Appraisal News and Business Tips

Posts Tagged appraisal business

10-4-18// Newz: ;Pyramid House – Comp Sharing? – “Prove” adjustments?

Malibu Pyramid House in 3-D and Drone View

Just For Fun!!

27553 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA
Price: $5,695,000
Why it’s here: Here’s your prime directive: Live in the futuristic home as seen on season 3 of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Designed by Ellis David Gelman, the well-maintained and playful space features “four eclectic bedrooms,” an ocean-view terrace, and lavender and rose gardens spread over 2 acres.

See it in 3-D, Drone view, and lotsa photos here!!
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Is a la mode’s Smart Exchange Really a Smart Idea?

Excerpt: Alamode recently launched Smart Exchange to its users. The idea is appraisers can see what others have stated as property characteristics and transfer that information directly into your report. The system is based on mutual sharing, so if you participate, you will share all your comparable data with everyone else that is using Smart Exchange and you can see their data.

Lots more info plus appraiser comments at:

My comment: I have never used a la mode software, but do follow the Yahoo Group WinTOTAL. Lots of discussion there also. Of course, I am suspicious because Corelogic owns a la mode.

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9-13-18 Newz// Disasters – Working Together – Nonbank lender risk

When a Disaster Strikes, Are You Prepared?

By Bruce Ford
Excerpt: In 2017, California experienced the most destructive wildfire season on record. There were over 9,000 fires that burned covering 1,381,405 acres. The fires destroyed anything in its path. Damaging more than 10,000 structures and resulting in over 40 causalities.

The author, Bruce J. Ford, Chief Appraiser of NorCal Quality Appraisals and California native… collaborated with other appraisers in the area to help those in need.

Read this article for lots more info:

My comment: Disasters can occur anywhere, any time. Fire, flood, hurricanes, etc. In my area, the 1989 earthquake and the 1991 Oakland firestorm were the most recent. I will never forget driving by all the remaining fireplaces trying to find the properties I had appraised to see which were gone. It was very, very sad. Now, I really worry about the failure to do much about the large amount of trees and brush that are a significant fire hazard in the Oakland/Berkeley hills and many other Bay Area cities.

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8-23-18 Newz//Schizophrenic Adjustments – Neighborhood Names – Appraisal Disputes

Neighborhood Names That Attract Wealthy Buyers

Excerpt: You may be able to judge a neighborhood by its name. Some neighborhoods containing certain names tend to attract the wealthiest residents and boast the highest home values, according to a new study by Porch.com, a home improvement resource.

Neighborhoods that include names like “Hills,” “Island,” and “Village,” for example, tend to report some of the highest average household incomes in the country. On the other hand, the lowest home values were found in neighborhoods with words like “Fort,” “Junction,” and “Rock” in their names.

In the richest neighborhoods, researchers found places that had names using the words “Village,” “Valley,” and “Heights” tended to exceed $100,000 in average household incomes. For example, in Texas, 22 neighborhoods and communities that contained the name “Village” had average household incomes of more than $174,000. Colorado and Michigan communities that contained the word “Village” in the name also contained some of the states’ wealthiest residents, too.

My comment: Neighborhood name adjustments?? I wonder how CU handles this?
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7/19/18 Newz//Price declines? .History of Appraisals .Whale House

The History of Appraisals

By Ed Pinto
Excerpt: Many say “history always repeats itself” and in the case of appraisals, it may be for the best. We sat down with Edward Pinto, the Co-Director of AEI’s Center on Housing Markets and Finance as he shares with us his discoveries from the original FHA forms.

Dating back to the 1900’s Ed found the tools needed to bring the appraisal process back to how they were originally called for – based off of the market value and the information proved by the expert, the appraiser.

Very interesting and worth reading:

My comments: I have published several articles in my paid Appraisal Today about the history of appraising, going back to the Bible: the Book of Moses!! I have been inspired to republish them in the September issue of the paid Appraisal Today.

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7-5-18 Newz//Busy or Not?, Prices Dropping, Appraiser Hot Dog Stand

Who’s busy and who’s not?

Varies widely around the country. Maybe it depends on housing affordability? See articles below. But, it is really hard to say what causes the geographic variation for appraisers.

Many areas have seasonal variations, but now we are in the traditionally strong summer months, so it is clearer that some areas have less appraiser work.

How do you tell if it is down? AMCs dropping fees. Fewer emails, phone calls, etc.  Other appraisers complaining.
What about steady to increasing biz? Decent fees, turning down work, etc.

Changes in turn times and fees when biz slows down

Appraisers just don’t seem to understand that AMCs work for lenders and try to do what they want.

Why do AMCs/lenders want faster turn times?
AMCs work for lenders. They are competing on turn times primarily, like they always have. Business is very competitive and is declining.

Value pressure?
Is there more value pressure from some of your AMC clients?
Some lenders want to close as many loans as possible and keep profits from dropping.

Why do AMCs drop fees?
Direct lenders have their own fee panels don’t send out bid request to lots and lots of appraisers. Their fees don’t change dramatically. They have never focused on changing appraisal fees frequently. AMCs need lower appraisal fees to keep their profits up, just like you do. I have always thought of AMCs as very large appraisal companies that mostly fee out all their appraisals.

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6-21-18 Newz// $760,000 Parking Space, Peak Prices?, Hypervacancy

A $760,000 Parking Space ($5,000 per sq.ft.)

By Jonathan Miller
Excerpt: In 2007, I analyzed Manhattan parking spaces that made page one of the NY Times (oh, and my wife broke her leg that day). The takeaway was that parking spaces sold for about the same price per square foot as a typical apartment in the same building. Typical parking spaces run about 150 square feet in size.

This US $760,000 Hong Kong parking space sale (a flip) was a little more than $5,000 per square foot in a luxury project. The average residential sale is US$3,182 per square foot. Based on what we see for Hong Kong housing prices, that price really doesn’t sound so crazy.

In the greater reality, it sounds absolutely nuts. Without the context of an HK$100M condo nearby…

Scroll down to Appraiserville for a long story about a VA appraisal “gone bad” plus lots more good stuff at:

http://www.millersamuel.com/note/june-15-2018

Surf’s Up! America’s Most Affordable Beach Towns, 2018 Edition

Excerpts: These aren’t the country’s best known and rarified ocean towns (sorry, Hamptons and Malibu!), but each one has a great beach and a cool and distinct vibe, from ruminative to rowdy, serene to (sorta) swanky.

Here are a few:
1. Gulfport, MS
Median home list price: $184,100
2. Jacksonville, NC
Median home list price: $184,600
9. Coos Bay, OR
Median home list price: $274,200
Lots more detail at:

https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/americas-most-affordable-beach-towns-2018-edition

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5/31/18 Newz//Crash in 2020?, Floating Homes, Rate changes since 1900s

Floating Homes the Ultimate Water View

Excerpts: For many, floating is something new and adventurous,” said Max Funk, co-editor of “Rock the Boat: Boats, Cabins and Homes on the Water” (Gestalten, 2017). The book reveals an explosion of creativity in buoyant architecture, including an egg-shaped floating cabin in England, floating spas (with working saunas) in Finland and the United States, and floating geodesic domes in Slovenia.

Outside of Seattle, where houseboat construction is being curtailed because of the potential impact on local salmon populations, Ms. Bethell said, the most prominent areas in North America for floating homes are the San Francisco Bay Area; Vancouver, British Columbia; Key West, Fla.; and Portland, Ore.; where the number of floating homes has doubled since 2012.

My comment: In the San Francisco Bay Area they are in several marinas, including in my city, Alameda. In the past, they were anchored around the bay, but were moved to marinas due to pollution concerns. When I moved here in 1968, I visited one anchored off Sausalito in a protected bay with no sewage storage.

2018’s Hottest Backyard Amenity: Detached Living Spaces

Excerpt: The reason for their rise in popularity? Privacy, for one. There’s no one-and no surrounding noises from your disruptive family or neighbors-to make you lose your focus. It’s all you, the shed and whatever your No. 1 priority is for the day. Not to mention, if you have a lush and peaceful backyard, the view is a plus.

So, what do these look like? Anything you can imagine. From hobbit hole-style sheds to more contemporary glass structures, these can take the form that best suits your needs. And what are they used for? That depends on you…

http://blog.rismedia.com/2018/detached-living-spaces

My comment: a great way to get some peace and quiet plus privacy ;>

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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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4-26-18 Newz//Tristar Waivers Denied, Fannie Update, FHFA Paper on Value of AMCs Questioned

Technology or Human Logical Analysis? Who Wins?

By George Dell, MAI, SRA, ASA, CDEI
Excerpt: There is evidence that human judgment WINS – the appraiser opinion beats the AVM and other valuations based on technology. In fact, I have often heard that the qualified appraisal, based on the human logical analysis – is the “gold standard” for the industry. This appears to be true of client groups, and appears to be recognized in administrative law, our federal and state and “quasi-governmental” bodies such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Appraisal Foundation.

Even as we say this, the human model, the appraiser, continues to lose market share to other technologies and other “non-appraiser” value providers.

Worth reading at:

My comment: George Dell’s weekly blog posts are great, but short, as is appropriate for blogs. The May issue of the paid Appraisal Today newsletter will have a much longer article by George, “Will another profession replace appraisers?”

Uredd Rest Area (Ureddplassen)

Norway has built what may be the world’s most beautiful public toilet.

Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: Norway’s newest landmark is a place of absurd beauty. The redesigned rest area, situated along a section of the Norwegian Scenic Route, overlooks stunning views of the fjords and the open sea, and is a popular spot for visitors and locals to watch the northern lights in winter and the midnight sun in summer.

Now this picturesque place is quickly gaining a stranger kind of fame, for being home to what may be the most beautiful public toilet the world over.

Check out the Fantastic Photos and short description at:

My comment: Wow!! What do I use in the field? Fast food, bushes, etc. ;> Sometimes a crummy restroom or smelly portable toilet in a public park… Please hit reply of you know any other great public restrooms…

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3-1-18 Newz//”Just” a Residential Appraiser?, Turret Living, Price Fixing?

I Am Not “JUST” a Residential Appraiser

By Rachel Massey, SRA
Excerpt: There is no doubt that moving to obtaining a certified general appraisal license opens doors to varied and interesting work. If it is in one’s capacity to obtain this level, it is a great idea. That said, the idea of being “just” a residential appraiser has got to stop.

A good professional residential appraiser who studies the market, knows how to analyze and solve a problem, and can communicate effectively and succinctly, is a very valuable appraiser at that!

Worth reading, plus read the comments and post your opinion.
My comment: Rachel wrote a much longer, very interesting article for the paid Appraisal Today March issue: “What being designated means to me”
When I started appraising in the late 70s, residential was somehow considered “inferior”. I guess it has been going on for a very long time. I have always thought that residential appraisers are experts in one type of property: 1-4 units. If you are testifying in court on a single family home and the opposing attorney’s appraiser is an MAI who appraises a few times a year, you will blow them away!!

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