Appraisal News and Business Tips

Mortgage applications

11-8-18 Newz// 8 ft Wide Townhome – Election and Banking Regs – Template Tips

What’s 8 Feet Wide and Has an Elevator? Manhattan’s Tiniest Fancy Townhouse – asking $5 million.

Excerpts: On a cobblestoned lower Manhattan street near the approach to the Brooklyn Bridge, a four-story house is about to go on the market for $5 million. The widest room measures 10 feet.

Small houses have a long history in New York. A Dutch-style gabled house at 75 ½ Bedford St. in Greenwich Village built in 1873 is 9 ½ feet wide. It is “popularly known as the smallest house in the city,” according to the city’s landmarks preservation commission. Its tenants have included poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, and anthropologist Margaret Mead.

My comment: I wonder what an 8 ft wide floor plan, with an elevator, looks like???
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7 Quick Tips for Using Appraisal Templates

Excerpt: Use these tips for proofreading appraisal reports:
5. Proofread Will a few typos or misspellings ruin your appraisal career? Probably not. However, they do seriously undermine your professionalism and suggest that you lack attention to detail. Take the time to ensure you are putting forth polished reports.

Focus on your most recent edits. When you edit something, it’s easy to introduce new errors, such as missing or repeated words. Proof new content and comments two to three times after you edit them, but also home in on those areas again during your final proof.

For more very good tips that we can all use click here:

My comment: I use a few templates for form reports and my assistant has to very carefully check each appraisal I writeup to be sure everything is okay! I gotta make sure I change the effective date of the appraisal and signed dates around the first of the year, of course…
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11-1-18 Newz// $245M listing – Land value – Living Underground

$245M Bel Air CA mansion is nation’s most expensive listing

Originally listed for $350M, it’s still a potential record-breaker after a price cut

Excerpts: The limestone clad mansion in Bel Air owned by the late TV executive Jerry Perenchio just got a price cut.

But at $245 million, the commanding French neoclassical residence, which measures 25,000 square feet, is still the most expensive listing on the open market in the U.S.

The property, which came up for sale last year for a staggering $350 million, has long been the cream of the crop among high-end estates…

A 105,000-square-foot mega-mansion built on spec, also in Bel Air, has a ridiculous $500 million price tag, but it’s not listed on the open market.

My comment: And I just read that the Southern California market is in a slump… who knows about this price range ;>
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Living Beneath the Ground in an Australian Desert

For about a century, residents of Coober Pedy have escaped the searing heat by building their homes underground.
Excerpt: “Bars and restaurants are underground, churches, all these children growing up living underground,” Ms. Merino said in a telephone interview about the residents’ social and private lives. “There’s nothing different about them; they’re not cave men. They’re normal people choosing to live in a different way.”

My comment: I have been reading about this place for awhile, but the author, who “stumbled upon” it has an excellent Fascinating article with great photos!!
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10-25-18 Newz// Maps streets-buildings – Warming Oceans – Actionable Education

A Map of every building in America

Excerpts: Classic maps answer questions like: How do I get from Point A to Point B? These data images, instead, evoke questions – sometimes, simply: What’s that?

We found fascinating patterns in the arrangements of buildings. Traditional road maps highlight streets and highways; here they show up as a linear absence.

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In the August 8 2018 issue of this email newsletter, I published the link

Visualizing the Hidden ‘Logic’ of Cities

Excerpt: Some cities’ roads follow regimented grids. Others twist and turn. See it all on one chart.

Excerpt: In Chicago or Beijing, any given street is likely to take you north, south, east, or west. But good luck following the compass in Rome or Boston, where streets grew up organically and seemingly twist and turn at random.

Fascinating!! Check it out at:
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7/19/18 Newz//Price declines? .History of Appraisals .Whale House

The History of Appraisals

By Ed Pinto
Excerpt: Many say “history always repeats itself” and in the case of appraisals, it may be for the best. We sat down with Edward Pinto, the Co-Director of AEI’s Center on Housing Markets and Finance as he shares with us his discoveries from the original FHA forms.

Dating back to the 1900’s Ed found the tools needed to bring the appraisal process back to how they were originally called for – based off of the market value and the information proved by the expert, the appraiser.

Very interesting and worth reading:

My comments: I have published several articles in my paid Appraisal Today about the history of appraising, going back to the Bible: the Book of Moses!! I have been inspired to republish them in the September issue of the paid Appraisal Today.

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7-12-18 Newz// 3 Story Homes, Auction Prices, Portable Architecture

The Most Popular Article From Last Week’s Newsletter: Former Appraiser’s Hot Dog Stand!! FYI, unusual and weird stuff is very popular with appraisers ;>

Three-story Single-family Homes and Townhomes

Excerpt: Of the 729,000 single-family detached homes started in 2017, a little over 18,000 (2.5 percent) had three or more stories, according to National Association of Home Builder tabulation of recently released Census data.

In contrast, the 23,000 3-plus story townhomes represent 22.0 percent of single-family townhome starts.

More info here:

My comment: 3 story detached homes are not popular in very many areas. It is a long walk up to the 3rd floor. I have appraised them (attic conversions of a classic older home to a master bedroom, for example). I always look to see if an elevator can be added – usually has to be on the exterior of the home. Definitely a functional problem. I rarely see them on existing homes, except for attic conversions. Some newer detached homes have a small room on the 3rd story – family room, extra bedroom, etc.

For townhomes, I have seen a significant increase in 3 story new construction townhomes in my city (within the past few years) and other Bay Area cities. The first floor is a garage plus entry, second floor living room and kitchen, bedrooms on 3rd floor. Very profitable for home builders, especially in areas with high land prices and infill tracts. I have appraised them and the owners did not object to the 3 floors. There are sometimes a few townhomes that are 2 story.

My first apartment when I moved to San Francisco in my 20s was a third floor walkup. I vowed Never Again ;>

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5/31/18 Newz//Crash in 2020?, Floating Homes, Rate changes since 1900s

Floating Homes the Ultimate Water View

Excerpts: For many, floating is something new and adventurous,” said Max Funk, co-editor of “Rock the Boat: Boats, Cabins and Homes on the Water” (Gestalten, 2017). The book reveals an explosion of creativity in buoyant architecture, including an egg-shaped floating cabin in England, floating spas (with working saunas) in Finland and the United States, and floating geodesic domes in Slovenia.

Outside of Seattle, where houseboat construction is being curtailed because of the potential impact on local salmon populations, Ms. Bethell said, the most prominent areas in North America for floating homes are the San Francisco Bay Area; Vancouver, British Columbia; Key West, Fla.; and Portland, Ore.; where the number of floating homes has doubled since 2012.

My comment: In the San Francisco Bay Area they are in several marinas, including in my city, Alameda. In the past, they were anchored around the bay, but were moved to marinas due to pollution concerns. When I moved here in 1968, I visited one anchored off Sausalito in a protected bay with no sewage storage.

2018’s Hottest Backyard Amenity: Detached Living Spaces

Excerpt: The reason for their rise in popularity? Privacy, for one. There’s no one-and no surrounding noises from your disruptive family or neighbors-to make you lose your focus. It’s all you, the shed and whatever your No. 1 priority is for the day. Not to mention, if you have a lush and peaceful backyard, the view is a plus.

So, what do these look like? Anything you can imagine. From hobbit hole-style sheds to more contemporary glass structures, these can take the form that best suits your needs. And what are they used for? That depends on you…

http://blog.rismedia.com/2018/detached-living-spaces

My comment: a great way to get some peace and quiet plus privacy ;>

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5-10-18 Newz//Market Value Fallacies, Broken Mortgage Market, Crazy Appraiser Stories

Is it all a big lie? Are there really 6 fallacies of market value?

By George Dell, MAI, SRA, ASA

Excerpts: Some ten years ago, we saw the start of the economic meltdown. Were appraisers to blame?  Some tried to pin the blame that way. But was there a big lie underneath? The required (federally insured) definition of value has seven distinct elements. Were appraisers doing what they were told?
Seeking entertainment for my Stats, Graphs, and Data Science¹ classes, it seemed fun to see if these assumptions had not been religiously followed.  This led to a PowerPoint slide entitled:
 “Dell Operative definition of market value”
Check it out at:

My comment: Interesting comments plus some humor ;>

In the Trenches, Crazy Appraiser Stories

Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: You’ve all got them… The crazy car chases, the surprising living conditions, the exotic assignments and the unique collectors. Here are a few of our stories we found buzz worthy.
This was a beautiful 3,200 sq ft home with all the extras. After measuring…
The Stories plus 10 comments with more stories.
My comment: I love the foto of the crazy appraiser!!

Which of us does not have a weird experience… or lots of them ;>

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5-3-18 Newz//Federal Enforcement of USPAP?, Public Restroom App, Unusual Houses & Buildings

How Lenders and Appraisers Can Work Better Together Through Increased Transparency

By Wes Costello
Excerpts: The relationship between lenders and appraisers has never been quite right. The association was scared by improprieties of the few that led to a fallout of the many, with each party retreating behind walls of mistrust and perceived regulatory requirement. Recently, communication is civil but has been described as resembling two parties of a legal arrangement who speak to each other on an as-needed basis….

Anyone who has directed appraisal management knows that they are only as good as the appraisers they partner with. This makes it vital to value each member of your appraisal panel as an integral partner in your company’s business.

My comment: Well written and worth reading, plus the comments, of course. The author is a Senior Vice President of Quality Management & Collateral Risk at AnnieMac Home Mortgage… He is a Pennsylvania Certified Real Estate Appraiser.

Public Restroom App by Charmin: Find Clean Bathrooms!

Excerpt: A clean nearby public bathroom can be hard to find. But not all restrooms are created equal.

With SitOrSquat we put clean public toilets on the map. Literally. Clean locations have a green “Sit” rating. Less desirable ones have a red “Squat.”

So, the next time nature calls and you need to find a nearby restroom, SitORSquat will help you know where to go.

My comment: Thanks to appraiser Jerry Walsh for this great tip. He has used it for years. I am downloading it today!! I coulda used this 40 years ago when I started appraising in rural areas….. Better than The Bushes or Behind A Tree ;>

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4-26-18 Newz//Tristar Waivers Denied, Fannie Update, FHFA Paper on Value of AMCs Questioned

Technology or Human Logical Analysis? Who Wins?

By George Dell, MAI, SRA, ASA, CDEI
Excerpt: There is evidence that human judgment WINS – the appraiser opinion beats the AVM and other valuations based on technology. In fact, I have often heard that the qualified appraisal, based on the human logical analysis – is the “gold standard” for the industry. This appears to be true of client groups, and appears to be recognized in administrative law, our federal and state and “quasi-governmental” bodies such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Appraisal Foundation.

Even as we say this, the human model, the appraiser, continues to lose market share to other technologies and other “non-appraiser” value providers.

Worth reading at:

My comment: George Dell’s weekly blog posts are great, but short, as is appropriate for blogs. The May issue of the paid Appraisal Today newsletter will have a much longer article by George, “Will another profession replace appraisers?”

Uredd Rest Area (Ureddplassen)

Norway has built what may be the world’s most beautiful public toilet.

Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: Norway’s newest landmark is a place of absurd beauty. The redesigned rest area, situated along a section of the Norwegian Scenic Route, overlooks stunning views of the fjords and the open sea, and is a popular spot for visitors and locals to watch the northern lights in winter and the midnight sun in summer.

Now this picturesque place is quickly gaining a stranger kind of fame, for being home to what may be the most beautiful public toilet the world over.

Check out the Fantastic Photos and short description at:

My comment: Wow!! What do I use in the field? Fast food, bushes, etc. ;> Sometimes a crummy restroom or smelly portable toilet in a public park… Please hit reply of you know any other great public restrooms…

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4-19-18 Newz//Corelogic acquires a la mode, USPAP Q&A problems, Earth-Friendly Homes

Earth-Friendly Homes and Buildings for Earth Day, Sunday, April 22

Just For Fun!!

Click on the fotos of lots of ecofriendly buildings for more info. Fascinating, sometimes Weird, and Fun!!

A few: Mathematical Puzzle House, paper house, skyscrapers, Recycled Concrete Tube House, etc.

http://www.ecofriendlyhouses.net/ecofriendlyhouses.html

Appraisal Institute Requests Appraisal Standards Board to Rework Q&As

Excerpts: The Appraisal Institute in an April 13 letter to the Appraisal Standards Board formally requested changes to or the retraction of Q&A 2018-12, Employing an Extraordinary Assumption when a Client Provides Inspection Data and Q&A 2018-13, Appraisal Reporting – Certifications and Signatures.

The Appraisal Institute believes this advice is antiquated and out-of-step with appraisal practice and long-standing USPAP principles about not dictating the form, format or style of an appraisal report. Perhaps most concerning to AI is the apparent inclusion of additional requirements in this advice rather than in USPAP itself.

My comment: I completely agree with the AI’s issues with Q&A 2018-12 and -13. The certification issue has been around since USPAP required that the “previous 3 years” be included in the certification. The ASB needs to modify USPAP itself as I don’t think it addresses these current issues in appraising very well. Unfortunately, the new edition was effective 1/1/18. 2 years to wait.

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