7-24-20 Newz: Difficult Clients – ANSI sq.ft. Standards Changing – 10 Private Islands

Advice for Working with Difficult Clients

Excerpt: Even if the bulk of your appraisals are fairly cut and dried, and require minimal interaction with a human client, any appraiser will occasionally have to work with a difficult client. The assignment might require you to work with a specialty property that is hard to appraise, or with a client who is personally disagreeable, or exceptionally exacting, or who has an agenda that you don’t understand or can’t go along with. Here are some tips for working with difficult clients. Three of the topics:

– Working with AMCs and banks: Time management

– Working with non-lenders: Expectations management

– Deal with complaints immediately

To read the tips, click here

My comment: Some great, practical tips!! Maybe I will try some of them instead of Firing clients, my most popular option ;>

My motto: Appraising would be great except for the darn clients!!

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Will Big Data Put Appraisers Out of Business?

By Dustin Harris

Although Zillow (and other similar companies) keep their algorithms proprietary, they do give us enough information that we can get a pretty good idea as to where the data comes from. For example, according to Zillow’s own website, “we use public and user-provided data for house attributes, and some areas report more data than others.”

As an appraiser for over two decades, I see a blaring problem here. Very few areas have accurate public information for size, quality, condition, and other important features of houses. As you know, these are features that can dramatically affect an accurate value. This is especially true in non-disclosure states where I work such as Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah. As for user-provided data? This is information coming from places like the home owner themselves. Nothing biased there. If Zillow depends on good data to provide good estimates, the phrase “garbage in – garbage out” comes to mind.

To read more, click here

My comment: Real estate data is overall poor, except for a maybe conforming newer subdivisions. No standardization for public records. MLS data provided by real estate agents. Most data not standardized. That means human appraisers will be needed.

Read more!!

7-17-20 Newz: Basement Rooms in GLA? – Toilet House – COVID Humor

What’s your favorite part of the appraisal process?

Excerpt:

Number 1. Data collection and property description (38%)

“The best part is the property review. I enjoy seeing what people have done to their properties and talking to them about their homes.”

“I enjoy viewing/observing the subject home.”

“Detective work”

“Each dwelling is different, and not every appraiser takes the time to clarify the differences in the dwellings. The quality, the construction, the egresses, and especially the correct way to calculate GLA or measure a dwelling.”

Number 2. Data analysis (27%)…

To read more about favorites, click here

My comment: I love working in the field, so my choice is Number 1. But, my very best choice is getting paid ;>

Read more!!

1-30-20 Newz: Tax Records SqFt. – Weird SFR Zoning – 5 ft. Wide Home

13516718 – white wood texture with natural patterns

Tax Records is not the definitive source for square footage!

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpt:

Why is the appraiser saying it’s only 1,400 sq ft? Tax Records shows the home is 600 sq ft larger. This issue comes up ALL the time, so let’s talk about it.

The truth: The Assessor’s records are generally reliable, but I’m just saying sometimes they’re not. Why is this? At times it’s as simple as the original builder not turning in accurate information when a house was built. Or maybe an owner took out permits but official records were never updated. Of course we’ve all seen instances where the tax roll shows two units on one lot, but there’s really just one house nowadays. Let’s not forget sometimes owners do an addition without permits, so the Assessor might actually be correct even though the house is technically larger or has even sold on MLS as a larger home. For reference, here are ten reasons why an appraiser’s sketch might be different.

For lots of comments and more info, click here

My comment: This one of the main reasons that AVMs will never be very successful for all homes. Over and over again, statistical analysis shows GLA is the most important physical feature overall.

Also, how bedrooms are determined varies a lot, depending on the local market and can vary over time. The assessor number of bedrooms may not match the appraiser’s. For example, tandem rooms. Finished basements can vary also.

I started appraising at a CA assessor’s office in 1976. In CA, State Board of Equalization regulated county assessors offices, so the procedures and terminology are very similar all over the state. However, GLA from the assessor may have different requirements than other sources, such as ANSI.

Proposition 13 passed in 1979, which only allowed an annual 2% increase in assessment per year, unless there was a sale or improvements (determined by permits). Over time, the information has become more and more out of date.

Data is not available for smaller counties if the assessor says it is confidential. Until the 90s, my county did not release any data, so I had to “guesstimate” on square footage for sales and listings. We finally got it when an MAI was elected assessor.

In the early 90s, I researched assessors records around the country. In some small rural counties the records were kept at the assessor’s home. They were not digitized and available for purchase by data companies.

Appraisers need to know which areas are not accurate. Someties GLA is “political”. Within a city, accuracy can vary. In my city the least accurate records are in the “Gold Coast” with many of the city’s larger, historic homes. In other nearby cities, some properties have low GLAs to keep the property taxes lower.

Read more!!

11-15-19 Newz: Adjustments – Angle Measurements – Zillow iBuying Problems

Accurate Measurements with Odd Angles

Excerpt: Imagine a 2,100 square foot, one and a half story house with an attached garage, porch, and deck. You probably imagined the typical bungalow. Now, imagine that house having 48 corners and only 4 of them are 90 degrees. I recently had an experience with just that house. Some architect, thinking they were Frank Lloyd Wright reincarnated, decided to build this house on a high bank cliff overlooking the Puget Sound. Don’t get me wrong, it was a pretty cool design, but I knew right away when I received the order for that appraisal that I was going to need some help.

To read more, click here Lots of reviews of the product, plus other similar products.

My comment: $19.95. An inexpensive product we all need!! They have been around for awhile, but most appraisers did not know about them. I appraise a lot of Victorians. Very useful!!

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11-1-19 Appraisal Waivers – What’s In GLA – Superstitions

Appraisal Waivers 

(from Rob Chrisman’s email newsletter)

And wouldn’t home loans be streamlined if the owner of the loan/investor didn’t care about the value? No appraisals! On the flip side, what if every home loan required three appraisals? That would sure bog thing down. The topic of waiving appraisals (who, what, where, when, why) is a hot one. The general belief is that the PWI is not as much predicated on the home, nor the loan structure, and more in the availability of prior appraisals in the area. Appraisals being in “machine language” making them readable, and the data more subject to compiling and valuation algorithms is hot stuff. And some wonder that if Freddie and Fannie are under government conservatorship, could that information be subject to a FOIA request?

To read more, click here NOTE: The appraisal waiver section is down the page. Easiest to search for appraisal waiver.

My comment: I have been subscribing to Rob Chrisman’s newsletter for a long time. It focuses on lenders and mortgage originator news, but sometimes has some interesting material on appraisals. In this one, there is some analysis from the appraiser side. Nothing new for appraisers, but it is always good to see what loan officers and lenders are reading.

Read more!!

10-4-2019 Newz: Comp Photos – Waivers – No Permits – Rubik’s Cube

When 1,000 square feet doesn’t count

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpts: One of the most interesting homes I’ve seen just sold. It was brand new, four stories, and a halfplex. Oh, and on paper it was 3,000 sq ft, but about 1,000 sq ft didn’t count in the square footage. This is definitely a conversation piece, so I’m thankful Realtor Brian McMartin agreed to do a Q&A. I hope this will be valuable and interesting. Any thoughts?

Quick points:

This house has 1,000 sq ft that is not permitted as square footage. The “non-conditioned” space looks just like square footage.

Understanding permits really does matter…

Interview with selling agent plus Ryan’s (and appraisers’) comments. Worth reading.

To read more, click here

My comment: I see non-permitted areas in homes a lot in my city, typically converted basements. Fortunately, I can get the permit info easily from the city and the property owner does not “get into trouble” because of my inquiry. I am lucky.

Read more!!

8-16-19 Newz: Refi Mania – Paper vs. Google Maps – GLA Split/Bi-level homes

Refis Way Up: Almost 20 Million Homeowners Could See A Mortgage Rate Drop

According to new data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, refinances have doubled since late. They’re now at their highest point since mid-2016.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage application volume, rose 21.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week ended August 9.

Freddie Mac shows the average rate on a 30-year, fixed mortgage is just 3.6% — a 15-point decrease from one week prior.

To read more, click here

My comment: Don’t work for cheap fees! Make money while you can!!

See below for the full MBA report on the refi boom.

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6-6-19 Newz: What’s Fannie Doing and Why – Shadow Banks – Photoshopping

Tracking the Economy Through New-Home Square Footage

Excerpt: The U.S. housing market may not be synonymous with the business cycle, as a famous 2007 paper proclaimed, but the ups and downs in housing, which represents a big part of the economy, usually do offer hints about what’s going on more broadly.

That’s why economists closely watch housing market indicators like sales volumes and home prices — as well as how Americans are accessing the market and managing their obligations to mortgages, rental costs, taxes, and so on.

To read more, click here

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12-27-18 Newz:// Change Your Templates!!/Corelogic takeover?/Square footage?

CHANGE YOUR TEMPLATES!!

I am really going to try hard NOT to use 2018 on :
  • Appraisals with an effective date or date signed in early 2019
  • Checks I write manually. Will pre-date some of them for 2019.
  • Computer folders for appraisals and fotos (I have them by year).
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What Was the Most Popular Home of 2018?

 Just For Fun!!

Excerpts:
10. Cerro Gordo, Lone Pine, CA
Status: Sold for $1.4 million in July
Why it’s here: Seeking a little solitude? Look no further than Cerro Gordo, a bona fide ghost town perched 8,000 feet up in the Inyo Mountains in Southern California.

8. Beckham Creek Cave Rd, Parthenon, AR
Status: Currently off market
Why it’s here: This rustic estate carved into the side of the Ozark Mountains captured attention for its storied history of renovations. What started as a doomsday shelter was transformed into an A-list nightclub

Click here for fotos, more info, and 8 more popular homes!!
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6-7-18 Newz//Square footage, Novelty Architecture, Appraisal Fraud

It’s not all about square footage in real estate

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpt:
Myth: Extra square footage is always worth more.
Factors:
1) Single story vs two story
2) 55+ Community
3) Layout
4) Dangerous to always adjust

Worth reading, plus appraiser comments at:

Goofy Buildings: Revisiting the Heyday of California’s ‘Crazy’ Novelty Architecture – Giant hats, portly pigs, and drive-thru donuts.

Just For Fun!!

Excerpts: In the 1930s, a British traveler in Southern California wondered if the local architects had gone a little nuts. It was either that or he had stumbled into a fantasy universe. There was something trippy about the roadside shops he saw along the way…

The unusual businesses he saw weren’t on some Hollywood backlot, but were California’s classic coterie of mimetic architecture-that is, buildings shaped like, well, anything but buildings. According to Cristina Carbone, a professor of art and architectural history at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, the practice dates back to at least the Renaissance.

Fascinating!! Lots of photos and interesting comments at:

Read more!!