12-21-17 Newz//: AMC appraisal fraud, Fannie Appraiser Update, CoStar vs Xceligent

The Three Most Fascinating Homes In 2017

Just For Fun!!

Very unusual… and two are very low priced ;>
You just gotta see this 2 minute FUNNY video!!
Death and Breakfast, House with Big Cave, and Very Old Historic House

https://www.realtor.com/videos/video-behold-the-most-fascinating-homes-of-the-year/db7fb804-6cd6-4556-887c-49410eb6d77a

The Appraisal Standards Board has issued new Q&As for December 2017, dated 12/19/17:

Note: personal property and M&E not included in the list below
– Communicating Assignment Results Without an Appraisal Report
– Workfile Requirements When Communicating Assignment Results
– Adding an Intended User
– Assignment Conditions versus Client Conditions
– Proposed Construction Employing an Extraordinary Assumption
– Proposed Construction Employing a Hypothetical Condition

https://appraisalfoundation.sharefile.com/app/#/share/view/seea70b822d24fa59?

Read more!!

10-19-17 Newz// Appraisal Waivers, Crooked Houses, High-Low Home Prices

The Asymmetrical Charm of Crooked Houses

They’re like regular buildings, but with a twist.
Excerpt: THE BUILDINGS THAT OFTEN GET the most praise (one famed tower in Pisa not withstanding) are those that stand up straight, refuse to bend or bow over time. But those buildings are boring. The really compelling constructions are those buildings that, despite looking like they are slowly keeling over, continue to stand, and continue to be used.

Some whimsical tourist traps have been purpose-built at odd angles, but it’s the buildings that were never meant to lean that are far more fascinating. Whether due to construction errors, shifting ground, or just the accumulated weight of time, some buildings have become crooked masterpieces of architectural fortitude. Take a look at some of the most stunning crooked houses in the world.

My comment: Just For Fun!! Good fotos and descriptions.

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9-28-17 Newz//Fees up or down?, Credit easing, San Francisco Castle

Albion Castle – A 140 year old castle with underground caves hidden in San Francisco.

Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: When Bill Gilbert was growing up near Candlestick Park, all the kids said that Albion Castle was haunted. Gilbert himself wasn’t sure, but every time his parents took him to eat at the at the old Dago Mary’s restaurant across the street, he would look at the gates that front the 145-year-old stone structure and wonder. Little did he know that as an adult, he would own the keys to the castle (literally).
My comment: It was listed in 2009 for $2,950,000 (a very bad market). The six-story square tower has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,436 sq.ft. It sold for 11/2011 for $890,000 and has been rehabbed. It needed a lot of work!!
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Info on the history and historic photos

My comment: It was listed in 2009 for $2,950,000 (a very bad market). The six-story square tower has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,436 sq.ft. It sold for 11/2011 for $890,000 and has been rehabbed. It needed a lot of work!!

Read more!!

8-24-17 Newz .Fannie Freddie appraisal waivers, AVMs and HELOCS, Passwords

The Traveling Apprentices of Germany

 And you thought appraiser trainees have it rough!!

Just For Fun ;>
Excerpts: They hitchhike across Europe, instantly recognizable in the wide-bottomed, corduroy trousers, white shirts and colored jackets that identify them as bricklayers, bakers, carpenters, stonemasons and roofers.
While on the road, journeymen are not supposed to pay for food or accommodations, and instead live by exchanging work for room and board. In warm weather, they sleep in parks and other public spaces. They generally carry only their tools, several changes of underwear, socks and a few shirts wrapped into small bundles that can be tied to their walking sticks – and that can also double as pillows.
In an adaptation of the old rules to modern times, journeymen do not carry devices like cellphones that allow them to be found. They carry digital cameras, if they like, and write emails from public computers.
My comment: Fascinating with great photos!! Yes, there are women travelers now…

Passwords: What if Everything You Know Is Wrong?

By Shelly Palmer
Excerpt:  According to the Wall Street Journal, Bill Burr (the man who wrote the NIST memo back in 2003 that recommended the cryptic craziness and frequent replacement guidelines) has had an epiphany. “Much of what I did I now regret,” said Mr. Burr, 72 years old, who is now retired. If the reporting is accurate, he had very little evidence upon which to base the NIST’s recommendations. (Sort of makes me think about the USDA Food Chart I grew up with. But that’s for another article.) Why were Mr. Burr’s assumptions wrong?…
Do what the experts are now telling you to do. Start using the longest passwords possible. I would not use correcthorsebatterystaple, but “passwordswedontneednostinkinpasswords” will absolutely do the job.

My comment: Very interesting article!! Plus the Fun Cartoons ;> Passwords are a Pain.. I think one of the most popular passwords is “password”. Looks like finally there is another way.

Read more!!

8-10-17 Newz// Fannie-Appraiser Future, AMC goes down, Delightful Domes

A Tour of the World’s Most Delightful Domes

17 half-spheres that do round right. Just For Fun!

Excerpt: Employing massive hemispherical roofs first became popular with the ancient Romans-most famously the iconic Pantheon, built in the 2nd century. Since then, the feature has taken many forms across the globe, providing cover for everything from ancient tombs to futuristic houses. The circular nature of domes has special significance in religious houses such as churches and mosques, where it represents the eternal, with no beginning and no end.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/lists/domes-architecture-world-tour 

TC Valuations (AMC) Ceasing Operations!

Paying appraisers $ .25 on the dollar!!

Excerpt from letter sent to appraisers: It is with much regret, that I write this letter to inform you that TCV has commenced an orderly wind up and liquidation of operations. Unfortunately a significant downturn in revenue and the loss of part of our volume with two key clients in the second quarter of 2017, has forced the company to wind up its operations.
Read the full letter plus lots of comments at

My comment: There will be more AMCs going down, particularly small ones. In 1993, when the appraisal business crashed and I had way too many employees, I almost went out of business. But, I had no uncollected billings, even from mortgage brokers. Why? I always carefully monitor my accounts receivable. My assistant called all my clients every day until they paid. My husband, a very large man, wearing black clothes (Gangsta style ;>), went to a local mortgage broker’s office and left with a full payment check. It may be time to write a collections article for the paid Appraisal Today…  predictions are for more small AMCs Going Down.

Read more!!

7-20-17 Newz// Fannie data, USPS gyrocopters, Costar data

When the U.S. Postal Service Used Gyrocopters to Deliver the Mail The flying machines hopped from roof to roof of post offices.

Excerpt: Sensing opportunity, the United States Postal Service-then the U.S. Post Office Department-decided to invest in the new technology. In 1937, Congress appropriated money to fund a series of experiments on autogyro mail delivery, and within a year the first flight-from Bethesda, Maryland to Washington, D.C.-was made.

My comment: Check out the photos (no videos in 1937). Very interesting!!

Why Fannie Mae Shouldn’t Keep Data Secret

Excerpt: Today’s lenders have access to massive amounts of data. According to (Richard) Hagar, government lenders have access to every recorded sale in most every county across the U.S. via information providers like CoreLogic. He believes appraisal adjustments should be cross-checked against sales metrics of the five million home sales that occur each year.
However, appraisers typically use Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for residential appraising. Data provided by MLS may vary from information shown by providers like CoreLogic. MLS has more detailed information that county records don’t contain. Oftentimes, though, MLS contains errors or missing data. In other words, both types of systems have errors, but not necessarily the same errors.
My comment: Controversial topic!! Fannie says that they want appraisers to be objective, not using Fannie’s data. For example, appraisers changing their building sketches to match public records sq.ft. to avoid underwriter/review hassles. I remember CMDC books (in california) back in the 1980s where appraisers submitted the first pages of their appraisals to go into a shared appraiser database. Before appraisers could get MLS access. Seems like that was okay…

Read more!!

5-25-17 Newz: Lenders’ AMC problems, Arms-length Transactions, Incredible Private Islands

3 incredible private islands

Just for Fun – very short video
A few tidbits
– Locations: Key Largo  (FL), Washington state and Long Island NY
– Space for 110 ft. yacht
– Lowest price: $11 million
– Tennis court that doubles as a helicopter pad

http://www.realtor.com/videos/video-the-ultimate-getaway-you-can-own-one-of-these-3-incredible-private-islands/ac74f30c-de71-43ba-bae1-e54d8336a7ae 

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Analyzing the subject’s sales history

By Josh Wailitt
Short video. Worth watching. Check out some of the other videos in his USPAP errors series at www.appraiserelearning.com
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Arm’s-Length Transactions, Part 1

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5-11-17 Newz:: Zillow Sued, Value of Views, Portable Architecture

Portable Architecture You Can Roll, Wear, Tow, or Float

A sauna on skis and 11 other dwellings made to move.

Excerpt: Some of the examples are ideal for recreation, such as the compact-cute, California-made Golden Gate 2 camper, with a rounded timber frame, portholes, and a spot for a surfboard. For lovers of winter sports, the Nomad Sauna, which was built on a lake in Norway, includes an internal ice-hole for intensely refreshing breaks from the heat.
It is not all fun and games-others are designed for important, practical use. It can also be used to provide shelter during a crisis, or for protection in extreme weather.
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Sleeping lawyer at mortgage fraud trial

Excerpt: A businessman will get a new trial on mortgage fraud charges because his defense attorney was seen sleeping by the judge, witnesses and the federal court jurors who convicted him last year.
U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose ruled James Nassida was denied a fair trial because Stan Levenson dozed during the October trial. Levenson has acknowledged that he fell asleep because he was taking cold medicines that made him drowsy.
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What are views worth?

To figure out the premium that these vistas can command, the realtor.com® data team compared the prices for all the homes for sale on our site that highlight these sought-after panoramas, and then compared them to similar-size properties in adjacent ZIP codes with no view to speak of.

Here are a few:
4. Chicago, IL: Lake Michigan
Median list price for homes with views: $525,000
Killer view premium: 96.8%

1. Manhattan, NY: Central Park
Median list price for homes with views: $3,795,000
Killer view premium: 39.9%

My comment: Percent of value varies widely. Of course, the total dollar amounts vary even more! I love data!!

Read more!!

Appraisal Today! No Appraisal Tomorrow?

Appraisal Today! No Appraisal Tomorrow?

AVMs are a threat to appraisers today and tomorrow!!

By Barry Bates

Is the quasi-provocative title of Barry Bates’ article in the May 2017 issue of Appraisal Today. It’s “quasi” because the central issue, the livelihood threat represented by AVMs, has been around for at least 20 years. It’s provocative because Barry’s research suggests that AVMs, bolstered by artificial intelligence, satellite overlays and more robust attributive data, are a bigger threat than ever.

He also cites a 2015 Oxford white paper that studied 702 U.S. jobs and rated their likelihood of total computerization over the next 10 years; “Appraisers and Assessors” warranted a 90% likelihood. Bates explains why, by 2023, that might as well be a function of the residential market assignment volume, i.e., 10% of 2013 volume. One of the factors he mentions is the erosion of federal rules that once ensured that every new origination for refinance or purchase would be accompanied by a full appraisal of the real property.

Not only has the rule been undermined by a variety of new Fannie/Freddie/VA loan programs that don’t require appraisals, but the federal rule itself was modified in 2015 to give the GSEs power to decide whether any particular loan (or type of loan)was worthy of a waiver.

Another factor (of several) is the availability of “data on steroids”: collateral information (including every field in the Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) from past and current appraisals populating the GSE AVMs and database from every appraisal sent through one of the uniform collateral data portals, like Fannies UCDP, which already allows for appraisal “sharing” for aggregators and Fannie’s correspondent lenders (even the 1004MC data can be offloaded to a siding for market analysis).

Bates concludes that all the necessary pieces are being assembled for an artificial intelligence AVM with robustness equal to the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

[Editor’s Note. When asked whether his prognostications were a little on the gloomy side, Bates rejoined, I know, I know, ‘The pessimists are right, but the optimists have more fun.’ I mean, hey, even paranoids have enemies! And unfortunately, as a card-carrying neurotic, I’d almost always prefer to be right.]

Bates’ full commentary is in the May issue of the Paid Appraisal  Today. For more

info, go to www.appraisaltoday.com/products

4-13-17 Newz// Desktop Appraisals .Fannie Appraiser Update .Trump Dump Dodd-Frank Regs

Sign up for Fannie’s new Appraiser Update and other appraisal-related news!

How do appraiser-related policy updates, technology changes, and industry trends affect your business? To stay on top of the latest Fannie Mae appraisal news and policies, check out the new Fannie Mae Appraiser Update, a newsletter providing periodic updates for residential appraisers serving Fannie Mae lender customers.  Sign up today to receive the newsletter and other appraisal-related updates.
My comment: I get all the Fannie announcements and have to scroll through them looking for anything relevant to appraisers for this email newsletter. Hopefully, Fannie’s appraiser info will be send frequently. The first newsletter is available.
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Ecological Plastic Bottle House

One family’s mission to exemplify sustainability took on a whole new life as a surprisingly beautiful home.
Excerpt: Alfredo Santa Cruz and his family built the bottle house out of trash and recyclables they collected. Aluminum cans, glass jars, CDs, cardboard cartons, and of course, plastic bottles were all used as construction materials. The house has multiple rooms, and even furniture constructed from all these items.
Scroll down the page to see bottle houses in Michigan, Canada, and Azerbaijan!!
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