The Sculptured House: An Appraisal Challenge

The Sculptured House


Motoring down the scenic drive west on Highway 70, away from Denver, Colorado, into the foothills and sprawling mountains, an odd structure appears south of the freeway. An oval shape seems to float just above the trees at the top of a cliff, looking at the highway below. It would be understandable to think you’ve spotted a UFO, since the Sculptured House is known for its sci-fi history. The Sculptured House Is An Appraisal Challenge !!

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Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

Appraising Weird Stuff is Challenging!(Opens in a new browser tab)

Appraisal Process Challenges(Opens in a new browser tab)

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Appraiser Recovers From COVID-19

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. Appraiser Recovers From COVID-19.
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
The Appraisal Update – Episode 40 | Bryan Reynolds and COVID19
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

10-20 UPDATE: For lots of Covid analysis and news, go to my new covidscienceblog.com

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

A very, very funny appraiser video!

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Coronavirus and Appraisals March 13 2020

Appraiser’s (Changing) Role

Q&A with Mark Verrett, Chief Innovation Officer at Accurity Valuation

Excerpts: WRE: How can appraisers adapt to meet the profession demands?

Verrett: I think there are several ways to adapt to these challenges. The first is to work toward diversifying your practice away from 100 percent mortgage business niches. Our firm is a leader in green valuation, rural valuation, valuation consulting and litigation support and we help our offices diversify into those spaces. However, this solution isn’t for everyone….

To directly take on the challenges facing appraiser relevancy in the mortgage space, significant change is required. Appraisers need to unite to create a like-minded national voice that is not rejecting proposed changes for the profession, but rather working with stakeholders (regulators, lenders, clients, etc.) in conceptualizing, testing, tweaking, and ultimately modernizing the appraisal process on the mortgage side.

The appraisal community has a tough assignment in their role in this modernization. To be useful in the discussion, we need to challenge ourselves to be creative and open-minded, yet diligent in maintaining or, even better, improving the quality of the valuation being produced. I think it is extremely important for appraisers to listen and understand the needs of their clients and to creatively develop solutions that meet those needs.

Worth reading with some good ideas. To read more, click here

My comment: Accurity has franchisees and some very savvy appraiser officers and directors.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

For Covid Updates, go to my Covid Science blog at covidscienceblog.com

Appraiser Covid Survey Results April 2020

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Does a Bedroom Need a Window for Appraisals?

Does a Bedroom Need a Window To Be Legal?

Excerpts: Bedrooms are one of those features of a home that sounds good if there are more of them. I get calls all of the time from real estate agents asking if a certain room can be considered a bedroom.

Of course, there are other ways to look at this as well. There are two components to the value of a bedroom including the utility of the room to be used as a bedroom and also the actual square footage that it occupies in the house. Does a Bedroom Need a Window for Appraisals?

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My comment: Written for agents, but very good analysis of relevant market factors plus what building codes say (International Residential Code – IRC). I have an excellent article on bedrooms on the paid subscriber page, with lots of details on different standards, such as FHA. I get questions about what is a bedroom regularly from real estate agents.

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

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Urban, Suburban, Rural in Appraisals

Urban, Suburban, Rural?

By Tim Andersen, MAI

Excerpt: QUESTION: Can you help me to understand the differences between urban, suburban, and rural? Where I live and work, everything is essentially one big megalopolis for 30 miles in every direction. Therefore, in my reports, I tend to refer to everything as suburban. A reviewer called me on this, but I can’t figure out why. Please set me straight.

ANSWER: At one time, a location was urban if there were high-rise office buildings and no houses close by, suburban if there were merely low-rise office buildings and many houses nearby, and rural if there were no office buildings and lots of farms, ranches, and vacant land close by. However, that was back in the day, so we need new definitions….

To read more, click here

My comment: This is a tricky issue. This post has some good tips. Tim is a regular contributor to the paid Appraisal Today with much longer articles, focusing on USPAP, lender appraising, state board complaints, etc. He reviews lots of lender form appraisals and wants to help appraisers write better reports. More info at https://theappraisersadvocate.com/

10-20 UPDATE: For lots of Covid analysis and news, go to my new covidscienceblog.com

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

What’s the appraisal definition for suburban?(Opens in a new browser tab)

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Tax records and Square Footage in Appraisals

13516718 – white wood texture with natural patterns

Tax Records is not the definitive source for square footage!

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpt:

Why is the appraiser saying it’s only 1,400 sq ft? Tax Records shows the home is 600 sq ft larger. This issue comes up ALL the time, so let’s talk about it. Tax records and Square Footage in Appraisals is a hot topic.

The truth: The Assessor’s records are generally reliable, but I’m just saying sometimes they’re not. Why is this? At times it’s as simple as the original builder not turning in accurate information when a house was built. Or maybe an owner took out permits but official records were never updated. Of course we’ve all seen instances where the tax roll shows two units on one lot, but there’s really just one house nowadays. Let’s not forget sometimes owners do an addition without permits, so the Assessor might actually be correct even though the house is technically larger or has even sold on MLS as a larger home. For reference, here are ten reasons why an appraiser’s sketch might be different.

For lots of comments and more info, click here

My comment: This one of the main reasons that AVMs will never be very successful for all homes. Over and over again, statistical analysis shows GLA is the most important physical feature overall.

Also, how bedrooms are determined varies a lot, depending on the local market and can vary over time. The assessor number of bedrooms may not match the appraiser’s. For example, tandem rooms. Finished basements can vary also.

I started appraising at a CA assessor’s office in 1976. In CA, State Board of Equalization regulated county assessors offices, so the procedures and terminology are very similar all over the state. However, GLA from the assessor may have different requirements than other sources, such as ANSI.

Proposition 13 passed in 1979, which only allowed an annual 2% increase in assessment per year, unless there was a sale or improvements (determined by permits). Over time, the information has become more and more out of date.

Data is not available for smaller counties if the assessor says it is confidential. Until the 90s, my county did not release any data, so I had to “guesstimate” on square footage for sales and listings. We finally got it when an MAI was elected assessor.

In the early 90s, I researched assessors records around the country. In some small rural counties the records were kept at the assessor’s home. They were not digitized and available for purchase by data companies.

Appraisers need to know which areas are not accurate. Sometimes GLA is “political”. Within a city, accuracy can vary. In my city the least accurate records are in the “Gold Coast” with many of the city’s larger, historic homes. In other nearby cities, some properties have low GLAs to keep the property taxes lower.

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

What is Included in Appraisal Square Footage?(Opens in a new browser tab)

How accurate is the reported square footage from the tax records in your primary service area?(Opens in a new browser tab)

10 reasons why public records and the appraiser’s square footage can differ(Opens in a new browser tab)

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Appraiser Work Stress Humor

8 Funny Quotes About Appraiser Work Stress

Just For Fun!!

Excerpts: Real estate appraisal is an exciting and enjoyable profession—for the most part. But every appraiser knows that the job can be stressful at times, especially for those who are self-employed. If you’re having a hectic or frustrating day on the job, it helps to have a sense of humor. Here are some super funny quotes about work stress that we hope will brighten your day. Appraiser Work Stress Humor is what we all need!!

A few quotes

“‘Yay! It’s the weekend!’ Said nobody who is self-employed.”

“There cannot be a stressful crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” ­— Henry Kissinger

Very creative gifs! Sorry, they don’t work in these emails. To see them, click here

My comment: Very Funny and Realistic!

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

Which Appraisal Clients are used the most?(Opens in a new browser tab)

Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos for Appraisers(Opens in a new browser tab)

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10 Very Unique Bathrooms for Appraisers

Unique Bathrooms

Excerpt: The world is filled with remarkable restrooms. Some of them are no longer open to the public, such as the Stufetta del Bibbiena, a small bathing chamber with erotic-art-covered walls in the Vatican’s Papal Apartments. Others have been transformed into something totally new, like the London coffee shop that was once a Victorian urinal. But there are plenty of breathtaking bathrooms that are publicly accessible and just waiting to be wetted. These are 10 of the world’s most opulent and bizarre bathrooms. These 10 Very Unique Bathrooms for Appraisers are fascinating and unique!

Here are a few

  • Two story bathroom
  • Berlin Wall urinal
  • World’s Most beautiful public toilet

To read lots more info and see the good fotos To read more, click here

My comments: FYI, bathrooms are one of the very most popular topics in these free appraiser weekly emails. I have no idea why ;>

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

Very unusual bathrooms for appraisers(Opens in a new browser tab)

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Very Funny appraisal commercials

Very Funny appraisal commercials
Just For Fun (and maybe some ideas)

Here are a few titles:
  • Hire An Appraiser… Avoid Getting Into A Stinky Situation!
  • Looking For An Appraiser? Ask Any Cat!
  • Homeowners, Don’t Get Eaten Alive By The Shark

To read more and see the Fun Videos, click here

My comment: I love the humor at https://clevelandappraisalblog.com Fun animated gifs and video commercials!!!

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

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$1 Billion Appraisal Error

Bad News: Dropped Phone Causes Utah Home to be Valued at Nearly $1B

A Very Strange Story!!

Excerpt: The 1,570-square-foot house built in 1978 on 2 acres in an unincorporated area of the county was recorded in 2019 tax rolls with a market rate value of more than $987 million and an overestimate of about $543 million in taxable value. In reality, the property should have only had a 2019 taxable value of $302,000, according to county property records.

That error — which the Wasatch County assessor explained possibly occurred when a staff member may have dropped their phone on their keyboard — has resulted in a countywide overvaluation of more than $6 million and revenue shortfalls in five different Wasatch County taxing entities.

To read lots more, click here

My comment: Wow!! Makes AMC and client complaints (and appraiser typos) fade away in comparison!! $1 Billion Appraisal Error

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

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