Appraisal News and Business Tips

Strange homes

12-21-17 Newz//: AMC appraisal fraud, Fannie Appraiser Update, CoStar vs Xceligent

The Three Most Fascinating Homes In 2017

Just For Fun!!

Very unusual… and two are very low priced ;>
You just gotta see this 2 minute FUNNY video!!
Death and Breakfast, House with Big Cave, and Very Old Historic House

https://www.realtor.com/videos/video-behold-the-most-fascinating-homes-of-the-year/db7fb804-6cd6-4556-887c-49410eb6d77a

The Appraisal Standards Board has issued new Q&As for December 2017, dated 12/19/17:

Note: personal property and M&E not included in the list below
– Communicating Assignment Results Without an Appraisal Report
– Workfile Requirements When Communicating Assignment Results
– Adding an Intended User
– Assignment Conditions versus Client Conditions
– Proposed Construction Employing an Extraordinary Assumption
– Proposed Construction Employing a Hypothetical Condition

https://appraisalfoundation.sharefile.com/app/#/share/view/seea70b822d24fa59?

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11-2-17 Newz .Crazy Appraiser Stories, AirBnB and Value, 31 abandoned places

Crazy Appraiser Stories

Excerpt: I had a house where the 1st floor den was connected to the basement via spiral staircase. Wife did not want the appraiser to go down the spiral steps and said she would “show” room from the basement. Telephone rang, appraiser proceeded to the basement, opened the door and the room was full of whips, chains, and other erotica ala “50 Shades of Grey.” I said we would just call it a rec. room and shoot from the best angle to disguise the “toys”.
-Sharon Finnerty Cremen

My comment: I have heard this story a few times but never encountered it… Lots of other weirdness though, such as seeing the sky through a big hole in the ceiling, falling down backwards into a partially covered pond and destroying my camera, etc. Check out the Cat Photo and make up your own Cat Comments!! Here is mine: Those appraisers need to take more naps and Get A Life. I guess they do have a sense of humor occasionally though ;>

Check out the other stories and add your own to  the 26+ comments at:

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10-26-17 Newz//Haunted homes and Places, Liability Issues, Tax Savings

Haunted houses and places – Halloween is next Tuesday.

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Google Maps Listed The 31 Most Haunted Places In America And They Sound Terrifying
From cemeteries and churches to mansions and museums.
Here are a few:
13. Adam’s Street Cemetery – South Bend, Indiana
16. Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
26. The Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, Colorado
My comment: Photos, brief writeup and links. Most are east of Kansas. Only a few near me. Not sure what that means ;>
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38 Real Haunted Houses and the Stories behind Them
Here are a few:
4. The White House, Washington DC
8. The Pirate’s House, Savannah, Georgia
10. Lizzie Borden House, Fall River, Massachusetts
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Haunted House? Not a Deal Breaker for Many Homebuyers

Excerpt: According to the Haunted House Real Estate Survey realtor.com® released today, 33 percent of approximately 1,000 respondents said they are open to living in a haunted house, 25 percent might be, and 42 percent are not open to the idea.

About 40 percent of people who are open to a haunted home said they’d want to see that home price go down to put money down on it. Another 35 percent said it would have to be in a better neighborhood to make the move, 32 percent said they wanted extra footage and 29 percent said they’d move in if they had more bedrooms.

Only 8 percent of respondents said they require no additional perks to purchase a haunted home. Basically, they wouldn’t hesitate and would move right in.

What about if someone died in the house? Actually, 47 percent of those surveyed said they would live in a home where someone died, 27 percent said they might, and 26 percent said, “NO WAY.”

My comment: Very interesting results. What is the effect on value, if any. Up, down, none?? Maybe someone will pay me some big bucks sometime to figure it out…

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From Ghost Hunters to Exorcists: Who You Gonna Call for a Haunted House?

Excerpt: Shortly after physical therapist Sally Morgan moved into her charming, late-19th-century cottage in Northampton, MA, she realized that she and her two pet corgis were not alone.

The price of the two-bedroom fixer-upper had seemed almost too good to be true. She soon discovered why she had gotten a bargain.

“Within a week, I started to feel a presence in the house. There were cold spots, and the dogs would stop and look at [invisible] things,” says Morgan, now 59. “In the shadows in the evenings, you’d think you saw a lady in a long dress. But was it her? Was it the curtains? Was it the shadows?”
My comment: Very interesting – who are you gonna call???
 
Search for haunted homes and places in your city. I found some in mine!! 

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9-28-17 Newz//Fees up or down?, Credit easing, San Francisco Castle

Albion Castle – A 140 year old castle with underground caves hidden in San Francisco.

Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: When Bill Gilbert was growing up near Candlestick Park, all the kids said that Albion Castle was haunted. Gilbert himself wasn’t sure, but every time his parents took him to eat at the at the old Dago Mary’s restaurant across the street, he would look at the gates that front the 145-year-old stone structure and wonder. Little did he know that as an adult, he would own the keys to the castle (literally).
My comment: It was listed in 2009 for $2,950,000 (a very bad market). The six-story square tower has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,436 sq.ft. It sold for 11/2011 for $890,000 and has been rehabbed. It needed a lot of work!!
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Info on the history and historic photos

My comment: It was listed in 2009 for $2,950,000 (a very bad market). The six-story square tower has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,436 sq.ft. It sold for 11/2011 for $890,000 and has been rehabbed. It needed a lot of work!!

Read more!!

9-7-17 Newz// Appraisers Helping Appraisers, SBA needs appraisers, It’s OK to Say No

Help Texas Appraisers Affected by Hurricane Harvey!

This fundraising campaign is co-sponsored by Mark Skapinetz (What’s It Worth Appraisal Services), Joe Mier (Joseph Mier & Associates), Lori Noble (The Noble Appraiser), Jonathan Miller (Miller Samuel Inc. Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants) and Phil Crawford (Voice of Appraisal).
As of 6pm 9/6/17 (West Coast time), at least two appraisers have donated the cost of an appraisal fee. 125 appraisers had contributed a total of $9,646 in the past 5 days.
If you have been affected by storms, you can apply to these folks to be considered to receive funding:
Mark Skapinetz:  wiwapp@gmail.com
Phil Crawford:  info@voiceofappraisal.com
Lori Noble:  lori@trpcg.com
Thanks to Dave Towne for these email addresses!
More info at:
Click here to donate
My comments: I prefer to give to people I know as it very satisfying. I started doing it 5-6 years ago. A former employee of mine became disabled and unable to work. I sent her $200 a month until she passed last year. A musician friend (my mentor), who is 82 years old, was trying to live on a small Social Security check. He sent me a Christmas card that mentioned some of his paintings for sale. I purchased a few for $400. Recently another musician friend in San Francisco was being evicted from his apartment after living there for over 25 years. I have been helping him send his records, CDs, etc. to friends around the country by using my UPS account.
I don’t know anyone personally affected by the Harvey disaster, but I contributed $100 as to help appraisers directly. I prefer to do this instead of donating to a charity. I also donate to charities, particularly local ones. I have my Amazon Smile account set up to automatically donate to the local Meals on Wheels. My living trust includes a large donation to my local NPR station, which I listen to every day.

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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 ;>

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8-3-17 Newz// Forest Guitar, Wells Fargo-no AMCs, Creepy Scope

Forest Guitar made of trees, dedicated to a man’s lost love.

Excerpt: Breaking up the flat agricultural areas of Argentina’s Pampas is a guitar formed entirely out of trees. Stretching for 2/3 of a mile, the multi-colored instrument was created by one Argentine farmer to memorialize his wife who tragically died at the age of 25.
My comment: Just for Fun ;> Fascinating photo and brief writeup.

Scope Creep Causes Creepy Scope

By George Dell, MAI, SRA

Excerpt: …scope creep has turned into scope running. I’m sure many appraisers, particularly residential people will agree. He (David Braun) points out that as the reviewers ask for more, appraisers are finding ways to not be specific. This has turned into a self-perpetuating loop:  “As the providers, users, and enforcement bodies have differing opinions on the proper level of the scope required . . .”

My comment: Interesting blog post. Short. Worth reading.

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7-20-17 Newz// Fannie data, USPS gyrocopters, Costar data

When the U.S. Postal Service Used Gyrocopters to Deliver the Mail The flying machines hopped from roof to roof of post offices.

Excerpt: Sensing opportunity, the United States Postal Service-then the U.S. Post Office Department-decided to invest in the new technology. In 1937, Congress appropriated money to fund a series of experiments on autogyro mail delivery, and within a year the first flight-from Bethesda, Maryland to Washington, D.C.-was made.

My comment: Check out the photos (no videos in 1937). Very interesting!!

Why Fannie Mae Shouldn’t Keep Data Secret

Excerpt: Today’s lenders have access to massive amounts of data. According to (Richard) Hagar, government lenders have access to every recorded sale in most every county across the U.S. via information providers like CoreLogic. He believes appraisal adjustments should be cross-checked against sales metrics of the five million home sales that occur each year.
However, appraisers typically use Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for residential appraising. Data provided by MLS may vary from information shown by providers like CoreLogic. MLS has more detailed information that county records don’t contain. Oftentimes, though, MLS contains errors or missing data. In other words, both types of systems have errors, but not necessarily the same errors.
My comment: Controversial topic!! Fannie says that they want appraisers to be objective, not using Fannie’s data. For example, appraisers changing their building sketches to match public records sq.ft. to avoid underwriter/review hassles. I remember CMDC books (in california) back in the 1980s where appraisers submitted the first pages of their appraisals to go into a shared appraiser database. Before appraisers could get MLS access. Seems like that was okay…

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7-6-17 Newz: Tech Trends in 1776 .Arms-length transactions .Zillow vs. McMansions

8 Hottest Tech Trends in 1776

Just For Fun!! Take a break from writing up those darn reports. Is there any appraiser who likes writing reports. Not me ;>

Excerpt: At that time, the “best” technology available was the printing press and the “best” social network required the use of “word of mouth” in Public Houses… But while all this was going on, there were a bunch of entrepreneurs and a few startups that changed the world.
  1. Underwater warfare
  2. Telling accurate time
  3. Underwater exploration
  4. Indoor plumbing
  5. Kitchen stove
  6. Electricity
  7. Mechanical motion
  8. Multitasking
My comment: check out this great article!! It is only 2 days after July 4, so I decided to include this very interesting article by Shelly Palmer one of my favorite tech writers!

Arm’s-Length Transactions, Market Value and Related Parties, Part 2 By Richard Heyn, SRA

Excerpt: So while a non-arm’s length transaction may be a red flag that can point to an above or below market value transaction, the bottom line is that ALTs may or may not take place at market value.
Another area of misconception among appraisers regarding ALTs involves the application of the term “related parties.” Unfortunately, the term “related parties” is not defined in any authoritative appraisal-related literature that I am aware. The term is, however, defined in accounting standards and by the Internal Revenue Service, most notably in the IRS guidelines for exchanges of like-kind properties.

My comment: the excerpt above is from part 2, above is the link for part 1. I have read several long threads online about this topic. Lots of confusion. Rich’s articles are Most Excellent. Read These Articles!

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6-28-17 Newz// Octagon house craze, Reproducibility Crisis, AMC Technology Efficient?

Octagon House Craze in the 1800s

Excerpt: If you were a forward-thinking individualist in 1800s America, building an eight-sided abode was a great way to show it. The octagon house was a cutting-edge design at the time, believed to be a more efficient use of space, energy, and cost than the conventional square.

… Thousands of these geometric oddities were built by the time the trend hit its peak in the 1860s.

My comment: Wow!! I have never appraised an octagon house, but have seen a few from the outside. Have measured octagon turrets on Victorians.

Top cities where the number of million dollar homes is skyrocketing

Excerpt: In large swaths of the country, a cool million has mostly come to represent the new standard for good, upper-middle-class housing. “In more markets than ever before, the million-dollar mark is the new benchmark for that green lawn and white picket fence,” says Javier Vivas, manager of the realtor.com® economic research team.
  1. Denver CO
  2. Santa Rosa CA
  3. Boulder CO
  4. Truckee CA
Click here get the full list and read the comments on the cities – very interesting!!

My comment: In my small city in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a median price of around $850,000, many properties are listed just under $1,000,000 and sell over list. Starter homes are $750,000 to $800,000 (2 bedroom/1 bath, built before 1940, maybe updated kitchen and bath, 1000 sq.ft.) No, we did not get on the list. Already have too many over $1,000,000.. I am soo glad I bought my  house in 1985 for $135,000!!

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