Price per square foot not very reliable for appraisals

Why price per square foot is not the appraisers choice

By Rachel Massey

Excerpt: Often, buyers and sellers are under the impression that it is simple to price a house by its square footage. Nothing is further from the truth, unless of course, all the comparable properties considered are within a couple square feet of each other and have the same quality and condition and are in the same immediate neighborhood with no variation in the value of the site.

Underneath all is the land. This means that a house that sits on a hypothetical 60×120 sqft site should have the same underlying value if the house were 1,000 sqft or 2,000 sqft. If land is selling for $50,000 for this 7,200 sqft lot, then the value of the land does not change in value because it has a larger or a smaller house on it.

For more information and to check out the graphs click here

My comment: Good explanation and graphs. Written for buyers and sellers but a good explanation when you are trying to explain why Price per sq.ft. often is not reliable. Also, a very good blog post marketing to buyers, sellers and real estate agents.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

When 1,000 square feet doesn’t count in an appraisal(Opens in a new browser tab)

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

Tax records and Square Footage in Appraisals(Opens in a new browser tab)

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

Read more!!

Dancing and Crooked Houses for Appraisers

Krzywy Domek, The Very Crooked Little House of Sopot, Poland

Woops!! I forgot to include this in last week’s newsletter!!

Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: In 2004, the Polish architecture firm Szotynski & Zaleski built a wonderfully illusory building in Sopot, Poland that doesn’t quite look real. The design was based upon whimsical, fairy tale sketches of artist Jan Marcin Szancer and is quite aptly named “Krzywy Domek” or crooked little house. The building’s front facade is made up of crooked lines and distorted shapes that recall childhood cartoons, but the back of the building is a rather standard setup that leads to the main shopping area.

Check out the videos and fotos.

My comment: Fascinating!! I think this is the most crooked house I have ever seen. No photoshopping done on fotos!!
—————————————————————————–

The Famous Dancing House of Prague by Frank Gehry

Another Just for Fun House!!

Excerpts: The building is also affectionately known as “Fred and Ginger” due to its resemblance to a perpetually swaying couple. Like the Crooked House of Sopot, Poland, the unusual lines of the building stand out from the rest of the neighborhood.

Lots of fotos at:

Brief summary of details: http://architectuul.com/architecture/the-dancing-house  Can also google it for lots of background info.

My comments: Take a break from writing up your appraisal reports and Take a Look at the photos!! And be glad you don’t have to appraise a house that looks like this ;>

Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post to see photos of Ghery’s other strange buildings!!

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

Read more!!

Residential Appraisal Changes Coming

How is Appraisal Gonna Change?

By George Dell

Excerpt: What new “appraisal methods and techniques” have we seen? As I speak to reviewers who see valuations from around the country, there seems to be a degradation of quality. Less analysis rather than more. Less explanation rather than clearer logic. More “trust me” and less “see my reasoning.”

What does the world really need? Trust my opinion-or see the result? Trust my comps-or see market parameters.

Competitors for valuation, risk, and investment needs want “better, faster, cheaper.” For now, lets just look at “better.” What is “better?”

“Better” is actually fairly simple. There are only three parts: 1) is the right question being asked; 2) is the result true (accurate); and 3) how sure (precise) is the result? So, let’s look briefly at each of these needs, and how each can be helped with today’s technology.

https://georgedell.com/how-is-appraisal-gonna-change/

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

—————————————————————————-

Read more!!

Appraising Hobbit Houses

Hobbit Houses in Charlevoix, Michigan

Just For Fun!!

Excerpts: Growing up in northern Michigan in the early 1900s, Earl Young was obsessed with boulders. Glacial boulders, to be exact-ones moored in fields, forests, and on lake coastlines across the state thanks to the slow march and retreat of glacial ice during the Precambrian age. Appraising Hobbit Houses in Michigan is a challenge.
The homes he designed will stop you in your tracks, as one did the last time I was there, passing by on a bike. Call them “mushroom houses,” “hobbit houses,” “boulder houses”; everyone has a different name for them. They’re often described concisely, if vaguely, as “organic.” Though some see Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence, they’re distinctly Young.

Fascinating! Lots of fotos and info at:
————————————————————————

Lord of the Rings – Hobbit houses from the movie(Opens in a new browser tab)

Hobbit House of Montana(Opens in a new browser tab)

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

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

Read more!!

Using home’s previous sales in appraisals

The problem of giving too much weight to previous sales (or not enough)

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpts: It must be worth more than it sold for in the past, right? In many cases, YES. But sometimes NO. Let’s talk through some things to consider when pulling comps and noticing a previous sale. I find many of these points coming up lately in conversation, so I hope this is helpful.

8 issues are discussed.
Here are a few
2) Unique property:
3) Unicorn buyer overpaid
8) Not penalizing because it sold too low

Closing advice: I recommend paying close attention to previous sales to get clues to understand how a property fits into the market. But don’t get so stuck that you don’t see the most important thing – current comps.

Good topic I have not seen discussed in detail before. Worth reading. Lots of comments!!

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

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

—————————————————————–

Read more!!

Condo vs. Townhouse for appraisers

Is It a Condo, a Townhouse, a Site Condo or None of the Above?

Excerpt: When appraising townhouses, I always search the MLS for both single-family attached sales as well as condominium sales. Why? It’s because at times, there is confusion between the differences. Often I see real estate agents list townhouses as condos when they are not actually condos and visa versa.

I totally understand why. When it comes to townhouses, it is impossible to know from an outward appearance whether or not it is a condo, or not. Before we get into that, what is a condominium and what is a townhouse?

Well written article. Worth reading.

My comments: The first question in appraising is always “what are you appraising?”. Some appraisers just look at what structure is there. You are appraising the form of ownership, the land and what is attached to the land. With condominium form of ownership, you own the airspace. It does affect what you can do with a home. Some people don’t like HOAs and dues. I sold my house on the water in 2008. There was a large rear yard that was on a “tidelands lease” with an annual payment to the city. It was recently re-listed and only included the original 4,000 sq.ft. lot, not the leased land. Both showed up on plat maps. I wonder what the appraiser for the sale will say about it?

About 20 years ago I appraised a detached home in a project built in the 1980s with both attached (stacked condo style,  duets – sets of 2 semi-detached homes, and townhome (attached) style) plus detached homes. The owner, the HOA president was surprised to learn that they were all condos. I had a title report I showed to him. (The detached homes are now called site condos.) Another nearby small development of sets of two homes (duet or semi-detached) built in the 1960s did not have any common ownership or dues. I have seen these in other nearby cities also.

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

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

Read more!!

Appraisals and Altered Listing Photos

Digitally-doctored listing photos are on the rise

Excerpts: It will cost $2.40 for a paint job, $24 to replace flooring, and $40 to remove a wall or add a swimming pool.

Digital photo manipulation has become so widespread and cheap that home sellers are increasingly using the technology to spruce up their listings, the Wall Street Journal reported. This has the potential to create new headaches for end users, investors, appraisers and brokers…

Furthermore, with federal regulators pushing for automated appraisals that will make use of online listings, the hazards of doctored images could be spread to the general public.

My comments: How do AVMs and CU deal with this? Appraisers can always contact the agent to confirm what the home looked like. CU robo emails/calls to agents and somehow integrate this into the data?

Lenders and AVMs are now using agent MLS comments. I recently spoke with an appraiser where the lender disputed one of her comps because the MLS mentioned it was “close to shopping” and she did not. Yes, it was very close to a historic shopping street, but there was little to no off street parking on this street, as it was taken up by employees in the stores. The comp had 9 off street parking places for 2 units and sold for a premium price. Typically there is 1 or 0 parking spaces per unit in the historic apartments on the comp’s street. I recently tried to go to an open house on the street. The closest parking space was 3 blocks away. I skipped the open house. The agents often mentioned “close to shopping” to say something positive about their listing’s location.

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

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

—————————————————————–

Read more!!

FHA appraisal problems

Common FHA Violations

Excerpt: I’ve been performing FHA appraisals since 2000. Believe it or not, on a regular basis, I have home owners and real estate agents who tell me that some of the things I point out as FHA violations, were never mentioned in other FHA appraisal inspections. So, I thought I would mention some relatively common FHA violations I see when making my FHA inspections.

My comment: Funny Fotos and Videos!! I have seen similar photos around but there are many here in one place. Written for home owners, but good reminders for appraisers.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

Common Appraiser Violations

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

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

Read more!!

Non-lender Appraisals Good fees and few hassles

Private Appraisal Work, the Final Frontier

By Rachel Massey

Author’s Note: Private appraisals aren’t really the “final frontier” for appraisers but it is a good metaphor. Private work for courts and disputes predates modern lending appraisals, so they should actually be considered the “first” frontier…but never let a good Star Trek saying go to waste!

As mortgage work has started to slow down in large swaths of the country, and likely will continue to do so, the temptation to move into the private arena is appealing. This is an area where our work is valued by those who need it the most. Private work is not lending work, and there are different requirements for different clients. Intended use and users rule supreme. Do I have the patience to walk someone through the process who is not experienced? Maybe yes, maybe no. This is not a place where I would want to spout off a bunch of expletives to a client who bothers me, but instead try to step back and ask whether I need to explain it differently so it is understandable. The onus is on me, the appraiser, to help my client understand.

My comment: A good intro to non-lender work. Marketing and client communication is very different. I have written many articles about non-lender work since 1992 in my paid newsletter.

The article “Should you do non-lender work? Pluses and minuses of both lender appraisals and each different type of non-lender appraisal.” Is in the October 2018 issue and can help you decide if non-lender work will work for you.

Appraisal Business Tips including non-lender work

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

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

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

————————————————————————–

 

Read more!!

Will the last appraiser turn out the light?

Is the Appraisal Profession Dying?

By George Dell, MAI

Excerpts:
Yes. Appraisal as we know it is dying.
Can it be saved? No.
So what should I do? What should “we” do?

The data has already been gathered. The analytics software is free. The pictures have already been taken. “Let’s Make a Deal!”

Analysis requires judgment. Human generalization is enhanced by computation. Complete data can be enhanced/cleaned as well as “confirming a comp.” A point value is an inherent part of a predictive value distribution. A documented, reproducible result is the most credible, believable answer.

My comments: I believe that human appraisals will still be needed. There are times that a human appraiser is needed to interpret results, and “go beyond” the data for Highest and Best Use, Unusual properties, etc. Lenders will move to computerized risk management, once investors will accept this. Most residential lender valuations will not need humans as the value of an individual property in investors’ portfolios is not critical. Of course, when the market inevitably crashes, there will be no appraisers to sue to recover some of the lost money. Maybe our E&O premiums will go down.

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

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

Read more!!