6-10-20 Newz: Another New Fannie Update; Suburban Definition?

How to Tell If You Live in the Suburbs

Excerpts: The U.S. hasn’t had a formal definition for what constitutes a suburb. A new data analysis comes closer to defining America’s most popular neighborhood type.

The United States is a land of suburbs, with just one problem: No one’s quite clear what a “suburb” is.

It’s a question of semantics with real-world implications, as government programs, political campaigns and developers try to spend money in the “suburbs,” where a majority of Americans say they live despite the category having no formal definition.

For some people, it’s obvious: A suburb is a smaller city on the periphery of a larger city. Or it’s a sprawling neighborhood filled with vast swathes of single-family homes. Still other more dated conceptions of suburbia in the popular mind involve the people who live there: allegedly white, middle class and socially homogenous.

Now a new team of researchers believe they’ve cracked the code…

To read more, click here

My comments: Of course, if you do residential lender appraisals this is a Very Big Issue due to lender “requirements” such as no rural properties. Lots and lots of online discussion about this for a long time. Post this topic on your favorite Internet chat site or email list… and wait for the wide variety of opinions!!

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My Favorite Definitions

(This has been floating around for many years…)

Rural  Suburban  Urban

  • If you stand naked on the front porch and the neighbors can’t see you… it’s rural.
  • If you stand naked on the front porch and the neighbors call the cops on you… it’s suburban.
  • If you stand naked on the front porch and the neighbors ignore you… it’s urban.

There are other variations, of course, that are not suitable for this newsletter ;>

Read more!!

6-26-20 Newz: Lot Size Mistakes – Reconsideration of Value- Unusual Mailboxes

Lot size mistakes 

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpts: I’ve seen it happen twice lately where Tax Records lists the lot size, but it’s actually incorrect. In one instance Realist showed the lot was five acres when in fact it was only two acres. In another example it said two acres when it was less than one. Yikes.

My advice? Thankfully most of the time we can trust the lot size in Tax Records, but it’s still a good idea to quickly double-check just to be sure. After all, listing the wrong lot size in MLS or an appraisal could lead to litigation, right? What we can do is view the plat map to see if there is anything abnormal as well as try to piece together the lot size (easy to do if it’s a rectangle)…

To read more, click here

Short with good map illustrations. Plus many, many appraiser comments. I guess it is a hot topic!!

My comments: Also check out Ryan’s local recent market video for some good ideas on how to show market conditions. Plus, all his graphs illustrating his local market.

When I want to know the lot dimensions to determine lot size, I always get a copy of the legal description (usually from the recorded deed). Assessor’s office maps are for assessment purposes and do not always match the legal description. Google Maps is a good way to determine parcel size if the site boundaries are clear.

When an owner asks about lot dimensions and lot line locations (usually a dispute with a neighbor), I always give the same answer: “I Always Assume the Fences Are Not on the Property Line. Hire A Surveyor! ”

Read more!!

4-24-20 Newz: Markets Changing? Free Webinars – UFO Homes

NOTICE TO READERS: No covid analysis this week except for this market discussions. Taking a break from Covid. To read my April 3 newsletters, with lots of mostly scientific info, plus updates in these emails since that April 3, go to www.appraisaltoday.com/coronavirus

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House with epidemic influenza and Coronavirus Covid-19 concept

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpt: FIVE WEEKS AGO: About five weeks ago the real estate market started to have a strong reaction to the coronavirus. I look to March 12th as our day of change as that’s when things started to kick into high gear with events cancelling and sellers and buyers backing off the market.

OBSERVATIONS RIGHT NOW:

1) Pendings and listings declined heavily for a few weeks.

2) Pending contracts have begun to increase again.

3) More new listings are hitting the market.

See how Ryan analyses his market – lots of graphs. Also watch a video interview with Ryan. To read more, click here

My comment: See how the Burmingham, AL is analyzed below. What works for your market?

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Do We Have To Wait To Know How The Pandemic Will Affect Our Market?

Ryan’s interview with Dustin Harris, the Appraiser Coach

Excerpt: Many appraisers are in a “wait and see” pattern, but should we be doing more to be on top of the market? My friend Ryan Lundquist joins me today to talk about his recent article on Sacramento Appraisal Blog called “Seven Things To Watch In Real Estate During a Pandemic.” This is a timely topic for all appraisers.

To listen to the 30 minute audio recording click here

My comment: Ryan’s “Seven Things” article had a huge number of clicks last week. If you missed it, click here

Read more!!

4-3-20 Newz: COVID-19: Data, Comps and Values

Download your FREE copy of the April paid Monthly Appraisal Today!!

Click here to download traditional 3-column format 12 pages

Click here to download the wordprocessing version. Read on your ipad or computer. About 24 pages.

NOTE: To find what you want, search (control – F) is useful. I use it myself all the time!

Why am I giving my newsletter to everyone? It is the right thing to do.

This newsletter discusses many topics in detail

Some of the topics:

  • It’s all about the data!! Limited testing data and what it means
  • The comps: current and past epidemics and pandemics
  • Being used for analysis of the future now.
  • Health and safety issues for appraisers
  • Masks, gloves, booties, etc.
  • When will we go back to our normal lives
  • Pandemics – the stages and what they mean
  • Immunity, Vaccines

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Everything is changing so fast, it is very hard to keep up!

For example, in the April issue I wrote a lot about the CDCs recommendation on masks (only for heath care workers) and why I thought lots of people should be wearing them and why. A few days ago, the CDC is saying maybe they should recommend what I was saying. Had to revise my April newsletter!! I am sure some of what I wrote will be changing soon (finished on Wednesday), or has already changed.

Read more!!

3-20-20 COVID-19 and Appraisers. What are lenders doing? – FREE Webinar – Interior inspections?

There are many, many issues which seems to be changing on a daily basis. I wrote this yesterday. There have already been changes I am sure. I am including links to relevant information below

The big refi boom is causing lots of desperate lenders and AMCs trying to find appraisers.

You don’t need more info on keeping safe as it is available all over. What I discuss today is shift from interior inspections to drivebys, forms, what lenders are saying, what real estate agents are doing, the market changes (maybe), liability, etc.

What are lenders and AMCs doing?

Some direct lenders, such as Citibank, are sending out emails about what they recommend. On the other side AMCs are acting like nothing has happened and sending out email blast low fee appraisal request. FYI, it is a lot easier for one lender to change. AMCs work for many lenders.

Info on what Citibank is recommending from VaCAP:

Many are fearful exterior only appraisals will be the end of the traditional appraisal as we know it. Right or wrong, exterior only appraisals are a possibility that may be acceptable in certain situations. VaCAP does not believe it will end traditional appraisals with interior inspections. The profession has been down this road before. It will not fly long term, especially if the market turns downward.

Some lenders are establishing COVID-19 protocols to follow and some have remained quiet on the subject. There are rumors that one lender has instructed appraisers not to inquire as the health of the occupants of the home due to privacy laws. Others like Citibank have developed their own protocol on how appraisers should handle COVID-19 concerns. There is great flexibility to the appraiser. See Citibank’s protocol below:

Worth reading. To read more, click here

Read more!!

3-13-20 Coronavirus & Inspections – AVMs & Wonder Bread – Toilet Race

Appraiser’s (Changing) Role

Q&A with Mark Verrett, Chief Innovation Officer at Accurity Valuation

Excerpts: WRE: How can appraisers adapt to meet the profession demands?

Verrett: I think there are several ways to adapt to these challenges. The first is to work toward diversifying your practice away from 100 percent mortgage business niches. Our firm is a leader in green valuation, rural valuation, valuation consulting and litigation support and we help our offices diversify into those spaces. However, this solution isn’t for everyone….

To directly take on the challenges facing appraiser relevancy in the mortgage space, significant change is required. Appraisers need to unite to create a like-minded national voice that is not rejecting proposed changes for the profession, but rather working with stakeholders (regulators, lenders, clients, etc.) in conceptualizing, testing, tweaking, and ultimately modernizing the appraisal process on the mortgage side.

The appraisal community has a tough assignment in their role in this modernization. To be useful in the discussion, we need to challenge ourselves to be creative and open-minded, yet diligent in maintaining or, even better, improving the quality of the valuation being produced. I think it is extremely important for appraisers to listen and understand the needs of their clients and to creatively develop solutions that meet those needs.

Worth reading with some good ideas. To read more, click here

My comment: Accurity has franchisees and some very savvy appraiser officers and directors.

Read more!!

3-6-20 Newz: Refi Mania – Corelogic AMC – Coronavirus & Housing Market

CoreLogic attributes its 4Q growth from shift to an AMC

Excerpt: Organic growth trends accelerated during the quarter boosted by market share and pricing gains. One example of accelerated momentum on the organic growth front relates to our new collateral valuation services model.

As you know, we successfully completed our AMC transformation last December. Our new service model has attracted significant market interest and we’ve recently secured major new contracts with two of the top 10 US mortgage originators. These wins together with a host of other new contracts for our reimagined service model are expected to generate strong double-digit underlying AMC revenue growth with higher margins in 2020.

To read more, click here

NOTE: Long article. Search for amc (21 references)

My comment: More staff appraisers? google corelogic AMC for more info.

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Giant Roadside Curiosities

Just For Fun and Escape!!

Excerpts: American highways have something for everyone. Lots of litter. License plates galore. And, if you take the right route, a dinosaur car wash, or a supper club in the biggest fish you’ve ever seen.

To read more, click here

Read more!!

2-28-20 Newz: Adjustments – Appraiser Personalities – Data Standards

The One Personality Trait Every Property Appraiser Must Have

Excerpt:

Unbiased (46%)

“As an appraiser, you MUST give an unbiased opinion of value based on the data you have collected and your experience for it to be valid.”

“If you can’t be unbiased you should not be an appraiser. It is the hallmark of what an appraiser does.”

“Every appraiser needs to be unbiased. You can have knowledge, experience, patience, and all the credentials in the world, but if you are biased in either direction you are doing your client a disservice whether it benefits you or them.”

To read the other top traits and other interesting comments, click here

My comment: I was trained at an assessor’s office. When I first started working there I was told never to even have a taxpayer pay for your lunch. We were trained to be unbiased. Lending was a big shock for me later, with the pressure for values and non-disclosures. Most say that ethics come from within you. But, maybe fear of losing your appraisal license could be a motivator.

I don’t think that USPAP, licensing, regulations, etc. has done much about this. All it does is make us pay for a new USPAP book and class every other year. Plus way too many changing regulations. Plus very uneven state board enforcement. Before licensing, lenders knew who on their panels were ethical. When I started worked at a biotech company doing real estate management, I knew which local commercial appraisers were ethical and who was not after making a few phone calls. Of course, to many AMCs, all appraisers are the same, are sorta stupid and maybe unethical.

Read more!!

2-14-2020 Newz: FIRREA Under Attack – Spectacular Spirals – Lending Up to 2005 Levels

FIRREA Under Attack!

Excerpt: Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Congressman William Lacy Clay request a formal study/investigation into Title XI (FIRREA) and the recent dilution of its intent by the Federal Agencies. The letter to Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General, Government Accountability Office, addresses threshold increases, regulatory exemptions, appraisal waivers, the North Dakota appraiser certification waiver and evaluations in lieu of an appraisal. It is clear the Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee and Subcommittee Chairman on Housing, Community Development and Insurance see the issues surrounding the recent events.

To read the press release and appraiser comments, click here

My comment: finally someone in Congress is noticing what is happening and complaining to the GAO!!

Read more!!

2-7-20 Newz: Obsolete Appraisers – Apartment AVMs – Outlier Sales

Not getting distracted by outlier sales

By Ryan Lundquist

It’s been a record-breaking couple of years. In New York we saw the highest residential sale ever in the United States at $238M. Then a couple months ago California got a new record with the Beverly Hillbillies mansion at $150M. And now there’s a listing in Bel-Air that just hit the market at $500M. The truth is it’s easy to get distracted by the bling of outlier sales because of how lofty the prices are, but here are a few things to keep in mind….

1) These sales don’t pull the market up: Outlier sales don’t pull the rest of the market up, and they have nothing to do with the entry-level market or affordability for the average person.

2) I just gotta have it: My observation with the highest sales is sometimes cash buyers offer prices that seem disconnected from what looks reasonable on paper. This doesn’t happen in all situations, but sometimes it does where the buyer simply says, “I just gotta have it.”…

For lots more tips, plus a few graphs, click here

My comment: When doing any type of statistical analysis, it is important to look at the outliers, high or low, so you can eliminate them in your data set. Very easy to do.

Read more!!