Appraisal News and Business Tips

USPAP

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 ;>

Read more!!

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.

Read more!!

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.

Read more!!

6-14-18 Newz//New Fannie Selling Guide, AMC Changes, Crazy Restrooms

Dodd-Frank rollback weakens appraisal standards

Excerpts: Under the new law… smaller banks and credit unions will now be free to waive an appraisal for rural properties valued under $400,000, when they can’t find an appraiser in a timely manner.

Most loans are sold into the secondary market. It is a fairly narrow provision. They are basically looking at rural areas where banks are holding the loans in their portfolio.

…continuing concerns with what has been a pendulum swinging back to regulatory relief and loosening risk-management requirements. This is part of that wave.

Read more here:
My comment: good analysis by Bill Garber of the Appraisal Institute. Worth reading.

13 of the Craziest/Coolest Public Bathrooms

Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: We know, there is a lot to hate about public restrooms, but we’ve found they can actually be a very unexpected but very potent source of inspiration. We’ve never seen tile layouts like the ones in public facilities-and that’s why we like them. Overlapping squares with zigzag edges? A woven look with a whopping five different colors and two different tile sizes?

My comment: Wow! Vibrant colors and tiles….

Read more!!

4-19-18 Newz//Corelogic acquires a la mode, USPAP Q&A problems, Earth-Friendly Homes

Earth-Friendly Homes and Buildings for Earth Day, Sunday, April 22

Just For Fun!!

Click on the fotos of lots of ecofriendly buildings for more info. Fascinating, sometimes Weird, and Fun!!

A few: Mathematical Puzzle House, paper house, skyscrapers, Recycled Concrete Tube House, etc.

http://www.ecofriendlyhouses.net/ecofriendlyhouses.html

Appraisal Institute Requests Appraisal Standards Board to Rework Q&As

Excerpts: The Appraisal Institute in an April 13 letter to the Appraisal Standards Board formally requested changes to or the retraction of Q&A 2018-12, Employing an Extraordinary Assumption when a Client Provides Inspection Data and Q&A 2018-13, Appraisal Reporting – Certifications and Signatures.

The Appraisal Institute believes this advice is antiquated and out-of-step with appraisal practice and long-standing USPAP principles about not dictating the form, format or style of an appraisal report. Perhaps most concerning to AI is the apparent inclusion of additional requirements in this advice rather than in USPAP itself.

My comment: I completely agree with the AI’s issues with Q&A 2018-12 and -13. The certification issue has been around since USPAP required that the “previous 3 years” be included in the certification. The ASB needs to modify USPAP itself as I don’t think it addresses these current issues in appraising very well. Unfortunately, the new edition was effective 1/1/18. 2 years to wait.

Read more!!

1/24/18 News//New USPAP Q&A-Hybrids .Dying Appraisal Profession? .Cat Urine & Big Data

Is the Appraisal Profession Dying?

By George Dell
Excerpts: Yes. Appraisal as we know it is dying.
Can it be saved?  No.
So what should I do?  What should “we” do?

To answer these questions, we need to look at causes and conditions. Some of these are obvious.
– Judgment is good; Analysis is better.
– Human generalization is excellent; Computation is fast…

So what can we do? If we cannot be saved. If computers are faster. If we have complete data. If we too have software.  If we too can provide results instead of opinions…  Leads to an obvious question: Can an experienced appraiser do these things as well as, or better than those others?

Worth reading at:

Read more!!

1-18-18 Newz//Hybrid Appraisal Rejected, Scope Creeping, UsPaP False Assumptions

Scope Creep – Head’em Off at the Pass!

By George Dell
Excerpt: Why do we have scope creep?
Possible answers include:
– The reviewer or clerk has to justify their existence;
– There is genuine concern about something;
– The work should’ve been there in the first place;

It’s important to remember that our entire system of appraisal production and review is belief-based.  It must be “worthy of belief.”  We have no objective standards.  Your work must be subjectively “credible” in the mind of the reader.

Read this short, interesting blog post at:

My comment: George Dell writes regularly for Appraisal Today. His articles are much longer than his blog posts, often expanding on a blog post.

UsPaP – A few of the more obvious false assumptions

By Barry Bates

Excerpt from blog post

The appraisal client is always the intended user.

A lovely concept out in the ether somewhere, but hardly ever the case in practice. The client (who engages the appraiser) is a lending technician or AMC drone; the intended user is an underwriter, servicer or portfolio manager. (This assumes the fact that only about 10% of appraisals are ever done for anybody other than a mortgage company.)

To read the full post, click here

Read more!!

UsPaP – A Few More Obvious False Assumptions

By Barry Bates

The appraisal client is always the intended user.

A lovely concept out in the ether somewhere, but hardly ever the case in practice. The client (who engages the appraiser) is a lending technician or AMC drone; the intended user is an underwriter, servicer or portfolio manager. (This assumes the fact that only about 10% of appraisals are ever done for anybody other than a mortgage
company.)

Pretending that they’re the same person (based on the legal concept of a corporation as a person, which facilitates all kinds of evil) allows the left hand, which is handing out cash, to avoid confronting the fact that the right hand is removing money from the borrower’s savings account.

USPAP is intentionally not specific

Finally, the old TAF argument in support of USPAP that its lack of specificity
is only the result of trying to avoid “micro-management” of the appraisal process is just what we former Army wiretappers used to call “cover noise”. It screens from hearing the fact that as it stands, USPAP can be used either to exonerate or
execute an appraiser on political motives regardless of the issue at hand. That’s
why more procedural detail is needed, not less.

Appraiser Judy fails the geocompetence test when she gets a citation from
her state for not having a subscription to local MLS. Yet when appraiser Willie
walks when he fails to check online sources or MLS after the property owner assures him the property is not publicly listed for sale. This same thread of delusion seems to run throughout USPAP, undoubtedly promulgated by crusty old MAIs. If any carbon-based life form tells you something, it’s okay to believe it’s true without any further investigation. Just throw in an extraordinary assumption, even though it’s invalid because it’s impossible or unreasonable.

Another reason for more specificity is the utter failure of the HVCC /Dodd-Frank AMC experiment. Instead of being coerced by a mortgage broker,
today’s appraiser is systematically coerced by onerous documentation
requirements, intimidating email, multiple requests for reconsideration and
arbitrary blacklisting. Appraisal quality is depressed by AMC expropriation of what
was once 50% of a normal appraisal fee. Moreover, residential fees in general
haven’t changed for 20 years.

NOTE: This is a very brief excerpt from Barry’s article in the January 2018 issue of the paid Appraisal Today monthly newsletter. More excerpts coming very soon!!

1-11-18 Newz//Is it jUSt PAP?,Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos

Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos

Just For Fun!!

Most Excellent Photos and Very Creative Captions!!
Very, very funny and weird!!
You just gotta see them! Cannot be described.

10 Homes for Under $100k

Here are a few:
1701 Cleveland Ave, Waco, TX Price: $97,000
1724 Myrna Ln, Memphis, TN Price: $85,000
94-6428 Palaoa Rd, Naalehu, HI Price: $92,000

Click on each one for the full listing info. They are not all fixers or tiny homes!!

Check them out at:

My comment: I want the Hawaii house ;>

Read more!!

Is it jUSt PAP?

By Barry Bates

Appraisal is not rocket science, but it’s been around for about 300 years and it worked pretty well when the principles were kept simple and the consequences for ignoring them were disastrous. It would also have been nice if individual lending institutions still had to hold their own loans into perpetuity.

The “Just Pap” is more unpopularly known as the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, which came into being after the last big residential mortgage greeding frenzy (the failure of S&Ls in a 17%-mortgage-rate environment during the late 1980s).

Before your friendly author proceeds violently to eviscerate this not-even-very-well-meaning document, let’s get a minor but nonetheless irritating question off the table. Now you have to pay $75 for a copy of USPAP when, as a matter of public law, it should have been free to read. The solution? The  Appraisa; Foundation put it out on the web where it’s free to read (uspap.org), but you can’t download it or search it effectively. So you still have to pony up the bucks.

My central thesis today, children, is still that a bunch of crusty old MAIs and soulless bank appraisers saw an opportunity in 1986 to create a bureaucracy that funds free trips to meetings where crusty old MAIs and soulless bank appraisers can assemble to get pleasantly drunk. This entity became The Appraisal Foundation, an organization designed to foster high appraisal standards that are written in weasel words even Donald Trump could circumvent.

It’s hard to know where to start; there are so many things wrong with USPAP. As an overview, suffice it to say that its structure appears to be designed so that over the long haul, most responsibility for bad loans can be offloaded to appraisers making less than $100K per year.

NOTE: This is a very brief excerpt from Barry’s article in the January 2018 issue of the paid Appraisal Today monthly newsletter. More excerpts coming very soon!!

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About Barry Bates

I have known him personally for over 30 years. He has a wide variety of appraisal “experiences” over the years, which he writes about. In his 42 years of appraising he has had different jobs, from a staff appraiser to senior management. He is lots of fun to chat with!

Barry would like to hear from you!! Send an email to barrettbates@gmail.com

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