7-24-20 Newz: Difficult Clients – ANSI sq.ft. Standards Changing – 10 Private Islands

Advice for Working with Difficult Clients

Excerpt: Even if the bulk of your appraisals are fairly cut and dried, and require minimal interaction with a human client, any appraiser will occasionally have to work with a difficult client. The assignment might require you to work with a specialty property that is hard to appraise, or with a client who is personally disagreeable, or exceptionally exacting, or who has an agenda that you don’t understand or can’t go along with. Here are some tips for working with difficult clients. Three of the topics:

– Working with AMCs and banks: Time management

– Working with non-lenders: Expectations management

– Deal with complaints immediately

To read the tips, click here

My comment: Some great, practical tips!! Maybe I will try some of them instead of Firing clients, my most popular option ;>

My motto: Appraising would be great except for the darn clients!!

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Will Big Data Put Appraisers Out of Business?

By Dustin Harris

Although Zillow (and other similar companies) keep their algorithms proprietary, they do give us enough information that we can get a pretty good idea as to where the data comes from. For example, according to Zillow’s own website, “we use public and user-provided data for house attributes, and some areas report more data than others.”

As an appraiser for over two decades, I see a blaring problem here. Very few areas have accurate public information for size, quality, condition, and other important features of houses. As you know, these are features that can dramatically affect an accurate value. This is especially true in non-disclosure states where I work such as Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah. As for user-provided data? This is information coming from places like the home owner themselves. Nothing biased there. If Zillow depends on good data to provide good estimates, the phrase “garbage in – garbage out” comes to mind.

To read more, click here

My comment: Real estate data is overall poor, except for a maybe conforming newer subdivisions. No standardization for public records. MLS data provided by real estate agents. Most data not standardized. That means human appraisers will be needed.

Read more!!

7-17-20 Newz: Basement Rooms in GLA? – Toilet House – COVID Humor

What’s your favorite part of the appraisal process?

Excerpt:

Number 1. Data collection and property description (38%)

“The best part is the property review. I enjoy seeing what people have done to their properties and talking to them about their homes.”

“I enjoy viewing/observing the subject home.”

“Detective work”

“Each dwelling is different, and not every appraiser takes the time to clarify the differences in the dwellings. The quality, the construction, the egresses, and especially the correct way to calculate GLA or measure a dwelling.”

Number 2. Data analysis (27%)…

To read more about favorites, click here

My comment: I love working in the field, so my choice is Number 1. But, my very best choice is getting paid ;>

Read more!!

6-10-20 Newz: Another New Fannie Update; Suburban Definition?

How to Tell If You Live in the Suburbs

Excerpts: The U.S. hasn’t had a formal definition for what constitutes a suburb. A new data analysis comes closer to defining America’s most popular neighborhood type.

The United States is a land of suburbs, with just one problem: No one’s quite clear what a “suburb” is.

It’s a question of semantics with real-world implications, as government programs, political campaigns and developers try to spend money in the “suburbs,” where a majority of Americans say they live despite the category having no formal definition.

For some people, it’s obvious: A suburb is a smaller city on the periphery of a larger city. Or it’s a sprawling neighborhood filled with vast swathes of single-family homes. Still other more dated conceptions of suburbia in the popular mind involve the people who live there: allegedly white, middle class and socially homogenous.

Now a new team of researchers believe they’ve cracked the code…

To read more, click here

My comments: Of course, if you do residential lender appraisals this is a Very Big Issue due to lender “requirements” such as no rural properties. Lots and lots of online discussion about this for a long time. Post this topic on your favorite Internet chat site or email list… and wait for the wide variety of opinions!!

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My Favorite Definitions

(This has been floating around for many years…)

Rural  Suburban  Urban

  • If you stand naked on the front porch and the neighbors can’t see you… it’s rural.
  • If you stand naked on the front porch and the neighbors call the cops on you… it’s suburban.
  • If you stand naked on the front porch and the neighbors ignore you… it’s urban.

There are other variations, of course, that are not suitable for this newsletter ;>

Read more!!

7-3-20 Newz: New Fannie Update – Street Name Values – Converted Church

Fannie Mae Appraisal Update June 2020

Excerpts from Section on Impact of COVID-19 on appraisals

Through mid-May, about 15% of Uniform Collateral Data Portal® (UCDP®) appraisals completed after our announcement used the flexibilities, either desktop or exterior-only. As you know, circumstances vary widely across the country, and the uptake of the flexibilities reflects this. The highest percentages of appraisals using the flexibilities are around 40% in some northeastern states, while the lowest percentages are around 10% in some of the less impacted states…

We found that appraisers have used the flexibilities correctly about 90% of the time. Appraisers have done a great job identifying external obsolescence for desktops and exterior-only appraisals, as well as leveraging their local knowledge, maps, aerial photos, and other data sources. We’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that, although not required, about 35% of nontraditional reports include a sketch pulled from prior reports,

assessors records, or other sources. Also, the supporting comments in the nontraditional reports have been even better on average than those in traditional reports.

Worth reading. 5 pages and well written. Also includes comments on “one mile rule” and flood zones. To read more, click here

My comments: There are very few of these done in the Bay Area. 10% sounds about right. However, now we are now in a major virus surge in some states – opened too soon and people in some areas did not do social distancing, hand washing and wear face coverings. Use of the alternative reports may increase in some states, and decrease in the northeast.

These appraisals are not easy to learn how to do, and are very different than doing full 1004 with interior inspections. In the June issue of the paid Appraisal Today I have lots of information on them, including useful references. See the ad below.

Read more!!

6-19-20 Newz: Strange Appraisal Terms – Appraiser Makes $280k Per Year – Mosaic Homes

Appraisal Terms That Are Out of This World

Just for Lotsa Fun!!

Excerpts: Since space is the only place that is pandemic free, I thought it would be fun to try to apply space and science fiction terms to real estate. Let’s take a little break from the stressful atmosphere we are experiencing here on earth and have a little fun. Perhaps you can think of more.

Here are two:

Orbit– The path homeowners take whilst following the appraiser around the home, trying not to follow too closely by maintaining at least six feet of distance. (Probably taking pictures of the appraiser in the PPE)

Black hole – The place where Zestimates go after being debunked by reality.

To read and see lots more, click here

My comment: I love Jamie Owens’ blog posts! Unbelievably creative!! Plus, outstanding/strange videos, animated gifs, etc. etc. I have been a big scifi fan since high school and used space videos in my experimental music band for many years.

Read more!!

6-5-20 Newz: Waivers; Wavy House; Unemployment Help For Fee Appraisers

A Very Wavy House 

Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: “Everyone basically has this ‘Wow!’ reaction, and it’s pretty polarizing: You either love it, or you hate it,” Assemi says of the home, which is now listed for $599,000. Its roof mimics ocean waves and is covered with cedarwood shingles.

“It’s just so unconventional, but inside, it’s a regular house,” …

The home has three bedrooms and three bathrooms in 1,845 square feet, and its ceilings are 21 feet high. It comes with 6.22 wooded acres on Collins Creek at the base of the Sierras and Sequoia National Park, about 20 minutes from Fresno, CA.

Interesting article and lots of fotos: To read more, click here

My comment: Located in Sanger CA, close to Fresno in a primarily agricultural area. A very unusual home for this part of California!! The median home price in Fresno is $258,500 per Zillow. Can You say: over-improvement? In the Bay Area, our the median price is around $950,000.

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What’s the ONE thing that is most often overlooked by appraisers?

By McKissock

Excerpt: We recently asked our appraisal community, “What’s the ONE thing that is most often overlooked by appraisers?” We received a wide variety of answers ranging from big-picture oversights to specific details. The most common answer we received was “Highest and Best Use.”…

Highest and Best Use (HBU)

This was the top answer, which was written in by about 8% of survey respondents“First question when doing an appraisal is the highest and best use. If there are two very different opinions of value on a property, different HBU is often the reason.”…

Obsolescence

Obsolescence is another item mentioned by multiple survey respondents. Appraisers cited both external obsolescence and functional obsolescence as being frequently overlooked.

“External obsolescence for the subject property – When I’m reviewing appraisals, I see this more often than other oversights. When I was performing retrospective reviews for FNMA, their biggest complaint was that appraisers did not point out external obsolescence for the subject and/or its impact on marketability (if there was an impact).”

“Functional obsolescence – Appraiser focus has changed over the years as subject functionality has changed.”

To read lots more, click hereb>

Read more!!

5-29-20 Newz: Home Prices Up? – GSE COVID Requirements – Round House

May 27, 2020 By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpts: What are prices doing? That’s the question I’m getting asked the most. Here are some thoughts about how to look at prices during the pandemic. I also have two brand new price visuals.

1) Eggs in one basket: I recommend watching multiple price metrics instead of putting all our eggs in one basket. So in addition to the median price we can watch the average sales price and average price per square foot.

2) Pure pandemic data: When May stats come out we’re likely going to see 80-90%+ of those sales having gotten into contract after mid-March when the pandemic began to affect us. Thus May sales will be a stronger indicator of pandemic trends than April sales.

3) Seasonal rhythm: It’s key to understand the seasonal rhythm of the market because it helps us spot what is normal and not. For example, the median price usually increases from March to April, but this year we saw the median price dip instead. What does this mean? We need time to understand it. For now we’re recognizing something has happened that is less common. It’s worth noting we often see the median price climax around May or so, which means if we see prices soften in coming months we’re going to have to ask whether it’s a seasonal thing, pandemic thing, or something else.

For more info and of lots of graphs click here

My comment: My big article on Fannie COVID changes, including recommended “disclaimers”, is in the June paid newsletter. See excerpts in the ad below. You MUST discuss market conditions in your appraisal. Ryan’s blog post, and his other posts, give you some good ideas of what to include.

Read more!!

5-15-20 Newz: 700 Missing Sales – Comml Appraisals Down – 22 Unusual Homes

Weird or Wonderful? 22 Homes That Are Anything But Ordinary

JUST FOR FUN! TAKE A SHORT BREAK NOW. YOU DESERVE IT!!!

Excerpts: Homebuyers and renters who dare to be different often put down roots in alternative dwellings that others eschew. Even if your inner compass tells you to steer clear of the offbeat or the outlandish, you may enjoy window-shopping these eccentric estates with …

Here’s one – foto above:

Sky-high Single Family Home in Prescott, Arizona

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the Falcon Nest, a ten-story dwelling whose 124-foot stature makes it the tallest single family home in North America.

To read more, click here

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Fannie Appraiser Update

Undated. Received by email on 5-13-20

NOTE: This is about exterior only and desktops. These appraisals are NOT the same as the old “drivebys” where you assumed the inside was like the outside, no owner interviews, etc. The old Desktops (aka comp checks) are not the same now. Lots more research is required.

Excerpt: As Fannie Mae has begun to examine appraisals completed using our temporary appraisal flexibilities in Lender Letter LL-2020-04, Impact of COVID-19 on Appraisals, one issue we’ve observed is that some appraisals rely on assumptions about the subject property condition. Whether completing an exterior-only or a desktop appraisal, the appraiser must have a data source for all the relevant characteristics including interior condition. Obtaining that information, whether it be from homeowners or other sources, is not only encouraged, but is required. This is addressed in the FAQs regarding the temporary flexibilities (Q47):

As stated in Lender Letter LL-2020-04, the appraiser’s certification #10 was removed recognizing that the appraiser may have to rely on information from an interested party to the transaction (borrower, real estate agent, property contact, etc.) and additional verification may not be possible. The removal of this certification acknowledges this could affect the assignment’s results. If adequate information is not available to complete the appraisal, the assignment cannot be completed.

Excerpt:

My comment: Of course, a big problem is that few of them are being done now. I am sure this is the reason why there is so much confusion. They are a lot of work. You could decide just to turn them down if you get requests for very few of them.

Also, some clients order the “traditional” 2055, where you drive by, take a few photos, and assume the inside is like the outside. This is NOT acceptable for GSEs and VA. You MUST ask your client what type of 2055 they are ordering or, who are they selling the loan to. FHA does not use 2055s.

I sent out similar information last week. This is the “official” notice with references. You MUST take the time to learn about all the changes and do a lot more work than before. That is why you should charge the same for full appraisals, exterior, and desktops.

To read more, click here

Read more!!

5-1-20 Newz: Credit Unions Can Delay Appraisals – Bathrooms and Epidemics – Pandemic: Buyers and Sellers

 WOOPS! BATHROOM ARTICLE NOT INCLUDED. DARN!! TO READ IT GOOGLE BATHROOMS AND EPIDEMICS

75 percent alcohol disinfectant alcohol spray nearby a house concept of disinfecting the house

By Ryan Lundquist April 30, 2020
Excerpts: Buyers more sensitive about location & condition: For years buyers have been exhibiting sensitivity to adverse locations and homes that are not in pristine condition. In other words, buyers have higher expectations about what they are buying and they aren’t overlooking the true condition of a home or paying top dollar for junk. I expect going through a pandemic will only inflame this dynamic.
Cash out at the top: Some people are concerned about the market changing directions, so we’ll see certain owners try to cash out at the top so to speak. I’m not saying we’re at the top of a price cycle. I’m only saying some people think the pandemic has pushed us or will push us into a new price cycle.
To read more, click here

Personal note from Ryan: Appraiser John Carlson GoFundMe: John is a well-known appraiser in Southern California and he is going through a difficult time as he was diagnosed with cancer and hospitalized. I invite you to pray for him and donate if you can. To read more, click here.
My comments: I spoke yesterday with a local appraiser friend who is thinking about selling her house and moving to a smaller, lowered priced house. (She is 78 years old, one year older than myself, but still appraising.) No listings or pendings in her area. Seemed like a good idea to me.

On June 29, McKissock had a webinar ” Appraising in a Pandemic”. In the last half hour, Ryan gave the best presentation I have ever seen on what to put in your report about the current market, not just a “I don’t know anything disclaimer”. He also had a sample statement slide. The recording was not available by my deadline. I will send it to you in next week’s email.
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DO NOT use photos or videos, taken by the owner while you remain outside, for an appraisal requiring interior inspections!!

This is NOT ALLOWED by USPAP. When the assignment requires the appraiser to do the interior inspection and photos, use of secondary source photos and interior characteristic detailing is prohibited. Google Appraisal Foundation Q&As and scroll to 2020-04: “Personal Inspection of Exterior plus Remote or Virtual Inspection of Interior.”

Or, you are standing outside taking photos through the window or directing the owner to do photos, facetime or other videos. Even if the owner is using a Virtual Inspection Tool, it is not allowed. Don’t risk your appraisal license!!

Read more!!

4-17-20 Newz: 7 Things to Watch in your Market – More Fannie Updates – Funny Fotos

NOTES TO READERS: To read my April 3 newsletter: Covid 19 Data Comps and-Values, with lots of science info relating to the pandemic, such as pandemics in the past, stages of a pandemic, personal tips, etc. go to www.appraisaltoday.com/coronavirus

For the previous two weeks I sent out two newsletters a week. Got too burned out. Only one newsletter this week, so it is long.

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Seven things to watch in real estate during a pandemic

April 14, 2020 By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpts:

1) Listings: We often think about listings increasing as a way to see the market changing, but right now many markets across the country are seeing fewer new listings. So at times change is best seen with less of something rather than more. It’s not a surprise to see fewer new properties during a pandemic, right?…

7) Prices: In real estate we are so obsessed with prices, but that’s really the last place to look to see the market. What I mean is change happens first in the areas above before showing up in sales stats a couple months down the road. In short, for now the slower pandemic trend hasn’t infiltrated sales price figures as of yet in Sacramento. This doesn’t mean the market is stable in every price range and location. All I’m saying is regional and county stats don’t show price declines right now. Normally I pull monthly price data, but I’ve switched to weekly in order to see the trend sooner rather than later.

To see the other 4 factors plus lotsa graphs and many appraiser comments , click here

Read more!!