9-11-20 Newz: Racial Bias and Appraisers? – Appraisal Process Challenges – House With 11 Domes

The Most Challenging Part of the Appraisal Process

Excerpts: Number 1: Data analysis (34%)

“When comps are limited, or when sales prices vary by as much as 50% for what appear to be very similar properties in the same neighborhood (which seems to be more and more common in the Denver metro area), selecting the best comparable properties can be a very time consuming and stressful process.”

Number 2. Site value opinion (17%)

“I choose ‘Site Value Opinion’ as the most challenging since there are very few vacant land sales in the areas that I appraise in. With very few sales, it’s very difficult to provide an opinion of value for many sites.”

To read more comments from appraisers and the other 7 challenging parts of the appraisal process click here

My comment: Lots of good appraiser comments. Data Analysis is my number one choice also. Tract homes are sorta boring but can be a welcome break from all the non-tract homes I appraise. Also, with Covid, I don’t connect with real estate agents every week at open houses to find out what is happening (behind the data).

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11 connected Domes in Australian house!!

Just For Fun! What We All Need!!!

Excerpt: With 11 domes and twenty rooms across 1,050-square metres (10,925 sq.ft.) of floor space, this house, or spaceship, is a “world first”.

It’s situated on half a hectare (0.74 acres), with multiple balconies and a wine cellar.

To see lots of very interesting photos click here

My comment: I tried to count the domes myself but gave up! I have never seen, or heard of, a house with this many connected domes. I definitely would need to use a builder or architect drawing!! I would go crazee trying to measure this house…..

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9-4-20 Newz: Humor – Castle in Ohio – Appraising Weird Stuff

How to Handle the Weird Stuff: Appraisal Methods from an Experienced Florida Appraiser

Excerpt: Going further away or back in time

One method is to go further back in time for comparable sales.. Another method is to use sales that are more distant to find data to utilize. Both of these techniques have long been available to appraisers. When using these appraisal methods, most often a comparison is made between properties with similar characteristics to the question at hand to extract a ratio/percentage which is then brought current or to the locale and applied. This could work for the above illustration with only four houses on leased land and no similar nearby sales. Most appraisers are familiar with and have utilized these techniques,

Well written and worth reading. To read more, click here

My comments: Lots of good tips. All of us are asked to appraise the “weird ones”. Of course, sometimes we don’t know a house is weird until we drive up and see it!! Very good discussion of methods. I have used all of them except depreciated cost, which is a good method. Plus, lots of tips on doing them for lenders. Of course, sometimes I just say “no” as it will take too long.

I have learned that they often are money losers due to the increased time. This is what can happen with lender UAD appraisals for AMCs due to the excessive amount of questions and trying to fit the appraisal on the form. I sometimes accept the weird ones for

non-lender work with no time pressures. They can be very interesting and challenging.

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8-20-20 Newz: Glass Houses – Cost Approach Questions – Murphy Beds

So Many 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. 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.

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8-7-20 Newz: What type of clients do you have? – Rotating Dome Home – Fannie Solar Panel Update

Survey: Which Appraisal Clients Make Up the Majority of Your Client Base?

Excerpt: What types of clients do property appraisers serve? Do most of their assignments come from lenders vs. non-lenders? To help answer these questions, we recently asked our real estate appraisal community, “What type of appraisal client makes up the majority of your client base?”

While most appraisers said that the majority of their work comes from lenders (most often through AMCs), some said the bulk of their client base is made up of other types of appraisal clients, such as attorneys or private individuals.

To read the results and appraiser comments click here

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7-3-20 Newz: New Fannie Update – Street Name Values – Converted Church

Fannie Mae Appraisal Update June 2020

Excerpts from Section on Impact of COVID-19 on appraisals

Through mid-May, about 15% of Uniform Collateral Data Portal® (UCDP®) appraisals completed after our announcement used the flexibilities, either desktop or exterior-only. As you know, circumstances vary widely across the country, and the uptake of the flexibilities reflects this. The highest percentages of appraisals using the flexibilities are around 40% in some northeastern states, while the lowest percentages are around 10% in some of the less impacted states…

We found that appraisers have used the flexibilities correctly about 90% of the time. Appraisers have done a great job identifying external obsolescence for desktops and exterior-only appraisals, as well as leveraging their local knowledge, maps, aerial photos, and other data sources. We’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that, although not required, about 35% of nontraditional reports include a sketch pulled from prior reports,

assessors records, or other sources. Also, the supporting comments in the nontraditional reports have been even better on average than those in traditional reports.

Worth reading. 5 pages and well written. Also includes comments on “one mile rule” and flood zones. To read more, click here

My comments: There are very few of these done in the Bay Area. 10% sounds about right. However, now we are now in a major virus surge in some states – opened too soon and people in some areas did not do social distancing, hand washing and wear face coverings. Use of the alternative reports may increase in some states, and decrease in the northeast.

These appraisals are not easy to learn how to do, and are very different than doing full 1004 with interior inspections. In the June issue of the paid Appraisal Today I have lots of information on them, including useful references. See the ad below.

Read more!!

6-5-20 Newz: Waivers; Wavy House; Unemployment Help For Fee Appraisers

A Very Wavy House 

Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: “Everyone basically has this ‘Wow!’ reaction, and it’s pretty polarizing: You either love it, or you hate it,” Assemi says of the home, which is now listed for $599,000. Its roof mimics ocean waves and is covered with cedarwood shingles.

“It’s just so unconventional, but inside, it’s a regular house,” …

The home has three bedrooms and three bathrooms in 1,845 square feet, and its ceilings are 21 feet high. It comes with 6.22 wooded acres on Collins Creek at the base of the Sierras and Sequoia National Park, about 20 minutes from Fresno, CA.

Interesting article and lots of fotos: To read more, click here

My comment: Located in Sanger CA, close to Fresno in a primarily agricultural area. A very unusual home for this part of California!! The median home price in Fresno is $258,500 per Zillow. Can You say: over-improvement? In the Bay Area, our the median price is around $950,000.

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What’s the ONE thing that is most often overlooked by appraisers?

By McKissock

Excerpt: We recently asked our appraisal community, “What’s the ONE thing that is most often overlooked by appraisers?” We received a wide variety of answers ranging from big-picture oversights to specific details. The most common answer we received was “Highest and Best Use.”…

Highest and Best Use (HBU)

This was the top answer, which was written in by about 8% of survey respondents“First question when doing an appraisal is the highest and best use. If there are two very different opinions of value on a property, different HBU is often the reason.”…

Obsolescence

Obsolescence is another item mentioned by multiple survey respondents. Appraisers cited both external obsolescence and functional obsolescence as being frequently overlooked.

“External obsolescence for the subject property – When I’m reviewing appraisals, I see this more often than other oversights. When I was performing retrospective reviews for FNMA, their biggest complaint was that appraisers did not point out external obsolescence for the subject and/or its impact on marketability (if there was an impact).”

“Functional obsolescence – Appraiser focus has changed over the years as subject functionality has changed.”

To read lots more, click hereb>

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5-29-20 Newz: Home Prices Up? – GSE COVID Requirements – Round House

May 27, 2020 By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpts: What are prices doing? That’s the question I’m getting asked the most. Here are some thoughts about how to look at prices during the pandemic. I also have two brand new price visuals.

1) Eggs in one basket: I recommend watching multiple price metrics instead of putting all our eggs in one basket. So in addition to the median price we can watch the average sales price and average price per square foot.

2) Pure pandemic data: When May stats come out we’re likely going to see 80-90%+ of those sales having gotten into contract after mid-March when the pandemic began to affect us. Thus May sales will be a stronger indicator of pandemic trends than April sales.

3) Seasonal rhythm: It’s key to understand the seasonal rhythm of the market because it helps us spot what is normal and not. For example, the median price usually increases from March to April, but this year we saw the median price dip instead. What does this mean? We need time to understand it. For now we’re recognizing something has happened that is less common. It’s worth noting we often see the median price climax around May or so, which means if we see prices soften in coming months we’re going to have to ask whether it’s a seasonal thing, pandemic thing, or something else.

For more info and of lots of graphs click here

My comment: My big article on Fannie COVID changes, including recommended “disclaimers”, is in the June paid newsletter. See excerpts in the ad below. You MUST discuss market conditions in your appraisal. Ryan’s blog post, and his other posts, give you some good ideas of what to include.

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5-22-20 Newz: Refis to Surge – Selling Over List – What’s Happening in Your Market?

Mortgage refinancings set to surge to a 17-year high

Lenders probably will originate $1.5 trillion in refis, a 51% jump from 2019, Fannie Mae says

Excerpt: Even as other parts of the economy tank, lenders will originate $1.5 trillion in refis in 2020, a 51% jump from 2019, according to the forecast. That would be the highest level since 2003 when $2.5 trillion of mortgages were refinanced, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The lowest interest rates on record will bolster refis after the Federal Reserve began buying mortgage-backed securities to stimulate bond demand and grease the wheels of the credit markets. The average U.S. rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to an all-time low of 3.23% at the end of April, according to Freddie Mac.

It’s probably heading even lower, according to the Fannie Mae forecast. The average rate probably will be 3.2% in the second quarter, down from 3.5% in the first quarter, and drop for the rest of the year.

To read more, click here

My Comment: And I thought my 3.5% rate loan was a low rate!! Everyone should refi!! Appraisers will be very busy!! Maybe more lenders will order external and desktop appraisals.

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Will Sex Sell? BDSM Dungeon in Arkansas Basement

Excerpts: A hidden door gives access to the dungeon, leading down a spiral staircase. At the bottom is a full nightclub, outfitted with an entertainer’s pole, along with custom-BDSM furniture Shayne made himself.

The couple says the neighborhood is quiet and an excellent place to raise a family.

Some of their neighbors know about the dungeon, and a few have been invited over. The space isn’t a dirty secret, and the couple is happy to talk about it with anyone who shows interest.

Despite the fact that the surrounding community is largely conservative, Shayne says the couple has had “zero negative feedback ”

For more info and lotsa fotos click here

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2-7-20 Newz: Obsolete Appraisers – Apartment AVMs – Outlier Sales

Not getting distracted by outlier sales

By Ryan Lundquist

It’s been a record-breaking couple of years. In New York we saw the highest residential sale ever in the United States at $238M. Then a couple months ago California got a new record with the Beverly Hillbillies mansion at $150M. And now there’s a listing in Bel-Air that just hit the market at $500M. The truth is it’s easy to get distracted by the bling of outlier sales because of how lofty the prices are, but here are a few things to keep in mind….

1) These sales don’t pull the market up: Outlier sales don’t pull the rest of the market up, and they have nothing to do with the entry-level market or affordability for the average person.

2) I just gotta have it: My observation with the highest sales is sometimes cash buyers offer prices that seem disconnected from what looks reasonable on paper. This doesn’t happen in all situations, but sometimes it does where the buyer simply says, “I just gotta have it.”…

For lots more tips, plus a few graphs, click here

My comment: When doing any type of statistical analysis, it is important to look at the outliers, high or low, so you can eliminate them in your data set. Very easy to do.

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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!!