Appraisal News and Business Tips

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NEWZ// 1-28-16 Not C-R fees-fined/AI twitter hacked/Building permits?/50 castles/adjustments

 

50 castles in 50 states

Excerpt:

The United States of America is not typically thought of as a land of castles, and with good reason-the uniting of the American states coincided, not coincidentally, with the beginning of the end of the era in which kings and queens ruled over everything, holing up in huge fortified houses so that the peasants and/or invading barbarians couldn’t kill them.

But in a way, that’s too bad, because the U.S.A. is a land of excess, and there’s nothing more excessive than a castle. And there are some castles in this country-maybe more than you’d expect-which range from (mostly) vanity projects, to mini golf courses, to even a few places that originally served some military purpose. Not only that, but many of them are currently for sale. If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a castle of your own, you could, for as little as a few hundred thousand dollars, or as much as a over ten million. (If you want to have your wedding in a castle, the options are even more vast.) In fact, we found a castle in every state in the U.S.A

Here are a few:

– This Illinois Castle Costs a Mere $795,000

– Majestic Castle in the Adirondacks Offers Turrets, Knights, and – Secret Passageways for $12.8M

– Ludicrous $4.9M Texas Castle Really Loves Turrets

My comment: Photos and links for more info for all 50 castles!!

Easy to view – scroll down the page, no excessive popup ads.

Check it out at:

http://curbed.com/tags/castle

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Appraisal volume starts to lose momentum

Reverses last week’s rise

Posted January 26, 2016

 

Excerpts:

Appraisal volume erased most of last week’s rise, falling 4.1% for the week of Jan. 17, the most recent report from a la mode, an appraisal forms software company that tracks appraisal volume throughout the country, showed.

A week ago, appraisal volume grew 5%, following a strong surge the week prior.

“While appraisal volume started the year with a strong recovery from the Christmas and New Year slump, it has not seen the energy that mortgage applications have shown. This is perplexing but could be because of lenders still getting used to the new TRID procedures and delaying ordering appraisals or just that the applications are falling out and not turning into mortgages,” he continued.

Click here to read other comments and see the data.

http://www.housingwire.com/articles/36111-appraisal-volume-starts-to-lose-momentum 

My comment: this report is posted every week. Please also see the MBA Weekly Mortgage Loan Origination volume report at the end of every weekly email newsletter, posted on Friday. Appraisal ordering follows originations, so MBA is slightly ahead of the a la mode report.

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POLL: Do you check to see if permits were pulled on remodeling on subject properties?

Source: www.appraisalport.com Vote in their current poll: 

Do you consider appraisal trade groups important to the industry?

My comment: A controversial topic. I’m not surprised at the results. However, if permits are online and free I don’t know why appraisers would not get them. In my city, free online records only go back to about 1970. Most of the homes were built before 1940. It costs $15.25 to get a full permit history and it can take up to a week to get it. The old records are a bit flakey, such as “remodeling” or something else very obscure. Lots and lots of unpermitted work in my city. But, in nearby cities with a lot of tract homes built since 1950, work without permits is not done very often. I was told by a lender’s chief appraiser many years ago not to pull permits so the borrower would “not get into trouble”.For quite awhile, I have been pulling the old permits when needed and run the online permits on all properties. In other cities, if something does not “look right”, such as an addition, I pull the permits. 

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS TOPIC? POST YOUR COMMENTS AT www.appraisaltodayblog.com !

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Coming in the February 2015 Appraisal Today paid newsletter, available Monday, Feb. 1 

Adjustments, Part 1 – Are you making too many adjustments 

Huge change in supporting adjustments since Fannie’s CU started looking at them. State regulators also want to see adjustment support – don’t get sanctioned. Some reviewers want to see support. Etc. 

Some of the topics: 

– How are appraisers supporting adjustments?

– What are the most frequent adjustments?

– What are state appraisal boards looking for?

– What is CU looking for?

– Do adjustments really make a difference in the final value?

– Qualitative vs. Quantitative adjustments

– The best adjustment sources of information

Part 2 will be on types of adjustments. 

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Appraisal Institute falls victim to Twitter hack

Posted January 22, 2016, last Thursday

Excerpt:

Instead of tweets about the appraisal industry, tweets emanating from the Appraisal Institute’s account for the last 18 hours or so have more to do with Playboy Magazine, Hooters, David Hasselhoff, links to “sexy” videos, and other inappropriate tweets. 

Among other tweets, the hacked Appraisal Institute account tweeted out “to all staff and employees: because its so warm out today, you have to work an extra 2 hours pretending to do actual work” and “new company policy in effect: at social gatherings and events, having fun during such events is forbidden. Unless authorized.”

 As of last Friday: “It appears that the Appraisal Institute Twitter hacking of 2016 is now over, but we’ll always have the screenshots.”

Very interesting. All the old tweets were lost, except for re-tweets. See lots more, including some of the tweets at:

http://www.housingwire.com/articles/36086

 Comments from the Appraisal Institute: ” The Appraisal Institute’s Twitter account and YouTube channel were compromised last week. Twitter has since been restored, temporarily using the handle: @RealAI_National. We’re in the process of restoring our YouTube channel.” Regarding who did it: “We are investigating the matter and have no further comment at this time.”

 

My comments: I knew I shoulda re-subscribed to the AI twitter feed!! I originally subscribed in 2010 but have not been getting any tweets. I have never had any twitter feed I subscribe to get hacked… I think that the AI will get a lot of new Twitter subscribers, including me!! Subscribe to @RealAI_National. Currently 3,936 followers.  

At the bottom of the article is a comment post by Jason Constantine: “This was the work of one, former disgruntled employee with a shady criminal past. He was jaded because he was replaced with another programmer and wouldn’t take a background check. Can’t prove it but he’s hacked me several times in the past.” Makes sense to me. You don’t get much notoriety from hacking the AI. When you read the tweets in the article, it definitely sounds like an employee. Some are sorta funny ;             

 
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AMC Fined Over C&R Fees

Excerpts:

The Louisiana Real Estate Appraisal Board (LREAB) has again taken action to ensure that Customary and Reasonable (C&R) Fees are being paid by AMCs and lenders in the state.

On December 8, 2015, after a hearing that lasted over 12 hours and was closely watched and attended by appraisers, AMCs, and lenders alike, the Board ruled against iMortgage Services, LLC and issued a Final Order that included a fine of $10,000 and a six-month license suspension. The suspension was stayed, provided that iMortgage provides a C&R compliance plan to the Board no later than March 21, 2016 

In contrast to Louisiana’s previous C&R enforcement action involving Coester VMS, where there was no admission of guilt by Coester, this is the first judgement against an AMC that leaves no question on the determination of guilt. The Board’s final order establishes that iMortgage failed to comply with Louisiana law and violated the C&R fee requirements set in place by the Board.

Demonstrating the glacial speed at which many state board investigations operate, the initial complaint against iMortgage was filed two years ago in January 2014 after iMortgage sent out an appraisal order for a full 1004MC FHA appraisal with a fee of $200. The investigation was not opened until May 2014, with the hearing taking place in December 2015.

My comment: Almost 300 postings at http://appraisersforum.com/ . Search for AMC Fined For Not Paying C&R Fees. Warning: lots of chit chat, etc, typical for AIforum Just wade through them to get to what you want. Comments also posted after the article. 

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Very interesting workingre article. Read more here:

http://www.workingre.com/AMC-fined-over-cr-fees 

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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 increased 8.8 percent from one week earlier 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 27, 2015) – Mortgage applications increased 8.8 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 22, 2016.  This week’s results include an adjustment to account for the Martin Luther King holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 8.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.  On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 0.3 percent compared with the previous week.  The Refinance Index increased 11 percent from the previous week.  The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 0.4 percent compared with the previous week and was 22 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

 

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 59.0 percent of total applications from 59.1 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.9 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 12.7 percent from 13.7 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 11.1 percent from 10.8 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, 4.02 percent, from 4.06 percent, with points decreasing to 0.40 from  0.41 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.  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 3.89 percent from 3.93 percent, with points decreasing to 0.25 from 0.31 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.  The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.83 percent from 3.86 percent, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.36 (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 3.28 percent from 3.29 percent, with points decreasing to 0.37 from 0.39 (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 3.09 percent from 3.20 percent, with points increasing to 0.34 from 0.18 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.  The effective rate decreased from last week.

If you would like to purchase a subscription of MBA’s Weekly Applications Survey, please visit www.mba.org/WeeklyApps, contact mbaresearch@mba.org.

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

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How to Stay Happy as an Appraiser

How to Stay Happy as an Appraiser with Ann O’Rourke – Dustin Harris Podcast 12/13/15

In a recent paid Appraisal Today newsletter I wrote an article: “Staying positive with unreasonable fees and Scope Creep from AMCs”. In my article I go over many ways to be positive. These ideas are not new and have been around for many decades. I applied them to appraisers.

Whenever I do public speaking, I am much more “out there” than I am when I write. I am much more spontaneous, similar to when I am interviewed for podcasts.

I don’t think that there have ever been as many dissatisfied residential appraisers as there are now, primarily due to several factors:

– AMC and over-management of appraisers

– Low AMC fees for the work required

– Ever increasing requirements from investors and lenders

I know many long time residential appraisers who have quit appraising because they don’t want to work for AMCs. If I could only get work from AMCs, I would have quit also. But, I also know appraisers who do a lot of AMC work and they are satisfied with it. Dustin is a good example. They modified their businesses. I also know appraisers who do very little AMC work.

All successful business people have a positive attitude. Some of us are fortunate to be born that way. But, you can change your attitude.

Click here to listen

http://theappraisercoach.libsyn.com/075-how-to-stay-happy-as-an-appraiser-with-ann-orourke

 

To subscribe or listen on other web sites, go to

– Android – http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-appraiser-coach

– iTunes – Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any! I am a subscriber.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-appraiser-coach-podcast/id966765322

– Website – http://theappraisercoach.libsyn.com/

Appraisal Today newsletter

Part time appraisers – how many and why?

Statistics from data on appraiser licenses from www.asc.gov, and other sources, do not identify how many are doing appraisals part time or not at all.

Why does it seem like there is an appraiser shortage in some areas? Of course, it is probably a shortage of appraisers willing to work for low fees. But, this also spills over into non-AMC work as few appraisers are available as they are cranking out AMC appraisals and won’t accept non-AMC work.

I keep speaking with more and more appraisers who are no longer working long hours. There is almost unlimited demand from AMCs, but most of them do not work for AMCs. Or, work for a few AMCs that pay well and give them occasional work. Or, refuse to work for lower fees, so don’t get much AMC work.

Why do appraisers work part time?

– The median appraiser age is getting higher. Older appraisers (and non-appraisers) are no longer willing to work 60-80 hours per week. They often don’t need as much money as before. Children graduated from college, collecting social security, home mortgage paid off or have a low rate on mortgage, spouse retired, etc. I suspect that this is the primary reason.

– Fee appraisers are self employed. Many baby boomers that are employed want to work part time but their employers won’t allow it. One of my brothers started working in the printing business when he was 18. For the past 30 years he has been doing on-site printer repairs for national companies. He is 67 and would love to cut back to part time as he does not want to do a lot of driving, which his job requires. When he retires this year, there is no one to replace him. There are no new people coming into printer repairs, which requires expertise in computer software and printer hardware, and many years of experience. His employer says “no” to part time work.

– Self-employed appraisers, as we get older, can gradually cut back on how much time we spend on appraising. That is one of the best features of having an appraisal business. Also, if we start another business or get another job, we can often continue part time appraising.

– Not working but keeping license as a backup. Hard to get license back. Sometimes do an occasional appraisal. I always recommend keeping your appraisal license as long as you can. You never know when you will need extra income.

– Don’t work for AMCs and don’t get a lot of work from non-AMC clients.

I just look in the mirror. I limit the amount of work I accept. I don’t do any lender work and turn down non-lender work every week. I am 72, downsized my home, no children to support, collect Social Security of $3,000 per month since I turned 70. I worked very long hours appraising for 25 years, but 5 years ago I started cutting back on the hours I spend appraising. (I typically worked about 60 hours per week.) I get also income from my paid newsletter and ads for this free email newsletter. Most important, I need more time for my experimental music and videos, another big motivator ;>

I do appraisals and work on my appraisal business about 15 hours per week. My sfr fees are at, or slightly above, non-AMC C&R fees. I have little driving time as have been working only in my small city for the past two years – 10 minutes to go from one end to the other. I have an assistant that proofreads, invoices, etc. My typical time to writeup an sfr is about 2 hours. Total time is about 4 hours plus 1 hour for my assistant. There are few tract homes here.

What does this mean for you?

If you stay in the appraisal profession, even part time, you will have lots of work in the future. Baby Boomers are leaving the workplace, or cutting way back, in large numbers for all types of work.

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK? POST YOUR COMMENTS AT WWW.APPRAISALTODAYBLOG.COM !!

Appraisal Today newsletter

Housing Forecast: The Present is a Lagging Indicator, and Sometimes it Rhymes

Some Very Interesting comments from Jonathan Miller’s Housing Notes

May 8, 2015

Excerpt:

Earlier this week I came across a brilliant tweet – that when applied in the context of housing, spoke for a lot of the gimmicky click-bait research that comprises a large swath of housing market news coverage.

The present is a lagging indicator.

— Pedro da Costa (@pdacosta) May 3, 2015

 

While I plan to use that quote extensively, my favorite remains one by Mark Twain (supposedly). It is especially useful when making comparisons to the the boom, bubble, bust cycle of the prior decade.

History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

I prefer my adapted version:

History doesn’t repeat itself, but sometimes it rhymes.

So much of what we read or think about housing is backward looking or a provides a current view based on a prior event that had a completely different set of circumstance and worst of all, a lack of context. Sound bites relied on by market participants and media often have limited applicability to specific situations and perspectives.

Link to the full Housing Notes issue:

http://us6.campaign-archive2.com/?u=47540980899c1d755b4cddc48&id=9493fa8875&e=e758e759fb

My comment: I love Jonathan Millers writing, speaking etc. The only appraiser I know who is widely quoted, and interviewed, in the media!!

Appraisal Today newsletter

CU warning messages – grrrr

A few appraisers are reporting getting CU appraisal warning messages from AMCs. Some AMCs get the messages and and some don’t, depending on the agreement with their lender client.

I sorta believed all the “experts” who said CU would not affect appraisers much, except the many us who do not have market based adjustment support in our work files (which we should have always had). “They” said appraisers’ time for responding to AMC questions will not change. Fannie’s reviewers have been using CU for about two years. Some lenders beta tested it. They all liked it. But, I wonder if it was tested with “boots on the ground” appraisers who actually had to respond to the warnings??

In January I wrote up a long CU article for my paid Appraisal Today newsletter. In the February issue I will have another long article, focusing on the differences between the old and new CU warning messages. They are very different. AMCs with access to lender’s warning messages are sending them to appraisers, such as:

Old message (pre-CU): Condition adjustment for comparable property #<comparable number> appears excessive.
New message(CU): The condition adjustment [for comp #X] is smaller than peer and model adjustments
New (CU): The condition adjustment [for comp #X] is larger than peer and model adjustments.

There are other messages about condition ratings different that peers and model.

I don’t know how our “peers” and The Model made their adjustments or ratings and what they are. I don’t know how to respond as to why mine differ.

Now that appraisers are getting the warnings, they are asking how to respond to them. Who are these peers? What is the model? I have no idea how to respond, except to say “I don’t know who the peers are and how they determined condition or what method they used for their adjustment. I am unable to respond.” How do you know what the condition is really like for comps? There are lots of ways to estimate an adjustment for condition. You can explain what you did. But, who is right? You, peers, or model?

MLS is soo reliable (Not) for estimating comp condition. I don’t think they will like “matched paired sales” on all of your responses for the method you used for adjustments.

Looks like maybe there will have to be some webinars for appraisers, not just underwriters, explaining how to respond.

Appraisal Today newsletter

CU – census tracts, adjustments, "bad apples", etc.

There is a lot of misinformation about CU. No one knows what will happen when CU is fully implemented. I speculate myself. I am an appraiser. I have opinions ;>

UAD is mechanical. CU is asking appraisers to think about their appraisals, not how to classify a characteristic.

For the appraisal profession, I think CU will make us better appraisers by making us take a critical look at adjustments. It will also help get rid of the “bad apples”, including appraisers that “push” values, throw anything into the form to get it out the door, need lots more training and education, etc.

I think Fannie’s main purpose of CU may be to stop appraisers from having low (or high) adjustments, inappropriate comps, using Q/C ratings, etc. to make values higher. That is what they worry about.

Only using comps from within the subject’s census tract is ridiculous and I’m sure CU will not be doing this. It is a good idea to see which census tracts match the neighborhood boundaries that you use. Or, part of Census Tracts. Then you can put the census tracts you use in your appraisal. In some areas census tracts are way out of date due to new construction, plus other problems.

To find census tracts near any property, go to http://www.huduser.org/qct/qctmap.html and type in an address.

I started my business in 1986 and had to put census tract numbers in my appraisals for the first time. I had previously worked for an assessor’s office and had never done a lender appraisal. I used Thomas Brothers Census Tract books to find them. To me, they often represented a reasonable way to delineate all, or part of, a neighborhood. Looking at the current census map for Alameda, CA, my city (population 75,000), it definitely did a good job of defining neighborhoods. However, I usually have to include more than one census tract as there is not enough data to do an appraisal otherwise. It did miss one very important neighborhood where most of Alameda’s large historic homes are located. There is a significant premium for being in this neighborhood. I very, very seldom go out of this neighborhood for comps. I suspect there are issues like this in other geographic areas. I have no idea what area Fannie would use, so I would put an explanation in my appraisal.

The problem is the forms, which were developed for use on tract homes. If you are not appraising a conforming tract home, it is like trying to put square boxes into round holes.

Every appraisal will have a risk score. A high risk score (1.0 to 5.0, where 5.0 is high risk) does not mean an appraisal is “bad”. It may be in an area of declining values or have a negative location problem. Or, not enough comps to provide a reliable value.

Remember that only certain UAD items will be considered by CU for now. If it is not UAD formatted, it will not be looked at. I don’t think Fannie’ use of census tracts will be the issue.

The Big Issue is support for adjustments. I have no idea how to support all the adjustments I make in my appraisals. I know what buyers will pay more, or less, for. But, I don’t know the exact dollar amount.

Regression is just one way to support adjustments, but it will not work for many adjustments, particularly if there are very few sales. Regression is not the only answer. There are many other methods. I will be writing about them in my paid email newsletters.

Regression works very well for time adjustments. Be sure yours are market based, not just from an MC form.

I am seriously considering not making any dollar adjustments when I use form reports for non-lending work, except time adjustments. I never make dollar adjustments on narratives and apartment form reports. My state regulator wants to see support in my files for adjustments.

Just because there is a box does not mean it has to be filled in. Qualitative adjustments are fine. There was a Fannie form developed and used for awhile in the 80s or early 90s that did not use dollar adjustments, only plus or minus signs. I worry about that a lot. The old Fannie 2-4 unit form did not have any adjustment boxes. I really hated when they changed that form to include adjustment boxes and de-emphasize the Income Approach.

No one knows how CU will work out. Will everyone turn down appraisals except for conforming tract homes? Will there be no one to do the tough appraisals and work in rural areas. When appraisers are compared, does the majority opinion win?

Will the days of 24 hour turn times and $200 fees be gone? Will AMCs stop broadcasting all appraisal orders to everyone on their fee panels? Will all appraisers be seen as the same and interchangeable? Or, will appraisers be rated on skills, education and experience? Will fees go up? Will fees be based on difficulty of the appraisal? Will lots of appraisers abandon the lender appraisal ship of fools?

Read the webinar pdfs and look at the maps from the two Fannie Webinars to see what they actually are doing. I spent lots of hours doing this, plus speaking with others about what they thought. Of course, it was for a 12-page article in my paid newsletter. Plus 18 pages of excerpts from Fannie documents and webinars. I probably would not have done it otherwise ;>

Go to www.fanniemae.com/singlefamily/collateral-underwriter and listen to Fannie’s two webinars for underwriters – very good with excellent illustrations and explanations. Plus, read the FAQs. You need to register, but it is very easy and you go directly to the webinar and can return at any time. There are lots of links on the web page for more information.

Last month’s January 2015 issue of the paid Appraisal Today newsletter had a 12-page article on CU plus 18 pages of addenda material. The February and subsequent issues will address problems such as how to make adjustments. Click the ad below for more information.

Appraisal Today newsletter

Fannie's Collateral Underwriter (CU) will make big changes in how we do appraisals starting January 26, 2015 !!

UAD is annoying and only relates to data consistency, not appraising real estate. Collateral Underwriter, which is regression based, uses UAD data to compare your appraisals to your “peers” and Fannie’s “model”, which is regression based. It also compares the appraisal with previous appraisals you have done where the same comp was used. It compares only what is coded by UAD. In other words, it does not address pools, patios, and other non-UAD data. For example, you use $40 per sq.ft. GLA adjustment. CU compares your adjustment to your peers and to the “model” adjustment and you are different than 4 out of 5 other appraisers and the “model” has a different number.

On the plus side, now underwriters are only getting messages based on “rules”, not actual data. With CU, they will have more information to decide if something needs to be changed. I am sure that a lot of “flakey” appraisers who are not very competent, rush through appraisals too fast to get them done, etc. will be identified. More important, the really bad appraisers who may be competent but choose to use “fake” comps, change comp sales prices to get a higher value, etc. will be found out.

I am working on an article for my January 2015 newsletter on CU and am studying all the Fannie documents plus interviewing industry insiders to see what it means for you. Reading all these Fannie documents is giving me a headache!!

Go to www.fanniemae.com/singlefamily/collateral-underwriter  and listen to Fannie’s two webinars for underwriters (listed under OnDemand eLearning Courses) – very good with excellent illustrations and explanations. You need to register, but it is very easy and you go directly to the webinar and can return at any time. There are lots of links on the web page for more information.

Also listen to Jeff Bradford’s recent webinar athttps://goto.webcasts.com/viewer/event.jsp?ei=1050667 . It starts with the Big Picture of Big Data and discusses CU. It also includes information on his new Redstone report which has adjustment support and other information. Redstone can be attached as an addendum to any forms software you use. You can skip this part, if you want. But, I found it very interesting. Projected pricing is $5-$15 per report, depending on what you need. Jeff is writing an article on the Big Picture of Big Data for the February issue of the paid Appraisal Today.

Appraisal Today newsletter

Fannie's new Collateral Underwriter to check appraisals Using Fannie's Big Data.

Fannie’s new Collateral Underwriter to check appraisals Using Fannie’s Big Data. 

Another great email from Dave Towne in Washington!!

10-14 FNMA Collateral Underwriter Flyer showing info about the FNMA Collateral Underwriter process they will make available to lenders (NOT APPRAISERS) in January 2015. You should review it. It has to do with their Enhancement of Risk Controls.

This is what we know as Appraisal Quality Monitoring (AQM) …. which was announced almost 2 years ago. FNMA has already been using the ‘scope’ on your reports, but will soon allow the lenders to have access to the software so that they can do pre-submittal exams prior to uploading the loan file, and your appraisal, to FNMA.

Virtually everything is digital now in our real estate appraisal world. That makes it incredibly easy for ‘big data’ to be analyzed very quickly and efficiently. Hiding relevant property info under a rock, your clipboard [tablet?], or just ignoring it, is no longer possible. Discrepancies will be found fast, and you will be asked for explanations or corrections.

Note the examples from the flyer:
– Chain of property ownership
– Inconsistency in reported property data from your info compared to your peers (subject & comps)
– Checking adjustments made (or not made) – primarily the math
– Testing for comps in terms of location, characteristics, sales prices, etc.

FNMA’s news release about their Collateral Underwriter:
Introducing Collateral Underwriter
Collateral Underwriter™ (CU™) is a proprietary appraisal risk assessment application developed by Fannie Mae to support proactive management of appraisal quality. CU will:
– Provide additional transparency and certainty by giving lenders access to the same appraisal analytics used in Fannie Mae’s quality control process.
– Perform an automated risk assessment of appraisals submitted to the Uniform
– Collateral Data Portal® (UCDP®) and return a CU risk score, flags, and messages to the submitting lender.
– Be available at no charge so lenders can take full advantage of the application for quality control and risk management purposes.

The CU risk scores, flags, and messages will be available to all UCDP users in real-time beginning on Jan. 26, 2015 through UCDP. Find more information on the CU web page at https://www.fanniemae.com/singlefamily/collateral-underwriter?cmpid=sln102114 .

Dave Towne, AGA, MAA Owner / Educator
360-708-1196
towneappraisals@clearwire.net
www.towneappraisals.com
Mount Vernon, WA

My comments: The PDF only has three pages of the document. The other pages were not available. Real estate is location, location, location. What about the 4th approach to value: Curbside Approach. That is where you sit on the curb across the street from the subject and ask yourself: “Does this value make any sense?”

There are many appraisal review programs in use and being developed. I knew that Fannie would be using their Big Data to automate underwriting reviews of appraisals as well as monitoring appraisers.

Does this mean appraisers focus even more on making sure their appraisals pass these automated reviews rather than focusing on what counts – the value? Is this another path along the way to not focusing on what appraisers provide – reliable and accurate values? Plus, disclosure of any problems with the property?

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Where Did All the Good Appraisers Go?

Where Did All the Good Appraisers Go?

By Hamp Thomas, Institute of Housing Technologies

Excerpt:

As appraisal fees go downward, quality is going in the same direction. The best appraisers, who have invested years and years in building their careers don’t want to work for a company that they have to check in with every 12 hours, and get treated like a school kid in the principal’s office. An untrained and unlicensed person on the other end of the phone is making their schedule and deciding who gets paid what. And guess what – it’s going to get worse… The best appraisers are finding other types of appraisal work (that values their craft), and the appraisers that work on mortgage loans are often the newer licensees or trainees. If all this Reform we’re talking about is still hoping for higher quality appraisals for use in mortgage lending, we’re in deep trouble. The best appraisers are leaving mortgage appraising as fast as they can.

Appraisers get together and discuss how “bass ackwards” all this “reform” is, and why something that is so logical has been stretched far enough that the government is biting; hook, line, and sinker… If you want a higher quality product, you have to pay more. Look around. Do the best doctors get paid more? How about the best mechanics? The best architects? The best teachers and speakers? The best attorneys? People seek out the best and they are in such great demand, they command higher fees. This is nothing new, it’s just the way the system is supposed to work. So why do we think that appraisals should be different? The lenders, and government officials, and AMC’s think appraisers can be paid less, be required to do more work in each report, and then the quality of appraisals will go up? Come on, this is not rocket science. In most cases, when you add a middleman to any process the price goes up and the quality goes down. Ask Walmart…

http://www.housemeasures.com/ArticlePages/Where-Did-All-the-Good-Appraisers-Go–.html

My comment: AMCs, and the lenders that hire them, see all appraisers as the same. Why not go for the lowest fee? Yes, there are direct lenders who care, and big lenders who have “special lists” of experienced and well trained appraisers, typically for high end homes or people who are top bank customers. Those appraisers are paid much more than the appraisers who compete on fee.
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Lone wolf appraisers fighting everyone, including other appraisers

Jonathon Miller’s original recent article on Bloomberg and follow up article replying to very negative appraiser “trolls”. Most of the appraisers did not read the

Guess What’s Holding Back Housing? – Original article
Jonathon Miller’s Original posting was on Bloomberg and got lots of appraiser comments, many of them very negative and defensive

Excerpts:
During the U.S. housing boom, real-estate appraisers acted like deal-enablers rather than valuation experts. Indeed, inflated appraisals were a key ingredient in the erosion of mortgage-lending standards that led to the housing bust. Now we are seeing the opposite — low appraisals — with unwelcome consequences for the housing market.

A recent working paper by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia looked at the impact of the HVCC rules on the outcome of appraisals and mortgages, touted as the first empirical analysis undertaken since the agreement was enacted.

The study looked at the frequency of low appraisals, in which the appraised value was less than the contract price. A low appraisal doesn’t necessarily equate to low quality but it could be a concern. The highest percentage of low appraisals occurred around May 2009. This was not only the peak of the housing-market collapse, but also when the agreement first went into effect, easing the pressure on appraisers by mortgage brokers and banks to “hit the number.”

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-09-25/guess-what-s-holding-back-housing

—————-

Lone Wolves: Appraisers Fighting Everyone, Including Appraisers
Follow up posting after lots of appraiser ranting

Excerpts:
There are many great people, incredible talents and solid organizations within the appraisal profession. But in my opinion only 20% of the industry are truly competent professionals and the remainder are merely varying degrees of form fillers.

I have been an appraiser for 28 years and it is apparent that the industry is dying a death of a thousand knives. One of the key reasons for this slow death is the lack of national leadership and the extreme fragmentation since most appraisal shops are comprised of a single or just a handful of professionals. I’d also like to offer that the majority of our profession seem very willing to make unsupported negative inferences on reviews of a colleague’s work such as appraisal field reviews or troll columns like mine.

To read the full article and the appraisers’ comments:
http://www.millersamuel.com/lone-wolves-appraisers-fighting-everyone-including-appraisers/

My comments:
I have been following Jonathon Miller for many years. He is very savvy and is widely quoted in the media – local and national. Plus, he has a Most Excellent blog.

I agree with Miller regarding the lack of competent appraisers. It is not the appraisers’ fault. The problem is the lack of adequate training and poor education after appraisal licensing. Fee appraisers were expected to train new appraisers. But, it takes a lot of time. Also, poorly trained recently licensed appraisers were allowed to train new appraisers. The recent change to AMCs and UAD have made residential lender appraisers focus on “filling out the form” to fit guidelines and criteria that do not have much to do with getting a credible and accurate value. In fact, the restrictions can result in being hassled if you try to use comps and analysis that are appropriate for the appraisal. Many appraisers just give up and give them what they want.

I don’t know of any other trade, job, or career where participants constantly “bad mouth” each other. The only reason I can see is that their appraisals are reviewed. Appraisers are used to being criticized and look for “problems” in other appraisers’ work.

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