What is “retirement” for appraisers?

Appraising in Retirement

by Isaac Peck

Excerpt: According to the Appraisal Institute’s latest Valuation Professional Factsheet (Dec. 2018), over 70 percent of all licensed or credentialed appraisers across the U.S. are over 50 years old, with over 20 percent being over 66 years old. As appraiser demographics continue to shift older and grayer, some within the industry have predicted sharp declines in the number of practicing appraisers as they begin to retire. However, as the numbers show, appraising appears to be an optimal career to continue part time, in retirement.

Melvyn Wolf, a Certified Residential appraiser, licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin, is one such appraiser. Born in 1942, Wolf is 77 years old and has been a real estate appraiser for 33 years. He says he will continue appraising as long as he is physically fit and in good health. Here’s his story.

To read more, click here

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My comments: The July 2018 issue of Appraisal Today had my article: “Retirement for fee appraisers: when, why, and lots of options”. I discussed when to take social security, fixed costs, burnout, spouse retirement, etc. Also, for self employed people what does retirement mean? For appraisers, including myself, often you gradually cut back on appraisals. I am 76 and started Social Security at age 70. It is currently $3,470 per month and 85% taxable. It goes on top of my business income and puts me in a high marginal tax rate. I can’t cut back easily on my newsletter business, so I do fewer appraisals. What is “retirement” for appraisers?

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What is “retirement” for appraisers??

An Appraiser’s Full Circle

By Mike Foil

Excerpt: A couple of years ago, I asked my brother who had just closed his business, “How do you know when you are done and it’s time to retire?” He answered, “When it is time, you will know.”

There are considerations: health, finances, what to do, and the passion you still have for appraising. I’m turning 70 in a few months and enjoy good health. We see a path financially without the need for appraisal fees; however, having just received payment for the last file in accounts receivable did put a stamp of finality on the decision. I have ‘projects’ to work on: thinning trees and brush on four acres I want to split into three building sites, writing a study on “The Salvation of the Soul,” and family time (wife, kids, and 16 grandkids). As for my passion for appraising, it is gone.

To read more, click here

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

Appraiser retirement plans?(Opens in a new browser tab)

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Appraisal Neighborhood Analysis

What is so Important About the Damn Neighborhood Analysis that the Reviewer Nicked me for it?

By Tim Andersen, MAI

Excerpt: Question: in a recent review of one of my appraisal reports, the reviewer said my neighborhood analysis was poor. I asked what that meant and she indicated I should familiarize myself with Fannie Mae’s requirements for a NEIGHBORHOOD ANALYSIS. She also indicated what I had in my report was just a recitation of facts, but (a) lacked any analysis of neighborhood trends and (b) therefore I did not analyze the neighborhood sufficiently to reconcile my conclusions of the neighborhood trends and its effect on both my highest and best use conclusion and my final value opinion. I came in just over the contract price. What does the reviewer want from me? I did what I always do in an appraisal! Help me!

For the answer, click here

My comment: Tim always has great answers for appraiser questions! He is a regular contributor to the paid Appraisal Today, with articles on USPAP 2020-2021, state board problems, etc.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

What to Do When Your Appraisal Is Under Review(Opens in a new browser tab)

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

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7 Ways to Not to Choose Appraisal Comps

By Tom Horn

Excerpt: Here are three of the topics:

1) I’m taking what I think the home is worth based on the owners estimate and looking for sales in this price range

4) Using higher sales from another neighborhood when there are good sales within my own subdivision

6) Using price per square foot

To find out what Tom says and the other 4 ways, click here

My comment: written for real estate agents, Tom Horn’s primary referral clients, but useful for appraisers. Maybe it will help you explain about comps to agents, or why you did not use the comps they provided. I always take whatever sales and listings the agents have. Sometimes the MLS has it miscoded somehow and I miss it. Or, there is a “pocket” listing that sold but was never listed on the MLS. Also, I never want to miss a sale very close to the subject, if only to mention it and explain why I did not use it!! 7 ways to choose comps gives you some ideas.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

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Previous Career Before Appraising

What Was Your Previous Career Before You Got Into Appraisal?

Excerpts:

The Top 3

  • Real estate sales (14%)
  • Mortgage lending (8%)
  • Insurance (5%)
  • Assistant or admin work (5%)
  • Banking (1%)
  • Others: 63%

To read more, click here Check out the respondent comments and a list of some of the many previous careers

My comment: I was a chemist before I started appraising. Really liked learning about science in school, but 7 years of lab work was too boring. I felt trapped inside. Saw an ad for “appraiser assistant” at the local county offices. “Work in the field.” I had never heard of it, so read a book about it at the library (1974). I got the job and still love appraising!! I didn’t see many science careers on the “Other” list. But, I think it prepared me well for appraising as I was trained to be very objective and analytical.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

The future of residential appraising(Opens in a new browser tab)

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Join the National Appraisers Online Forum

National Appraisers Forum

By Dave Towne

Excerpt: Appraisers, if you would like to learn from highly qualified peers (other than me! :), post questions, or offer your own comments, consider joining the FREE group, National Appraisers Forum (NAF). Use this link.

This is one of the best appraiser groups as all commentary is respectful. While not everyone always agrees with certain points, the discussions are not demeaning. There is a wealth of info participants share freely on a wide number of topics. The group has several moderators who monitor the posting activity.

One key point, NAF participants are not anonymous. You must use your name (at a bare minimum) when participating, which is required when signing up… Moderators are asking that anyone who wants to join should give their name as licensed, the state they are in, and their license number.

To read more, click here

My comments: This is my favorite appraiser online group! I get many emails from various sources for this newsletter and have been a member of many online communication places. Before the internet was widely available, I hosted live chats on aol and compuserve. Since then I have watched many online places. Unfortunately, just like any other topic, sometimes the groups end up doing lots of “flaming” (attacking another participants, etc.), negative comments, off topic, politics, etc. I quit going to these places.

Of all the groups I have subscribed to, National Appraisers Forum is the best for me. I have been a member since it started, or soon after. No complaining about AMCs, off topic, trolling and flaming, etc. The founder, Steve Smith, and the moderators keep it this way. Regular contributors are “high end” appraisers with many years of experience. Hot topics are often discussed.

There are well-managed appraisal groups on Facebook, but it is too hard for me to follow the threads, so I don’t go there very often. But, it may work for you. Join the National Appraisers Online Forum!

Another major factor is that you must use your real name, so we know who is commenting. Allowing anonymous postings can easily decay into a mess.

I will be updating my article ” How to connect with other appraisers online. What’s the best group for you? ” in a future issue of the paid Appraisal Today discussing other email chat groups, how to find other groups or start your own, Facebook, etc.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

How to communicate with appraisers online

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Statute of Limitations for Suing an Appraiser

What’s the Statute of Limitations for Suing a Real Estate Appraiser?

by Peter Christensen

Excerpt: This is a common question that I’m asked because many lawsuits against appraisers are filed years after the appraisal was performed by the appraiser, sometimes 10 or more years later.

The reason for this is that the plaintiff suing an appraiser may not have known there was a problem with the appraisal at the time it was received or may not have suffered any damages as a result of the alleged appraisal error until a loan default or other event has occurred years down the road.

This plaintiff might be a lender who recently foreclosed on a loan or might be a borrower who believes they paid too much or borrowed too much based on a deficient appraisal.

For more info, click here

My comment: Blog post includes a link to all 50 states for statues of limitation. Knowing about the Statute of Limitations for Suing an Appraiser can really help if you receive a letter from an attorney.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

Statute of limitations for appraisals

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What is Risk for Appraisers?

What’s all this stuff about risk?

By George Dell

We seem to be hearing stuff about risk recently. Why?

Back in the old days, before internet but after the wheel – It was my challenge as a new appraiser to scratch together four or five comps, then put three of them on a form, or perhaps even all five on a table. We called the table a ‘grid,’ presumably because it looked like the grid on a bird cage.

I soon discovered I was free to fly around inside the grid cage all I wanted. I adjusted to what I had. I learned to live inside the cage.

Then flying electrons came. They flew right through the grid. There were many. Sometimes even a dozen or more. All claiming to be comp messages. It was too much. I had the five. Should be enough. Yep. That’s what my trainer said. That’s what my appraiser education said. And sure enough, it was on my test for my new appraiser license…

Now, we worry about What is Risk for Appraisers?

To read more, click here

My comment: Next month’s paid Appraisal Today will have a long article, “Adjust your adjustment, or adjust your attitude?  The Hype and the Reality” by George Dell. Very interesting!

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

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Most difficult to appraise home features

Three Home Features Are the Most Challenging to Appraise

From McKissock appraiser survey

Excerpt: 1. Solar panels and “green” features (37%)

“Solar panels and green features are still new in my market and require more attention to the details of the benefit these items provide to the homeowner and how they impact the subject’s marketability.”

“There are so very few homes with solar panels in our markets. The limited data makes it very difficult to find enough data to determine the market reaction.”

The other two challenges include Accessory Dwelling Units and views. Plus info on more challenges.

To read more, click here

My comment: All 3 are tricky in my area!! Very interesting survey on which Home features: the most difficult to appraise

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

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When 1,000 square feet doesn’t count in an appraisal

When 1,000 square feet doesn’t count

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpts: One of the most interesting homes I’ve seen just sold. It was brand new, four stories, and a halfplex. Oh, and on paper it was 3,000 sq ft, but about 1,000 sq ft didn’t count in the square footage. This is definitely a conversation piece, so I’m thankful Realtor Brian McMartin agreed to do a Q&A. I hope this will be valuable and interesting. Any thoughts? This is an example of When 1,000 square feet doesn’t count in an appraisal

Quick points:

This house has 1,000 sq ft that is not permitted as square footage. The “non-conditioned” space looks just like square footage.

Understanding permits really does matter…

Interview with selling agent plus Ryan’s (and appraisers’) comments. Worth reading.

To read more, click here

My comment: I see non-permitted areas in homes a lot in my city, typically converted basements. Fortunately, I can get the permit info easily from the city and the property owner does not “get into trouble” because of my inquiry. I am lucky.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

What is Included in Appraisal Square Footage?

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Bifurcated Appraisals and Inspections Yes or No

Bifurcated appraisals – Yes or No??

What Fannie Says: Yes, of course

Interview with Lyle Radke Lyle Radke, Director of Collateral Policy at Fannie Mae

Excerpt: Fannie has spent the first half of 2019 detailing its plans to roll out the 1004P, a new desktop appraisal that will be based on a Property Data Collection report that is prepared by a third party inspector; this is part one. Fannie has indicated that it is currently testing appraisers, appraiser trainees, insurance inspectors, real estate agents, property preservation service professionals, and smart home service professionals as potential Property Data Collectors to determine “which labor force can best collect data,” including a “robust and accurate set of data elements, photos, and floor plan.” Bifurcated Appraisals and Inspections Yes or No is a controversial topic.

The more impactful revelation is that Fannie aims to replace the appraisal requirement completely where it can. In these scenarios, a property data collector, not necessarily a licensed appraiser, will inspect a home and report back on the condition of the property. Then, based on that property inspection report, a desktop appraisal may be ordered or the appraisal requirement might be waived altogether.

Many issues are discussed: Value Verify, appraiser aging, who will do inspections, etc.

For more info, click here

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What Richard Hagar Says on Bifurcated:

No – A Train Wreck

Excerpt: We are hearing about the latest trend called bifurcated appraisals. Within the past year I’ve seen this term used more often in more diverse places than in the prior 20 years combined; it’s almost like some media company has decided that “bifurcated” is the “it” term for 2019. All sorts of people, AMCs, lenders, technology companies, and Fannie Mae are promoting this “spiffy” new process. They are hoping that the rest of us will “get on board” with their new “better” process.

I do not want to “get on board” because it’s headed for a train wreck.

Editor’s Note: Hagar’s bifurcated test in his office did not go well.

For more info, click here

My opinion: It is a business decision whether or not to do bifurcated appraisals. This month’s issue of Appraisal Today has an article on the topic, written by Julie Friess, SRA

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

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