Appraisal News and Business Tips

Mortgage applications

8-17-17 Newz//Appraiser Goes to Jail, Mercury Network Bidding, $10,000 Lighthouse

Buy a lighthouse for $10,000

 Just For Fun!!

Excerpt:
Bidding is underway for six decommissioned lighthouses built before 1930 that the federal government has put up for auction. Five overlook the Great Lakes in Michigan, and the sixth is on the Chesapeake Bay.
It’s a tempting prospect, perhaps, for those who yearn for scenic surroundings – and who have the stamina to tackle periodic renovations.
Interesting article with photos and commentary
My comment: I Want One!!! A former lighthouse in San Francisco Bay was converted to a very popular B&B. Someday, maybe, I will stay overnight there ;>

How Air-Conditioning Conquered America (Even the Pacific Northwest)

Excerpt: Air-conditioning has been remarkably good at creating demand for itself.
 It enabled the sweeping postwar development of the South, where all new single-family homes today include central air. In automobiles, it made the commutes between air-conditioned homes and air-conditioned offices possible. In the Southwest, its arrival facilitated new methods of rapid construction, replacing traditional building designs that once naturally withstood the region’s desert climate.
Interesting graphs and analysis.

My comment: A timely topic in today’s increasing temperatures. I have never lived in a house with air conditioning, even in Oklahoma when I was a kid. But, I used to visit my aunt in Dallas in the summer – air conditioned house, car, etc. I always say that people here in California do not know what hot is: 85 degrees and 85% humidity when I lived in Oklahoma ;>

Read more!!

8-3-17 Newz// Forest Guitar, Wells Fargo-no AMCs, Creepy Scope

Forest Guitar made of trees, dedicated to a man’s lost love.

Excerpt: Breaking up the flat agricultural areas of Argentina’s Pampas is a guitar formed entirely out of trees. Stretching for 2/3 of a mile, the multi-colored instrument was created by one Argentine farmer to memorialize his wife who tragically died at the age of 25.
My comment: Just for Fun ;> Fascinating photo and brief writeup.

Scope Creep Causes Creepy Scope

By George Dell, MAI, SRA

Excerpt: …scope creep has turned into scope running. I’m sure many appraisers, particularly residential people will agree. He (David Braun) points out that as the reviewers ask for more, appraisers are finding ways to not be specific. This has turned into a self-perpetuating loop:  “As the providers, users, and enforcement bodies have differing opinions on the proper level of the scope required . . .”

My comment: Interesting blog post. Short. Worth reading.

Read more!!

7-27-17 Newz// LA-FTC and AMC fee survey, Silent place, No Bubble?

One Square Inch of Silence

A tiny red pebble marks what may be the quietest outdoor spot in the United States.

Just For Fun!!
Excerpt: One Square Inch of Silence, an independent research project created by the author and Emmy Award-winning acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton, aims to protect the space from human noise intrusions. The tiny quiet spot, accessible via a three-mile rainforest hike down the Hoh River Trail near Forks, WA was designated on April 22, 2005 (Earth Day) as a “noise control project” to ensure the decibel count at the square inch would never rise.
 
My comment: Our lives today are very noisy: cars, lawn mowers, refrigerators, air conditioners, fans, etc. etc. Plus, external noise can affect property values. There is quite a bit of noise “pollution” in most places. It is very hard to find a quiet place today, even in very remote locations. I keep reading articles on this topic.

Smoking pricing crack, era charm, & blaming appraisers

By Ryan Lundquist July 5, 2017
Excerpt: Smoking Pricing Crack: Did you see that listing in Waco Texas of the property that was rehabbed by Chip & JoAnna Gaines of the reality show Fixer Upper? It was purchased for $28,000 and now it’s listed for sale at $950,000. Would you pay more because Chip and Joanna rehabbed it?
My comment: Interesting blog post plus lots of comments!!

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6-28-17 Newz// Octagon house craze, Reproducibility Crisis, AMC Technology Efficient?

Octagon House Craze in the 1800s

Excerpt: If you were a forward-thinking individualist in 1800s America, building an eight-sided abode was a great way to show it. The octagon house was a cutting-edge design at the time, believed to be a more efficient use of space, energy, and cost than the conventional square.

… Thousands of these geometric oddities were built by the time the trend hit its peak in the 1860s.

My comment: Wow!! I have never appraised an octagon house, but have seen a few from the outside. Have measured octagon turrets on Victorians.

Top cities where the number of million dollar homes is skyrocketing

Excerpt: In large swaths of the country, a cool million has mostly come to represent the new standard for good, upper-middle-class housing. “In more markets than ever before, the million-dollar mark is the new benchmark for that green lawn and white picket fence,” says Javier Vivas, manager of the realtor.com® economic research team.
  1. Denver CO
  2. Santa Rosa CA
  3. Boulder CO
  4. Truckee CA
Click here get the full list and read the comments on the cities – very interesting!!

My comment: In my small city in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a median price of around $850,000, many properties are listed just under $1,000,000 and sell over list. Starter homes are $750,000 to $800,000 (2 bedroom/1 bath, built before 1940, maybe updated kitchen and bath, 1000 sq.ft.) No, we did not get on the list. Already have too many over $1,000,000.. I am soo glad I bought my  house in 1985 for $135,000!!

Read more!!

6-15-17 Newz// Appraisers Replaced by Data Analysis, Very Unusual Hotels

8 of the Most Unusual Hotels in the Netherlands

Proof the Dutch can convert nearly anything into a place to stay the night.

Excerpt: n industrial crane or wooden wine barrel would be unremarkable objects anywhere else. But in Holland, these unexpected structures have been transformed into one-of a-kind hotels, made habitable and even luxurious with some loving restoration and redesign. Prefer to spend the night in a tilted cube house or the rumored birthplace of a secret shadow government? The Dutch have got you covered there, too. Here are eight hotels in the Netherlands that offer visitors a unique place to stay.

My comment: Very Interesting. Good for a quick break from writing up appraisals. I love appraising but hate writing up the those darn reports ;>
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The Highest Home Price Increases Around the World

Excerpt: When it comes to the world’s fastest-rising prices for luxury residential real estate, don’t look to the United States.

Read more!!

6-8-17 Newz// Appraisal Waivers, Blue Bathrooms, Corelogic buys Mercury Network

 The Sunken World Hiding Under the Water’s Surface

27 drowned places that used to be above ground.
Excerpt: here is an entire submerged world hidden just below sea level, largely out of sight to terrestrial beings today. The Earth’s shores are lined with sunken cities, flooded crypts, drowned forests, and submerged structures that have been lost underwater over the millennia, overtaken by nature or human development.

Rising sea levels and flooding caused by earthquakes, landslides, changing tides, melting glaciers, or manmade dams have wiped entire villages off the map. And sometimes, when the water recedes, these submerged cities and landscapes reemerge from the depths, an eerie glimpse at the invisible sunken world.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/lists/sunken-cities-flooded-drowned 

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Appraiser shortage = appraisal waivers??

Excerpt:
Key government agencies finally addressed the critically growing appraisal shortage crisis that’s hampering the mortgage process, highlighting two alternative options to help areas that are facing a shortage.
Particularly, the alternative options are aimed at helping rural areas that are struggling with the availability of state certified and licensed appraisers.

Read more!!

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!!

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4-20-17 Newz// The Narrowest House, State Appraisal Boards, Low Housing Inventory

Keret House- The world’s narrowest house makes for an awkward, four-foot-wide living space.

Excerpt: Designed by Polish architect Jakub Szczęsny, the Keret House in Warsaw is wedged inside a four-foot crevice, nicknamed a “cushion of air,” between two buildings. The Keret House stretches over 30 feet tall but is simultaneously only 28 inches wide at its narrowest point-thinner than a stovetop-and just four feet wide at its widest.
My comment: Check out the fotos and full article. Wow!! I have written about narrow houses in this weekly email before, but this is definitely the narrowest!!
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When You Get Notice of a State Complaint…

By Ted Whitmer
If you are an appraiser, it is likely that at some point in your career you will receive notice that a complaint was filed against you. In one particular busy year in Texas, roughly one in six residential appraisers were filed against with the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board. When you run the number of complaints in one year against the number of appraisers, one can expect a complaint every eight to ten years.

Read more!!

4-6-17 Newz .VA Appraisers Congress Hearing .Appraiser and Timeshare Scam .Fourth Approach

Assessing VA Approved Appraisers and How to Improve the Program for the 21st Century – House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity April 4, 2017

Link to video of hearing: https://youtu.be/uoVmYOq4HQY  (scroll forward past the logo)
Witnesses included:
– NAR 2016 Real Property Valuation Committee Chair
– Vice President, Appraisal Institute
– Chief Revenue Officer, Clear Capital

My comment: I have always been surprised that so few appraisers are interested in doing VA appraisals. Guess they like working for AMCs with hassles and low fees. Every week, at the bottom of every free email newsletter, I include the MBA origination stats, including VA, which is similar in volume to FHA. This week FHA and VA are very similar – around 11% of originations.

I wrote an article about the plusses and minuses of VA appraising in my Paid Appraisal Today newsletter, available to paid subscribers (see below). What I really like about VA is that you are helping veterans, not a lender trying to make a deal however they can. I noticed that a Representative O’Rourke was one of the first speakers in the video ;>
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Federal Court Permanently Bars California Man From Preparing Property Appraisals

Appraiser prepared thousands of appraisals in conjunction with timeshare donation scheme

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3-16-17 Newz: Appraiser indicted, Public records sqft, 3-D printed house

3D Map Shows America’s Most Expensive Housing Markets

Excerpt: Which U.S. housing market is the most expensive?
 It seems like the question should have a single, straightforward answer. But with varying definitions of what constitutes a housing market and with different ways of measuring home value, the question is not so clear cut.
Using data from Zillow, this 3D map shows the cost of housing by U.S. county. The height of each area represents the average price per square foot of its homes.
My comment: Fascinating graphic. Lots of counties well under $100 per sq.ft. My urban county: $477. Other CA rural counties under $150. Warning: Can Be Addictive ;> I love Microcosm graphics!!
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Top 10 Affordable Small Towns Where You’d Actually Want to Live, 2017 Edition
Excerpt: But does this (small towns) mean you have to trade excitement for enervation? As the city-dwelling comedian Lenny Bruce once said, “I hate small towns, because once you’ve seen the cannon in the park, that’s it.” So we focused on life beyond the cannons-small towns offering up rich cultures and a surprising amount of fun side diversions.

Read more!!

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