Appraisal News and Business Tips

unusual homes

Why are there so many increasing lender/AMC requirements?

Today, lenders are very worried about investors requiring loan buy-backs. I keep hearing aboutpiles of paper minor appraisal errors, such as typos, resulting in buy backs. Of course, many of the loan documents, including appraisals, have been lost.

Is this realistic? I don’t know, but lenders are worried so they tell their agents, AMCs, to increase appraisal requirements. There were much more significant changes in 1989, such as appraiser licensing, that will not be reversed.

AMCs work for lenders, and do what they say. But, if one of an AMCs lender’s require something, that AMC may require that it be done for all of their lenders because it is too much of a “hassle” to send out separate engagement letters for each lender’s appraisals.

This is a short excerpt from an article in the January, 2013 issue of the paid Appraisal Today newsletter, which focuses on AMCs, including background checks and a profile of an AMC that pays well and that appraisers like to work for.

Appraisal Today newsletter

Lord of the Rings – Hobbit houses from the movie

Hobbit Homes

Excerpt:

The Hobbit scenes from Lord of the Rings Movie Trilogy were filmed on a hillside lot in Matamata, New Zealand. Now the little Hobbit Homes have become a tourist attraction, but also they became homes for some of the sheep from a nearby farm. The interiors of these white structures were never finished because the scenes shot inside were actually filmed on a studio set.

Although the place where these Hobbit houses rest under the sun are not an intimidating fun Disneyland-like  amusement park, one can visit the countryside and get a chance to learn more about the sheep raised here and even pet the lambs. From inside the little houses the scenery opens to a beautiful valley with trees scattered here and there. The panorama is almost untouched by humans and it gives one the feeling of being in the right place at the right time. Round entrances and windows blend beautifully with the green grass creating a surreal environment that could give Lord of the Rings fans an exquisite travel experience.

http://freshome.com/2010/10/25/cute-lord-of-the-rings-hobbit-houses-in-new-zealand/

Hobbit House of Montana

Excerpt:

The Hobbit House, in northwest Montana, about a three-hour drive from Spokane, Wash., is a guesthouse. Number of units: one. But it is a large unit. The Web site, which the reporter studies before arriving, shows a 1,000-square-foot structure built into a hill, on a 20-acre site dotted with structures that range from small to perfect for squashing with your foot: a four-foot stump-shaped troll house, a few round-door hobbit houses with chimney pipes and several shoe-box-size fairy houses.

But what is a visit to the Hobbit House without a tour of the shire? Into the RTV we go, accompanied by Mr. Michaels’s dog, Libby, a collie-shepherd mix. Here is a tiny sod-roof house belonging to Frodo, a Baggins relation; there, in the trunk of a tree, is a mother-son fairy abode (complete with two doors). Not everything is hobbitically accurate: there is a two-foot-tall hairy-back frog, because Mr. Michaels figured that if hobbits were hairy, their frogs should be, too.

“And look,” he says, steering the cart toward the sod-covered roof of the life-size guesthouse. “You can drive over the house, because it’s built into the ground. Right now, we’re 30 feet over your bedroom.”

Link to a story written by a New York Times reporter with a photo slide show
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/11/garden/the-hobbit-house-in-montana.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

2,300 sq.ft. House built in 2hrs 52 mins 29secs – a record!!

Excerpts:
embed [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2HqW-AAb20?rel=0&w=420&h=315]

A new World Record was set in 2005, as the 2 Hour House was constructed in 2hrs 52 mins 29secs. The event took place in Tyler, Texas, where volunteers from various building trades came together in an unprecedented show of team spirit. In July 2006, the 2 Hour House project donated $30,000 back to the East Texas community, through six non-profit charitable organizations. This clip is an excerpt from the 60-minute documentary. For information and to purchase the full-length DVD, visit http://www.2HourHouse.com

Scroll down the page to see the stats – here are a few:
•It takes a day to set the forms, dig footings and set steel.     8 min
• It takes a half a day to rough-in the plumbing.                    7min
• It takes a day to pour and finish concrete.                         40min

I love the music!! I shoulda been there drumming!!

Thanks to Brad Stinson of Zaio for this great link!!

Balloons and Flying houses!!

zeppelin

Lift Your House With Balloons!!

Excerpt from article:
Back in 2009, Pixar Animation Studios released the immensely successfu

l “Up.” The comedy-action film went on to be nominated for five Academy Awards, becoming only the second animated film to receive the honor, behind Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”

In short, “Up” was a landmark film, both beautifully rendered and beautifully told. The film follows curmudgeon Carl

Fredricksen, who attaches balloons filled with helium to his home until he and it are lifted away on an exotic adventure.

As a company that deals with homes, Movoto Real Estate had to ask: How many balloons does it take to lift a house? Fortunately, great minds have already tackled the question. This, however, didn’t stop us from building on fellow balloon enthusiasts’ work and calculating how many balloons it would take to lift some of the world’s most famous structures–imaginary or not.
Before we get to the fun, we’ll recap how others have attempted to tackle this question. Read more at:
http://www.movoto.com/blog/novelty-real-estate/balloons/
Posted 11/25 by Robert Milo on Facebook – I am a real estate appraiser. Thanks, we all need a little humor!!

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House attached to balloons flies, sets world record

Article excerpt:

How hard can it be to lift a house with helium balloons? A National  Geographic team of scientists, engineers, and balloon pilots has demonstr

ated how to achieve such a feat, which was filmed for a new TV series called “How Hard Can It Be?” They conclude that, although it’s very difficult, it’s not impossible.

It took the team about two weeks to plan, build, and lift the house into the air using balloons. They needed about 300 weather balloons, each of which inflated to a height of 8 feet, in order to lift the 2,000-pound, 16×16-foot yellow house. Lifting off early in the morning outside of Los Angeles, the house floated for about an hour and reached an altitude of 10,000 feet. According to the National Geographic Channel, the floating house set a world record for the “largest balloon cluster flight” ever attempted. The entire aircraft of house and balloons was about 100 feet tall.

My comment: I love science!!!

Click here to Read more and check out the great video