What is Included in Appraisal Square Footage?

Question: Can it count in the square footage?

Roof detail house

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpts: Can you include it in the square footage? I get questions like this almost every week. Is it okay to count an accessory dwelling in the living area? What about a pool house? How about a man cave or she shed? Let’s talk about this.

The straight dope: It’s tempting to lump something else in the backyard into the square footage, but that’s not appropriate per ANSI measuring standards. Suppose you have to walk outside of the house into something else that is not directly accessible to the house. In that case, we’re really dealing with something that isn’t considered to be a part of the main house…

To read more, click here

My comments: Written for homeowners, but has some good remarks on square footage, such as “lumped square footage” in MLS. What is Included in Appraisal Square Footage can be tricky and controversial. It can also vary by geographic area.

How accurate is the reported square footage from the tax records in your primary service area?(Opens in a new browser tab)

Marketing and Management Tips for Appraisers

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What is most often overlooked by appraisers?


 

 

 

 

Excerpt: We recently asked our appraisal community, “What’s the ONE thing that is most often overlooked by appraisers?” We received a wide variety of answers ranging from big-picture oversights to specific details. The most common answer we received was “Highest and Best Use.”…

Highest and Best Use (HBU)

This was the top answer, which was written in by about 8% of survey respondents “First question when doing an appraisal is the highest and best use. If there are two very different opinions of value on a property, different HBU is often the reason.”…

Obsolescence

Obsolescence is another item mentioned by multiple survey respondents. Appraisers cited both external obsolescence and functional obsolescence as being frequently overlooked.

External obsolescence for the subject property – When I’m reviewing appraisals, I see this more often than other oversights. When I was performing retrospective reviews for FNMA, their biggest complaint was that appraisers did not point out external obsolescence for the subject and/or its impact on marketability (if there was an impact).”

Functional obsolescence – Appraiser focus has changed over the years as subject functionality has changed.”

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Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

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Value, Accuracy, and Misleading for Appraisers

On Value, Accuracy, and Misleading…and How They are Different From What You Might Think!

By Tim Andersen, MAI

Excerpt: Let’s start this musing by addressing the issues of value, accuracy, and misleading. You might have looked at them differently in the past. Then we’ll tie these in the idea of the value conclusion in an appraisal being right or correct.

State appraisal boards level charges against appraisers. It is very common for appraisers to defend themselves against these charges by insisting their value is “right”. Or, they assert they have properly supported their value conclusion, or something similar. In reality, this argument is utterly irrelevant and carries no weight with the appraisal board.

IRRELEVANT!?

When it comes to value, accuracy, and misleading, the appraiser’s value opinion alone is irrelevant and weightless. This is because TAF has given state appraisal boards specific instructions. Those instructions are that the appraiser’s value conclusion is not to be a part of the board’s investigation. Nor is it to be a part of its deliberations. Therefore, it is not to be part of the appraiser’s defense since it is not part of the charges against the appraiser.

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My comment: Tim is a regular contributor to the paid Appraisal Today. He is The USPAP Expert and helps appraisers stay out of trouble with their state boards!! Tim also has an interesting podcast – link is on the top of the page.

What to Do When Your Appraisal Is Under Review(Opens in a new browser tab)

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

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Infectious Disease Defined the American Bathroom: Appraisals

Cholera and tuberculosis outbreaks transformed the design and technology of the home bathroom. Will Covid-19 inspire a new wave of hygiene innovation?

Excerpt: Alter predicted that disease-avoidance would rise to the fore of bathroom design a few years ago, when he observed the traumatizing effects of the 2003 SARS outbreak on Toronto, which killed 44 people. But home design in general — and bathroom design in particular — has long been influenced by infectious disease. This isn’t a linear narrative with clear causation, but rather a convergence of advancements in science, infrastructure, plumbing, sanitation and design trends.

The modern bathroom developed alongside outbreaks of tuberculosis, cholera and influenza; its standard fixtures, wallcoverings, floorings, and finishes were implemented, in part, to promote health and hygiene in the home at a time of widespread public health concerns.

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Very unusual bathrooms for appraisers(Opens in a new browser tab)

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

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Appraiser Recovers From COVID-19

Appraiser/Educator Bryan Reynolds is recovering from COVID-19

I had a bit of a difficult time with this podcast. We like to think we’re invincible, immune, unaffected, but that’s silly. We are, at the end of the day, all vulnerable. This chat with my long time friend and partner, Bryan Reynolds, brought that realization home, in stark reality and made it tangible and personal. Appraiser Recovers From COVID-19.
People, we damn near lost Bryan. Please give this podcast a listen. I’ve posted it here, largely unedited. This podcast is the epitome of authentic.
Hal Humphreys
Partner Appraiser eLearning
The Appraisal Update – Episode 40 | Bryan Reynolds and COVID19
My comment: Listen to this podcast!! I saw the last podcast live on March 26. Hal Humphreys was the moderator, speaking from his front yard. He said that Dave had coronavirus. I am so glad that he is recovered! To watch his webinars, go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClb6iDQvzQqj4GOiKSCp8EA

10-20 UPDATE: For lots of Covid analysis and news, go to my new covidscienceblog.com

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

A very, very funny appraiser video!

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3-27-20 Newz: Fannie Update/Resources – 1004 for drivebys, forms changes, inspection, etc.

NOTE: This information is changing on a daily, and often hourly, basis. The amount of information is almost overwhelming. What you read today may change tomorrow. Most of the info below is summary with more details in the monthly newsletter next week. Also, lots more on personal COVID-19 such as data availability, safety, etc. I am spending 10+ hours per day trying to keep track of it so I can let you know.

Per Fannie, this is a “fluid event”. There are many questions about health and safety for the appraiser and the borrower (and their contacts if infected) when doing interior inspections.

There is lots of appraisal misinformation online. It is not a good source unless it includes a link to the correct information or the source that can be located online. I only use email chat groups that I have used for many years, such as National Appraisers Forum To read more, click here

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

Appraiser’s (Changing) Role

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What is a Competent Appraiser?

“Damn Right I’m a Competent Appraiser…Aren’t I?”

By Tim Andersen, MAI

Excerpt: To appraise a property, and then report it according to USPAP, is a requirement USPAP demands and the states enforce. All too often, reviewers see in reports boilerplate (especially in the reconciliation) such as: “In my professional opinion, the value of the subject is $XXXXXX”. In the light of competency, look closely at SR1-6(a) and (b), the reconciliation standards rule. What is a Competent Appraiser?

If there is nothing more in the reconciliation than this single (essentially meaningless) sentence, the appraiser has not complied with SR1-5(a) and (b), thus evidenced a lack of competency. In turn, the appraiser certified to a lie, in that, in not complying, the appraiser omitted preparing the report in accordance with Standards 1 and 2 of USPAP. To add insult to injury, the appraiser has violated SR2-1(b) in that the above statement and certification, with no other context or explanation, are misleading. Three serious USPAP violations might stem from these 11-words.

Therefore, relative to the concept of competency, the deeper meaning is that the above 11-words are capable of generating three charges from the state. In addition, they can generate questions from reviewers. When appraisers appraise the property credibly, and then report the results of that appraisal in a non-misleading manner, they avoid both attention from reviewers and from the state. Thus, in turn, they save not only time and money, they show themselves to be competent. They appear more professional. Professionals can and do charge more for their time and efforts, right? Let us, therefore, be professionals.

My NOTE: This blog post starts with USPAP competency standards and includes an analysis of Competency and the Fannie forms Neighborhood section.

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My comment: Tim Andersen is definitely a USPAP Expert! He writes, speaks, teaches classes, etc. on USPAP topics. He also helps appraisers get their appraisals more USPAP complaint. He focuses on residential appraisal issues – state boards, reviewers, AMCs, etc.

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

Which Appraisal Clients are used the most?(Opens in a new browser tab)

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11-22-19 Newz: Appraisal Fees – Previous Careers – Dungeon

What Was Your Previous Career Before You Got Into Appraisal?

Excerpts:

The Top 3

  • Real estate sales (14%)
  • Mortgage lending (8%)
  • Insurance (5%)
  • Assistant or admin work (5%)
  • Banking (1%)
  • Others: 63%

To read more, click here Check out the respondent comments and a list of some of the many previous careers

My comment: I was a chemist before I started appraising. Really like learning about science in school, but 7 years of lab work was too boring. I felt trapped inside. Saw an ad for “appraiser assistant” at the local county offices. “Work in the field.” I had never heard of it, so read a book about it at the library (1974). I got the job and still love appraising!! I didn’t see many science careers on the “Other” list. But, I think it prepared me well for appraising as I was trained to be very objective and analytical.

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11-8-19 Newz: Zestimates – Fee Transparency – Science and Appraising

National Appraisers Forum

By Dave Towne

Excerpt: Appraisers, if you would like to learn from highly qualified peers (other than me! :), post questions, or offer your own comments, consider joining the FREE group, National Appraisers Forum (NAF). Use this link.

This is one of the best appraiser groups as all commentary is respectful. While not everyone always agrees with certain points, the discussions are not demeaning. There is a wealth of info participants share freely on a wide number of topics. The group has several moderators who monitor the posting activity.

One key point, NAF participants are not anonymous. You must use your name (at a bare minimum) when participating, which is required when signing up… Moderators are asking that anyone who wants to join should give their name as licensed, the state they are in, and their license number.

To read more, click here

My comments: This is my favorite appraiser online group! I get many emails from various sources for this newsletter and have been a member of many online communication places. Before the internet was widely available, I hosted live chats on aol and compuserve. Since then I have watched many online places. Unfortunately, just like any other topic, sometimes the groups end up doing lots of “flaming” (attacking another participants, etc.), negative comments, off topic, politics, etc. I quit going to these places.

Of all the groups I have subscribed to, National Appraisers Forum is the best for me. I have been a member since it started, or soon after. No complaining about AMCs, off topic, trolling and flaming, etc. The founder, Steve Smith, and the moderators keep it this way. Regular contributors are “high end” appraisers with many years of experience. Hot topics are often discussed.

There are well managed appraisal groups on Facebook, but it is too hard to for me to follow the threads, so I don’t go there very often. But, it may work for you.

Another major factor is that you must use your real name, so we know who is commenting. Allowing anonymous postings can easily decay into a mess.

I will be updating my article ” How to connect with other appraisers online. What’s the best group for you? ” in a future issue of the paid Appraisal Today discussing other email chat groups, how to find other groups or start your own, Facebook, etc.

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