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.

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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

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

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6 Reasons Appraisers Are NOT Needed

Appraisers Are NOT Needed???

Excerpt: You can buy a car in little to no time so why not a house? Over the years I have heard that the home buying process is too long. There are too many headaches for buyers and the process should be easier.

We are in a microwave society and everybody wants things instantly. This should, of course, carry over to the home buying process, right?

A house is probably the most expensive purchase people will ever make but that doesn’t mean that the process needs to consume your entire life, right? The appraiser just adds to the stumbling block that most home buyers face in getting into the house of their dreams. Today I am going to discuss 6 reasons that appraisers are not needed (wink, wink) in the home buying process.

Written for home buyers but good explanations for appraisers to use.

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My comment: I have appraised many apartment properties. 2-4 unit properties are more difficult to appraise than a 60 unit apartment building, which I appraised recently! Owner occupants, motivations, etc. are big issues. 4 units are the most difficult.

My city has had rent control, which keeps getting stricter, for 4 years. CA recently passed rent control for the state. Must use actual, not market, rents in appraisals. Very, very difficult to appraise. 3 weeks ago I decided not to do them any more.

But, last week a family was thinking about selling their 4 unit property. I pre-screened them. If it had low rents, I don’t know who would buy it. Fortunately the rents were around 80% of market. They wanted to know if it was good time to sell. I told them I would let them know, then do the appraisal. Not a good market now.

I met one of the owners this week at the inspection. He brought a copy of the 2005 date of death appraisal and asked for an “update” or an “evaluation”, for a lower fee, which his sisters requested. I told him I could not do it and did not know any licensed appraiser who would do it. And told him to use a local real estate agent for free. I doubt if they would recommend not listing now as I speak with them regularly at open houses.

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Top Ten Reasons Why It Is Great to be an Appraiser Humor(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 ;>

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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

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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.

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

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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

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Appraiser Mistakes

Can Smart Appraisers Make Dumb Mistakes?

By George Dell, ASA, MAI, SRA

Excerpt: I am a smart and educated, award-winning appraiser. It is not possible for me to be irrational. Of course not. You can see that. I can see that. But appraiser mistakes are not good.

A high IQ and education won’t necessarily protect you from highly irrational behavior—and it may sometimes amplify your errors. David Robson, in an Excerpt from The Intelligence Trap

Oh No! Who is this guy!? Doesn’t he know how smart I am? Why, even my peers have said I am smart. I pride myself on my critical thinking. Even my kids say that! What more proof do you need? Let’s get this straight: I am rational, smart, of high IQ and extremely educated, especially in my chosen field!

Recently, scientists have started to measure what things go with irrationality. There is even a name for this field of study, this measure: dysrationalia. The studies roughly parallel the studies of dyslexia and dyscalculia (difficulty in dealing with number things).

Understandable, Well Written and Interesting!! To read more, click here

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Appraiser values are developed and are not guesses

Valuation Is Not A Guessing Game, It’s a Development Process

Excerpts: If you’ve ever had an appraisal of your home completed, perhaps you can relate to the following scenario. Appraiser values are developed and are not guesses.

The appraiser arrives at your home. You know that they have probably done a little research on what potentially comparable sales in the neighborhood are selling for.

The appraiser views each room in your home, taking photos and notes as they go. The appraiser asks you about any improvements you have made to your home in recent years.

At the end of the inspection, you assume that the appraiser has to have some idea about what the value is likely to be. You ask the appraiser, “Well…What do ya think?” What you’re probably really wanting to know is what the appraiser thinks your home is worth. At this point the appraiser is likely to give an evasive reply that doesn’t answer your question. Why?

To read more and see the funny animated fotos and gifs click here

My comment: written for homeowners, but some good ideas for appraisers. You can use for ideas for speaking to real estate agents, for example. Or, can give (or send) the owner a link to this article.

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Zillow CEO sold his home for 60 percent of the Zestimate

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Suburb not well defined for appraisals

How Should We Define the Suburbs?

Excerpt: The problem (lack of a definition) stems from the fact that U.S. statistical agencies (the Census Bureau and Office of Management and Budget) do not provide a systematic definition for suburbs. They offer classifications for metropolitan areas and micropolitan areas, a classification of urban and rural areas, and a category of principal cities, but nothing of the sort for suburbs. But, suburb not well defined for appraisals.

Very interesting with a good table To read more, click here

My comment: Appraisers have to identify on forms if a property is urban/suburban/rural. Also percent built up. Rural can affect loans sometimes. I have never seen any clear definitions. Now I know why!

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