1-12-17 Newz .New scam: owners pose as renters, 21 day turn times

Haunting Photos of Europe’s Abandoned Buildings, From Steel Plants to Castles

Excerpt: Photographer Hans Van Vrouwerf first started shooting abandoned buildings in 2010. He started with an old stone factory in a village in the Dutch countryside and when he got home, Van Vrouwerf started to research other buildings. As a committed urban explorer, with the countries of Western Europe as his backyard, he has sought out derelict buildings not only in his home base of the Netherlands, but also in Belgium, Germany, France, and Luxembourg.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/haunting-photos-of-europes-abandoned-buildings-from-steel-plants-to-castles 

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What’s the most disturbing history you’ve learned about a house you were selling?
More than 5,000 comments in 48 hours on Reddit
Excerpt: At first glance, it’s a simple question: What’s the most disturbing history you’ve learned about a house you were selling.
But what started out as a 13-word question on share-site Reddit, spiraled into unsettling long responses from tons of users, generating more than 5,000 responses in only 48 hours.
My comment: Wow!! I thought I had seen some bad stuff as an appraiser, but it was nothing compared to these comments. Warning: can be disturbing, especially the dead bodies. Be sure to check out the comments (and threads)

Read more!!

1-5-17 Newz .The Two Americas and Real Estate .McMansion Hell

FHA handbook 4000.1 quarterly update

No Changes to policies but it is always best to have the latest version when trying to figure out what FHA wants and underwriter/reviewer hassles.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) published the quarterly update to its Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 (SF Handbook). This update incorporates previously published Mortgagee Letters into both the online and portable document format (PDF) SF Handbook.
http://www.allregs.com/tpl/public/fha_freesite.aspx  for Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 December Update
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McMansion Hell!!
 Lots of interesting stuff. Go to the link below and look at some of the pull down links in the upper left for lots more info!!
This link is for one of the many pages – McMansion in Bentonville County, Arkansas
Cannot be described. Lots of photos with sometimes snarky comments. Just gotta see it  ;>

Read more!!

12-22-16 Newz//: Strange real estate listings, Turn times

Popular (and sometimes strange) real estate listings

 Take a break and check out these listings!!

The 4 Most Interesting Home Listings of 2016 – Fun Video

Video is 2 minutes and 40 seconds long and very entertaining!!

Can’t describe it. You just gotta see it!!

http://www.realtor.com/videos/video-the-4-most-interesting-home-listings-of-2016/943a657f-f1fc-4290-b608-fe158002f548

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2016’s top 10 most popular (and sometime strange) homes for sale

Here are 3 of them

No. 1 is the country’s biggest fixer-upper – over 60,000 sq.ft. in Texas. Price: Listed for $3.6 million

5. The cave dwelling, Undisclosed address, Festus, Missouri. Price: Listed for $314,900

10. The ‘Amityville Horror’ house, 108 Ocean Ave, Amityville, New York. Price: Listed for $850,000, entered into contract in November

http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38783-here-are-2016s-top-10-most-popular-homes-for-sale

Read more!!

12-8-16 Newz .Beautiful libraries .Roundabouts .Sales contract amendment

Beautiful and unusual places

What are the most popular links in these newsletters? Weird properties, very expensive homes, etc. Plus Appraiser goes to jail (not many of these today), Freddie and Fannie no-appraisal loans. LIA’s Claudia Says ads are also very popular. Sorry, USPAP, ASB, AQB, ASC etc. are not very popular but I put them in just to let you know what is happening, even if you don’t care much ;> Here are two:

10 of the Most Beautiful Libraries on Earth

Take a break and a look at these beautiful and unusual libraries!!

From all over the world, including the Chicago Public Library

Excerpt:

Chicago Public Library, by SOM

Chicago’s new Chinatown library branch has no sharp edges. The pebble-shaped building is wrapped in glass and marked by solar-shading fins that are meant to reduce heat and glare. The library’s curvy, three-sided shape is built around feng shui principles and designed to align with the avenues outside the building. Inside, the two-story structure is centered around a light-filled atrium.

No links for more info, but you can google the names.

https://www.wired.com/2016/09/settle-10-beautiful-libraries-earth

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Carmel, Indiana, America’s King of Roundabouts

Read more!!

12-1-16 Newz//Funny listing fotos, ADUs, Time to complete 1004

Are Granny Flats Undervalued?

by Kathy Price-Robinson, The Appraisers Research Foundation

Excerpt:

Whether you call them granny flats, in-law units, or something else, residential accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on residential properties excite municipal planners, homeowners, and others for social and environmental reasons. They are “green” by nature because of their small size and can provide great benefits to the owner.

But they can also perplex appraisers and other real estate professionals because of erroneous perceptions and various institutional policies that complicate lending on properties featuring ADUs.

To help clarify the estimation of value of residential properties with accessory units, researchers Martin J. Brown and Taylor Watkins conducted a study to test an income-based approach to valuation of properties with ADUs.

http://www.workingre.com/granny-flats-undervalued/

My comment: I appraise these types of units often in my city. Typically they are not legal. I consider them similar to detached bonus rooms, offices, guest quarters. If legal, the income approach would work to determine the added value of the ADU. Of course, income from airbnb, etc. vs. “regular” rentals is another big issue. The article does not address non-legal ADUs, the vast majority of them. FYI, The Appraisers Research Foundation has been around for a long time and regularly publishes (and gives grants for) research papers. For more info, go to http://www.appraiserresearch.org/ To see their other research, click on Research Results in the top menu bar.

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Poll: On average, how long does it take you to complete a 1004 interior inspection appraisal report, including inspection and drive time?

Read more!!

11-10-16 Newz// CFPB and Dodd Frank Going Down?, Zillow, Man caves

How Man Caves Took Over America’s Basements

Excerpts:

A man cave usually develops in spare rooms, such as bedrooms, offices, finished basements, or recreation rooms. The garage, another traditionally masculine space, is more often a workshop or place to make repairs. Its connotation with work (often frustrating and unsavory as any viewer of Home Improvement can attest) as well as its thermal issues (it’s rarely cooled or heated like the rest of the house) demarcate it from the man cave, an interior space.

While men have always had their sacred spaces in the home such as the garage or study, the domesticity of the 19th and early 20th century overall implied that the home was, of course, the woman’s place. In the previous centuries, men sought refuge outside the home in establishments such as gentlemen’s clubs (think more country club than strip club), and male-only social clubs and establishments such as the Freemasons.

Very interesting, especially the history!!

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-the-man-cave-took-over-americas-basements

My comment: I live in California, where there are few basements. I do see garage “man caves”. But, they are not as fixed up as basements, mostly with a tv, beer fridge and some tools. Sometimes I see bedrooms set up as computer rooms.

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Collection and Verification of Residential Data in the Sales Comparison Approach APB Valuation Advisory #8

Voluntary Guidance on Recognized Valuation Methods and Techniques:

My comments: This is advisory and not part of USPAP. Finally the Appraisal Practices Board has 48 pages of practical advice for practicing residential appraisers, the vast majority of appraisers. It discusses what different types of clients want, such as Fannie, VA, Rels, relocation, data, data collection, CU, etc. Scope of work examples are included. The last 17 pages are about verification. Worth reading.

https://www.appraisalfoundation.org/imis/docs/Valuation-Advisory-8-Collection-and-Verification-of-Residential-Sales-101716.pdf

Read more!!

11-3-16 Newz: Freddie-lower appraisal requirements, Do you like appraising?, Wells Fargo overcharges on appraisals

2016’s Best Small Cities in America

Excerpt:

Small-city dwellers enjoy tighter networks, shorter commutes and an abundance of land, just to name a few advantages. Granted, there are tradeoffs such as perhaps fewer restaurant options or shorter business hours. But one of the best perks of living in a city with a relatively smaller population is cheaper cost of living – generally speaking, that is. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a two-parent, two-child family would need to earn $49,114 a year “to secure an adequate but modest living standard” in Morristown, Tenn., compared with $106,493 in Washington.

So which small cities outshine the rest? WalletHub’s analysts compared 1,268 cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 based on 30 key indicators of livability. They range from “housing costs” to “school-system quality” to “number of restaurants per capita.” Continue reading below for the winners of the top spots, expert commentary and a full description of our methodology.

https://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-small-cities-to-live-in/16581/

My comment: Check your city – mine was listed!! But, did not rate high on cost of living with a median home price of around $800,000… But, you can see the mayor at the grocery store to complain about potholes ;>

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Wells Fargo agrees to $50 million settlement over homeowner appraisal fees

Excerpt:

Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) has agreed to pay $50 million to settle a racketeering lawsuit accusing it of overcharging hundreds of thousands of homeowners for appraisals ordered after they defaulted on their mortgage loans.

The proposed settlement, which requires court approval, was disclosed in a filing on Friday in an Oakland, California federal court. If approved, it will resolve nationwide claims that Wells Fargo charged much more than it paid for third-party appraisals, exploiting borrowers who could least afford it and driving them further into default.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-wellsfargo-settlement-idUSKBN12V27F

Read more!!

10-27-16 Newz//Red lining maps, Fannie-no appraisals needed, Garage conversions

The Coolest Empty Buildings in America

They’re weird, amazing, and available.

Excerpt:

If you’ve got a few million bucks to play with, you’ll find that the country is littered with remarkable empty structures in various states of disrepair, just waiting for enterprising new owners with big dreams and deep pockets. Here are five of our current faves.

Here are a few:

Miami Marine Stadium: Miami, Florida

“Superman Building”: Providence, Rhode Island

Michigan Central Station: Detroit, Michigan

www.citylab.com/design/2016/10/the-coolest-empty-buildings-in-america/499049/

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Fannie’s Property Inspection Waiver (no appraisal) effective 12/10/16 for all lenders

Notice dated 10/24/16. I suspected that this was where Fannie was going with UAD and CU. Refis only.. for now. $75 to waive the appraisal requirement. Fannie has been testing it for awhile with some lenders. You may see this referred to as “Day 1 Certainty”, the name Fannie has chosen.

Link to the 2 page fact sheet: https://www.fanniemae.com/content/fact_sheet/property-inspection-waiver-fact-sheet.pdf

Thanks to Dave Towne for this very interesting news!

My comment: I will have an article on this topic for my November newsletter, out November 1, including relevant details and what this means for you. Very interesting.

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

Read more!!

10-20-16 Newz// Appraisal oversight, VA wants fee appraisers, Amazing things disguised as Boring

9 Amazing Things Disguised as Boring Things

Look twice-these seemingly mundane objects are hiding something.

Excerpt:

Narnia hid behind a wardrobe. Doctor Who’s Tardis was disguised as a blue police call box. With no signage and no flags, these out of the ordinary things are hidden away disguised as something utterly banal. In some cases, these things are camouflaged on accident; in others, they are secreted away so that only those in the know can find them.

Either way, the world is full of seemingly mundane places that are more than meets the eye. It reminds us to stay curious-one has to always be on the lookout for wonder. Here are nine places in the Atlas that may seem boring at first glance but are actually amazing once you take a closer look.

Here are a few:

1. Brooklyn Townhouse Secret Subway Exit

Brooklyn, NY

3. Mystery Soda Machine – insert 75 cents and see what you get

Seattle, WA

4. The Lonely Parking Meter

The only parking meter in Winters, CA

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/9-amazing-things-disguised-as-boring-things

My comment: Just For Fun!! We all work in the field and discover strange things. This article will make me look closer at what I see ;>

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Disciplinary Process-How It Works, Your Rights & Likely Outcomes

by Robert Weinstock, JD, MBA, CBA, CVA

Excerpts:

While the number of licensed real estate appraisers nationwide has decreased, the number of complaints filed against appraisers has increased. For example, in my home state of California, complaints against appraisers have increased by 40% even though the number of appraisers has declined, according to the California Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers (BREA)….

The following is an actual 2015 disciplinary action against an appraiser in which the appraiser lost his license and was required to reimburse the state for its investigation and prosecution costs in the amount of $125,828. In addition, if the applicant should care to reapply for a new license, he shall be required to pay an additional $115,828.

Read more!!

Newz// Accessory Dwelling Units .FHA webinar .Analysis of FHA 4000.1 changes

Why It’s Impossible to Know a Coastline’s True Length

Measuring around bodies of water is a mathematically impossible

Excerpt:

Imagine, for a moment, that you and your friend have been given a seemingly straightforward task: to measure the coastline of Puget Sound, in Washington State. Resources are tight, so you’ve got a yardstick, while your friend has a foot-long ruler. You each walk along, laying your measuring stick along the edge of the water, following the the ins and outs of the shore as best you can. When you’re finished, you compare notes-and you’re shocked. While you ended up with a respectable 3,000 miles, your friend and his foot-long got a way higher number, somewhere around 4,500 miles.

You guys aren’t crazy. You’re victims of the coastline paradox, a tricky mathematical principle that messes with cartographers, stymies government bureaus, and makes it impossible to know exactly how big our world truly is.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/why-its-impossible-to-know-a-coastlines-true-length

My comment: Fascinating article!! Looking at the Big Picture. All appraisers take measurements. It seems so easy… most of the time…

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Webinar Title: NEW
FHA Appraisal Essentials – An In-Depth Look
Date/Time:
Pre-recorded: September 14, 2016 / Duration: 115 minutes
Registration Link:
Description:
This pre-recorded webinar provides an in-depth look at a variety of property appraisal topics such as: property acceptability criteria; minimum property requirements; property defects; appraiser responsibilities and requirements; and, much more. The webinar is targeted primarily to FHA roster appraisers, underwriters, processors, and other appropriate mortgagee staff involved with the appraisal review and mortgage approval process.
 
Special Instructions:
This webinar is now available 24/7 for viewing.

NOTE ON LINK: it looks like you are registering for the September live session. Just fill it out and a link to the webinar will appear.


Read more!!