Appraisals: Using Comps Across a Freeway?

Pulling comps from the other side of the freeway

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpts: It can be a REALLY bad idea to pull comps from the other side of the freeway, but not always. Today I have some thoughts about location, comp selection, and lenders freaking out when schools are mentioned in appraisal reports.

I don’t normally pull comps across a highway

In so many cases it’s an awful idea to cross a major road or highway to pull comps because a highway sometimes separates markets that are far different in age, square footage, lot size, architecture, price point, school district, etc….

But, crossing the highway does work here

With that said, I want to show you an example of a local neighborhood where I have zero hesitation about pulling comps from both sides of the highway. The areas north and south of Highway 50 below represent the College-Glen area…

Why it’s no biggie to pull comps like this

A) Prices are similar: Prices are similar on each side of the highway. I’ve found this when pulling comps through the years, and I’ve also shown this when making graphs. I will say the north side tends to have a slightly larger square footage than the south side (same with west vs east), which is something to consider when we compare stats. But it’s still not a major difference.

B) Buyer Behavior …

C) School System …

To read lots more, plus maps and many appraiser comments, Click Here

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Why Comp Photos in Appraisals?

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on time saving tips, Waivers, Non-lender appraisals, Tax savings, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.

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Fannie Mae: No Appraisals Required? 3-10-23

Fannie Mae: Appraisals are no longer the default option: Value Acceptance replaces Appraisal Waiver

Fannie Mae updated its Selling Guide on March 1 to include more options for property valuations, saying that they are “moving away from implying that an appraisal is a default requirement.”  Those options include value acceptance (formerly appraisal waivers), value acceptance plus property data and hybrid appraisals.

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Fannie Mae – No Appraisals Required – The End of Appraisers?

Hamp Thomas 12 minute video – my favorite commentary on this issue!

Fannie Mae took a direct shot at appraisers today with the announcement of changes in their Selling Guide. Two options for the future, both of which do great harm to the appraisal industry.

First, “third party” inspections. Appraisal trainees aren’t good enough, so now we will have unlicensed inspectors going through the homes of unsuspecting homeowners. And, with this inspection a traditional appraisal is no longer a requirement for the mortgage loan.

Secondly, the 3rd party inspection is sent to a licensed appraiser. FNMA wants an appraiser’s signature so the appraiser can be held responsible if there’s any problem in the future. Both options say they are good for consumers and both options are filled with fabrications and misinformation. At the end of it all, it’s about control and profits. Why trainees can’t provide the data is simply because big banking and AMC’s don’t make profit from the inspection part of the process.

If appraisers don’t stand up and say no, right now, the running joke of the appraisal industry could be gone in five years; well, it just very well may come true. Ok appraisers, it’s time to speak out and stand together.

The only reason for these changes are about a piece of the 11 TRILLION dollar mortgage market. And that’s the way it is – March 1, 2023.

To watch the video, click here

My comments: Worth watching the video. Call to Action. Hamp is an excellent speaker and teacher.

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Fannie Statement: “Value acceptance + property data has arrived”

“This new option reduces cycle times and may reduce borrower costs, promotes safety and soundness by obtaining a current observation of the subject property, and provides operational simplicity and certainty at time of loan application.“

To read what Fannie says, click here

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Link to Fannie SEL-2023-02: Selling Guide Updates PDF

To read more, click here

My comments: Lenders Are Happeeee! Those darn appraisers and appraisals have always taken too much time. Fannie sells their loans to investors. The more loans, the more money Fannie makes. I did not include links to what the happy lenders say. You already know.Clear the Tracks!

Fannie Wants Desktop Appraisals

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Does A “Crazy” Neighbor Lower Value?

Does A “Crazy” Neighbor Lower Value?

By Jamie Owen
Excerpts: It’s tax appeal season, and I’ve had several homeowners say that they feel their neighbors are negatively impacting the value of their homes for different reasons. Is that the case? Can that be the case?
The homeowners of one property stated that their neighbors are a nuisance. My clients said that one of their neighbors has people coming and going until late in the evening, most evenings. They also complained about there being noisy. Additionally, they claimed that the neighbor directly behind them is not a very nice person and is always causing neighborhood trouble.
Meanwhile, in a different neighborhood, a different homeowner claimed that their home was suffering a loss of value due to their neighbor’s home not being kept up and needing repairs and updates on the exterior. The neighbor’s property is an eye-sore.
The long-winded point I am trying to make is that the appraiser will need to find some evidence to support the claims that a neighboring property is really creating a loss in market value to its neighboring properties.
To read more, and see some fun animated gifs and videos, click here
My comments: As always, Jamie often writes about appraisal topics from a different “angle”! I have a crazy next-door neighbor also, who waits for me to come home to “attack” me with some perceived problem… since 1986 when I purchased the property.

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AMC Mergers and Acquisition for Appraisers

AMC Mergers and Acquisition – Someone has a positive view of residential lender appraising!

Nationwide Property & Appraisal Services purchased by investment firm Arcapita Group Holdings

Excerpts: The deal gives Arcapita an AMC that serves mortgage lenders in all 50 states, has a network of over 15,000 licensed appraisers, and grossed $144 million in revenue in 2021.

“We were attracted by Nationwide’s highly cash generative business, experienced management team, and strong base of clients across the country,” Arcapita CEO Atif Abdulmalik said in a statement. “Close to 50% of Nationwide’s customers have maintained their relationship with the company for over six years, highlighting the longevity of its customer relationships, and the company benefits from a free cash flow conversion rate of over 99%.”

The AMC has acquired five other companies since Corridor bought a stake in Nationwide in 2016. In June, Nationwide acquired Portland, Oregon-based First Choice Appraisal Management, expanding its reach into the Pacific Northwest.

Other large financial firms are also putting money into the appraisal management space, which is highly fractured.

In October, private holding group StoicLane acquired control of the appraisal management company Lender’s Valuation Services (LVS).

To read more, click here

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Class Valuation purchases Metro-West 

Excerpt: In a press statement, Class Valuation said Metro-West, founded in 1987, is the largest independent residential appraisal firm in the country, with staff appraisers in over 80 U.S. metros.

Class Valuation, which itself is owned by private equity firm Gridiron Capital, said the acquisition of Metro-West would fit into its larger strategy of fusing tech tools such as automation and 3D measurements to help clear the well-documented capacity issues in appraisal.

“One area of focus for us has been the growth of a staff appraiser network and building out a nation-wide trainee program,” John Fraas, CEO of Class Valuation, said in a statement.

This is the fifth acquisition Class Valuation has made in the last 12 months, and the seventh in recent years. In September, Class Valuation acquired Kansas City, Missouri-based Pendo Management for an undisclosed sum.

There’s been a surge in private equity investment in the U.S. appraisal space over the last two years.

To read more, click here

My comments: The investors see money to be made in appraisals. What will they think when it inevitably crashes again, like it always does. I wish I had an AMC I could sell to investors ;>

If you work for any of these AMCs, keep close track of your billings, so they don’t get lost in any accounting mergers. No one knows, of course, if their appraisal management will change.

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Appraisal Obsolete? Now or in the Future?

Appraisal Business Tips 

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What should appraisers look for in a sales contract?

What should appraisers look for in a sales contract?

By Steven W. Vehmeier

Excerpt: When should we analyze the contract?

Looking at the sales contract early on allows the appraiser to identify any “subject to” items or other conditions that could influence the value conclusion.

However, reviewing the contract early might also put the sales price in the back of the appraiser’s mind. And although it shouldn’t, it may unintentionally influence the appraiser’s comparable selection and eventually impact a direction in value.

Maybe looking at the sales contract only after developing the appraiser’s opinion of value would help avoid the above concern?

To read more, click here

My comment: Some interesting, and maybe controversial, ideas. Short and worth reading.

Appraisal Business Tips 

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Appraisers and The Psycho Kitty

Favorite Crazy Appraisal Stories – The Psycho Kitty

Excerpt: Psycho Kitty

I had an appointment at a home in the country out in the woods. The access instructions said the cat MIGHT be caged. Got to the home and the cat was at the front door and hissed at me as I went in. I tried to make friends with the cat, but it didn’t work, so I ignored the cat and started my inspection.

As I came out of the first-floor master, he was waiting. He stood on his hind legs, teeth showing, hissing, and came at me. Once again, I used my clipboard and ran to the laundry room where I was able to shut the door. I was safe…

To read more strange and/or funny appraisal stories, click here

My comment: We all have appraisal stories, of course!! In my 45 years of appraising I have never been attacked by a cat. My creepiest cat encounter was appraising the home of a cat foster parent for a local animal shelter. Large outside cat enclosure full of cats, multiple cats on top of dressers and other places, looking at me (looked like they were hungry). I wish I could forget about all the cat eyes looking at me :<

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Appraisal Waivers Almost 50% of Fannie/Freddie Loans

An explosion of appraisal waivers. Is that good or bad?

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpts: Appraisal waivers have really exploded in recent years – especially during the pandemic. But how many are there exactly? Let’s look at actual numbers to walk away with some perspective. These stats are from January 2021 from AEI.

  • 47.4% of all Freddie Mac loans had a waiver
  • 44.5% of all Fannie Mae loans had a waiver
  • Waivers are far more common during refinances
  • Only 10-12% of purchases had an appraisal waiver in January
  • Non cash-out refinances have the most waivers (67-69%)
  • The higher your loan-to-value, the lower your chance of a waiver
  • Waivers have seen a dramatic increase during the pandemic

2) Seeing numbers: What real estate professionals experience with appraisal waivers with their clients can really vary. For instance, if you work with FHA borrowers putting very little down, you probably don’t see many waivers, but if you work with conventional buyers putting 30-40% down, you’re going to see more. This is why seeing actual stats is so important.

Read more of Ryan’s comments, see graphs, plus over 25 appraiser comments: click here 

To read the AEI report, click here

My comments: I wrote about this in the February issue of the monthly Appraisal Today. Also included is data on which states are doing the most, and least, alternative appraisals. I spent a lot of time trying to get any statistics from Fannie without success. I knew waivers were going way up, especially for purchases. AEI reports have the analysis

Appraisal Business Tips 

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Is Appraising Dying? Appraisals Replaced by Computers?

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:

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

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

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