Do tandem bedrooms count as bedrooms in appraisals?

Do Tandem Bedrooms and Garages Impact Value?

 Excerpt: There is less privacy in the one bedroom because it must be walked through to get to the other bedroom. This is considered to be functional obsolescence.
This type of situation is most often found in older homes. I have seen this type of situation many times on the second floors of many bungalow or cape cod style dwellings I have appraised. Although, it can exist in any style home.

My comment: I see tandem rooms a lot and sometimes tandem garages. I think I have finally convinced the local agents not to call them bedrooms. Of course, some insist on using Assessor data, which has not been updated since 1979, when Prop 13 passed and re-assessments stopped unless there was a sale or new construction.

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Sometimes “being nice” is best for appraisers

A Spoon Full of Sugar (when dealing with annoying borrowers, AMCs, neighbors, etc.)

Excerpt: Remember when you were a kid? No, not a goat. You know, a young human. Remember your parents giving you that thick, pink, nasty tasting medicine, called an antibiotic? While we hated the taste, we needed the medicine. And, after a few days, we began to feel better.

When it comes to appraisals, the information they provide can help to protect us from making a bad financial decision. However, there are times when the results of an appraisal may leave a bad taste in the mouths of those reading the report.

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Appraiser conflict: objective/impartial vs. what clients want

Do You Have Two Appraiser Brains?

By George Dell
Excerpt: One appraiser brain says you must be “independent, impartial, and objective.” (USPAP) It wants to be good. It wants integrity and to sleep peacefully at night.

But there’s another brain. It’s primal and wants to survive. It has other responsibilities: meet the bills, feed the family, pay the mortgage, and pay government taxes/fees. And recorded in this brain is that part of the standards which say: Do what your clients expect; do what everyone else does. As paraphrased, the sole guides to an acceptable scope of work.

Worth reading. Short. Plus the comments.

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MLS Manipulation: appraisers watch for it

The broker who extorted “The Jills” exposed an industry secret: MLS manipulation is widespread

Excerpt: When One Sotheby’s agent Kevin Tomlinson was charged with extorting Coldwell Banker star brokers “the Jills” over manipulating the Multiple Listing Service, it exposed what many agents claim is a common practice in the industry. This one, however, was particularly egregious, market pros said.

My comment: nothing new for appraisers. When I googled “MLS manipulation” lots of links came up.

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Married appraisers working together

Working Together in an Appraisal Business – Is it for you?

Excerpt: We are a husband and wife appraisal team.  We are both real estate appraisers and have been working together now for 12 years. My husband has had his business for 30 years but I was formerly a school teacher.  I joined him in 2006.  I will admit that I wasn’t sure at first if it would work but we have been going strong ever since.  I have reached out to other appraisers who also are married and work together.  They have shared some of their stories with me as well as tips and advice for working together.  If you are considering working together as appraisers or other forms of business here are a few tips:

1. Keep work life and home life as separate as possible…
Click here for more advice:

My comment: my husband Zeke worked part time in my appraisal business for many years. He was not an appraiser but was great at collections. Once a mortgage broker owed us money. Zeke was a very big guy. He put on his black suit with a black shirt and tie and said he was here to collect what we were owed. He came back with all the cash…

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Appraising Cabins

 

Why We Love Cabins

Excerpt: Set against the chaos and complexity of contemporary life, the dream of eloping to the woods to live out a simple and unfettered existence is an increasingly tempting fantasy. The perfect wooden cabin plays a large part: appealing not just for their material honesty, attractive geometry, and breathtaking surroundings, cabins are, at least in popular imagination, a symbol of unity between man and nature, the humble abode of adventurous pioneers and poets-and, more recently still, the object of our wanderlust.
Great photos and info at:
My comment: When I first moved to the Bay Area in the late 1960s I rented a small cabin in the Santa Cruz mountains. It was high in the mountains with a great view of the distant ocean. I had to learn to use a chain saw and an axe to split wood, be careful using water during the dry season so I didn’t run out of water in the water tank, etc. I drove up and down a very steep, long and narrow one lane road my cabin. When winter storms knocked down trees and blocked the road, I helped a neighbor cut and remove them. I will never forget lying on the ground staring up into a grove of redwood trees nearby. I still have a great fondness for redwood trees. Of course, now it is fully developed with a lot of big homes…

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Very Strange Appraisal Adjustments

Schizophrenic Adjustments

By Dave Towne
Excerpt: Appraisers, I’ve written in the past about what I believe are strange ways to report adjustments in appraisals, and suggested ’rounding’ is a perfectly acceptable way to report them. This is largely due to buyers and listing agents thinking and listing in $100 increments – not down to exact dollar amounts.

During the past couple of weeks, I ‘came in contact with’ two separate appraisals done by different appraisers on totally different properties, in different market areas.

What struck me was the incredibly precise adjustments made for only certain items in these reports, while the rest of adjustments were ’rounded’ to even dollars. Here are the examples:

Click here to read more:

My comment: I love the image at the top of this post….. sorta creepy but very appropriate ;> Who do you think it represents?

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News: 1004MC not required by Fannie

Bye-bye 1004MC, Hello Analysis

By Rachel Massey, SRA, AI-RRS
Excerpt: What does this mean to the residential practitioner operating in the mortgage space? It means that the requirement for analyzing the market remains, and it is now up to the practitioner to support their opinion, without the benefit of a flawed format. Appraisers can now choose how they present their analysis, which may include multiple sources to support an opinion. Fannie Mae is clear that the one-unit housing trends section should reflect properties that are directly competitive with the property being appraised. The following information relates to several different ways to support trends, but is not an exhaustive list.

Read the full article here:

My comment: FHA and VA still require 1004mc, plus some lenders and AMCs. Freddie is expected to drop the requirement.

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Appraisal Report certifications

Certifications: Understanding What You’re Signing

By Tim Andersen, MAI
Excerpt: Next is another declaration to aid in the transparency of the analyses behind the appraisal. “I have performed no (or the specified) services, as an appraiser or in any other capacity, regarding the property that is the subject of this report within the three-year period immediately preceding acceptance of this assignment.” Here, the intent is to prevent the client from perceiving the appraiser is in any way biased for or against the subject property by disclosing any relationship the appraiser may have with the property.

Occasionally appraisers appraise the same property numerous times for different entities. This component of the Certification discloses the appraiser has received knowledge of the property from having provided a past service involving the property. Because of the use of the word services, it is clear if the appraiser has provided any services relating to the property, the appraiser must disclose them.

My comment: When I used to teach USPAP (before the Appraisal Foundation mandated what to teach) I always spent time on the 1004 certifications. I suspect that was the first time that attendees read them. I make my own certifications for my non-lender appraisals.

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U.S. Land use map for appraisers

Here’s How America Uses Its Land

Excerpt: What can be harder to decipher is how Americans use their land to create wealth. The 48 contiguous states alone are a 1.9 billion-acre jigsaw puzzle of cities, farms, forests and pastures that Americans use to feed themselves, power their economy and extract value for business and pleasure.

One of the many interesting tidbits:
The U.S. is becoming more urban-at an average rate of about 1 million additional acres a year. That’s the equivalent of adding new urban area the size of Los Angeles, Houston and Phoenix combined. U.S. urban areas have more than quadrupled since 1945.

Click here for very interesting graphics and more analysis:

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