Desktop appraisals okay for some Fannie Loans March 2022

Desktop appraisals okay for some Fannie Loans March 2022

Fannie announcement – About Desktop Appraisals

Beginning in March 2022, desktop appraisals will be an option for some loan transactions. This fact sheet provides high-level information on Fannie Mae’s requirements for desktop appraisals and answers some frequently asked questions. We’ll be adding information to the fact sheet, such as additional FAQs as needed.

Excerpts:

  • Use Form 1004 Desktop
  • Must include floor plan with interior walls.
  • The appraiser must have sufficient information to develop a credible report.

To read the fact sheet, click here

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Desktop Appraisal to Become the New Norm

by Isaac Peck, Editor, WorkingRe

Note: This article was written before the Fannie announcement above. 

Excerpts: A number of questions remain regarding how the GSEs will establish the eligibility criteria for what types of loans, transactions, and loan-to-value (LTV) ratios will qualify for these desktop valuations. For example, Thompson’s comments that such a move will provide relief on rural appraisals runs contrary to most conventional appraisal experience in the industry where appraisal waivers, hybrid appraisals, and other “alternative” valuation products have primarily been used in cookie-cutter, tract home neighborhoods where model-match comps are more readily available.

In fact, over the years many senior executives at the GSEs and at major lending institutions have acknowledged the need for traditional appraisals on rural properties—which are much more likely to have unique features and require more complex analysis.

There is also the question of whether the introduction of desktop appraisals will potentially lead to a broader range of alternative appraisal products into the mix. Given that some senior executives at Fannie Mae were predicting that hybrid appraisals would become mainstream by 2022, it is actually a little surprising that desktop appraisal assignments are the first alternative product to get a permanent place on the GSE’s valuation roster. Appraisers will just have to wait to see what the future holds!

To read more, click here

My comment: Interesting and worth reading about the background of Fannie’s change

Appraisal Completion Certifications – be careful

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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To read more of this 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 unusual homes, ANSI, Liability, appraisal business, Fannie, How to, mortgage origination stats, etc.

 

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Appraising New Construction: Guidance for Follow-Up Inspections

By: McKissock

Excerpts: Be completely honest.

Appraisers who mean well may classify a project as complete, even when work is still required. Don’t be lenient. If work is in progress or tasks are left undone, state that in your inspection documents. If you say work is complete and the lender releases funds, but the work is not done, you are liable if the builder doesn’t finish the project—and could face a law suit. Always report exactly what you see.

Remember that it’s not your job to tell the lender when to close a loan. It’s your job to report to the lender the progress on the home so that the lender can make an informed decision. Be very detailed in your reporting, include many pictures, describe the incomplete items and assign your estimated cost to complete them. Then let the lender decide what to do next.

The lender relies on you to confirm that the collateral is secure and that construction is complete. Don’t drop the ball when it comes to assessing both the level of completion and the quality of the construction. It’s your job to project the lender and borrower.

If you do new construction appraisals, read this.

To read more, click here

My comments: I quit doing new construction appraisals many years ago because of hassles over inspections and re-inspections and pressure to say it was completed. Also, getting correct sales price information from the subdivision office was sometimes difficult. Of course, the only new construction here is stacked condos or 3-4 story skinny townhomes!! Very little vacant land is available, and the land prices are high.

The January 2022 issue of the monthly Appraisal Today had an article: Construction Progress Reports by Claudia Gaglione, Esq. Liability advice and good examples of appraisers that got into trouble. See the ad below.

====================================================Email from Dave Towne, received at 11:24 PM (PST) last night

Subject: You’d better read this report from the ASC

My comments after the end.

Report title: Identifying Bias and Barriers, Promoting Equity: An Analysis of USPAP Standards and Appraiser Qualification Criteria

Because they were directed to do so, the Appraisal Subcommittee has produced an 80+ page report, which frankly and explicitly lays the blame for low market values of homes in ‘communities of color’ directly at the feet of independent appraisers involved with mortgage lending.

You will start seeing accusatory slanted media reports about this report. ABC news already has distributed it. A TV station in San Francisco has aired a story already.

Yes, the report casually mentions actual facts that GOVERNMENT policies and procedures promulgated segregated and extraordinarily unfair housing issues in the US ….. from the 1930’s into the early 1960’s. The GSE’s, FHA, VA wrote the documents appraisers followed. Banks and other lenders went along with those policies. It was part of the culture at the time. Was it wrong? Yes. Just like the slave trade many COUNTRIES encouraged, which ended, thankfully.

Unfortunately, appraisal associations had to be sued in the early 1970’s to finally eradicate discriminatory advice they continued to promote until then. That appears to be one justification for the piling on this report does.

The report basically says, “you appraisers shouldn’t have done what you were told to do,” “you caused the low values,” and now we’re coming after you …. independent appraisers and the agencies who write policies …. to fix what ‘the GOVERNMENT’ originally caused.

The report also implies that ‘you’ are responsible because so few ‘people of color’ are appraisers. (If parity to equalize racial composition is such a huge concern, why no outcry about National Football League teams which are dominated by ‘people of color’?)

Appraisers need to take a few minutes and peruse this delightful document. If you read nothing else, read pages 1-12 and the Conclusion below.

There are some other interesting passages buried in the bowels. One that caught my eye is a suggestion that using the ‘Sales Comparison Approach’ is “not fair” to ‘communities of color’…. unless the appraiser leaves the immediate neighborhood to seek out higher priced homes elsewhere to artificially increase the appraised value of the subject.

Normally I’d attach the document as a PDF. But this sucker is 40 MEGABYTES in size. So you will have to click this link to see it, and print it:

To read the Report Click Here

This is the conclusion in the report:

G. Conclusion

An appraiser has the unique power to determine the value of a home, which for most Americans, is their single most important financial asset and holds the key to wealth, stability, and opportunity for their family and generations to come.

In addition, home values affect the tax base, school funding, and community investments. Moreover, time and again, our nation’s economy and financial markets have been significantly impacted by home valuations, with communities of color often bearing the brunt of failings in the mortgage market and the home appraisal process.

Given the importance of homeownership to American families, particularly families of color, governmental and private organizations have called for reforms and a comprehensive examination of the structure and governance of the appraisal industry.

In response to these calls for reform, we have assembled the research and recommendations in this report. We urge federal and state governmental entities, The Appraisal Foundation, the GSEs, lenders, appraisers, researchers, and civil rights and consumer advocates to work together to address the concerns raised in the report, including:

• Questions About the Governance of the Appraisal Industry

• Gaps in Fair Housing Requirements and Training

• Barriers to Entry to the Appraisal Profession

• Compliance and Enforcement

We hope that this report will encourage conversations among key stakeholders in the appraisal and housing industries to seek workable, sustainable solutions that benefit the whole of the housing market, including borrowers of color.

This ‘train’ of accusations started down the track about four years ago …. because appraisers are easy targets. It’s been building steam ever since. The ride toward ‘reforms’ is not going to be very scenic or pleasant for appraisers for at least three more years. Appraisers will need to keep very close tabs on the waybill of items being hauled your way.

Even though this report is extraordinarily discouraging, I will say again. If you are a biased appraiser in any way, in how you conduct yourself or in how you analyze data and report values, then you need to excise yourself from appraisal work. On the other hand, if you are doing your work appropriately and professionally according to current policies and procedures, continue being careful and diligent. And hold your head high.

Dave Towne, MNAA, AVAA, AGA, dtowne@fidalgo.net

To be added to Dave’s list, send him an email.

My comments: I have been reading Dave’s emails for a long time. He somehow keeps track of the latest appraisals news and is often the first appraiser to write about them!

I have not had time to read the report, but it includes excerpts from appraisal textbooks as recently as 1973. Of course, few fee appraisers did lender appraisals before licensing. Almost all were staff appraisers at lenders.

Appraisers’ Dirty Little Secret” (my phrase).

There was never any mention of this in any appraisal classes I have taken.

I have been worried about appraisers and redlining for a while but did not have documentation. If I did residential lender appraisals back then I would have switched to commercial appraisals.

When I started appraising in the late 70s, I think it had mostly disappeared from official documents. I know a local female appraiser who started with FHA in the mid-70s, when they increased appraiser diversity: women, blacks, etc. I started at the same time at an assessor’s office as the first female appraiser. Of course, assessors would not want to have lower values. Affirmative action was big back then. Before that time, there were few female appraisers.

I had planned to write about this topic in my March newsletter. This new report has lots of information and links I can use.

The answer: Change how we do appraisals for lenders? Change how appraisals comps are selected? What happens when prices fall?

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Construction Progress Reports

By Claudia Gaglione, Esq.

Excerpts:

Use disclaimers (Note: more disclaimers in the full article)

Many lenders have pre-printed forms that they ask the appraisers to

complete. The forms have a list of specific items and the appraiser must

estimate a percentage of completion for each item. If at all possible,

consider adding some disclaimer language to the prepared form such as:

“This report is prepared for the benefit of the lender to assist in making

loan proceed disbursements. It is not prepared for the benefit of the

borrower.”

NEVER CERTIFY THAT WORK HAS BEEN COMPLETED IF THAT IS NOT THE CASE

It doesn’t matter whether the building materials are on-site and the

work is in progress or not. Promises that the work will be completed must be ignored. You might not want to travel back to the site to perform a second inspection, but it has to be done. Appraisers have been duped too many times only to later find out that promised work was not performed.

Suits against appraisers involving the performance of construction

progress inspections are a troublesome area of appraiser litigation. It may not always be possible to avoid this exposure since assignments are often accepted to please a client or to preserve an existing business relationship. However, by following some simple loss prevention suggestions, you may be able to avoid being cast as the “villain” when the buyer’s dream home becomes a “nightmare”.

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

If this article gave you one good tip about handling these issues and staying out of trouble, it is worth the subscription price!!

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Skepticism Can Lead to Poor Appraiser Decisions

By Jamie Owen

Excerpt: We must be careful to not let skepticism negatively affect our work. Have you ever heard an appraiser make a statement that is similar to one of the following?

“I don’t see what the big deal is with supporting my adjustments. No one can really prove that their adjustment is exactly correct, so what does it matter?”

“Show me any report, and I will find mistakes in it, so I’m not going to put that much time into my appraisals. They can’t be perfect anyway.”

“What’s the big deal about measuring the home we are appraising? After all, the public records and MLS are probably not accurately reporting the size of the homes I am using as comparable properties, so what does it matter?”

Would you agree that these thoughts might be fueled by skepticism? What is skepticism anyway? Skepticism is having an attitude of doubt…

Some have argued that ANSI measurements don’t always reflect the market. That is true! We may measure to ANSI Standards, but we appraise based upon the market.

If there is a conflict between the two, we must still find a way to credibly appraise a home, accurately reflect the market, even when ANSI Standards may conflict with the view of buyers. And it can be done! It does require more commentary to explain what we did and why we did it. However, as long as we properly explain the situation and what we did, we will not be misleading the intended user of the report. At least in my opinion.

To read more, click here

My comments: Jamie Owen has a unique, very interesting, interpretation of how appraisers think! Plus a fun video and lots of animated gifs! I will write about the ANSI issues above, plus many other issues, in the March issue of the monthly Appraisal Today.

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Triple-Dome Design in North Carolina

Excerpts: Located on a private, 13.1-acre wooded lot, the multilevel, three-bedroom home features a number of modern amenities. Plenty of features are packed into the home’s unique design. A spiral staircase leads up to a loft from the main bedroom, and skylights let in an abundance of natural light. Then there are Bluetooth-paired lights and slate stone flooring.

All three domes are connected, and one serves as a two-car garage.

Lawrence (the agent) explains that the main dome serves as living space, with a sunken section and stairs that go up to a loft. Behind the loft is the kitchen, which lines the back of the second dome. “You go down another hallway that is lined with bookcases, and there is a third dome,” she says.

It has three bedrooms, the primary bedroom and two others.

To read more and see lots of photos, click here

My comment: Conforms to ANSI. One story at grade level! Don’t ask me to measure it!!

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New ANSI Z765-2021 Resources Web Page at www.appraisaltoday.com/ANSI

Every week I have been writing about new classes, Webinars, and videos. I am putting them on this web page now. Plus, removing old information, such as a class that has changed the dates it is offered.

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Fannie Mae Answers your Questions About ANSI

Lyle Radke Senior Director of Collateral Policy at Fannie Mae at FREE youtube webinar. Feb. 28 at 10 am CT It will be recorded so you can watch it later. 

To watch, go to www.youtube.com and search for appraiser elearning. Scroll down the page.

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Do Not Take a Class, Using the 2013 Version of ANSI !! Look for ANSI Z765-2021

Education providers who have been offering the 2013 version are updating their classes to the 2021 version. When I was looking for classes, it was confusing. I kept getting info on the 2013 version of ANSI. The title of one class was not clear, but the class summary said it was about the 2021 version.

Also be careful with written material, Youtube videos, recorded webinars, etc.

The February 1 issue of the monthly Appraisal Today will have lots of info on ANSI Z765-2021

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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 www.mbaa.org Note: I publish a graph of this data every month in my paid monthly newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to https://www.appraisaltoday.com/products.htm or send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 7AM to noon, Pacific time.

Mortgage applications increased 2.3 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 19, 2022) – Mortgage applications increased 2.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 14, 2022.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 2.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 3 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 3 percent from the previous week and was 49 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 8 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 14 percent compared with the previous week and was 13 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates hit their highest levels since March 2020, leading to the slowest pace of refinance activity in over two years. The 30-year fixed rate reached 3.64 percent and has increased more than 30 basis points over the past two weeks. FHA and VA refinance declines drove most of the refinance slowdown,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Despite the increase in rates, purchase applications jumped almost 8 percent, with conventional purchase applications accounting for much of the stronger activity. The average loan size for a purchase application set a record at $418,500. The continued rise in purchase loan application sizes is driven by high home-price appreciation and the lack of housing inventory on the market – especially for entry-level homes. The slower growth in government purchase activity is also contributing to the larger loan balances and suggests that prospective first-time buyers are struggling to find homes to buy in their price range.” 

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 60.3 percent of total applications from 64.1 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 3.8 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 9.3 percent from 9.9 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 10.0 percent from 11.4 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.4 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($647,200 or less) increased to 3.64 percent from 3.52 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.45 (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 $647,200) increased to 3.54 percent from 3.42 percent, with points increasing to 0.47 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 3.64 percent from 3.50 percent, with points decreasing to 0.44 from 0.45 (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 2.95 percent from 2.73 percent, with points increasing to 0.43 from 0.35 (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 3.04 percent from 3.03 percent, with points increasing to 0.24 from 0.20 (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.

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Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA

Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today

1826 Clement Ave. Suite 203 Alameda, CA 94501

Phone 510-865-8041

Email  ann@appraisaltoday.com 

www.appraisaltoday.com

Appraisal Obsolete? Now or in the Future?

Is Appraisal Obsolete?

By George Dell

Excerpts: You’d think client/user expectation would follow wise professional leadership. Hah!

Innovation and leadership in knowledge and education has declined. The profession and its key organizations have long lost their default position. Pride in designations are diminished. Replaced by licensing, outdated appraisal processes, echoed education, and octopus-like regulation. These are built upon subjective, belief-based ‘credibility’ standards. Each of these re-reinforce what clients want and expect. Why?

USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) is edited every two or three years. New updates may simply undo prior updates. Chugga chugga.

Appraisers are required to repeat the same education and repurchase the USPAP book every two years, even when changes take place over a three-year period. And pay fees for the privilege. “Automated valuations,” “evaluations,” and “waivered” ways do not have such taxes and ‘regulatory guidance.’ This creates a market advantage for the lesser-quality product!

To read more, click here

My comment: I agree, unfortunately. I love the use of “octopus”: very descriptive

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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

To read more of this 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 ANSI, Fannie, Appraisal Business, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.

Read more!!

How Do Driveways Affect Appraised Value?

What’s The Size of Your Driveway?

By Jamie Owen
Excerpt: It really depends on how the appraiser is looking at it. Are they reporting the width of the driveway, the depth, or how many cars can fit on the driveway?
Most appraisers reflect the width of the driveway. Why? For one thing, many lenders prefer the driveway size to be reported this way. This is likely because it is less subjective. For instance, if the appraiser reports the driveway size based upon the number of cars that can fit on it, what kind of automobile are they using for their measurement? After all, a driveway may be able to accommodate a larger number of smaller cars than bigger ones.
Does it affect value? As is the case with nearly every aspect of a home, the answer is, it depends.
For instance, in high-density neighborhoods where street parking is limited, the size of the driveway could make a difference in value. On the other hand, in other high-density neighborhoods, many homeowners may use public transportation. If this is the norm for the neighborhood, the size of the driveway may not have any impact on value.
To read more and see fun animated gif, click here
My comments: Worth reading. Lots of topics are covered. Check out the fun animated gifs, etc.
In San Francisco, for example, off-street parking is at a premium in many neighborhoods. My brother bought a house 25 years ago with no off-street parking (primarily single family homes). I warned him, but he really wanted the house. It was a hassle then, but now, it is very difficult to find parking as many neighbors rent rooms to tenants with cars.
A significant issue with ADUs is where will the car(s) park? Will they take up the neighbors’ on-street parking?
I moved to San Francisco in 1968 and worked in a lab 20 miles away. The closest parking was 2-3 long blocks away when I got home from work. I moved from Tulsa, OK, where there was lots of parking everywhere. I never lived in a place without off-street parking again!
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Humor for Appraisers

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

To read more of this 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 Real estate market, ROVs, forecasting, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.

Read more!!

Appraisals Obsolete Now or Later?

Is Appraisal Obsolete?

By George Dell SRA, MAI, ASA, CRE
Excerpt: Obsolete! Such a harsh word. Can it be?
Is the problem convolution?
Does it mean I will soon be obsolete? Not needed? Not loved? Terrible. What can be done?
Yet all the little signs are pointing that way. “Automated” valuation models have much of the market, and continue to gain. Other valuation methods and appraisal exempted transactions continue to grow. Evaluations, desktops, hybrids, auto-measurements, non-appraiser inspections, broker opinions.
To read more, click here
My comment: Another different perspective from George Dell! Check out “Appraisal startup Aloft closes $20M Series A” above! Not the first, and not the last, appraisal-related company to get millions in funding. Who needs experienced field appraisers when we have AVMs, hybrids, etc.?

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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

To read more of this 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 Zillow, marketing tips, Freddie and Fannie new loan limits, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.

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Fannie Requiring Appraisal Floor Plans Coming?

Are Floor Plans in Your Future?

By Dave Towne
Excerpts: In the Selling/Servicer Guides of FNMA and Freddie Mac, both GSE’s identify a ‘sketch’ to be a diagram of the subject as measured by the appraiser which shows exterior walls, and includes the dimensions. That’s it. They don’t even say that room labels are needed, but most appraisers include those.
Including a ‘sketch’ in reports as an exhibit is an additional Assignment Condition, beyond what USPAP requires in Standard 2, per the Assumption and Limiting Conditions on the residential forms. Both GSE’s require a more detailed diagram including interior wall locations when interior design abnormalities are discovered, and reported – which they call a “Floor Plan”.
I’ve talked with representatives from both GSE’s recently. Their line of thinking, at the present time, is a “Floor Plan” should be provided as an exhibit in the appraisal report even though the report signing appraiser was not physically present at the subject property when data was gathered. Their line of thinking is also slanted to having third parties provide the subject property data, believing appraisers are more valuable as ‘analysts instead of as observers and detailers of the property characteristics.
Thus the evolution to the new 1004 (Desktop) and 1004 (Hybrid) report forms, with different Scope of Work and Assumption and Limiting Condition statements in each version. (These forms are in your software forms package now.)
To read more and watch the video, click here
My comments: Read this post, watch Danny Wiley’s remarks in a video, and read many appraiser comments. Quite a while ago, Fannie started requiring detailed floor plans. This did not last very long, but I continued doing rough floor plans manually. I still do them but do not include the floor plans in the appraisal sketch. It keeps me from missing a small room, bathroom, etc. Of course, when there are floor plan functional problems, I put the details in the appraisal sketch. In my area, tandem rooms are common (usually from additions). They cannot be included as bedrooms.
When I used to do relocation appraisals, I always included a full interior floor plan with walls and doors. This was standard practice in my area. Doing an interior floor plan with walls and doors takes a lot of time, both measuring and using my sketch software.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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To read more of this 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 liability, FSBOs, Real estate agents comments, appraisal business, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.

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Zillow Quits Buying Homes – Their AVM Did Not Work Well!

A ‘Fail’ Stamp vector over a white background.

Zillow Quits Buying Homes – AVM Did Not Work Well!!!

Two appraisers comment – Jonathan Miller and Ryan Lundquist

Goodbye Zillow
By Ryan Lundquist
Some of the topics:
  • Failure despite massive price increases
  • Zillow losing isn’t about the market
  • The school of hard knocks
  • Public perception
  • Cannot smell the cats: I gave a quote to Money.com last week, and I was especially excited they used my “Zillow cannot smell if 20 cats live there…” line.
To read more, click here
My comment: I love the “20 cats” comment. I appraised a house with at least that many cats. They were on all the tops of dressers, cabinets, etc., Very Creepy! I still have nightmares about it sometimes. A volunteer owned it for a local animal shelter. She had a large outdoor enclosure. Did not smell, but…
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By Jonathan Miller

Zillow Offers As A Proxy For ‘Big Data’ Shows The Lack Of Qualitative Analysis

Yes, big data usually infers ‘quantitative’ analysis, as in “relying on numbers.” The Zestimate legacy of profound inaccuracy finally reached a devastating conclusion with the collapse of Zillow Offers this week and the loss of hundreds of millions in shareholder…
Yes, big data usually infers ‘quantitative’ analysis, as in “relying on numbers.” The Zestimate legacy of profound inaccuracy finally reached a devastating conclusion with the collapse of Zillow Offers this week and the loss of hundreds of millions in shareholder equity. Zillow never figured out the qualitative part that enables the actual precision in the pricing of a home sale.
To read more, click here
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This Just In: The ‘A’ in ‘Zillow’ Stands for ‘Accuracy’
Excerpt: Yet it would seem unlikely that Zillow Offers used something completely separate and conceptually very different from their ‘Zestimate’ because it would be quite expensive and extremely difficult to keep a radical new valuation concept a complete secret. All we know at this point is whatever valuation methodology they used was a complete fail. And to go a step further their Zestimate valuation methodology has long been a complete failure in the accuracy department. But it hasn’t been a complete failure in the consumer credibility department at all.
To read more and see fun videos, click here

Zillow (in) accuracy(Opens in a new browser tab)

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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

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

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Dr. Seuss House aka The Goose Creek Tower

Read more!!

Appraiser Retirement?

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Appraiser Retirement?

By An Anonymous Appraiser
Excerpt: …retired 2 months ago, and I am SO GLAD I did. I’ve had enough. I decided on an appraisal career because I found real estate, and especially the valuation of homes to be extremely fascinating and challenging, and although I had heard that the appraisal profession was making changes back 30+ years ago, I “assumed” it was becoming a more upstanding, professional occupation, in the eyes of the lenders, politicians and general public, similar in stature to doctors, lawyers and accountants. In other words, they would would hold the appraiser’s opinion via “trust in the professionals opinion”.
What we got, was 30+ years of complaints from the lenders and politicians who blamed appraisers for all of the lenders and political wrong doings. And the public believed them! Why? Because appraisers NEVER got together as an organization to support other residential appraisers! Oh yes, there was the Appraisal Society and the Appraisal Institute, of which I became a candidate, but when I realized that they catered to commercial appraisers, and recently to their own needs, I decided there was no reason for me to join. Besides when licensing came along, the license was the main criteria for selecting the appraiser.
To read more plus many appraiser comments, click here
My comments: Many appraisers are getting older and retiring now for various reasons.
I am 78 years old and have been appraising for 45 years. I love appraising!! (I have not done any lender res appraisals since 2005.) I have friends near my age who are still appraising and like it. They work for direct lenders mostly and do little AMC work.
What is “retirement” for fee appraisers? One of the great reasons to be a fee appraiser is choosing when, where, what you appraise, and whom you work for. In the past, I worked long hours 7 days a week on properties in a wide geographic area. It has been many years since I worked that hard. Many of us just fade away gradually ;>
I recently spoke with two 55-year-old female appraisers. They had both invested in real estate and were retiring early. I have known appraisers over the years who did this. Why aren’t there more? Risk avoidance, I guess. I invested in a duplex in 1986 ($120,000 purchase price). I am living there now after selling my large home. My tenants pay mortgage, insurance, and taxes.  I shoulda bought more when the prices were way down here!
I have written about appraiser retirement in my monthly newsletter many times over the years. Be sure you have “tail” insurance to cover any e&O claims after you retire. Mine is free from my E&O company. My most recent article is from May 2021, “Retirement: To Stay or Not to Stay. That is the question!!” Lots of issues to consider. Tip: don’t start taking Social Security until you are 70. I get $3,235 per month now, before the cost of living coming increases. The maximum is $3,985 per month.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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Sewer vs. Septic for Appraisers – Don’t get into trouble!

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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What is Included in Appraisal GLA (sq.ft.)?

Stairway to Confusion – What is Included in GLA?

by C. Brett Bowen
Excerpt: There has been considerable discussion over the years about gross living area (GLA) measurement standards. The ANSI Z765 standard gets the lion’s share of the attention, and is the most widely referenced standard in the industry by far. It can also be the most difficult to interpret, particularly when it comes to stairs. Here’s why.
It is primarily important to recognize two very important facts:
 1) a standard is nothing more than the definition of a unit of comparison
 2) it is the appraiser’s responsibility to be consistent with that definition.
First, what do I mean when I say that a standard is nothing more than the definition of the unit of comparison? The unit of comparison for something is critical to the understanding of that thing.
Second, as an appraiser, consistency with the definition is actually more important than which definition is chosen.
To read more, click here
My comment: Worth reading. I have seldom used ANSI. The standards were developed for new home construction. I have appraised many homes on hillsides, with often only the garage at street level (or just a driveway). Many historic homes, on level streets, have different types of “basements” converted to living area: above grade, partly below grade, etc. If I worked in suburbia, ANSI would work better. I use what the local market tells me.

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Appraisal Time Killers To Avoid!

Time Killers: The Biggest Time Management Challenges for Appraisers

McKissock – Survey
Excerpt: What’s one thing you wish you could STOP doing to save time in your workday?
Answering phone calls (28%)
“Phone calls usually are from another client and slow down the task I am trying to accomplish.”
“Phone calls interrupt train of thought and emails aren’t any better. It’s hard to work when parties are micromanaging your work.”
Providing status emails (23%)
“Some clients are sending multiple emails daily on the same property with status update requests. I know some of these are automated, and they can really be annoying and are clogging my inbox.”
“Often, almost everyone involved in the transaction calls or emails for a status. That includes two agents, the processor and loan officer. That situation is very burdensome.”
To read all the challenges plus appraiser comments, click here
My comments: Worth reading. Good tips. I have always had an office assistant to handle these types of problems, since my third month in business in 1986. I had never had a clerical job and was ready to quit appraising. I hired someone to help me. My current assistant has been with me for 18 years.

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Humor for Appraisers

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