Appraisal News and Business Tips

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3-8-18 Newz// .$1 Million Shack, Comps From Different Neighborhood, What is an Island?

Can you use comps from a different neighborhood?

By Ryan Lundquist
Excerpt: BIG CAUTION: If one area has smaller homes, heavy fixers, not enough data, more foreclosures, or more remodeled properties, we might draw the wrong conclusions when looking at stats if we’re not careful. In other words, we need to know how to think through the numbers rather than taking them at face value.

Good analysis and graphs from Sacramento area, but applies to many other locations. Worth reading.

My comments: Going to another neighborhood is tricky if a location adjustment is required. However, I do it occasionally. If the two neighborhoods are similar, it is easy. FYI, I attended a Fannie webinar last week that showed how CU displays comps in neighborhoods, based on census tract blocks, showing how median prices vary. I will be writing about how underwriters use CU in next month’s paid Appraisal Today newsletter.

Read more!!

12-7-17 Newz//Appraisal Waiver Threat, Very Modern Churches, New USPAP Q&As

A Tour of the World’s Most Unrepentantly Modern Churches

Worship at the altar of striking architecture.
Excerpt: Outside the town of Almadén, in central Spain, nestled on a scrubby hillside, there is a chapel. You’d be forgiven for thinking it is an art gallery, or perhaps a particularly modern-looking winery, or the home of an eccentric tech mogul. Planes of concrete fold into one another, creating elegant, severe triangular surfaces that frame a wooden doorway marked by tapering planes of glass. But inside there is only sunlight-and a cross. Known as the Valleaceron Chapel, it was designed for the property by the architecture firm S-M.A.O. in 2001.

Click here to see the very interesting photos. For more info and fotos, google the name and location of the churches (under each photo – copy and paste).

My comment: I have seen lots of very interesting and creative U.S. churches (religious buildings) in many places. I don’t really know why church congregations are willing to be “out there” in their architecture but I love looking at these buildings!!

Read more!!

4-13-17 Newz// Desktop Appraisals .Fannie Appraiser Update .Trump Dump Dodd-Frank Regs

Sign up for Fannie’s new Appraiser Update and other appraisal-related news!

How do appraiser-related policy updates, technology changes, and industry trends affect your business? To stay on top of the latest Fannie Mae appraisal news and policies, check out the new Fannie Mae Appraiser Update, a newsletter providing periodic updates for residential appraisers serving Fannie Mae lender customers.  Sign up today to receive the newsletter and other appraisal-related updates.
My comment: I get all the Fannie announcements and have to scroll through them looking for anything relevant to appraisers for this email newsletter. Hopefully, Fannie’s appraiser info will be send frequently. The first newsletter is available.
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Ecological Plastic Bottle House

One family’s mission to exemplify sustainability took on a whole new life as a surprisingly beautiful home.
Excerpt: Alfredo Santa Cruz and his family built the bottle house out of trash and recyclables they collected. Aluminum cans, glass jars, CDs, cardboard cartons, and of course, plastic bottles were all used as construction materials. The house has multiple rooms, and even furniture constructed from all these items.
Scroll down the page to see bottle houses in Michigan, Canada, and Azerbaijan!!
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Read more!!

4-6-17 Newz .VA Appraisers Congress Hearing .Appraiser and Timeshare Scam .Fourth Approach

Assessing VA Approved Appraisers and How to Improve the Program for the 21st Century – House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity April 4, 2017

Link to video of hearing: https://youtu.be/uoVmYOq4HQY  (scroll forward past the logo)
Witnesses included:
– NAR 2016 Real Property Valuation Committee Chair
– Vice President, Appraisal Institute
– Chief Revenue Officer, Clear Capital

My comment: I have always been surprised that so few appraisers are interested in doing VA appraisals. Guess they like working for AMCs with hassles and low fees. Every week, at the bottom of every free email newsletter, I include the MBA origination stats, including VA, which is similar in volume to FHA. This week FHA and VA are very similar – around 11% of originations.

I wrote an article about the plusses and minuses of VA appraising in my Paid Appraisal Today newsletter, available to paid subscribers (see below). What I really like about VA is that you are helping veterans, not a lender trying to make a deal however they can. I noticed that a Representative O’Rourke was one of the first speakers in the video ;>
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Federal Court Permanently Bars California Man From Preparing Property Appraisals

Appraiser prepared thousands of appraisals in conjunction with timeshare donation scheme

Read more!!

12-15-16 What do I think about speculations on deregulation and appraisals?

For awhile after the election I thought deregulation meant getting rid of appraisals. Of course, lenders would love this.

But, why did we still have appraisals after the deminimus of $250,000 in 1989? Investors, who purchase the residential loans wanted them. Will they trust CU, BPOs, AVMs, etc. etc. Not very soon, if ever. Many thanks to the long conversation I had with long time reader and Michigan appraiser David Fishman. It reminded me of 1989 FIRREA and what it meant. Not sure if they will cut way back on commercial appraisal requirements, though.

11-24-16 Newz// Thanksgiving and USPAP

NO WORKING ON THANKSGIVING!!
USPAP VIOLATION!!
THE APPRAISAL POLICE ARE WATCHING YOU!!!

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Thanksgiving – What are you giving thanks for?

Instead of writing about what is good about appraising, this year I write about looking at your personal life, which is much more important.

When you sit down at the Thanksgiving dinner table with your family and friends (or dining alone or with your pets) what do you say you are grateful for? Take a few minutes now to think about what you will say. I know that I have almost always just said something that was sorta lame because I did not think about it ahead of time.

What am I thankful for this year? Good health. I always say that the richest person in the world would give everything they owned for good health. My health is better today than it was 20 years ago, in my 50s. I lost 40 pounds, workout every day, and walk with a friend. One of my brothers died in June at the age of 65 (liver failure due to hepatitis C). There will be an empty plate at the Thanksgiving dinner table. I am grateful every day that I am alive.

If you are a Baby Boomer, please get tested for Hepatitis C. There is a cure now.

Fannie’s Property Inspection Waiver (no appraisal) effective 12/10/16 for all lenders

Notice dated 10/24/16. I suspected that this was where Fannie was going with UAD and CU.

Refis only.. for now. $75 to waive the appraisal requirement.

Fannie has been testing it for quite awhile with some lenders. You may see this referred to as “Day 1 Certainty”, the name Fannie has chosen. They are also waiving reps and warranties (buy backs) so it will be very popular.

Thanks to Dave Towne for this very interesting news!

My comment: I will have an article n this topic for my November newsletter, out November 1, including what this means for you plus lots more details. I have read all the documents, going back to a newspaper article in as 2002. Very interesting.

What is your current appraisal turn time (order receipt to submission)?

What is your current appraisal turn time (order receipt to submission)?
My comment: I wonder how many are over 2 weeks? 8 weeks?

9-8-16 Newz// Increasing fees, Flawed FEMA maps, Loan apps way up

How many appraisers are increasing their fees?

Poll: In the past year, have your standard fees for a typical non-complex assignment? www.appraisalport.com

 

 

 

 

My comment: Good news that the majority of responses were for increased fees. But, less than $50 annual increase is low. If you work for AMCs, your fees will drop when business slows down, assuming you are not getting very low fees now. If you don’t ask for higher fees now, or drop AMCs that insist on low fees, you are losing lots of money. I keep increasing my fees by $50 every 3-4 months and am still below other local appraisers’ fees. Remember, there is little or no AMC “loyalty” to appraisers. They will not remember you when business slows down and you really need work.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? POST YOUR COMMENTS AND READ OTHER COMMENTS AT www.appraisaltodayblog.com

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McMansion Hell in Roseville CA

Just for Fun!!

Excerpt: Nothing in this world is a better metaphor for what politicians and marketers like to call “The American Dream” than the Californian tract house. Imagine – you too, could have your own sloppily put together plot of land on a nice street lined with other sloppily put together plots of land.

But you, of course, want your sloppily put together plot of land to be different from the sloppily put together plots of land of your peers. Now, your houses may have been built at the same time with the same plan by the same builder, but damn are you not determined to find a way to stand out from the crowd.

Finally, after the nth hour of HGTV, it dawns on you: the windows.

http://www.mcmansionhell.com/post/149807609446/roseville-ca

My comment: check out other interesting stuff on this web site. I didn’t even know there were any McMansions in Roseville!!

Read more!!

What does it cost to take appraisal comp photos?

In general, how much do you think the requirements of taking comp photos increases the cost of completing an appraisal? www.appraisalport.com poll
My comments: Comp photos are very controversial, especially with the availability of google (including historic photos), mls, Zillow, etc. Interesting results. Don’t know if this includes blurring out personal items, people, dogs, etc. Maybe includes driving time (non-rural of course) and downloading and filing photos. At least we don’t have to spend lots of money on photo processing plus time going to and from the store any more!!

I am not sure why, but lots of appraisers don’t like to take comp photos. USPAP certainly does not require it. I always do, even if I have taken a photo before, because I can’t remember what was near the comp, condition, etc. I always remember it when I used hear about it when speaking at Canadian appraisal conferences. At that time, appraisers were not required to put comp photos in their lender appraisals. They told me “I know that area very well.” Or, “I drove by it XX years ago.”

Previous Appraisalport polls on comp photos
6/2/15 – analysis of 3 comp photo polls – Comp Photos and MLS, Fannie, USPAP, etc.
Plus read the comments.
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