Appraisal News and Business Tips

USPAP

4-11-19 Newz: USPAP 2020-2021 – Appraiser Experience – Mortgage Reform

ASB Adopts Changes to USPAP for 2020-21

Excerpt: The current written report options (Appraisal Report and Restricted Appraisal Report) are being retained for 2020-21. One of the more significant revisions is that use of the Restricted Appraisal Report will be permitted when there are intended users in addition to the client. An appraiser will be required to identify these additional intended users by name in the report.

The Foundation will be authoring a Summary of Changes document about the pending revisions to USPAP within the next several weeks. They will also be producing a recorded webinar on the changes. The new USPAP becomes effective on January 1, 2020, so there is still plenty of time to learn about the changes to USPAP before they go into effect.
Click here for the full blog post:

My comment: Many thanks Dan Bradley at McKissock for this blog post! I will be writing about the new USPAP in my paid newsletter, but learned many years ago to wait until a few months before it is adopted. That is when appraisers want to know about it ;>

I never used Restricted Reports because other intended users could not be added. Now I have another reporting option to use.

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2-28-19 Newz: Strange listing fotos – $400k deminimus – FHA violations

Strange and tricky listing fotos

A real estate photographer tells you how to spot staging tricks in listing photos

Excerpt: “If a photo is overly bright, over contrasted, or almost too perfect or synthetic, that should be a red flag,” Cato says.

Another is if the photo has the same level of lighting everywhere. “It’s weird,” he says. “If the brightness is the same throughout, that is just not natural. You have to show where natural light falls.”

My comment: Written about New York apartments and condos but relates to all listing fotos. We all use comp listing fotos. Tips on how to evaluate them, including digital alterations, is always good!!
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The Most Hilarious Pictures Taken By Real Estate Agents
Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: From horror movie-esque semi abandoned flats for rent to excessively unique home decor cases and very impractical architecture decisions, the real estate agents behind these funny ads didn’t even care to fix the places up before snapping the hilarious pictures. The caring levels were so low that there’s also a photo with a live bat in it, a huge pig laying around in the living room and feral horses relaxing in front yards. The most baffling part is that these funny photos were really used to advertise and show the good side of housings to possible tenants.

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2-14-19 Newz: Coester Shuts Down; Beautiful Erosion; Facing Your State Board

17 of the World’s Most Beautifully Broken Places

Wind, rain, and retreating glaciers left this gorgeous destruction behind.

Here are two:
– Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Study Area New Mexico
The land is full of geologic eye candy like otherworldly spires, mushroom-shaped hoodoos, and prehistoric fossils.

Fjaðrárgljúfur Iceland
Strange rock formations tower above the river that snakes through this enchanting Icelandic canyon.

See the incredible locations and read about them at:

My comment: Click The Link And Take A Break from Your Appraisals!!
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2-7-19 Newz: Appraisal Dying?- Dangerous Roads- Wrong Algorithms

What If the Algorithms Are Wrong?

Excerpt: Algorithms are everywhere…
Mathematician and data scientist Cathy O’Neil coined a term for algorithms that are secret, important and harmful: “weapons of math destruction.” Learn more about the hidden agendas behind the formulas.”

“Algorithms are opinions embedded in code. It’s really different from what you think most people think of algorithms. They think algorithms are objective and true and scientific. That’s a marketing trick. It’s also a marketing trick to intimidate you with algorithms, to make you trust and fear algorithms because you trust and fear mathematics. A lot can go wrong when we put blind faith in big data…”

Check out the video of the Ted Talk: 15 minutes and well worth watching. “The Era of Blind Faith in Big Data Must End” I love Ted Talks and have subscribed to the Ted Radio Hour Podcast for a long time.

My comments: Remember the Recent Mortgage Crash The Data Did Not Predict? Why? They did not include data from the Great Depression, the last time real estate markets crashed all over the country.

Who was saying something was wrong? Whistleblower Appraisers. Appraiser Petitions fell on deaf ears. Some appraisers spoke the truth and lost their appraisal businesses and/or were blackballed by lenders.

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1-24-19 Newz: AVMs vs. Appraisers- New Fannie Formz?- Future of Res Appraising

AVMs vs. appraisers

Excerpt: Different AVMs are designed to deliver different types of valuations. And therein lies confusion.

Consumers don’t realize that there’s an AVM for nearly any purpose, which explains why different algorithms serve up different results, said Ann Regan, an executive product manager with real estate analytic firm CoreLogic. “The scores presented to consumers are not the same version that is being used by lenders to make decisions,” she said. “The consumer-facing AVMs are designed for consumer marketing purposes.”

Written for consumers, but very well written and worth reading.

My comment: How often does someone tell you what Zillow says their home is worth? What do you say? I say Zillow works well on tract homes built in the past 10 years. This article discusses AVMs, regulators, appraisers, etc.
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11-15-18//Newz: – Ball Houses – No Appraisers Left? – Misleading and USPAP

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Bolwoningen Ball Houses

 Excerpt: Bolwoningen consists of 50 sphere houses. The balls are made of cement, reinforced with fiberglass. They are mounted on the base in the form of a cylinder. Each sphere’s diameter is 18 feet and each has 11 round windows. The layout of these structures is quite unusual. In the center of the sphere there is a bathroom and a tiny bedroom, and a living room and kitchen, are located on the second floor-level. The house can be completely disassembled and transported to any other place (the weight of this building is only about 2755 lbs). In addition, this building can be placed not only on the ground, but also on water, on a stationary platform.

Locals didn’t quite appreciate the vision of the architect, but there are plenty of tourists, who would love to visit or even experience living in these futuristic houses.

My comment: Fascinating!! It was built in 1984 and is surrounded by standard homes. Check out the 2 links above and/or google bolwoningen ball houses
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What Would Happen if There Were No Appraisers?

By Tom Horn
 
Excerpt:
7 Consequences of Eliminating Appraisers From Mortgage Transactions
1) Questionable accuracy due to faulty county records
2) No reconsideration of values
3) No critical thinking that takes into consideration nuances of the market

Click here for more commentary and to see the other 4 reasons.

My comment: Very good analysis!! Needs to be sent to all the people who say appraisals are not needed…
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8-2-18 Newz .1004MC dropped, Treasury Proposes Appraisal Downsizing, Rural Appraisals

No more 1004MC for Fannie appraisals

Date: 7/30/18 1:46
My note: This was posted in an appraiser yahoo email discussion group I have subscribed to since it started awhile ago. The person who sent it is very reliable. I have known him personally for many years. Below is the email. When I used to travel a lot to appraisal conferences, sometimes Fannie would make comments on significant changes. This was one of those comments. When I speak I am a lot more candid than when I write for unknown reasons. Maybe Fannie speakers do the same sometimes.
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Posted discussion group message:
“I’m in Nashville at the National Appraisal Institute Conference. I just left a presentation given by the collateral policy managers at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

The Fannie spokesperson said that Fannie Mae has decided not to make the 1004MC a required from anymore; the change will be effective as of the new Selling Guide update, which is expected to come out next week.

I asked Freddie if they planned to drop the requirement as well? They said they had considered dropping it when the new reporting formats were finalized, but also said in light of Fannie’s announcement, they may not wait until the form-changes and adopt that decision sooner.

The Fannie spokesperson said that just because Fannie won’t requirement doesn’t mean a lender might not still want it. So, she warned not to expect all lenders to adopt the change instantly.

In my opinion, I think most lenders will opt out of the 1004mc form, but will require something else (data/analysis) in the report to support the market condition identification and adjustments (if warranted). So I don’t anticipate the need for market condition analyses to go away (and it shouldn’t, in my opinion) but I do anticipate more flexibility in the manner we (individual appraisers) want to present that data.”

What I think about 1004MC: The 1004MC forced appraisers to make market conditions adjustments, which lenders had to accept. When I started my appraisal business in 1986, I was told by local, well respected appraisers that lenders “did not want any time adjustments.” Apparently this had been going on for many years. During price declines in the 1990s, I personally knew appraisers who went out of business because they refused to not make time adjustments. All my lender clients allowed them or they were off my approved client list.

I started appraising in the 1970s at assessor’s offices. We were making 2% per month time adjustments. Guess I just got “bad training” for lender appraisals ;>

Appraiser comments: Of course, there were lots of appraiser comments. Dave Towne’s are below:
~1 Lenders and AMC’s (and the other gov’t agencies) won’t back down on requiring the 1004MC form in reports. So you will have to do it, regardless of what the GSE’s do.

~2 Some report users may design their own market conditions reporting form, and demand its inclusion in reports per their own assignment conditions.(One no-longer-in business-by that-name AMC did this in 2008, and demanded their form be included even after the MC form became mandated – until appraisers loudly complained.) These may not be acceptable to other lenders/users. So we could have a situation where multiple users have different forms required, which will greatly complicate completion of reports in a timely manner.

~3 The several report software providers may design something to replace the MC form, which you could then be used in reports. But if 4 (or more) different ones exist, the same situation as in #3 will occur.

~4 The GSE’s may have another form already prepared to replace the MC Form and will demand it be used instead. (By the way….”new appraisal report forms” to replace the current ones are nowhere ready to be released, at least from what the GSE’s have said in the past couple of months.)

~5 Smart, and well versed, appraisers will continue to provide supportable documents and analysis to show market trend activity – which they’ve already been including in reports as a substitute to the MC form. Appraisers who have not been doing this should take steps to learn how to document subject/comparable market trends that are specific to each assignment, and not just a regurgitation of ‘regional’ or ‘national’ trends data reported by others that may not directly apply to the appraisal assignment.

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7-12-18 Newz// 3 Story Homes, Auction Prices, Portable Architecture

The Most Popular Article From Last Week’s Newsletter: Former Appraiser’s Hot Dog Stand!! FYI, unusual and weird stuff is very popular with appraisers ;>

Three-story Single-family Homes and Townhomes

Excerpt: Of the 729,000 single-family detached homes started in 2017, a little over 18,000 (2.5 percent) had three or more stories, according to National Association of Home Builder tabulation of recently released Census data.

In contrast, the 23,000 3-plus story townhomes represent 22.0 percent of single-family townhome starts.

More info here:

My comment: 3 story detached homes are not popular in very many areas. It is a long walk up to the 3rd floor. I have appraised them (attic conversions of a classic older home to a master bedroom, for example). I always look to see if an elevator can be added – usually has to be on the exterior of the home. Definitely a functional problem. I rarely see them on existing homes, except for attic conversions. Some newer detached homes have a small room on the 3rd story – family room, extra bedroom, etc.

For townhomes, I have seen a significant increase in 3 story new construction townhomes in my city (within the past few years) and other Bay Area cities. The first floor is a garage plus entry, second floor living room and kitchen, bedrooms on 3rd floor. Very profitable for home builders, especially in areas with high land prices and infill tracts. I have appraised them and the owners did not object to the 3 floors. There are sometimes a few townhomes that are 2 story.

My first apartment when I moved to San Francisco in my 20s was a third floor walkup. I vowed Never Again ;>

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7-5-18 Newz//Busy or Not?, Prices Dropping, Appraiser Hot Dog Stand

Who’s busy and who’s not?

Varies widely around the country. Maybe it depends on housing affordability? See articles below. But, it is really hard to say what causes the geographic variation for appraisers.

Many areas have seasonal variations, but now we are in the traditionally strong summer months, so it is clearer that some areas have less appraiser work.

How do you tell if it is down? AMCs dropping fees. Fewer emails, phone calls, etc.  Other appraisers complaining.
What about steady to increasing biz? Decent fees, turning down work, etc.

Changes in turn times and fees when biz slows down

Appraisers just don’t seem to understand that AMCs work for lenders and try to do what they want.

Why do AMCs/lenders want faster turn times?
AMCs work for lenders. They are competing on turn times primarily, like they always have. Business is very competitive and is declining.

Value pressure?
Is there more value pressure from some of your AMC clients?
Some lenders want to close as many loans as possible and keep profits from dropping.

Why do AMCs drop fees?
Direct lenders have their own fee panels don’t send out bid request to lots and lots of appraisers. Their fees don’t change dramatically. They have never focused on changing appraisal fees frequently. AMCs need lower appraisal fees to keep their profits up, just like you do. I have always thought of AMCs as very large appraisal companies that mostly fee out all their appraisals.

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6-28-18// Newz .Appraiser Impostor Video, Unusual Motels/Hotels, Switch Off USPAP

Appraiser Imposter Captured on Video!!!

Click here to see the video of the imposter and the owner’s comments. Note: You may have to wait for the ad to finish. Worth the wait!!

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Imposter posing as appraiser, utility workers target Phoenix neighborhood
Excerpt: Last Wednesday, as construction workers bustled inside Huddleston’s home near 22nd Street and Glendale Avenue, a woman came to her door claiming to be an appraiser for the bank.

Huddleston said the woman told her she was there to take pictures, and had arranged the time with Kacia’s husband, Bryan.
“She knew my husband’s name, and as I was in the midst of texting my husband to see if she was supposed to be here, she walked right in,” said Huddleston.

My comment: Have you inspected the wrong house? I have definitely knocked on the wrong door, but never went inside… so far ;>

Stories of Surprising Roadside Hotels

It’s check-in time for your memories of unforgettable travel lodgings.

Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: Lots of interesting places!! Here are a few:
Red Caboose Motel Ronks, Pennsylvania
The guest rooms are actual train cabooses. Think tiny houses on rails.

The Atomic Inn Beatty, Nevada
“It was alien and bunker-themed, and was decorated with atomic bomb art.”

Wigwam Village #2 Cave City, Kentucky
Stay in a teepee.

Movie Manor
Monte Vista, Colorado
“It’s in a drive-in theater and you can watch movies from your bed.”

Click on the Motel/Hotel name for photo and more info

My comment: Back in the 60s I traveled between California and Oklahoma regularly, using Route 66, before the Interstate was completed. Lotsa strange motels!! Before motels morphed into chains that looked the same. There are still a few of these “old timers” left.

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