Appraisal News and Business Tips

real estate market

8-17-17 Newz//Appraiser Goes to Jail, Mercury Network Bidding, $10,000 Lighthouse

Buy a lighthouse for $10,000

 Just For Fun!!

Excerpt:
Bidding is underway for six decommissioned lighthouses built before 1930 that the federal government has put up for auction. Five overlook the Great Lakes in Michigan, and the sixth is on the Chesapeake Bay.
It’s a tempting prospect, perhaps, for those who yearn for scenic surroundings – and who have the stamina to tackle periodic renovations.
Interesting article with photos and commentary
My comment: I Want One!!! A former lighthouse in San Francisco Bay was converted to a very popular B&B. Someday, maybe, I will stay overnight there ;>

How Air-Conditioning Conquered America (Even the Pacific Northwest)

Excerpt: Air-conditioning has been remarkably good at creating demand for itself.
 It enabled the sweeping postwar development of the South, where all new single-family homes today include central air. In automobiles, it made the commutes between air-conditioned homes and air-conditioned offices possible. In the Southwest, its arrival facilitated new methods of rapid construction, replacing traditional building designs that once naturally withstood the region’s desert climate.
Interesting graphs and analysis.

My comment: A timely topic in today’s increasing temperatures. I have never lived in a house with air conditioning, even in Oklahoma when I was a kid. But, I used to visit my aunt in Dallas in the summer – air conditioned house, car, etc. I always say that people here in California do not know what hot is: 85 degrees and 85% humidity when I lived in Oklahoma ;>

Read more!!

8-10-17 Newz// Fannie-Appraiser Future, AMC goes down, Delightful Domes

A Tour of the World’s Most Delightful Domes

17 half-spheres that do round right. Just For Fun!

Excerpt: Employing massive hemispherical roofs first became popular with the ancient Romans-most famously the iconic Pantheon, built in the 2nd century. Since then, the feature has taken many forms across the globe, providing cover for everything from ancient tombs to futuristic houses. The circular nature of domes has special significance in religious houses such as churches and mosques, where it represents the eternal, with no beginning and no end.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/lists/domes-architecture-world-tour 

TC Valuations (AMC) Ceasing Operations!

Paying appraisers $ .25 on the dollar!!

Excerpt from letter sent to appraisers: It is with much regret, that I write this letter to inform you that TCV has commenced an orderly wind up and liquidation of operations. Unfortunately a significant downturn in revenue and the loss of part of our volume with two key clients in the second quarter of 2017, has forced the company to wind up its operations.
Read the full letter plus lots of comments at

My comment: There will be more AMCs going down, particularly small ones. In 1993, when the appraisal business crashed and I had way too many employees, I almost went out of business. But, I had no uncollected billings, even from mortgage brokers. Why? I always carefully monitor my accounts receivable. My assistant called all my clients every day until they paid. My husband, a very large man, wearing black clothes (Gangsta style ;>), went to a local mortgage broker’s office and left with a full payment check. It may be time to write a collections article for the paid Appraisal Today…  predictions are for more small AMCs Going Down.

Read more!!

7-27-17 Newz// LA-FTC and AMC fee survey, Silent place, No Bubble?

One Square Inch of Silence

A tiny red pebble marks what may be the quietest outdoor spot in the United States.

Just For Fun!!
Excerpt: One Square Inch of Silence, an independent research project created by the author and Emmy Award-winning acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton, aims to protect the space from human noise intrusions. The tiny quiet spot, accessible via a three-mile rainforest hike down the Hoh River Trail near Forks, WA was designated on April 22, 2005 (Earth Day) as a “noise control project” to ensure the decibel count at the square inch would never rise.
 
My comment: Our lives today are very noisy: cars, lawn mowers, refrigerators, air conditioners, fans, etc. etc. Plus, external noise can affect property values. There is quite a bit of noise “pollution” in most places. It is very hard to find a quiet place today, even in very remote locations. I keep reading articles on this topic.

Smoking pricing crack, era charm, & blaming appraisers

By Ryan Lundquist July 5, 2017
Excerpt: Smoking Pricing Crack: Did you see that listing in Waco Texas of the property that was rehabbed by Chip & JoAnna Gaines of the reality show Fixer Upper? It was purchased for $28,000 and now it’s listed for sale at $950,000. Would you pay more because Chip and Joanna rehabbed it?
My comment: Interesting blog post plus lots of comments!!

Read more!!

4-20-17 Newz// The Narrowest House, State Appraisal Boards, Low Housing Inventory

Keret House- The world’s narrowest house makes for an awkward, four-foot-wide living space.

Excerpt: Designed by Polish architect Jakub Szczęsny, the Keret House in Warsaw is wedged inside a four-foot crevice, nicknamed a “cushion of air,” between two buildings. The Keret House stretches over 30 feet tall but is simultaneously only 28 inches wide at its narrowest point-thinner than a stovetop-and just four feet wide at its widest.
My comment: Check out the fotos and full article. Wow!! I have written about narrow houses in this weekly email before, but this is definitely the narrowest!!
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When You Get Notice of a State Complaint…

By Ted Whitmer
If you are an appraiser, it is likely that at some point in your career you will receive notice that a complaint was filed against you. In one particular busy year in Texas, roughly one in six residential appraisers were filed against with the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board. When you run the number of complaints in one year against the number of appraisers, one can expect a complaint every eight to ten years.

Read more!!

1-26-17 Newz: Master baths .Failed appraisals .$220 million home

The Rise of the Luxurious Suburban Master Bathroom
How a utilitarian room turned into a pleasure palace.
Excerpts:
Bathrooms haven’t changed much since indoor plumbing became a standard feature in newly built homes at the turn of the 20th century.  This, coupled with changing societal expectations regarding the frequency of bathing and new technology such as the flush toilet, swiftly ushered in the era of the modern bathroom.
The story of the master bathroom was long in the making. A space we now deem a necessity is only around 36 years old. It’s one of many examples of how a cocktail of social, technological, and economic influences combine to create new standards of living, and change the face of not only architecture, but how we live.
My comment: Fascinating, with lots of historic bathroom photos and excellent commentary! No comment on “master” and fair housing ;>
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This Is What a $250 Million House Looks Like
As a glut of mega-homes hits the L.A. market, developers are taking it up a notch.

Read more!!

7-15-16 Newz//CU Crumbles-Refi mania-Urbanization since 3700 BC

The history of urbanization, 3700 BC – 2000 AD

Watch as the world’s cities appear one-by-one over 6,000 years

Fascinating!! Take a break from appraising and check this out!!

By 2030, 75 percent of the world’s population is expected to be living in cities. Today, about 54 percent of us do. In 1960, only 34 percent of the world lived in cities.

Urbanization didn’t begin in the 1960’s. But until recently, tracking its history much further back than that was a challenging task. The most comprehensive collection of urban population data available, U.N. World urbanization prospects, goes back only to 1950. But thanks to a report released last week by a Yale-led team of researchers, it’s now possible to analyze the history of cities over a much longer time frame.

http://metrocosm.com/history-of-cities/

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419.99 Mile Marker

Just For Fun

When zealous marijuana enthusiasts kept stealing the “Mile 420” highway marker, the State of Colorado got creative.

Another obscure factoid from atlasobscura.com ;>

Since the recreational use of marijuana was made legal in Colorado in 2012, the “Mile 420” post became a hot commodity. So hot, it kept disappearing – and the Colorado Department of Transportation got tired of replacing it.

Check out the photos (and try not to click on too many of the other weird stuff) at:

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/41999-mile-marker

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Refis skyrocketing per Zillow – Brexit

Read more!!

5-12-16 Newz .Geographic competency .Killing home values .Fair housing

The Most Insane Property Description Ever

Short descriptions, click here for some humor!! Reminds me of the times I am driving to the subject, hoping the house ahead is not the one I am appraising… Probably not the Most Insane, but definitely reality-based!!

http://www.thebrokeagent.com/blog-1/2016/4/the-most-insane-property-description-ever

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These Neighborhood Amenities Can Kill Your Property Value

Excerpt: In real estate, the phrase “cash is king” is oft overused. However, if you’re struggling to sell a house in a bad ‘hood, then you already know that in reality, location is king. Purchasing a home in a great area, or an area that is up-and-coming, can help maximize the value of your home investment.

So what can tear your property value down faster than a tree through the roof? The following infographic from Realtor.com offers insight-and some will surprise you!

Link to original article:

http://blog.rismedia.com/2016/these-neighborhood-amenities-can-kill-your-property-value

My comment: Of course, the effect on value varies by location – cemeteries for example.

Read more!!

4-14-16 Newz .Bad Banks .10 Very special homes .Future of appraising

Poll: Generally speaking, how accurate do you find MLS data in your area?

 

This week’s poll: “Now that we have been living for some time with all the new rules governing residential appraisal, do you still enjoy doing the actual appraisal work?” Go to www.appraisalport.com and vote!!

My comments: I have no idea why so many people think that MLS data is correct!! Of course, it does vary a lot among MLSs. In my area it is “reasonably accurate”, except public records data is often used (and the source disclosed). For example, on the weekly open house tour last week, an agent had 2 bedrooms in the listing, because “that is what public records says”. The second bedroom was tandem with another bedroom and very small. We all know how (inaccurate) public records are. Somehow, everyone, including some appraisers, think it is accurate. Or, worse, try to make their appraisals match public records to avoid callbacks.

To make a comment, scroll down to the post below and read other appraisers’ comments and post your own!!

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10 homes that changed America (PBS – April, 2015)

Excerpt: In its 10 Homes That Changed America, a three-part series, PBS discusses the many ways that America has been shaped by its iconic and important architecture. According to series host Geoffrey Baer, narrowing the millions of houses across America down to ten examples was a challenge. The tv show tours the ten homes that have not only passed the test of time but also paved the way for those that followed.

Here are a few, with photos and brief descriptions at the link below:

– Taos Pueblo, New Mexico (circa 15th century)

– Glidehouse, Novato, California (2004)

– Mid-19th Century Tenement, New York City

http://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/tour-10-homes-changed-america-pbs

My comment: Fascinating!! The first one of the 3-part series has already aired. Be sure not to miss the rest. I will let you know when the first one is available for viewing online.

Read more!!

3-31-16 Newz .College degree .1004mc .Home price recovery

Man moves to San Francisco, pays $400 a month to sleep in wooden box in friends’ living room

Excerpts: With the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment at $3,670 a month, the city’s housing crisis has pushed frugal renters to the edge of their comfort limits.

From tents to trucks, the next logical step in San Francisco has taken shape – in the form of a literal box.

Very interesting!! Check out the comments, video, photos, and the rest of the article at:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/03/29/man-moves-to-san-francisco-pays-400-a-month-to-sleep-in-wooden-box-inside-friends-living-room/

My comment: I live 10 miles from San Francisco. Rents in my city are well below San Francisco’s, but have increased 50% over the past 3 years. I don’t know anyone living in a box, but I do have friends who left the state to find affordable housing. Many others are worried that their rents will go way up any day. I am very glad I am an owner, not a renter. San Francisco has strict rent controls, but I don’t know if it applies to boxes… I gotta increase the rents on my apartments!! Greedy (or Evil) landlord ;>

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College degree requirement misguided

By David Brauner

Excerpt: The college degree requirement seems more like a forced attempt at elevating the status of the profession by closing the club, and that strikes me as elitist. Not everyone has the opportunity, resources or aptitude to attend and/or flourish in college…

The requirement is even more dubious when you consider that a degree in any subject passes muster for becoming a Certified Appraiser, no matter how unrelated (think French Literature for instance), while someone with the skills to flourish in this business would be shut out for all intents and purposes without a degree.

Read more!!