10 Very Unique Bathrooms for Appraisers

Unique Bathrooms

Excerpt: The world is filled with remarkable restrooms. Some of them are no longer open to the public, such as the Stufetta del Bibbiena, a small bathing chamber with erotic-art-covered walls in the Vatican’s Papal Apartments. Others have been transformed into something totally new, like the London coffee shop that was once a Victorian urinal. But there are plenty of breathtaking bathrooms that are publicly accessible and just waiting to be wetted. These are 10 of the world’s most opulent and bizarre bathrooms. These 10 Very Unique Bathrooms for Appraisers are fascinating and unique!

Here are a few

  • Two story bathroom
  • Berlin Wall urinal
  • World’s Most beautiful public toilet

To read lots more info and see the good fotos To read more, click here

My comments: FYI, bathrooms are one of the very most popular topics in these free appraiser weekly emails. I have no idea why ;>

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Very unusual bathrooms for appraisers(Opens in a new browser tab)

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$1 Billion Appraisal Error

Bad News: Dropped Phone Causes Utah Home to be Valued at Nearly $1B

A Very Strange Story!!

Excerpt: The 1,570-square-foot house built in 1978 on 2 acres in an unincorporated area of the county was recorded in 2019 tax rolls with a market rate value of more than $987 million and an overestimate of about $543 million in taxable value. In reality, the property should have only had a 2019 taxable value of $302,000, according to county property records.

That error — which the Wasatch County assessor explained possibly occurred when a staff member may have dropped their phone on their keyboard — has resulted in a countywide overvaluation of more than $6 million and revenue shortfalls in five different Wasatch County taxing entities.

To read lots more, click here

My comment: Wow!! Makes AMC and client complaints (and appraiser typos) fade away in comparison!! $1 Billion Appraisal Error

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7 Ways to Not to Choose Appraisal Comps

By Tom Horn

Excerpt: Here are three of the topics:

1) I’m taking what I think the home is worth based on the owners estimate and looking for sales in this price range

4) Using higher sales from another neighborhood when there are good sales within my own subdivision

6) Using price per square foot

To find out what Tom says and the other 4 ways, click here

My comment: written for real estate agents, Tom Horn’s primary referral clients, but useful for appraisers. Maybe it will help you explain about comps to agents, or why you did not use the comps they provided. I always take whatever sales and listings the agents have. Sometimes the MLS has it miscoded somehow and I miss it. Or, there is a “pocket” listing that sold but was never listed on the MLS. Also, I never want to miss a sale very close to the subject, if only to mention it and explain why I did not use it!! 7 ways to choose comps gives you some ideas.

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Are Human Appraisers Being Phased Out?

Are Human Appraisers Being Phased Out? Federal Regulators Vote to Loosen Requirements

Excerpt: What’s that drone doing hovering over a property?

Soon that sight may be the norm on homes for sale.

The days of human appraisers may be coming to an end for homes priced under $400,000, if regulation proposed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Federal Reserve gets approved.
Previously, only homes valued under $250,000 could be purchased or sold without the use of a human appraiser. That threshold is potentially being raised to $400,000, opening up more business for drone-monitored and computer-generated home valuations. The vote is nearly there, awaiting expected agreement from the Federal Reserve before the regulation takes effect.

While the appraisal industry is concerned the change could negatively impact real estate at large, the brokerage side of the business predicts the threshold hike should have minimal effects on homeownership and the home-buying experience.

Comments from many sides of the issue and lots of comments by readers.

To read more, click here

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Zoning in the Appraisal Process

Highest and Best Use – Residential Appraisers Need To Understand It!

Excerpt: There are many valuation products out there. CMA’s, BPO’s and AVM’s to name a few. What you will likely not see in those kinds of valuations, is the specific zoning class for the property being valued. Why? Zoning in the Appraisal Process is very important.

With these types of valuations, a highest & best use (HBU) analysis is generally not made. However, if you hire an appraiser to value your home, we will perform this analysis. What is a highest & best use analysis? Why is it important in the development of an opinion of value? How is zoning involved?

To read more and see the fun animated gifs click here

My comments: My Most Frequent Residential Appraisal Rant!! I started at an assessor’s office in 1975. The First, and Most Important, Question was “What is the highest and best use?” In 1986 I started doing residential lender work. The form was just a check box for HBU. If you checked No, it was a big problem for the lender. Many residential appraisers don’t check the zoning, general plan, etc. One good way is to just drive around and see what is happening. For example, lots of small homes being torn down and McMansions being built. Or, lots of houses on a busy street converted to office uses. Or, a small house on a big lot with apartments all around it. A common residential issue is a possible lot split.

Don’t forget the General (Or Specific) Plan. It tells you what the city wants today and in the future for land use, which is not discussed in this article.

I have appraised a lot of older commercial properties for lenders, which often had a HBU different than the current use. I discussed it in my appraisals.

When there is a big difference in value between two appraisals, it is often due to a difference in opinion of HBU. Don’t get into trouble. Be sure to think about HBU!! If you’re not sure, contact an experienced appraiser, particularly one who does a lot of non-lender work and/or commercial appraisals.

In the Feb. 2017 issue there is an excellent article written for residential appraisers by Denis Desaix, “Residential Highest and Best Use Analysis: more than Just a “Check box” available to paid subscribers. See below.

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Appraisal Process Challenges

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Property inspection issues for appraisers

Nothing New Under the Sun: The Varied Face of Appraisal Property Inspections

By Joshua Walitt

This article focuses on property inspections, which – to an outsider – might seem to be a straight-forward topic. However, given current changes in the valuation space, nothing is further from the truth: valuation, specifically the collection of data that supports a valuation method, has never been one-size-fits-all. There are many property inspection issues for appraisers

Excerpt: Sample of the questions about data sources:

The appraiser determines physical characteristics of the subject structure from limited-data county records, recent family photos showing two rooms, and a 15-year old appraisal.

A determination must be made whether appliances and utilities are functional and/or whether the property meets local codes

An appraiser performs an Exterior-from-street appraisal and reports a value opinion of $500,000; the next week, she performs a Exterior-and-Interior appraisal on the same property and reports a value opinion of $630,000.

To get the answers and more questions click here

My comments: Worth reading. Summary of a recent presentation by Walit. Lots of different scenarios presented. Note: I publish a graph of mortgage orgination data every month in my paid monthly newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to https://www.appraisaltoday.com/products.htm or send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 7AM to noon, Pacific time.

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Don’t pick appraisal comps the old way

Are you violating USPAP every day?

If you pick comps the old way, you may be violating USPAP every day!

Excerpts: (In the past) Data was hard to get. I was taught it was only necessary to use only three or four comps. And only a few comps were available. I did learn the importance of bracketing from my trainers (it was nowhere in my appraiser education). I was diligent, and of course, I picked my necessary and available comps carefully. Don’t pick appraisal comps the old way.

Then things changed. No one noticed. MLS came on line. Income properties came online. Public records came online.  All relevant sales became available. Instantly. Without thinking, I ignored the “as available” rule. But stuck to the ‘as necessary’ rule. And heck, everybody used just three comps. In fact, USPAP says I should do what my peers would do. And they all used just three or four.

So, what changed?

Today in most areas, all the sales are available. But are they necessary? Well no. All my peers use just three or four, so it is ok. But what if I want to do more than achieve credible results?

To read more, click here

My comment: I love George’s Most Excellent headlines plus his writings!! His blog posts are short, as they should be. But, sometimes we want to read more. The June issue of the paid Appraisal Today will have his 6-page article: “Old Versus New: Conflict or Opportunity?” about the past, current and future in appraisal analysis. Very interesting!!

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Dancing and Crooked Houses for Appraisers

Krzywy Domek, The Very Crooked Little House of Sopot, Poland

Woops!! I forgot to include this in last week’s newsletter!!

Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: In 2004, the Polish architecture firm Szotynski & Zaleski built a wonderfully illusory building in Sopot, Poland that doesn’t quite look real. The design was based upon whimsical, fairy tale sketches of artist Jan Marcin Szancer and is quite aptly named “Krzywy Domek” or crooked little house. The building’s front facade is made up of crooked lines and distorted shapes that recall childhood cartoons, but the back of the building is a rather standard setup that leads to the main shopping area.

Check out the videos and fotos.

My comment: Fascinating!! I think this is the most crooked house I have ever seen. No photoshopping done on fotos!!
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The Famous Dancing House of Prague by Frank Gehry

Another Just for Fun House!!

Excerpts: The building is also affectionately known as “Fred and Ginger” due to its resemblance to a perpetually swaying couple. Like the Crooked House of Sopot, Poland, the unusual lines of the building stand out from the rest of the neighborhood.

Lots of fotos at:

Brief summary of details: http://architectuul.com/architecture/the-dancing-house  Can also google it for lots of background info.

My comments: Take a break from writing up your appraisal reports and Take a Look at the photos!! And be glad you don’t have to appraise a house that looks like this ;>

Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post to see photos of Ghery’s other strange buildings!!

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Appraising Hobbit Houses

Hobbit Houses in Charlevoix, Michigan

Just For Fun!!

Excerpts: Growing up in northern Michigan in the early 1900s, Earl Young was obsessed with boulders. Glacial boulders, to be exact-ones moored in fields, forests, and on lake coastlines across the state thanks to the slow march and retreat of glacial ice during the Precambrian age. Appraising Hobbit Houses in Michigan is a challenge.
The homes he designed will stop you in your tracks, as one did the last time I was there, passing by on a bike. Call them “mushroom houses,” “hobbit houses,” “boulder houses”; everyone has a different name for them. They’re often described concisely, if vaguely, as “organic.” Though some see Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence, they’re distinctly Young.

Fascinating! Lots of fotos and info at:
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Lord of the Rings – Hobbit houses from the movie(Opens in a new browser tab)

Hobbit House of Montana(Opens in a new browser tab)

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For Covid Updates, go to my Covid Science blog at covidscienceblog.com

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Reliable MLS Data important for appraisals

The Importance Of Accurate MLS Information

Accurate MLS Information Is Necessary For Reliable Appraisals

By Tom Horn

Excerpt: Topics include
– Accurate MLS Information Helps With Adjustments
– Square Footage Should Be Accurate
– You Can’t Measure It If It’s Not Described
Read the full article plus the comments.

My comment: Written for real estate agents. Maybe you can use some of it in your appraisal blog focusing on real estate agents. Of course, with Big Data, MLS inaccuracies are propagated and used for AVMs, including CU’s AVM.
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For Covid Updates, go to my Covid Science blog at covidscienceblog.com

Generally speaking, how accurate do you find MLS data in your area?

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