Appraisals and Water Frontage

Appraisals and Water Frontage

Steven W. Vehmeier


What about an off-site water view?

In a large townhouse-style condominium complex, there were only eight units that had water views. The view was of a section of the Intracoastal Waterway. It was from the second floor only, and over a six-foot high concrete block wall and across an open field. The builder charged more for those units because of the partial view.

My research discovered that the open field had just been purchased by a group that was building a four-level high-and-dry boat storage building. That bit of news made quite a few folks very unhappy and had a distinct impact on the value of those units. The moral of this story is that when you see open land between your subject property and the water, review ownership and the local building and zoning department’s comprehensive land use plan.

Water rights play a major role

With many water fronting properties, the topics of “riparian and/or littoral rights” (and the “prior appropriation doctrine” in the western states) come into play, along with several other issues. Those topics are fodder for other lengthy blog posts all by themselves. Appraisers should familiarize themselves with their state laws regarding water frontage and related rights, as they can vary from state to state.

Among the rights that come with real property ownership is the right to exclude others. When oceans, lakes, bayous, estuaries, rivers, streams, and ponds are involved, this right is a large part of what property purchasers are paying for.

To read more, click here

My comments: Worth reading, especially the last section “Final thoughts on the topic.”

I have lived in my island city for 42 years and had two waterfront homes, with docks, during the first 30 years. Both had many water related issues. One was on a tidal canal and built around 1943. Over time many homes along the waterfront, including mine, had non-permitted structures built over the water. The canal was owned by the state with an unclear easement for building beyond the rear lot line. The property owners asked me to do appraisals on the homes, including the rear structures but did not like my very high fee. It was so complicated the state and the city gave up trying to straighten it out.

The other home, built in 1946, faced a small bay off an outlet to a large part of San Francisco Bay. The large rear part of the lot was owned by the state and the city, which was leased to the homeowner. When the state said they were considering giving public waterfront access along the rear of all the homes unless we paid an annual lease fee, based on the extra lot square footage, we agreed to pay it.

I always wondered what other appraisers thought about these issues. They may not have even recognized or asked about them. Appraisers called very rarely.

I will never forget one of my first house appraisals here. The owner said it had a Bay view but did not mention you had to stand on the toilet to see through the window. After that, I told them the view had to be from a chair that you sat in!


Solar Hemicycle–style Home Waterfront Home in Virginia Beach

Excerpt: The home was built in 1959 and is located on a 6-acre lake waterfront a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. The property’s list of amenities includes docks, decks, and piers spanning Crystal Lake. Four bedrooms and three bathrooms with 3,020 sq. ft.

The home’s materials list includes glazed brick and cypress; The roof is of copper; Inside and out, its earth tones are FLW-friendly, with muted reds and yellows topping the list and enhanced by accents, cabinetry, and paneling in various woods. The architecture of the house is expressed in the long, graceful curves that define the living area; Inside, the shared spaces feature a corner fireplace/fire as a centerpiece.

A long brushstroke of a curve opens the house through several doors to the lakeside patio. The tiered outdoor living area begins there, extends to a deck with a fire facility on a low landing, and ends at the dock and pier. An art studio is located in the middle of the beach excursion.

To read more, click here

To see a short video, click here

My comment: Definitely use CubiCasa for measuring ;>


© Masterfile Royalty-Free
Model Release: Yes
Property Release: No
Businessman working in office, Leipzig, Saxony, Germany

Maintain that Workfile

By Frank Gregoire

Excerpts: After receipt of a consumer or lender complaint (and often a Fannie Mae “tip”) against an appraiser licensee, among the first items requested by the regulatory agency or investigator is the appraiser’s workfile. If the complaint is a lawsuit, in many situations, a copy of the workfile must be turned over to the plaintiff or their counsel as part of the discovery process. When that complaint or lawsuit is filed against you, are you able to reconstruct what you did, how you did it, based on the contents of the workfile? All the appraisal experience in the world and assertions your opinions and conclusions are correct and accurate cannot help if you did not prepare and did not maintain that workfile.

Unfortunately, for many appraisers, preparation, and maintenance of the workfile is viewed as an inconvenient burden rather than a means of protection. Some mistakenly believe a copy of the appraisal report or review, along with a single data sheet for each of the comparable sales included in the report is adequate. Please examine the full text of the Record Keeping Rule for the minimum requirements. For certain, the attorneys handling the license complaint or civil suit against you have a copy and know what they expect. Wouldn’t it make sense to throw them off their game by maintaining a workfile with much more information, data, and support than they expect to see?

To read more, click here

My comments: Well written and worth reading. Frank Gregoire started appraising in 1977 and is very knowledgeable. He lives in Florida with has many waterfront homes.


Are you thinking about doing non-lender appraisals?

What type of non-lender work is best for you?

I have been writing about non-lender work since 1992 in my monthly newsletter.

My articles discuss how they differ from lender work, the pluses and minuses, and how to market your services. I have done all the non-lender work I write about. Over time, I figured out which ones I like the best. From the day I started my business in 1986, I have always accepted non-lender appraisals.

Before spending a lot of time trying to get business, I strongly recommend reading some of my articles to see what appeals to you. They are all very different from lender appraisals. No AMCs, no Fannie/VA/FHA guidelines, usually no reviews, no CU. Higher fees that are much more stable than AMC fees.

A few of my articles:

  • Should you do non-lender work? Pluses and minuses of both lender appraisals and different types of non-lender appraisals.
  • Communicating with non-lender clients is very, very different than lenders!

To read lots more about non-lender appraisals, including many marketing tips, plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today.

If this article helped you decide about doing non-lender appraisals, it is worth the subscription price!!


What’s the difference between the Appraisal Today free weekly email newsletters in this blog and the paid monthly newsletter?

Click here for more info!


When mortgage rates last soared this much

Inflation ended 1986 at 1.1% — the lowest in two decades. By April 1987, inflation hit 4%.

Excerpt: History lesson?

Just like 2022, the 1987 story reminds us that all good things tend to end.

That’s not “gloom and doom” thinking; it’s a realistic assumption that human nature tends to go overboard when wallets are flush — and then reality pops. One reason for such pragmatism is the Fed’s odd role of being the adult in the room.

When times are economically slow, the Fed’s like a bartender — liberally spiking the economy with its stimulant of choice, cheap money.

But then when things get a bit frothy, the Fed turns into the party pooper — acting like a responsible tavern owner, it puts a chill on the economic fun with its “last call” action of hiking those same rates.

To read more and see an excellent graph from 1970 to today, click here

My comments: I recently read an article in my local newspaper about the differences between inflation and mortgage rates over time.


Columbia, Maryland’s Quirky Street Names

From Nodding Night Court to Dove Sail Lane, the town’s address choices are both practical and poetic.

Excerpts: The street names in Columbia, Maryland, were drawn from art and literature. “Satan Wood Drive,” however, was the result of a typo. It was supposed to be named “satin wood” for a line from an Amy Lowell poem.

“Turn left off Windharp Way onto Deep Calm. (No, not ‘Street’ or ‘Court,’ just ‘Deep Calm.’)” Anyone asking for directions through Columbia, Maryland’s residential neighborhoods could be forgiven for thinking a helpful local was pulling their leg.

But this suburb between Baltimore and Washington, home to just over 105,000 people, really does have some of the wildest place names in America. Here, otherwise typical split levels and townhouses line Empty Song Road and Crazy Quilt Court, in neighborhoods with names like “King’s Contrivance” and “Hobbit’s Glen.”

The Columbia Archives provides an online, searchable database for local residents (and curious non-locals) to look up the origins of the community’s place names. Links in article.

The Faulkner Ridge neighborhood in Columbia, Maryland, is filled with street names drawn from William Faulkner’s novels.

To read more, click here

My comments: Worth reading. Fascinating story! There is an O’Rourke St. about 15 miles from where I live. What strange street names have you seen? I wonder what reviewers (human or computer software) think of these unusual names. Have to be careful when typing them to avoid typos!Two Trends Slowing Housing Market Normalization


Existing Homeowners, the Immovable Object

June 20, 2022

Excerpts: You can’t buy what’s not for sale — and existing homeowners have little incentive to relieve the supply pressure, keeping a lid on housing market normalization.

Many existing homeowners are rate locked in to historically low, sub-3 percent mortgage rates, and now that rates are rising, there is a financial disincentive to sell their homes and buy a new home at a higher mortgage rate. The golden handcuffs of low mortgage rates prevent more supply from reaching the market.

Seniors choosing to age in place, rather than downsize or move to another home, further limits housing supply. A 2019 study from Freddie Mac shows that if adults born between 1931-1959 behaved like earlier generations, they would have released nearly 1.6 million additional housing units to the market by 2018.

To read more, click here

My comment: I was born in 1943. No way I’m giving up my 2.5% rate on my place to buy another home! I would not be interested in buying any other real estate now. Addicted to low rates!! I purchased my current home in 1985 at a 15% rate which was a low rate then. Rates went up to 18% during the early 1980s.


Desktop Appraisals Information Sources

With business projected to decline significantly, maybe it’s time to consider desktops (and hybrids) now. Good current information in the three sources below.

Top Questions Appraisers Have About the New Desktop Appraisal Rules

By John Dingeman, Chief Appraiser Class Valuation

Excerpts: Before the announcements from Fannie and Freddie, it was anticipated that desktop appraisals would only be accepted for loans with a maximum of 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV), where buyers were making at least a 20% down payment. However, the new guidelines apply to properties with up to 90% LTV. For appraisers, this means they’ll have the option to conduct a desktop appraisal much more frequently than they might have thought.

To read more, click here

My comments: Well written and worth reading. Dingeman is very knowledgeable on this topic. Class Valuation AMC does many desktops and hybrids.


Three 1-hour webinars on Desktops and Hybrids

  • Q&A with Freddie and Fannie – Lyle Radke and Scott Reuter
  • Appraisers who do desktops and hybrids
  • Desktop and Hybrid Tech Products

To watch the webinars, go to and search for appraiser elearning.


Fannie Appraiser Update June 2022

Desktop topics include:

  • Use of third-party data in desktop appraisals,
  • Extraordinary vs. ordinary assumptions
  • Verification vs. re-creation.

It also includes Appraiser Quality Management.

To read more, click here



HOW TO USE THE NUMBERS BELOW. Appraisals are ordered after the loan application. These numbers tell you the future for the next few weeks. For more information on how they are compiled, go to

Note: I publish a graph of this data every month in my paid monthly newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to or send an email to . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 7AM to noon, Pacific time.

My comments: Rates are going up. Make money while you can!!


Mortgage applications increased 4.2 percent from one week earlier,

according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending June 17, 2022.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 4.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 3 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 3 percent from the previous week and was 77 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 8 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 6 percent compared with the previous week and was 10 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates continued to surge last week, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate jumping 33 basis points to 5.98 percent – the highest since November 2008 and the largest single-week increase since 2009. All other loan types also increased by at least 20 basis points, influenced by the Federal Reserve’s 75-basis-point rate hike and commentary that more are coming to slow inflation,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Mortgage rates are now almost double what they were a year ago, leading to a 77 percent drop in refinance volume over the past 12 months.”

Added Kan, “Purchase applications increased for the second straight week – driven mainly by conventional applications – and the ARM share of applications jumped back to over 10 percent. However, purchase activity was still 10 percent lower than a year ago, as inventory shortages and higher mortgage rates are dampening demand. The average loan size, at just over $420,000, is well below its $460,000 peak earlier this year and is potentially a sign that home price-growth is moderating.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 29.7 percent of total applications from 31.7 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 10.6 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 12.0 percent from 11.8 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 10.7 percent from 11.7 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.5 percent from 0.6 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($647,200 or less) increased to 5.98 percent from 5.65 percent, with points increasing to 0.77 from 0.71 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $647,200) increased to 5.49 percent from 5.25 percent, with points decreasing to 0.45 from 0.54 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 5.62 percent from 5.36 percent, with points increasing to 1.18 from 1.00 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.05 percent from 4.79 percent, with points increasing to 0.86 from 0.80 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 4.78 percent from 4.57 percent, with points increasing to 0.84 from 0.80 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks, and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.


Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA
Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today
1826 Clement Ave. Suite 203 Alameda, CA 94501
Phone 510-865-8041

Appraisal Time Killers To Avoid!

Time Killers: The Biggest Time Management Challenges for Appraisers

McKissock – Survey
Excerpt: What’s one thing you wish you could STOP doing to save time in your workday?
Answering phone calls (28%)
“Phone calls usually are from another client and slow down the task I am trying to accomplish.”
“Phone calls interrupt train of thought and emails aren’t any better. It’s hard to work when parties are micromanaging your work.”
Providing status emails (23%)
“Some clients are sending multiple emails daily on the same property with status update requests. I know some of these are automated, and they can really be annoying and are clogging my inbox.”
“Often, almost everyone involved in the transaction calls or emails for a status. That includes two agents, the processor and loan officer. That situation is very burdensome.”
To read all the challenges plus appraiser comments, click here
My comments: Worth reading. Good tips. I have always had an office assistant to handle these types of problems, since my third month in business in 1986. I had never had a clerical job and was ready to quit appraising. I hired someone to help me. My current assistant has been with me for 18 years.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Click here to subscribe to our FREE weekly appraiser email newsletter and get the latest appraisal news!!

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

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on non-lender appraisals, home inspector strange thinks, appraisal license problems, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.

Read more!!

Drainage Problems Can Damage Foundations – Appraisers Check It

Watch out for drainage problems when doing your appraisals!! 

When I first heard about the collapse of the Florida condo tower, I immediately thought about a drainage problem. Previous engineering reports revealed the problems – pool leaks, water not draining properly, etc. The condo building was constructed before building codes were changed to help avoid their problem. No one knows why the building started collapsing. Drainage Problems Can Damage Foundations

Limestone is under all of Florida. In parts of South Florida, the porous limestone is not good for foundations as there is less soil covering the limestone. I have seen many videos of saltwater intrusion flooding streets. The water came up through the limestone, caused by sea-level rise.


I always check for any drainage problems at homes. They are relatively easy to spot and can cause significant damage. I appraise many hillside homes, which can easily have problems. I look at where the gutter water drains and how it is moved away from the foundation. Sloping floors are another indication of possible foundation problems.

When I go into an unfinished basement, I look for water problems. One good indication is that everything is raised from the floor. Also, water stains on the lower part of the concrete. The water is coming through the foundation. A sump pump can help.


Properties I have appraised with obvious drainage problems:

– 2 story home on a hillside. Saw radiating cracks inside on both floors in the same corner. At the corner outside of the home was a small round drainage catchment about 1 ft. in diameter, without a way to drain it away from the house. The water came through the rear of the foundation because there was no drainage system.

– Home on a hillside that was moving down the hill. Standing water under the house. Unlevel floors. Big foundation cracks. Known area of problems. Relocation appraisal with two appraisers. The other appraiser did not mention anything.

Note: A good fix for hillside homes is a “french drain” in the ground that takes the water to the sides of the home, with plastic pipe to keep the water from the sides of the foundation.

– Duplex I own on a mostly level site. Tenants mentioned water coming inside the garage on one side. They had moved everything near that side of the garage off the floor. Both units were on level ground with raised foundations. The front garage was on a slight downslope. I replaced the gutters and drains so the water drained away from the foundation. I regularly check for any problems during the winter rains. No foundation damage, fortunately.


To read an excellent article on how and why concrete fails, Click here.

Modern concrete lifespan is roughly 50-100 years. The Florida condo building is 40 years old. “Concrete is poured around steel rebar, which gives it tensile strength. But tiny cracks — found in all concrete — cause water to start rusting the steel, which then expands, cracking the concrete.”

Photos of the Surfside basement taken before the collapse show steel rebar breaking all the way through the concrete to the point at which it is fully exposed to the salty and humid Florida air.”

We definitely have a significant infrastructure problem. Replacing concrete is very expensive: building foundations, bridges, freeways, etc.

I have watched several documentaries about what happens if there are no humans to maintain buildings, roads, bridges, etc. The roofs fail first, and water comes inside. Concrete and steel are damaged by water. Roads break down. Bridges collapse. When doing appraisals, I always tell the owners to be sure their roof does not leak. When they see stains in the ceilings, the roof has already started leaking.

Read more!!

Appraisers and The Psycho Kitty

Favorite Crazy Appraisal Stories – The Psycho Kitty

Excerpt: Psycho Kitty

I had an appointment at a home in the country out in the woods. The access instructions said the cat MIGHT be caged. Got to the home and the cat was at the front door and hissed at me as I went in. I tried to make friends with the cat, but it didn’t work, so I ignored the cat and started my inspection.

As I came out of the first-floor master, he was waiting. He stood on his hind legs, teeth showing, hissing, and came at me. Once again, I used my clipboard and ran to the laundry room where I was able to shut the door. I was safe…

To read more strange and/or funny appraisal stories, click here

My comment: We all have appraisal stories, of course!! In my 45 years of appraising I have never been attacked by a cat. My creepiest cat encounter was appraising the home of a cat foster parent for a local animal shelter. Large outside cat enclosure full of cats, multiple cats on top of dressers and other places, looking at me (looked like they were hungry). I wish I could forget about all the cat eyes looking at me :<

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Click here to subscribe to our FREE weekly appraiser email newsletter and get the latest appraisal news!!

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

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on psycho kitty, waivers, value vs. price, hot market, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.

Read more!!

Fannie says appraisal “forms” are going away

Fannie Mae is Not Developing New Appraisal Forms

By Dustin Harris 

Excerpt: Some of my colleagues have asked me, “What will the new forms look like?” Again, and I know it is a bit nit-picky, but there are no new forms. Rather, the GSEs are developing a cloud-based electronic container that will be used to report our findings rather than filling out a form and sending it in. Weird, I know, but it has its positives.

Currently, an appraiser needs to determine the proper scope of work to know which form is best for the situation. If it is a condo, it is likely a 1073. Single family residence, a 1004 or 2055.

To read more, click here

My comments: Nothing much new, of course. I have been writing about Fannie Modernization in the monthly newsletter and this newsletter for a while. Last week’s weekly newsletter had a brief Fannie Update – mostly the new timeline to 2024.

I also hear that Fannie will require a lot more data with more time required to fill out the online “form.” I can’t wait until we don’t have to decide which form to use! Especially since some “reviewers” and AMCs don’t really understand this.

A good example is how Turbo Tax software works. Instead of looking at every part of your printed tax return, it only shows what is relevant. For example, if you are filing as a single person or married. A single person would not have to look at the single vs. married part of the return.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Click here to subscribe to our FREE weekly appraiser email newsletter and get the latest appraisal news!!

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

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on unusual homes, crazy market now, adjustments, what fannie wants, mortgage origination stats, etc.

Read more!!

So Many Appraisal Cost Approach Questions

So Many Appraisal Cost Approach Questions!
So Few Answers! Such Low Fees!

By Tim Andersen, MAI

Excerpt: It is clear most appraisers do not like to do the Cost approach. Generally, we are not too familiar with it. So, it is clear that most appraisers, because of this, do not appreciate the deep analytical power the Cost approach really has. So Many Appraisal Cost Approach Questions!

Therefore, I’m going to ask you 10 questions on the Cost approach (and stuff related to it). After you’ve finished reading them, you probably will still not like to tackle the Cost approach. Nevertheless, you just may have a better understanding of, and appreciation for, its powerful analytical capacities.

First Question: On the 1004 form is the indication that Fannie Mae does not require the Cost Approach to Value. Where does the form instruct the appraiser not to complete the analytics of the Cost approach?

To read the other questions and answers click here

My comment: Appraisers, including myself, seem to have a love/hate relationship with the Cost Approach. But, it can be useful. Tim’s much longer article “But Fannie Mae says I don’t have to do the Cost Approach!!” will be in the September issue of the paid Appraisal Today.

Appraisal Process Challenges(Opens in a new browser tab)

Which Appraisal Clients are used the most?(Opens in a new browser tab)

Read more!!

What to Do When Your Appraisal Is Under Review

Excerpts: Residential appraisers will often — if not just about always — have their work reviewed by another appraiser. Usually, this is a routine procedure that the original appraiser barely notices. Sometimes, the review appraiser will come back with requests for extra information, or doubts, that the original appraiser might find annoying. To be sure, the reviewer’s questions might sometimes seem nit-picky, and answering them can distract from other work. However, the issues the reviewer raises almost always turn out to be legitimate. What to Do When Your Appraisal Is Under Review

We asked review appraiser Doug Nakashima (Glenview, Illinois) for advice on how to make reviews as painless as possible if you’re the one being reviewed.


  • Remember that reviewers are on your side
  • Look out for these common points of contention
  • Avoid future revision requests

To read more, click here

My comments: Sorry, no comments section for ranting, etc. ;>

If you’re doing AMC work, the tough appraisals tend to go to reviewers. The first “reviews” are from underwriters, clerks, computer software, etc.

I don’t know of any other profession where almost all reports are reviewed by clients. Personally, I think it has resulted in appraisers being overly critical of other appraisers’ work, state boards sometimes being too aggressive, etc. Worse, some appraisers try to send in reports with as as few “problems” as possible, to minimize call backs and doing whatever it takes.

Review appraiser liability(Opens in a new browser tab)

Appraisal Process Challenges(Opens in a new browser tab) Read more!!

Pandemic and market for buyers and sellers: Appraisals

By Ryan Lundquist April 30, 2020

Excerpts: Buyers more sensitive about location & condition: For years buyers have been exhibiting sensitivity to adverse locations and homes that are not in pristine condition. In other words, buyers have higher expectations about what they

75 percent alcohol disinfectant alcohol spray nearby a house concept of disinfecting the house

are buying and they aren’t overlooking the true condition of a home or paying top dollar for junk. I expect going through a pandemic will only inflame this dynamic.

Cash out at the top: Some people are concerned about the market changing directions, so we’ll see certain owners try to cash out at the top so to speak. I’m not saying we’re at the top of a price cycle. I’m only saying some people think the pandemic has pushed us or will push us into a new price cycle.

To read more, click here

Personal note from Ryan: Appraiser John Carlson GoFundMe: John is a well-known appraiser in Southern California and he is going through a difficult time as he was diagnosed with cancer and hospitalized. I invite you to pray for him and donate if you can. To read more, click here.

My comments: I spoke yesterday with a local appraiser friend who is thinking about selling her house and moving to a smaller, lowered priced house. (She is 78 years old, one year older than myself, but still appraising.) No listings or pendings in her area. Seemed like a good idea to me.

On June 29, McKissock had a webinar ” Appraising in a Pandemic”. In the last half hour, Ryan gave the best presentation I have ever seen on what to put in your report about the current market, not just a “I don’t know anything disclaimer”. He also had a sample statement slide. The recording was not available by my deadline. I will send it to you in next week’s email.
To read about lots more appraisal topics, continue reading below!

Read more!!

Appraising the White House

18 Historic Homes that Would Be Fascinating to Appraise

Excerpt: Historic homes make for complex and interesting appraisal subjects. As one appraiser said, “I love unusual properties, and the challenge they present to appraise. I have always loved appraising large, older properties. They take us back to another world back in time.” We recently asked our appraisal community, “What famous historic home would you want to appraise?” Here’s what they said.
A few of the homes:
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater
The White House
Norman Bates “Psycho” House
To read the full list plus many comments click here
My comment: For me, none of the above ;> Too difficult!

Appraising Weird Stuff is Challenging!

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

Zillow uses home photos for “appraisals”

Zillow – the past and the future

Zillow’s new photo algorithm

Zillow’s New algorithm uses photos of your home to check quality and curb appeal plus a look back at when Zillow started, and info on their ibuyer service

Excerpt: “We’ve taught the Zestimate to discern quality by training convolutional neural networks with millions of photos of homes on Zillow, and asking them to learn the visual cues that signal a home feature’s quality,” Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief analytics officer & chief economist, said in a Medium post announcing the new algorithm. “For instance, if a kitchen has granite countertops, the Zestimate now knows — based on the granite countertop’s pixels in the home photo — that the home is likely going to sell for a little more.”

To read more, click here

My comment: I am trying not to think about this…… Maybe North Dakota can try using Zillow on their rural properties….


Zillow – tales from when it started plus ibuyer

Excerpt: Every night for five months before the launch of Zillow’s website in February 2006, employees gathered their Dell desktops on Ping-Pong tables, connected them to harness their combined processing power, and strung together extension cords to get them all running. To avoid overloading the circuits, they unplugged the office refrigerator and banned Christmas lights. Then, while most of them slept, this jury-rigged supercomputer analyzed a decade of property records and American housing market data in order to spit out price estimates for 43 million homes.

To read more, click here

My comment: Published in Forbes. Well written and researched. I liked Zillow’s history plus a good analysis of their ibuyer service – the new wave of purchasing homes and selling them later.

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!!

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