Agent square footage and sales prices for appraisers

Agent’s Source Of Square Footage May Affect Sale Price

Excerpts: If you use county tax assessor information as a square footage source in your listings you may want to rethink this. I recently did a study to see how homes sold based on where the agent got their information from and I have to say what I found was intriguing. Agent square footage and sales prices for appraisers is important.

The Greater Alabama MLS, of which I am a member, provides the source of square footage information that is included in the listing. The four sources include tax records, seller, building plans, and appraiser.

Below the article are links to some other good posts by the author on this topic.

My comment: Very interesting analysis and graphs. My MLS is the same, except “other” is included and tax records is the default. Tax records are iffy in California as Prop 13 passed in 1979 and records have not been updated since then, unless there is new construction. Also, what assessors include in GLA can differ from what the current market does. Some neighborhoods and properties are reasonably accurate and some are way off in my small city.

I have done a lot of relocation appraisals, where 2 or 3 appraisers appraise the same house. If we had the same square footage it was sorta suspicious… Some measure to the half foot, rounding up or down, some use decimals, etc. It is not exact.

I can really see a demand for using appraiser measurements. I will be writing an article in my paid newsletter soon about this topic. There are a few appraisers who do them, including discussing pricing and liability.

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Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

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Appraisal Comp Photos Drive or Not Drive?

To Drive or Not To Drive, That is the Question!!

Excerpt: The argument of using MLS photos or shooting your own photos has been debated by appraisers for the last few decades. You, as appraisers, want to be sure the comparables you are using are of the correct house and also look as the MLS illustrates. Most importantly, you want to make sure the house is still standing. The listing agent’s job is to sell the house. As the salesperson they will highlight all the positives and leave the negatives up to the imagination. This is one of the main reasons it is extremely important to not solely rely on MLS when utilizing comparables.

Click here to read the full post, plus over 50 comments from appraisers. Add your own comments!!

My comment: this issue has been going on for decades and is still controversial. Especially in rural areas!! Note: the post is a sorta promo for proxpics, a photo taking service, but the appraiser comments are great.

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

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11-29-18 Newz// Proposed $400k threshold for appraisals -The American Garage – a very strange room

$400,000 Proposed bank threshold for appraisals to be replaced by evaluations

Below are links to the proposed rule, what others are saying, and where to send your comments on the proposed rule.
OCC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Exempt Residential Real Estate Transactions of $400,000 or Less from Appraisal Requirements
Excerpts: Rather than requiring an appraisal, the proposal would require that residential real estate transactions exempted by the threshold obtain an evaluation consistent with safe and sound banking practices.

Read what the OCC says in their announcement – one page www.occ.gov/news-issuances/news-releases/2018/nr-occ-2018-123.html

Comments will be accepted for 60 days from publication in the Federal Register.

Instructions in the full Full 69-page proposed rulemaking. Download the above link and search for comments

The word “evaluation” is included many times in the document. Google evaluation to see what it says.

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FDIC, OCC, Fed propose raising appraisal threshold for first time since 1994. Good analysis of how many loans would be affected:

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Push to cut back on home appraisals sparks controversy
By Ken Harney, long time nationally syndicated real estate writer who regularly writes about appraisal issues

Excerpt: The Trump administration wants to eliminate professional appraisals on a large number of home-sale transactions – a move that critics say could push the country back toward the see-no-evil days of mortgage lending that preceded the housing crash.

Includes comments from appraisers Ryan Lundquist and Pat Turner plus Appraisal Institute.
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Link to Appraisal Institute letter
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Get rid of appraisers while nobody’s looking
By Ryan Lundquist

 

Excerpt: I’m guessing these “evaluators” will be real estate agents who do BPOs, employees at banks and data firms, and probably some appraisers who need the work at $75-$100 a pop.

Read it here, plus the appraiser comments, of course.
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My comments:
– FIRREA increased the deminimus from $200,000 (1989) to $250,000 in 1994, but appraisals were still done. Why? Fannie and Freddie’s investors wanted them. FHA, VA, etc did not adopt the deminimus.
– What is an ‘evaluation’ and who does them? Hopefully, someone will tell me what is an evaluation?
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U.S. Land use map for appraisers

Here’s How America Uses Its Land

Excerpt: What can be harder to decipher is how Americans use their land to create wealth. The 48 contiguous states alone are a 1.9 billion-acre jigsaw puzzle of cities, farms, forests and pastures that Americans use to feed themselves, power their economy and extract value for business and pleasure.

One of the many interesting tidbits:
The U.S. is becoming more urban-at an average rate of about 1 million additional acres a year. That’s the equivalent of adding new urban area the size of Los Angeles, Houston and Phoenix combined. U.S. urban areas have more than quadrupled since 1945.

Click here for very interesting graphics and more analysis:

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

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Reconciliation for appraisers

Reconciliation – Paint a Picture with Words

By Rachel Massey, SRA
Excerpts: The reconciliation is precisely the place we want to avoid any boilerplate…Appraisers relationships with their clients has similarity with other relationships, but mainly in that we have to really communicate with each other to avoid misunderstanding. This goes for the engagement of services and why we are being hired in the first place, and also goes for communicating our assignment results. In this article, the focus is on the reconciliation section of a written report. Reconciliation for appraisers is very important.

Read the article, and the comments at:

My comment: Excellent, well written article, as usual, from Rachel Massey. FYI, Rachel is a regular contributor to the paid Appraisal Today.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

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To read more of this 7-19-20 long blog post with many topics, click Read More Below!!

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on history of appraising, price declines, dining rooms, mortgage origination stats, etc.

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

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

Three-story Single-family Homes and Townhomes

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

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

More info here:

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

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

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

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

Appraiser Imposter Captured on Video!!!

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

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

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

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

Stories of Surprising Roadside Hotels

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

Just For Fun!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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13 Very strange bathrooms for appraisers

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….

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

Click here to subscribe to our FREE weekly appraiser email newsletter and get the latest appraisal news!!

To read more of this 6-14-20 long blog post with many topics, click Read More Below!!

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5-24-18 Newz//UAD and Fannie Form Changes. Floating Island. Refis dropping

It’ll never sell that high (but then it did)

Excerpt: There’s no way it’s going to sell that high. Have you ever thought that in real estate? Well, let’s talk about a property that many said would never sell at $4.1M, but then it did. I definitely have some takeaways about this lofty condo in Downtown Sacramento (CA), and I hope non-locals will relate to the commentary. (My note: median home sale price is $367,500)

Details and lots of graphs at:

My comment: The median home sale price is $367,500. This is definitely an outlier for the area.

A floating Pacific island is in the works with its own government, cryptocurrency and 300 houses

Just For Fun!!

Excerpts: The Floating Island Project plans to create off-shore housing that uses its own currency and operates outside of government regulations.
– The project is a pilot program in partnership with the government of French Polynesia.
– A long-term vision for the project is hundreds of new countries floating on the ocean.

As well as offering a home for the displaced, the self-contained islands are designed to function as business centers that are beyond the influence of government regulation.

Check out the video and lots more details at:

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5-10-18 Newz//Market Value Fallacies. Broken Mortgage Market. Crazy Appraiser Stories

Is it all a big lie? Are there really 6 fallacies of market value?

By George Dell, MAI, SRA, ASA

Excerpts: Some ten years ago, we saw the start of the economic meltdown. Were appraisers to blame?  Some tried to pin the blame that way. But was there a big lie underneath? The required (federally insured) definition of value has seven distinct elements. Were appraisers doing what they were told?
Seeking entertainment for my Stats, Graphs, and Data Science¹ classes, it seemed fun to see if these assumptions had not been religiously followed.  This led to a PowerPoint slide entitled:
 “Dell Operative definition of market value”
Check it out at:

My comment: Interesting comments plus some humor ;>

In the Trenches, Crazy Appraiser Stories

Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: You’ve all got them… The crazy car chases, the surprising living conditions, the exotic assignments and the unique collectors. Here are a few of our stories we found buzz worthy.
This was a beautiful 3,200 sq ft home with all the extras. After measuring…
The Stories plus 10 comments with more stories.
My comment: I love the foto of the crazy appraiser!!

Which of us does not have a weird experience… or lots of them ;>

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