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!!

6-12-20 Newz: AMC Fined $2.8 Million – Terrible Agent Photos – Accuracy of Opinions

Can You Measure the Accuracy of An Opinion?

Excerpt: Two appraisals are completed on the same property. Each appraiser has a different opinion of the market value. Which one is accurate? Can they both be accurate?

Occasionally, I read articles or hear of companies that refer to the appraiser’s “accuracy rate”. I’ve always wondered how this is possible to measure. After all, an appraisal is an opinion of market value. Interestingly, if you look up the word “opinion” on www.dictionary.com, one of the definitions is, “a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.” Another is, “The formal expression of a professional judgement”. Can an opinion, or a person’s professional judgement be measured?

To read more, click here

My comment: I used to do a lot of relocation appraisals, where 2 or 3 appraisals were done on the same home. If the appraisals had the same values, it was suspicious. We were usually within 5%. Our accuracy was judged on how close we were to the sales price 60-90 days in the future. Very challenging appraisals!!

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

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4-24-20 Newz: Markets Changing? Free Webinars – UFO Homes

NOTICE TO READERS: No covid analysis this week except for this market discussions. Taking a break from Covid. To read my April 3 newsletters, with lots of mostly scientific info, plus updates in these emails since that April 3, go to www.appraisaltoday.com/coronavirus

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House with epidemic influenza and Coronavirus Covid-19 concept

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpt: FIVE WEEKS AGO: About five weeks ago the real estate market started to have a strong reaction to the coronavirus. I look to March 12th as our day of change as that’s when things started to kick into high gear with events cancelling and sellers and buyers backing off the market.

OBSERVATIONS RIGHT NOW:

1) Pendings and listings declined heavily for a few weeks.

2) Pending contracts have begun to increase again.

3) More new listings are hitting the market.

See how Ryan analyses his market – lots of graphs. Also watch a video interview with Ryan. To read more, click here

My comment: See how the Burmingham, AL is analyzed below. What works for your market?

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Do We Have To Wait To Know How The Pandemic Will Affect Our Market?

Ryan’s interview with Dustin Harris, the Appraiser Coach

Excerpt: Many appraisers are in a “wait and see” pattern, but should we be doing more to be on top of the market? My friend Ryan Lundquist joins me today to talk about his recent article on Sacramento Appraisal Blog called “Seven Things To Watch In Real Estate During a Pandemic.” This is a timely topic for all appraisers.

To listen to the 30 minute audio recording click here

My comment: Ryan’s “Seven Things” article had a huge number of clicks last week. If you missed it, click here

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!!

4-10-20 Newz: Fannie New FAQs; Appraiser Recovers From Virus; Risky Business

Fannie Mae COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions – Selling Updated: Apr. 08, 2020

From Dave Towne:
On Wed, April 8, 2020, FNMA issued a new FAQ bulletin regarding mortgage lending and appraisals during the Covid-19 “modification” period.
Click here to download Dave’s PDF. I have extracted the FAQ questions relating directly to appraisals/appraisers. I suggest you print these 6 pages.
Q54 – Q60 have ‘new’ info appraisers should review.
NOTE: While this FAQ is written by FNMA, it also applies to reports which will be sold to FreddieMac – because both GSE’s are working cooperatively in terms of how appraisal reports are to be completed.
NOTE 2: If you are doing an assignment for FHA, USDA or VA, you need to follow THEIR instructions because they have different guidelines for report completion.
Link to original full 14-page Fannie document https://singlefamily.fanniemae.com/media/22326/display

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Appraiser/Educator Bryan Reynolds is recovering from COVID-19

I had a bit of a difficult time with this podcast. We like to think we’re invincible, immune, unaffected, but that’s silly. We are, at the end of the day, all vulnerable. This chat with my long time friend and partner, Bryan Reynolds, brought that realization home, in stark reality and made it tangible and personal.
People, we damn near lost Bryan. Please give this podcast a listen. I’ve posted it here, largely unedited. This podcast is the epitome of authentic.
Hal Humphreys
Partner Appraiser eLearning
My comment:Listen to this podcast!! I saw the last podcast live on March 26. Hal Humphreys was the moderator, speaking from his front yard. He said that Dave had coronavirus. I am so glad that he is recovered! To watch his webinars, go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClb6iDQvzQqj4GOiKSCp8EA

Read more!!

4-8-20 Newz: SBA Assistance – Inspection Survey Data – T.P.

SBA – $10,000 Disaster Loan Emergency loan/grant and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Check to see if the SBA has issued a disaster declaration in your area. COVID-19 has been declared a disaster.

The two programs are very different. 

1. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance – up to $10,000 loan – does not have to be repaid. For all appraisers. Sign up now! Appraisers reporting that it is very easy to do. They got their money quickly. Per SBA “within three days of a completed application by a qualifying business.”

2. Paycheck Protection Program – have to get from a bank that is doing them. Can be difficult to get now. See below.

An SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

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The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance – up to $10,000

This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available following a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.

Apply for this now! 

For more info https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance

To sign up. Covid19relief.sba.gov

Should you sign up for this? I did not think I was having any economic issues. I don’t do any lender apraisaals and am not exempt from stay at home. Then, I realized I am paying $725 per month for an office that I can only use for file storage and picking up mail. I can only do desktop appraisals. I don’t know if the IRS will accept them. I may be able to postpone them, but I have no idea for how long. I am applying today, after I go to my office and find the information I need.

For most appraisers, the future is very uncertain for lender work. Some are getting much less work because they will not do interior inspections. No one knows how long lenders will straighten this out. Or, maybe you’re thinking about not doing interior inspections, but will lose appraisal work until lenders shift to desktop and drivebys.

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Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

An SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. It must be done through a bank that participates in the program. Lots of information is required. 

This program is designed to help keep people employed by giving loans to businesses. It is being swamped with business that have closed. Drive down the street in your city or a shopping center and see how many businesses are closed. Large companies are shutting down. In California, many construction projects have been halted.

This program started April 3. Lots of problems as lenders are not sure about how to set it up.

A few tips for applying:

1. Most Important. Contact the bank where you have a loan or an account.

2. Check local social media. I got posts from alignable with some banks to check out.

3. Call banks. May take quite a few phone calls. Check the local newspapers for who is offering the loans.

I emailed the manager at my local bank. I have known him for over 30 years. I have had all my business and personal accounts there for over 30 years. They replied that were totally swamped with inquiries, but were only considering their own customers. It is now a branch of another Bay Area bank, which is relatively small.

For some appraisal companies, this allows you to keep paying employees. For example, you are doing non-lender work. This is not exempt in most states. Your business will be much lower. I am not sure about residential appraisal companies doing lender work that are very busy now.

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp

Read more!!