Appraisal News and Business Tips

new appraisers

1-4-17// Newz .National MLS Database?, No college degree?, .AMCs in trouble?

A National MLS Database?

Excerpt: Instead of considering the consolidation of the governance and management structures of the MLS, thereby providing coast-to-coast cooperation among brokers, we should instead focus on MLS data and technology infrastructure, and support the movement toward a national database system.

This would create a vast information network available to application developers who, until now, couldn’t offer tools to agents and brokers without expensive and time-consuming customization for every individual MLS.

My comment: The author is vice president of Business Development for Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®), created by NAR. More info at www.narrpr.com . Very interesting and worth reading. Poor real estate data has been a problem forever. Non-standardized MLS data is a nightmare for appraisers. This database would be accessible to appraisers, CU, and AVMs I assume. Of course, we all know how accurate MLS data is…

No bath tubs?

Excerpts: For years, the common wisdom among both brokers and designers was that every home needed a tub. But changing lifestyles and the demand for more space are now driving some homeowners to swap out their tubs for chic, high-end showers.

There is no definitive data on whether ripping out a tub could harm resale value – or any way to quantify how many people are doing that – said Jonathan J. Miller, president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel. But “for a young family, not having a tub is an issue,” he added, “so the risk of impacting the value rises as the apartment size rises.”

My comment: Just something to think about… I often see bath tubs that are seldom used. But rarely see a home with no tub.

Read more!!

3-2-17 Newz .Appraiser identity theft .Data shows no appraiser shortage

HUD Fraud Alert: Appraiser Identity Theft

 Excerpt: Most of the schemes happened when an FHA roster appraiser provided his or her personal identification number (PIN) for the desktop appraisal software to a colleague or supervisor. Providing the PIN was often rationalized because

* It was needed to keep the process timely,
* A fast turnaround was requested by the lender, or
* It was a contingency for when the roster appraiser was away or unavailable.
While these actions may seem innocent enough, they raise severe risks for misuse because the appraiser can never be sure the PIN will only be used with his or her knowledge and for legitimate purposes. Over the last couple of years, OIG has received more than a dozen reports of identity theft by colleagues or supervisors. Following are some case examples of the various schemes.
The identity theft examples were in IL, CA and WA
Click here to read the 2-page Fraud Bulletin:

My comment: Read the bulletin for more info. There was a lot of this reported when trainees were used in the last boom. All the appraisers were sentenced to 3-5 years in prison.

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How much value does a huge backyard shop add?
Another good post from Ryan Lundquist!!

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2-23-17 Newz// Transportation failures, Polluted Cities, Appraisers Age

With Trump changes in the news, guess I need to put something in this email newsletter ;>


Big Banks Could Get Back in the Mortgage Market in a Big Way
Excerpt: For the past six years, there has been a quiet revolution in the mortgage market: Big banks like JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM), Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and Citibank (NYSE: C) have moved out and nonbank lenders such as Quicken, loanDepot and Caliber Home Loans have moved in – in a big way.
The revolution went largely unchallenged, but that may be about to change if the Trump administration removes regulations on the big banks and stops sending bad loans back to the banks for repayment. Deregulation would open the door for big banks to move back in.
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The Least Polluted U.S. Cities (and the Dirtiest)
Least polluted
1-Naples FL
2-Salem OR
10 – Salinas CA
Most polluted
1-Philadelphia PA
2-Los Angeles CA
10- Milwaukee WI
My comment: Worth reading. Very interesting results and a well written article!!
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5 Spectacular Transportation Failures

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8-11-16 Newz//How to fix the appraiser shortage now, Photo blurring, Gold medal for town planning in 1936 Olympics

America’s First Medal at the Nazi Olympics Was For…Town Planning

Excerpt: Yes, from 1928 until 1948, town planning was an actual Olympic sport.

Town planning fell under an “architectural design” category at the Olympic art competition. The field that year was dominated by German entries. Yet the first U.S. medal of the Olympics went to Lay, a New York architect, for his ambitious blueprint to modernize Marine Park in Brooklyn.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/americas-first-medal-at-the-nazi-olympics-was-fortown-planning

My comment: I love these Obscure Olympic Facts ;>

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Photo blurring gone waay overboard!!

Excerpt: At issue was the ubiquitous “client requirement” involving digital masking of people from images. While lenders and AMCs wave the Fair Housing penalty flag in order to assure compliance; there is NO such law. Never has been.

Lenders need to re-examine the reason for all of these pointless and invasive interior shots. They add nothing meaningful to the file. Nobody is laying out mortgages for Beanie Baby collections and bad drapes. So why are appraisers wasting megapixels on decorating images?

AMCs are on notice to cease demanding and insisting that appraisers do digital staging. That is clearly in violation of Illinois law.

Click here to read the full article plus the comments, of course…

http://appraisersblogs.com/digital-staging-amc-fair-housing-myth

My comment: Blurring interior pictures on walls, personal objects, etc. seems very excessive. Don’t know about rooms with strange devices and chains hanging from walls and ceilings, etc ;> Maybe appraisers will only be able to appraise vacant homes with nothing in them without getting requests for blurring. This applies only to AMCs doing business in Illinois, but maybe the AMCs will quit doing it in other states.

Read more!!

AQB – possible changes to college degree, practicum, alternative experience, etc.

AQB wants comments on possible changes to college degree, practicum, alternative experience, etc.
Comments deadline March 31, 2016
College degree – alternative for licensed upgrade to certified
My comments: I keep hearing from appraisers that college graduates have lots of high paying opportunities. But, these types of jobs are only for engineering, computer science, etc. jobs. Some with business degrees from highly rated schools can get “Wall Street” jobs. Not for the vast majority of graduates with degrees in English, psychology, etc. I don’t know how realistic it is to offer a route from Licensed to Certified with no 4 year degree required since few lender clients will accept licensed appraisers and their numbers have dropped significantly.
Practicum – alternative experience up to 50%
My comment: I studied science in college and spent many afternoons in labs. When I graduated I was ready to go to work and needed no training. This is a significant problem for appraisers.
The only appraisal class I ever had with practical experience was a junior college appraisal class taught by a real estate agent. We all appraised his home using Fannie forms. A practicum was offered awhile ago by the AQB but was too difficult to set up and none were ever offered. Hopefully, these new requirements will be easier and, more important, include hands-on appraisal experience.
Click here to read the full document
My comments: Lender appraising has been a boom and bust business since Fannie and Freddie started securitizing loans in the 1960s, requiring armies of new appraisers during the booms with most laid off during the busts. Everyone seems to forget this. The current licensing system does not consider it.
Of course, the biggest problem today is lenders not allowing trainees to sign on their own. Lenders can solve this problem now. The draft recognizes this problem. But, AMCs (low fees and  Scope Creep) are the most significant reason for the “brain drain” of experienced residential appraisers leaving the profession since 2008. Retiring baby boomers is another factor.
Who is worried about an appraiser shortage? The Appraisal Foundation’s income will go down. AMCs will have fewer appraisers to broadcast cheap fees. Finding appraisers in rural areas will be more difficult, but this has always been a problem. Lenders are hoping maybe they can use AMCs or “alternative products” because of the shortage. Of course, not much of this applies to commercial appraising, only to residential AMC work.

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How to Stay Happy as an Appraiser

How to Stay Happy as an Appraiser with Ann O’Rourke – Dustin Harris Podcast 12/13/15

In a recent paid Appraisal Today newsletter I wrote an article: “Staying positive with unreasonable fees and Scope Creep from AMCs”. In my article I go over many ways to be positive. These ideas are not new and have been around for many decades. I applied them to appraisers.

Whenever I do public speaking, I am much more “out there” than I am when I write. I am much more spontaneous, similar to when I am interviewed for podcasts.

I don’t think that there have ever been as many dissatisfied residential appraisers as there are now, primarily due to several factors:

– AMC and over-management of appraisers

– Low AMC fees for the work required

– Ever increasing requirements from investors and lenders

I know many long time residential appraisers who have quit appraising because they don’t want to work for AMCs. If I could only get work from AMCs, I would have quit also. But, I also know appraisers who do a lot of AMC work and they are satisfied with it. Dustin is a good example. They modified their businesses. I also know appraisers who do very little AMC work.

All successful business people have a positive attitude. Some of us are fortunate to be born that way. But, you can change your attitude.

Click here to listen

http://theappraisercoach.libsyn.com/075-how-to-stay-happy-as-an-appraiser-with-ann-orourke

 

To subscribe or listen on other web sites, go to

– Android – http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-appraiser-coach

– iTunes – Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any! I am a subscriber.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-appraiser-coach-podcast/id966765322

– Website – http://theappraisercoach.libsyn.com/

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Part time appraisers – how many and why?

Statistics from data on appraiser licenses from www.asc.gov, and other sources, do not identify how many are doing appraisals part time or not at all.

Why does it seem like there is an appraiser shortage in some areas? Of course, it is probably a shortage of appraisers willing to work for low fees. But, this also spills over into non-AMC work as few appraisers are available as they are cranking out AMC appraisals and won’t accept non-AMC work.

I keep speaking with more and more appraisers who are no longer working long hours. There is almost unlimited demand from AMCs, but most of them do not work for AMCs. Or, work for a few AMCs that pay well and give them occasional work. Or, refuse to work for lower fees, so don’t get much AMC work.

Why do appraisers work part time?

– The median appraiser age is getting higher. Older appraisers (and non-appraisers) are no longer willing to work 60-80 hours per week. They often don’t need as much money as before. Children graduated from college, collecting social security, home mortgage paid off or have a low rate on mortgage, spouse retired, etc. I suspect that this is the primary reason.

– Fee appraisers are self employed. Many baby boomers that are employed want to work part time but their employers won’t allow it. One of my brothers started working in the printing business when he was 18. For the past 30 years he has been doing on-site printer repairs for national companies. He is 67 and would love to cut back to part time as he does not want to do a lot of driving, which his job requires. When he retires this year, there is no one to replace him. There are no new people coming into printer repairs, which requires expertise in computer software and printer hardware, and many years of experience. His employer says “no” to part time work.

– Self-employed appraisers, as we get older, can gradually cut back on how much time we spend on appraising. That is one of the best features of having an appraisal business. Also, if we start another business or get another job, we can often continue part time appraising.

– Not working but keeping license as a backup. Hard to get license back. Sometimes do an occasional appraisal. I always recommend keeping your appraisal license as long as you can. You never know when you will need extra income.

– Don’t work for AMCs and don’t get a lot of work from non-AMC clients.

I just look in the mirror. I limit the amount of work I accept. I don’t do any lender work and turn down non-lender work every week. I am 72, downsized my home, no children to support, collect Social Security of $3,000 per month since I turned 70. I worked very long hours appraising for 25 years, but 5 years ago I started cutting back on the hours I spend appraising. (I typically worked about 60 hours per week.) I get also income from my paid newsletter and ads for this free email newsletter. Most important, I need more time for my experimental music and videos, another big motivator ;>

I do appraisals and work on my appraisal business about 15 hours per week. My sfr fees are at, or slightly above, non-AMC C&R fees. I have little driving time as have been working only in my small city for the past two years – 10 minutes to go from one end to the other. I have an assistant that proofreads, invoices, etc. My typical time to writeup an sfr is about 2 hours. Total time is about 4 hours plus 1 hour for my assistant. There are few tract homes here.

What does this mean for you?

If you stay in the appraisal profession, even part time, you will have lots of work in the future. Baby Boomers are leaving the workplace, or cutting way back, in large numbers for all types of work.

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK? POST YOUR COMMENTS AT WWW.APPRAISALTODAYBLOG.COM !!

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Whose responsibility is it to bring new appraisers into the appraisal business?

www.appraisalport.com  Poll Results

Lenders and/or AMC’s 80 votes 1.5%
Fee appraisers 378 votes 7.4%
Appraiser Organizations 153 votes 9%
All of the above 520 votes 10%
No one specifically – market demand will drive it like any other profession. 3,882 votes 76%
Other 114 votes 2%

Total Votes: 5,127

My comment: my favorite choice was left off – lenders! They trained most of the appraisers prior to licensing.

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