Newz// Accessory Dwelling Units .FHA webinar .Analysis of FHA 4000.1 changes

Why It’s Impossible to Know a Coastline’s True Length

Measuring around bodies of water is a mathematically impossible

Excerpt:

Imagine, for a moment, that you and your friend have been given a seemingly straightforward task: to measure the coastline of Puget Sound, in Washington State. Resources are tight, so you’ve got a yardstick, while your friend has a foot-long ruler. You each walk along, laying your measuring stick along the edge of the water, following the the ins and outs of the shore as best you can. When you’re finished, you compare notes-and you’re shocked. While you ended up with a respectable 3,000 miles, your friend and his foot-long got a way higher number, somewhere around 4,500 miles.

You guys aren’t crazy. You’re victims of the coastline paradox, a tricky mathematical principle that messes with cartographers, stymies government bureaus, and makes it impossible to know exactly how big our world truly is.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/why-its-impossible-to-know-a-coastlines-true-length

My comment: Fascinating article!! Looking at the Big Picture. All appraisers take measurements. It seems so easy… most of the time…

 ———————————————————————————-

 

Webinar Title: NEW
FHA Appraisal Essentials – An In-Depth Look
Date/Time:
Pre-recorded: September 14, 2016 / Duration: 115 minutes
Registration Link:
Description:
This pre-recorded webinar provides an in-depth look at a variety of property appraisal topics such as: property acceptability criteria; minimum property requirements; property defects; appraiser responsibilities and requirements; and, much more. The webinar is targeted primarily to FHA roster appraisers, underwriters, processors, and other appropriate mortgagee staff involved with the appraisal review and mortgage approval process.
 
Special Instructions:
This webinar is now available 24/7 for viewing.

NOTE ON LINK: it looks like you are registering for the September live session. Just fill it out and a link to the webinar will appear.


Read more!!

9-29-16 Newz: UAD absolute vs. relative, Tilting skyscraper, History of screws

Not much interesting newz this week, so I’m sending some interesting links, sorta appraiser-related – use of “they”, cul-de sacs, street grids and the history of screws;>

Debunking the Cul-de-Sac
The design of America’s suburbs has actually made our streets more dangerous

Excerpt: Descend from 40,000 feet into just about any major metropolitan airport in the United States, and patterns of the trajectory of American life over the last century become clearly visible. Old urban cores are etched out in tight grids modeled off a sheet of graph paper. Further out, all those neat lines and right angles begin their curling meander into suburbia. Sparsely populated roads loop through the countryside in an odd geometry designed around the residential real estate dream of post-war America: a cul-de-sac for every family.

This is where it’s most apparent – from an airplane window – that American ideas about how to live and build communities have changed dramatically over time. For decades, families fled the dense urban grid for newer types of neighborhoods that felt safer, more private, even pastoral. Through their research, Garrick and colleague Wesley Marshall are now making the argument that we got it all wrong: We’ve really been designing communities that make us drive more, make us less safe, keep us disconnected from one another, and that may even make us less healthy.

http://www.citylab.com/design/2011/09/street-grids/124/

My comment: younger people are definitely not doing as much driving, and fewer are getting driver’s licenses, as in the past. I got my driver’s license at 15 ½ like everyone else. The baby boomers are getting older. Suburbia requires having a car. What if you don’t want to drive at night, or don’t want to drive much any more? As an appraiser I used to drive a lot. Now I just don’t want to drive for many hours a day. Of course, there is a lot of traffic now that the recession is behind us and everyone is driving again.

——————————

The Linguistic Turf Wars Over the Singular ‘They’

It could be close to mainstream acceptance.

Excerpt: Of all the turf wars that have complicated the landscape of grammar over the past few hundred years, the most complicated and frustrating may be that of the singular they.

It may be the most controversial word use in the English language-because it highlights a hole where a better-fitting word should go.

It creates a conflict between writers and editors who want things to follow the natural symmetry of Latin, and people who find they the only logical option for referring to a single person without a gender attached.

My comment: Almost everyone who writes anything, including emails, comes across this issue. I do. I have started using they more often, but did not know it was a new trend.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-linguistic-turf-wars-over-the-singular-they

————————————-

The Screw Heads That Tried, But Failed, to Topple Phillips

The history of the screw is long and surprisingly weird.

Excerpt: The screw is the ultimate example of an object that hides under our noses but we never think about.

It’s the most basic of building blocks, something that connects every one of our devices, manufacturing processes, and likely even the chair you’re sitting in right now. (One device that doesn’t tend to have screws? The air mattress.)

And generally, we never give screws a second thought. But I was thinking about them a lot the other night when I tried to screw a nut around a screw and misaligned it so annoyingly that it took a lot of physical might to unscrew that screw.

Where do screws come from? And what did we do in a world before them? As it turns out, screws have a surprisingly diverse and unexpected history, stretching from ancient Greece to what we think of them as today, essential parts of our literal foundations. In ancient Greece, for example, it’s claimed Archytas of Tarentum invented an early version. Leonardo da Vinci also had one, and, later, of course, it was a key part of the Industrial Revolution.

My comment: Very Interesting, as Usual…

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-screw-heads-that-tried-but-failed-to-topple-phillip

———————————————

In the October 2016 issue of Appraisal Today

  • Fees are going way up!! How to get higher appraisal fees during this boom time!! By Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, PDQ and Doug Smith, SRA, AI-RRS . Lots and lots of practical tips. No one knows when the inevitable crash will come. My fees have gone way up.
  • Pro Camera 9 – a great photo app for appraisers – only $4.99!! by Wayne Pugh, MAI, SRA – I want it and Love the price…
  • USPAP 2017-2019 2nd Exposure Draft – what has changed? Comments due by October 14!! Tell the ASB what you think. Draft reports (again). They keep trying…. And extraordinary assumption and sales history plus some less interesting topics (to me)

An excerpt from Advisory Opinion 37, Computer Assisted Valuation Tools:

Q: An appraiser used a regression analysis model that suggests a relationship between the size of a residence and the price per square foot of similar residences in a specific market. This relationship has not been confirmed by the actions of market participants. Can the appraiser use the regression analysis as support for the GLA adjustment in the appraisal?

A: No, because the appraiser does not know how 1the regression analysis model works, has not independently tested the conclusions it provides, and has no reason to believe the database is reliable.

Another Q: An appraiser has purchased a software package that has multiple functions, such as market analysis, deriving adjustments for physical characteristics, automatically inputting information from the local MLS, and more.

He uses the program to develop an adjustment for an in-ground pool.

A. No… (They could have used “they” instead of “him”. See above on linguistics and using “they”.)

To read the articles, plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today

$8.25 per month, $24.75 per quarter, $89 per year (Best Buy)

or $99 per year or $169 for two years

Subscribers get, FREE: past 18+ months of past newsletters

plus 4 Special Reports, plus 2 Appraiser Marketing Books!!

To purchase the paid Appraisal Today newsletter go to

www.appraisaltoday.com/products or call 800-839-0227.

If you are a paid subscriber and did not get the September 2016 issue, emailed September 1, 2016, please send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com and we will send it to you!! Or, hit the reply button. Be sure to put in a comment requesting it ;>

———————————————————-

UAD absolute vs relative

Another good commentary from Washington appraiser Dave Towne!!

Why is it so many appraisers have trouble with UAD and the CU (Collateral Underwriter), and how to apply the Quality and Condition rating between the Subject and Comps?

Not long after the UAD was implemented/mandated by FNMA (in 2011), and then the CU evaluation system came along, FNMA began discovering that many appraisers were improperly Rating the comps Quality and Condition AGAINST the Subject in the grid. And they began telling appraisers what they were finding. FNMA also discovered, and revealed, that many appraisers were using the same Comps over and over again in different reports, but were using DIFFERENT rating ‘numbers’ for those properties – depending on the Quality and Condition they applied to the SUBJECT.

Applying an ‘opinion’ of the difference for the Quality and Condition is not how we are supposed to do appraisals. Although many appraisers were taught to do that years ago by their mentors, who were also doing it wrong. Unfortunately, FNMA never really said much about it then….until the CU process started. So bad habits started, and were transferred from one appraiser to another, and down the line.

Everything on the grid pages is ABSOLUTE to those properties. The Address, the Site size, View, Design, Actual Age, GLA size, Garage & Carport spaces, etc. Everything. As I like to say – “It is what it is, where it is, when it is.”

Yet many appraisers still think the Rating for Quality and Condition for Comps should be applied Relative-to the Subject. Uh….NO! The Comps are rated what they are, based on the Quality and Condition Rating Definitions that apply with UAD. (And so is the Subject.)

Over the years, I’ve read countless laments by appraisers who say the ‘UAD definitions’ are hard to understand, and don’t have ‘steps’ between the numbers so appraisers can try to engineer precise differences in the ratings and resulting adjustments. That line of thinking is basically hogwash. (If you think you need to make more precise adjustments, you can do so on the extra grid lines…such as ‘Add’l Qual Adj.’ or the same for Cond.

Why do I believe this is so? Let me ask you who believe UAD definitions are so difficult: Before UAD came along, did you ever include definitions of the ‘rating words’ we used back in the dark ages – in your reports? That can be answered 100% no (except by some very elite appraisers). Another question: Where did those ‘rating words’ come from, and can you quickly pull out your reference guide to bring up the definitions for those?. Again, probably 100% no. Before you whine, send me your definitions of Average(+) and Excellent(-), for both Quality and Condition – that you used prior to UAD.

So now we have UAD and the basically easy to use and understand definitions. These, by the way, should be included in every appraisal report – all the software vendors have definition pages to add into reports. Not including these in reports means you have produced a report that is NOT CREDIBLE per USPAP because without those, the reader(s) won’t know what the rating numbers and other codes mean.

Be sure to check out the many comments at:

http://appraisersblogs.com/UAD-rating-absolute-vs-relative

My comment: I thought this had been figured out by most appraisers many years ago. But, change can be difficult, especially something you have been doing for many years .Of course, if you don’t do work requiring UAD, you can do what you have always done – relative. I love relative!!

————————

What Your Street Grid Reveals About Your City

The surprising ways size and shape can impact a place’s economic productivity and walkability.

Excerpts: New York, of course, is not the only city built on a grid. Similar schemes could be found as far back as ancient Greece and Rome. But Manhattan’s design was the exemplar for what became the default pattern of American cities.

Still, not all grids are created equal. Some shape a walking-friendly streetscape. Others, not so much. Over at the Strong Towns blog, Andrew Price, a software developer by day who blogs about urbanism, has been writing about the math of the grid and what it reveals about a city’s economic productivity and walkability.

My comment: Very interesting article on street grids: math, different layouts, what the patterns mean…

http://www.citylab.com/commute/2013/12/what-your-street-grid-reveals-about-your-city/7746/

———————————————————

Nonbank Lenders’ Market Share is at a Two-Decade High. Here’s Why

Excerpt: Depositories still dominate home lending, but nondepositories’ market share is the highest it has been in at least two decades.

The nonbank share of total mortgage originations was 42% in 2014, according to an analysis of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data by ComplianceTech and its LendingPatterns.com tool. Just five years before that, in 2010, nonbanks held only a 27% market share.

One reason for this is that banks’ attraction to mortgages tends to be opportunistic.

“Banks have historically been very fickle about the mortgage lending market,” said Maurice Jordain-Earl, managing director and co-founder of ComplianceTech.

http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/news/origination/nonbank-lenders-market-share-is-at-a-two-decade-high-heres-why-1086192-1.html

My comment: Ever heard of Quicken Loans? My loan is with them. Lots of appraisers work for their AMC. For appraisers, this means fewer lenders that don’t use AMCs. The non-banks use AMCs.

——————-

Another interesting article on non banks: Why Nonbank Lenders Are the Future of Mortgages

http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/news/voices/why-nonbank-lenders-are-the-future-of-mortgages-1072042-1.html

——————————–

In San Francisco, a Tilting Skyscraper and a Deepening Dispute

Excerpts:

SAN FRANCISCO – The developers of the luxurious Millennium Tower laid out the risks and potential defects of the 58-story building in minute detail when its apartments went on sale seven years ago.

The Milennium Tower, which its developers say is the largest reinforced concrete building in the western United States, has now sunk about 16 inches and is leaning six inches toward a neighboring skyscraper.

The color and texture of the marble and granite hallways “may not be completely uniform,” said a disclosure statement given to potential buyers. The streets below the tower could be “congested and noisy,” and the landscaping in the common areas could change, subject to availability of certain species of plants.

But the 21-page disclosure document left out what owners of units in the buildings now say was a crucial detail: that the building had already sunk more than eight inches into the soft soil by the time it was completed in 2009, much more than engineers had anticipated.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/23/us/san-francisco-millennium-tower-dispute.html

————————————————-

 

I just finished my mortgage application volume graph from 1/13 to 9/16 for my paid newsletter. For the first time, it was close to the peak in early 2013 a few weeks ago. That’s why appraisers are so busy. But, why are there so many complaints about high fees and long turn times now? Is is just media hype? Or have more appraisers quit working for AMCs???

HOW TO USE THE NUMBERS BELOW. Appraisals are ordered after the loan application. These numbers tell you the future for the next few weeks. For more information on how they are compiled, go to https://www.mba.org

Note: I publish a graph of this data every month in my printed newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to www.appraisaltoday.com/products or send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 8AM to noon, Pacific time.

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 28, 2016) – – Mortgage applications decreased 0.7 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 23, 2016.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 2 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index remained unchanged from the previous week and was 10 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 62.7 percent of total applications from 63.1 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained unchanged at 4.4 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications remained unchanged at 10.2 percent from the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 11.9 percent from 11.6 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.6 percent from 0.7 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 3.66 percent from 3.70 percent, with points decreasing to 0.33 from 0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) decreased to 3.64 percent from 3.69 percent, with points decreasing to 0.28 from 0.29 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.52 percent from 3.56 percent, with points decreasing to 0.21 from 0.23 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 2.95 percent from 2.99 percent, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.35 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 2.92 percent from 2.96 percent, with points increasing to 0.40 from 0.26 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.

9-22-16 Newz: Appraisers in the news, Coester lawsuit, Miniature homes

The Revolutionary Concept of Standard Sizes Only Dates to the 1920s

Nearly everything in your home is a certain size, thanks to German architect Ernst Neufert.

Excerpt: Almost every kitchen counter in the United States is 36 inches tall. And 25 inches deep. Eighteen inches above the counters are the cabinets, which are 16 inches deep.

Where do these sizes and dimensions come from? Have they always been so exact?

Building standards, as these numbers and rules are often known, are everywhere, helping shape everything from your kitchen cabinets and the sidewalk in front of your house to the layout of your favorite restaurant. Despite their prevalence, building standards really only came into being in the last century. A major turning point in their wild proliferation arrived in the 1920s, when the German government made the then-radical decision to standardize the size of office paper.

My comment: Fascinating!! Lots more info and images at the link below.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-revolutionary-concept-of-standard-sizes-only-dates-to-the-1920s

———————————————-

What does the CU interface look like to underwriters?
Below are links to see. Here’s a tidbit – 50% of appraisals have no or 1 messages.
Learn More About Collateral Underwriter’s Powerful Features and New Look

Do you have questions about using Collateral Underwriter® (CU™)? Register to attend the upcomingAsk the Expert webinar on September 27, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET. Additional webinars and eLearning courses are available on the CU web page.

Have you heard about CU’s easier-to-use design and layout coming later this year? Check out the preview. You can also view the new CU infographic for an overview of CU’s powerful features. CU gives you the feedback you need, when you need it, with a CU risk score, alerts, and messages provided real-time in the Uniform Collateral Data Portal® (UCDP®). For all the latest news and resources, visit the CU web page.

———————————-

Scheer Motion to Dismiss Coester vs Scheer Lawsuit

Excerpt: More CVMS Fraud and Coester’s Fraudulent Activities Revealed

Robert Scheer, former Coester Senior VP, has filed a motion to dismiss Coester vs. Scheer lawsuit. There are also whispers in the appraisal community that Brian Coester’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit against him was denied. Looks like Scheer vs. Coester lawsuit is going to trial. Scheer continues to reveal more dirt against Coester while appraisers continue to flood social media with comments, and sometimes with humorous reactions…

This article includes the motion to dismiss.

http://appraisersblogs.com/cvms-fraud-coester–scheer

Previous post on this topic: Coester Allegedly Engaged in Fraud Sued by Former Senior VP

http://appraisersblogs.com/Coester-VMS-lawsuit-fraud-forgery

———————————–

Dollhouse Real-Estate: Inside the Elite Market for Miniature Homes

Priced as high as hundreds of thousands of dollars, these elaborate dollhouses count sex therapist Ruth Westheimer and a member of Qatar’s royal family as collectors

Excerpt: This Victorian-style home features four bedrooms, one bathroom and ornate period details like a clawfoot bathtub, crystal chandeliers and mahogany fireplaces. It is currently on the market, fully furnished, for $149,000. Since the home is roughly 18 square feet, the price comes to about $8,278 per square foot.

http://www.mansionglobal.com/articles/39456-dollhouse-real-estate-inside-the-elite-market-for-miniature-homes

My comment: Thanks to Jonathan Miller for this Fun Link!!

Doll houses will never be the same for me ;>

=============================================

Coming in the October 2016 issue of Appraisal Today

How to get higher appraisal fees !!!

 Topics include:

  • Why AMC fees started going up last year.
  • Comparison of AMCs, direct lenders and non-lender fees. Why they are very different.
  • How to find out what AMCs are say they are paying and what appraisers are really getting.
  • Lots of fee negotiating tips

 Not just a lot of ranting. Practical advice on how to successfully make more money during this Boom that will not last forever.

To read the full article, plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today.

$8.25 per month, $24.75 per quarter, $89 per year (Best Buy)

or $99 per year or $169 for two years

Subscribers get, FREE: past 18+ months of past newsletters plus 4 Special Reports, plus 2 Appraiser Marketing Books!!

To purchase the paid Appraisal Today newsletter go to

www.appraisaltoday.com/productsor call 800-839-0227.

 If you are a paid subscriber and did not get the September 2016 issue, emailed September 1, 2016, please send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com and we will send it to you!! Or, hit the reply button. Be sure to put in a comment requesting it ;>

——————————————–

APPRAISERS IN THE NEWS. THE ARTICLES BELOW ARE ABOUT FEES, TURN TIMES, APPRAISER SHORTAGE, ETC. THEY WERE WRITTEN FOR LENDERS, REAL ESTATE AGENTS, HOME OWNERS, AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC. All allow comments, which can be very interesting!!

5 things to consider about higher appraisal fees and longer turn-times By Ryan Lundquist. Written for real estate agents and home owners

Excerpt: 4) Not Getting All the Money: A loan officer I spoke with was frustrated that his Borrowers were paying $550 for conventional appraisals and $750 for jumbo appraisals – and still experiencing longer turn-times. When he told me the Appraisal Management Company (AMC) he uses though, that’s where the problem comes in. This AMC regularly pays appraisers $350, which means they’re pocketing 40% of the fee the Borrower thinks is going to the appraiser. A few days ago on Facebook there was an appraiser who had an offer from an AMC to appraise a property for $850, but the AMC was charging the Borrower $1,385. Let’s remember appraisers are supposed to be paid “customary and reasonable” fees under Dodd-Frank, but a reasonable fee is what the appraiser gets – NOT what the Borrower pays.

My comments: Well written – for real estate agents and home owners, but has good explanations for everyone. (Ryan’s blog is primarily marketing for his appraisal business.) This article also discusses the decline in the number of appraisers in California, with data, but is relevant for many other states.

http://sacramentoappraisalblog.com/2016/09/20/5-things-to-consider-about-higher-appraisal-fees-and-longer-turn-times

———————————-

Appraiser Shortage? By Greg Stephens, SRA, MetroWest AMC

Reprinted from a June 2016 mortgage magazine. Written for lenders.

Excerpt: A topic very relevant to mortgage professionals has been receiving increasing attention lately-the question whether there is or is not a shortage of appraisers? Regulators, as well as market participants, have been weighing in, and depending upon who you talk to, the answers vary. The problem so far is that most of the discussion has been anecdotal.

What also needs to be included in stakeholder discussions on the topic is the status of future appraisers in the pipeline to replace the aging population of practicing appraisers.

To answer the question-not only whether there is a current shortage, but also if there is the potential for a shortage either in the near future (three to five years) or perhaps even longer, I conducted some in-depth research to glean as much factual information as possible.

My comments: This article has some good data on declines in number of trainees, problems with ASC data,lenders not allowing trainees to sign on their own, etc. Written for mortgage lender publication. Of course, it does not discuss low fees, scope creep, and treating appraisers “poorly” as a reason for the shortage of appraisers willing to work for many, or all, AMCs.

http://www.nationalmortgageprofessional.com/news/60306/appraisal-industry-update

————————————————————–

Need an appraisal right away? It may cost more than you’d expect. By Ken Harney. Written for the general public. Syndicated in national newspapers.

Excerpt: The problem is part work overload, part resentment over fees. In many markets, diminishing numbers of experienced appraisers are available – and willing – to handle requests for their work on tight timetables and at fees sometimes lower than they earned a decade or more ago.

The net result: The system is getting gummed up. …. A recent survey of agents by the National Association of Realtors found that appraisal problems were connected with 27 percent of delayed closings, up from 16 percent earlier this year.

In some cases, panicked lenders and management companies are offering appraisers fat bonuses and “rush fees” to meet deadlines. The extra charges can range from $200 to $1,000 or more, turning $500 appraisals into $1,200 or $1,500 expenses, which typically get paid by home buyers.

My comment: Harney has been a nationally syndicated real estate columnist for a long time.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/need-an-appraisal-right-away-it-may-cost-more-than-youd-expect/2016/09/12/5ce8fa98-790c-11e6-bd86-b7bbd53d2b5d_story.htm

————————————————-

HOW TO USE THE NUMBERS BELOW. Appraisals are ordered after the loan application. These numbers tell you the future for the next few weeks. For more information on how they are compiled, go to https://www.mba.org

Note: I publish a graph of this data every month in my printed newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to www.appraisaltoday.com/productsor send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 8AM to noon, Pacific time.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 21, 2016)

Mortgage applications decreased 7.3 percent from one week earlier,

according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 16, 2016. The prior week’s results included an adjustment for the Labor Day holiday

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 7.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 15 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 8 percent from the previous week to the lowest level since June 2016. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 7 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 15 percent compared with the previous week and was 3 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

 

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 63.1 percent of total applications from 62.9 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 4.4 percent of total applications.

 

The FHA share of total applications increased to 10.2 percent from 9.6 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 11.6 percent from 12.0 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.7 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to its highest level since June 2016, 3.70 percent, from 3.67 percent, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.36 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) increased to 3.69 percent from 3.64 percent, with points decreasing to 0.29 from 0.36 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.56 percent from 3.50 percent, with points decreasing to 0.23 from 0.27 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 2.99 percent from 2.97 percent, with points increasing to 0.35 from 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 2.96 percent from 2.87 percent, with points

decreasing to 0.26 from 0.37 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.

9-1-16 Newz:: Statistics humor, Abandoned islands, USPAP 2nd draft

Why Not to Trust Statistics – Humor

Statistics cartoons. Just for Fun!!

Mean, median, range, correlation, variance, correlation coefficient. Amazing what you can do with stats!!

Can’t describe it. Just click here for the cartoons.

https://mathwithbaddrawings.com/2016/07/13/why-not-to-trust-statistics/ Thanks to Joe Lynch for this great link!!

——————————————

The Incredible Ruins of 12 Abandoned Islands

Excerpt:

Of all the many places around the world that have been abandoned by their inhabitants and left to slump into obscurity and ruin, islands seem among the most unlikely. What’s not to love about an island? Yet there are dozens of isles scattered throughout the world’s oceans that have been deserted by their residents and left all but forgotten.

Frozen in time with nothing but a story to tell, many of these ghost islands have taken on an eerie and enticing second life in their desertion and disrepair. Here are 12 abandoned islands in the Atlas, each of which has a intriguing story behind its decline.

Good photos and comments. Just scroll down the page.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-incredible-ruins-of-12-abandoned-islands

My comment: I live on an island in San Francisco Bay. Definitely very different mentality than non-islanders. I hate leaving the island. For the past two years, almost all my appraisals have been here. When I travel, I always go to any nearby accessible islands..

Read more!!

8-25-16 Newz://What are C&R fees when fees are changing?, 8 colorful cities, Flooded appraiser donations

Donation Fundraising for Louisiana Appraisers

Thanks (again) to Dave Towne for this info!!

Excerpt:

The Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Coalition (LAREAC) has started a fund raising campaign using PayPal, which will be used to equally provide donated funds to affected appraisers who are suffering as a result of the massive flooding last weekend. PayPal is being used because its administrative fee is less than another more-well-known crowd funding web site.

There are approximately 8-10 presently known appraisers who have had their homes nearly destroyed in the flood.

http://appraisersblogs.com/donation-disaster-louisiana-appraisers

My comment: last week I wrote about donations to Bill Cobb, whose house was flooded. It is great that this donation method is done also.

——————————–

8 Colorful Cities that Look Like They Were Designed by Crayola

See the world in a whole new light through these vibrant locales.

Just for Fun!!!

Excerpt:

Many cities are known for their distinctive profiles and unique landmarks, but all across the globe there are regions that are landmarks in and of themselves thanks to their insane colorations. From a all-blue town in Spain that is a leftover from a Smurf marketing stunt, to a Venetian island that looks as though it was born of an intense acid trip, some of the most colorful locations in the world aren’t the biggest, just the most eye-popping. Check out eight cities and towns that offer vibrantly colorful views which are just as unforgettable as any big city skyline.

My comment: None are in the U.S. Too conservative I guess…

Great article with lots of photos and comments!!

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/8-colorful-cities-that-look-like-they-were-designed-by-crayola

Read more!!

8-18-16 Newz: Ex-appraiser sentenced , Statistics humor, Flooding

Statistics humor

Three statisticians go hunting. They see a deer and the first one

shoots, hitting three feet left of the deer. The second one shoots, hitting three feet right of the deer. The third one leaps up in joy, yelling, “we got him!”

Thanks to Scott Jura for this great joke! Posted on a yahoo appraiser discussion group.

—————————–

Ex-appraiser sentenced to 6 years for mortgage fraud

Excerpt: A Pittsburgh federal jury convicted Jason Moreno, 33, on five counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy in September 2013.

A former appraiser, Moreno overstated housing values and glossed over problems such as a den of black snakes in one house’s basement so that others in the scheme could obtain loans for more than the properties were worth.

U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer resentenced Moreno on Monday to six years in prison and three years of probation.

http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/10811871-74/moreno-court-sentenced

Court documents from 1/16. Lots of very interesting details:

http://www2.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/141568p.pdf


Read more!!

7-21-16 Newz//Bracketing-AMC staff appraisers-Appraiserville

8 Spooky New York Places That Should Be in the New Ghostbusters Movie

There’s something strange in these neighborhoods.

Excerpt: Here is one, but you gotta see the photos and the other 7!!

The Morris-Jumel Mansion

On a hill overlooking the Harlem River, the stately Morris-Jumel mansion is not only Manhattan’s oldest home but supposedly one of its most haunted. Its macabre history started after owner Stephen Jumel died in 1832. His wife Eliza was rumored to have had a hand in the death-there was some suspicion afoot that she orchestrated the carriage accident that killed him….

Take a break from typing appraisal reports and check it out!!

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/8-spooky-new-york-places-that-should-be-in-the-new-ghostbusters-movie

———————————————

The Shrinking of the American Lawn

As houses have gotten bigger, yard sizes have receded. What gives?

Excerpts:

The American house is growing. These days, the average new home encompasses 2,500 square feet, about 50 percent more area than the average house in the late 1970s, according to Census data. Compared to the typical house of 40 years ago, today’s likely has another bathroom and an extra bedroom, making it about the same size as the Brady Bunch house, which famously fit two families.

This expansion has come at a cost: the American lawn.

As homes have grown larger, the lots they’re built on have actually gotten smaller-average area is down 13 percent since 1978, to 0.19 acres. That might not seem like a lot, but after adjusting for houses’ bigger footprints, it appears the median yard has shrunk by more than 26 percent, and now stands at just 0.14 acres. The actual value lies somewhere between those two numbers, since a house’s square footage could include a second (or third) floor. Either way, it’s a substantial reduction.

Read the full story at: Very interesting!!

http://www.citylab.com/navigator/2016/07/the-shrinking-of-the-american-lawn/490157/

—————————-

There Go My Brackets

From the Illinois Appraiser June 2016

Excerpt:

Is it a USPAP violation to fail to bracket or end up with a tight bracket?

Read more!!

7-15-16 Newz//CU Crumbles-Refi mania-Urbanization since 3700 BC

The history of urbanization, 3700 BC – 2000 AD

Watch as the world’s cities appear one-by-one over 6,000 years

Fascinating!! Take a break from appraising and check this out!!

By 2030, 75 percent of the world’s population is expected to be living in cities. Today, about 54 percent of us do. In 1960, only 34 percent of the world lived in cities.

Urbanization didn’t begin in the 1960’s. But until recently, tracking its history much further back than that was a challenging task. The most comprehensive collection of urban population data available, U.N. World urbanization prospects, goes back only to 1950. But thanks to a report released last week by a Yale-led team of researchers, it’s now possible to analyze the history of cities over a much longer time frame.

http://metrocosm.com/history-of-cities/

——————————————

419.99 Mile Marker

Just For Fun

When zealous marijuana enthusiasts kept stealing the “Mile 420” highway marker, the State of Colorado got creative.

Another obscure factoid from atlasobscura.com ;>

Since the recreational use of marijuana was made legal in Colorado in 2012, the “Mile 420” post became a hot commodity. So hot, it kept disappearing – and the Colorado Department of Transportation got tired of replacing it.

Check out the photos (and try not to click on too many of the other weird stuff) at:

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/41999-mile-marker

——————————-

Refis skyrocketing per Zillow – Brexit

Read more!!

7-7-16 Newz// Comp photos cost -Tech trends in 1776-Data and Scottish Scoundrel

The Scottish Scoundrel Who Changed How We See Data

When he wasn’t blackmailing lords and being sued for libel,

William Playfair invented the pie chart, the bar graph, and the line graph.

Excerpts:

Today, graphs and charts are seen as more efficient than words, letting us gulp information rather than sip it. For a large chunk of European history, though, this was far from the case. As statistician Howard Wainer explains in Graphic Discovery, 18th century academics actually looked down their noses at anything that resembled a picture.

Into this void stepped Playfair, a man with very little regard for tradition. Born in Scotland in 1759, Playfair was a kind of Forrest Gump of the Enlightenment, rubbing shoulders with the era’s many giants, switching careers at the drop of a hat, and throwing himself headlong into history-changing events, from the storming of the Bastille to the settling of the American West.

His graphical inventions, like many of his endeavors, were inspired by a certain disrespect for limits. He wasn’t so much an inventor as an intellectual remixer, taking bits and pieces of different people’s ideas and piecing them together into useful wholes.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-scottish-scoundrel-who-changed-how-we-see-data

My comment: Fascinating! Plus a very entertaining writeup. Another good one from www.AtlasObscura.com – one of my favorite web sites!!

————————————————–

8 Hottest Tech Trends in 1776

1. Underwater Warfare

4. Indoor Plumbing

5. High Tech Major Appliances

Read more!!

6-30-16 Newz // Most dangerous roads-Fees going up-Brexit and mortgages

The most dangerous places to drive in the world

Take a break and check out these places…

Excerpt:

Driving can be dangerous, and every one of us who attempt to control those speeding steel boxes of ours will, at some time or another, experience a dangerous or life-threatening situation. But the truth is, despite the occasional error of judgement or climate, driving in the US is largely safe, and you will most likely get to your destination calm and in one piece (or just in one piece, because traffic, right?). The world, however, is not the US, or even western Europe. And as you will see, driving styles, laws, and road conditions vary so much, that what might be an everyday commute for a native of Afghanistan would be a death-defying (or outright death-inviting) thrill ride for a driver in the Land of the Free.

http://www.grunge.com/15503/dangerous-places-drive-world/

My comment: Guess I won’t complain (as much) about getting stuck between 2 giant big rigs on the freeway ;>

—————————————–

Complaints about high appraisal fees and long turn times

RAISE YOUR FEES!!!

Appraisers Remain Under Siege – Jonathan Miller

(Scroll down the page past the second graph)

Excerpt:

Here is a series of feedback from Rob Chrisman in his must read newsletter on the mortgage industry. It is a heavily read source of in-the-trenches mortgage insights that I subscribe to. He gave me permission to share his recent content on the appraisal industry and will share more of it in the coming weeks. I inserted my thoughts following each quote:

“And appraisals are always a hot topic. I received this note from an originator. “Our appraisal environment is out of control. Appraisals we used to get in 1-2 weeks have quickly gone to 3-4 weeks. Appraisals that were just $400 are now $550 and sometimes up to $1,100 for FHA and conventional appraisals. With the rules regulating appraisers on how to become an appraiser and how appraisers have to monitor everything an apprentice appraiser does, it is causing our homebuyers hardship. With the appraiser’s current workloads and the amount of appraisers we have lost in recent years, there is no motivation to bring apprentices on (due to those regulations), leaving the current appraisers working night and day to keep up with their workloads. That is also causing them to keep moving up the appraisal fees (basically rush fees to keep pushing who can pay the most up the line).”

Miller’s comments

It’s called “market forces” and because the AMC movement has gutted the industry, there are much fewer competent appraisers left. And please lay off the “hardship” angle. It’s tired and worn out. Mortgage rates are at historic lows and with the Brexit they will likely stay that way for a while. As I have said before, there is not a shortage of appraisers, there is a shortage of appraisers willing to work for half the market rate.

Worth reading, especially for Jonathon’s comments. http://www.millersamuel.com/note/june-24-2016/?goal=0_69c077008e-ca10724b99-116855313

Link to Chrisman article – scroll down the page to “And appraisals are always a hot topic”

http://www.robchrisman.com/2016/06/11/june-11-letters-notes-on-password-protection-mechanics-liens-and-the-current-state-of-the-appraisal-business/

My comments

Why are complaints about appraiser fees and turn times increasing so much? Supply and Demand. AMCs and lenders not allowing trainees to sign on their own – no new appraisers. AMCs trained their appraisers to bid against each other. Now, they are getting payback.

The Appraisal Foundation is frantically trying to reduce requirements for appraiser licensing in response to the current appraiser shortage. But, the problem is that lenders will not allow trainees to sign on their own. There was no shortage in the last boom prior to 2008.

In all the previous boom periods, since lenders started using appraisers in the 1930s, the increase in volume was handled by hiring armies of trainees who left the profession when business slowed down. Prior to licensing, lenders did this. After licensing, fee appraisers did it. But, soon after 2008 lenders would not allow trainees to sign on their own, so there was no one to handle the increase in business.

When AMCs took over appraisal ordering, many experienced appraisers left the profession due to low fees, increasing lender requirements, hassles, etc. Some stayed, who had direct lender clients or were willing to work for AMCs.

The AMC fee model is a bidding system, with AMCs often looking for the lowest bid. Now, sometimes they spend days looking for an appraiser who will work for low fees. Some of us have finally adapted by significantly increasing our fees.

AMCs have trained us to bid against each other. Even when business is very strong, AMCs continue to try to get low fees. Finally, after 8 years of this, appraisers have realized that when there is a shortage of appraisers we can increase our fees. We finally learned about Supply and Demand. This never occurred before.

Many appraisers (and other business owners) have great difficulty turning down work, even with low fees. After years of telling appraisers to raise their fees, finally some appraisers are listening.

Read more!!