that CU provides is invaluable and simply staggering,” said Breck Tyler, Executive Vice President, Trustmark Mortgage Services. “CU has aided in providing important comparable data that was previously unavailable or very difficult to get. CU messages in DU will help streamline appraisal review and make the underwriting of an appraisal a much more informed process.”

Then, FNMA released info directed to Correspondent Lenders who intend to use the CU process in UCDP, but don’t intend to sell the loan to FNMA:  https://www.fanniemae.com/content/fact_sheet/collateral-underwriter-non-seller-implementation-guide.pdf

That has this statement:  “Fannie Mae does not instruct or suggest to lenders that they ask appraisers to address all or any of the up to 20 comparables that are provided by CU for most appraisals.”

I want to repeat what I said above…in case you missed the point:  A PROPERTY IS NOT A “COMP” UNLESS YOU DETERMINE IT IS AND INCLUDE IT IN AN APPRAISAL REPORT.  Otherwise it’s just a ‘sale.’

If you’re an appraiser who liberally uses the word “Comp” in place of a ‘property sale’ I would ask that you be more careful.  If you receive info from a lender, AMC or anyone else who asks you to look at the “Comp” they have provided, correct them and use the words “sale property” until you have determined that it truly is a “Comp.”

I’m also asking members of appraisal organizations and associations to communicate your concern about this lie perpetrated by FNMA directly with them, and ask FNMA to change the word “Comp” used in their CU Reports, news releases, instructional materials, etc. to ‘Property Sales’ so that there is no misunderstanding about the significance of this issue.

If organizations and associations won’t do that on behalf of appraisers, then we might as well kiss the profession of residential real property appraising goodbye. Because if a list of ‘sales’ are considered “Comps” then an actual human appraiser won’t be needed to provide supportable property analysis and market value reports.

Dave Towne
dtowne@towneappraisals.com

www.towneappraisals.com
Mount Vernon, WA

My comment: I have been aware of the difference between a sale and a “comp” for a very long time. I try not to mix them up. It is very important when communicating with lenders and real estate agents, who should already know the difference. I am glad that Dave Towne points out this very big difference.

I have not found it to be an issue with non-lender clients, where I use “comparable sales” which is a much clearer term to use, since few are familiar with the term “comp”.

Appraisal Today newsletter

Newz Flash: Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter Hacked!!!

A disgruntled man who lost his home to foreclosure did it!! The CU system is completely shut down. No details were available on when, or if, it will be fixed. The un-named man was not available for comment as he is reportedly hiding out in a remote cabin in the woods in a very rural upper Michigan or Canadian location.

He, his wife, and 4 children are now living in a Tiny House on his brother in law’s rural property in Michigan. They lost their suburban 4 bedroom home they had owned for over 20 years to foreclosure. The family has an outhouse, a hand pumped well and wood heat. A small solar power array is used for a computer and Internet connection with a few hours of electricity daily.

Who is in an uproar about this? 

– Not appraisers who don’t like a system that evaluates their appraisals but they don’t know the criteria.
– Not underwriters who are required to learn a new system and do manual reviews of appraisals before sending warnings to appraisers.
– Not loan officers whose deals are taking longer to close. Not borrowers who have to wait longer to get their loans approved.
– Not law enforcement, who don’t think he is a terrorist or a nut holed up with a lot of guns.

FYI, it is April 1 today. You know what that means ;>

Appraisal Today newsletter

Statistics and Appraisal Data

The key to any statistical analysis is DATA, DATA, DATA!!

Single family real estate data is not very reliable or consistent, and not enough is available in many areas, as we all know.

CU is the most significant attempt to get more useful data by requiring appraisers do use specific coding and criteria. However, real estate is local, local, local. Even the number of bedrooms varies a lot as there are different criteria for determining what is a bedroom, even in the same city. Three appraisers measuring the same house will probably not have the same square footage, as I learned doing relocation appraisals.

With CU, this is becoming more obvious as there are sometimes wide variations in how appraisers code factors. For example, why do condition ratings vary? How accurate is MLS? Is public records accurate? What is the best source?

Now that regression software is popular with appraisers for getting adjustments, I have been thinking about why it is often not very reliable. To understand even simple regression requires knowledge.

My first statistics class was in 1963. The first time I used multiple regression was in graduate business school in 1979, when I did a mini-thesis on factors in REIT stock volatility using SPSS.I used a remote university mainframe that kept blowing up and erasing my data. There were no data issues. Doing multiple regression analysis on real estate housing data was not possible. Way too much lack of usable data.

Since I started my Appraisal Today newsletter in 1992, I have been writing about AVMs. The less data that is available, the less reliable the value.

As we all know, AVMs work well in a conforming home in a large tract of similar homes, built in the past 10 years. After that, the accuracy and reliability goes down fast. Just check what Zillow’s Zestimate against your appraised value.

Appraisal Today newsletter