More Crazy Appraiser Stories!

More Crazy Appraisal Stories!

Excerpt:

Restraining Orders & Appraisals – Never a Great Mix

Eric VanderWaal

The majority of my appraisal work is on divorces and estates, both of which have their fair share of crazy stories.

I was appraising a home for a divorce several years ago. The husband had contacted me for the appraisal, but it was the wife who was living in the home. We met at 9:30 am, which was an odd time that he requested. When I arrived at the home, he said that she wasn’t home and had locked all the doors, so he called a locksmith to come to open the back door. The locksmith arrived shortly and started to work on the backdoor. The husband said that his wife was aware of the appraisal appointment and should have left the home unlocked.

I started on the outside and about ten minutes later, a woman comes to the backyard where the husband, myself, and the locksmith were and starts yelling at the husband about him not being allowed to be there. I thought it was the wife, but it turned out to be a neighbor. The wife was at an appointment which is why, I figured out, that he wanted the appointment at 9:30 am rather than 10:00 am. After several minutes of the husband and neighbor yelling at each other, the locksmith got the back door open. The neighbor left and we went inside…

To read more, click here

My comments: We all have these stories ;> Divorce is the best non-lender option for residential appraisers. Very little competent competition and very high fees for expert witness testimony.

You will probably be going up against an MAI. Your attorney says to the MAI: How many house appraisals have you done this year? Answer: 4. Your answer: much more than 4! Your attorney is happy at winning the case, and you get lots more divorce work.

I will be writing about this in an upcoming issue of the monthly Appraisal Today, with lots of marketing and expert witness tips.

Many thanks to Appraisal Buzz for the image above. My favorite appraiser image ;>

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Unacceptable Appraisal Practices from Freddie Mac

12 Unacceptable Appraisal Practices from Freddie Mac

10-5-22

 

 

Here are 5:

  • Reliance in any appraisal analysis on inappropriate comparable sales, or the failure to use comparable sales that are more similar to or nearer to the subject property without adequate explanation
  • Use of unsupported or subjective terms to assess or rate, such as, but not limited to, “high,” “low,” “good,” “bad,” “fair,” “poor,” “strong,” “weak,” “rapid,” “slow,” “fast” or “average” without providing a foundation for analysis and contextual information
  • Use of comparable sales data provided by interested parties to the transaction without verification by a disinterested party
  • The use of inordinate adjustments for differences between the subject property and the comparable sales that do not reflect the market’s reaction to such differences, or the failure to make proper adjustments when they are clearly necessary
  • Development of value and/or marketability conclusions that are not supported by available market data

To read more, click here

My comments: From Freddie Mac’s Selling Guide with links to more information. Nothing new, but good reminders.

Review appraiser liability

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Appraisers: How and Why To Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Killed by Carbon Monoxide: Appraiser Blamed

Read this article on how to check CO detectors. You may save someone’s life!!

by Kendra Budd, Associate Editor, WorkingRE

Excerpts: For decades, appraisers have been gently reminded to pay careful attention to smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors—especially noting when they are absent altogether. Many experts advise that the state and federal standards requiring these important systems exist for a reason.

A recent case in which a young couple died from carbon monoxide poisoning while they slept highlights the life and death importance of these simple alarms—and brings this issue front and center for the real estate appraiser community as a whole.

Lawsuit

As you might expect, it didn’t take long for both John and Suzy’s parents to hire a law firm and start going after all the real estate professionals involved.

As it turns out, both the appraiser and the home inspector had each independently inspected the home 18 months prior and both mistakenly reported a few of the smoke alarms present at the home, as CO detectors.

Consequently, both the appraiser and home inspector ended up on the receiving end of a “wrongful death” legal claim.

The legal team for the parents of the deceased young adults (plaintiffs) alleged that the appraiser, Darcy Doe (name changed for privacy), had negligently appraised the Smiths’ home and had reported the presence of a CO detector when in fact, none were present. Unfortunately for Doe, she labeled her photograph inaccurately in her own appraisal report to the lender.

CO Detector vs Smoke Alarm

One important lesson in these cases is that it can be extremely difficult to tell the difference between CO detectors and smoke alarms. This is a reminder to appraisers to take a second look at all CO detectors and smoke alarms—and to test them as well.

Rick Bunzel, home inspector and Washington firefighter was able to give us some tips on how to not only tell the difference between the two detectors, but offers additional safety tips on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors as well.

For starters, the difference between a smoke alarm and a CO detector is quite simple. “The item will be clearly labeled, written on the exterior shell of the device, so you’ll be able to see it easily,” advises Bunzel. However, this can be hard to read because the signage could be the same color as the shell, so it’s incredibly important for you to get close enough to the alarm or CO detector to read it clearly (and test it!).

Bunzel was also able to provide some helpful tips for appraisers as far as how to communicate with their clients about CO detectors. For example, Bunzel says that appraisers and home inspectors should make it clear to their clients that they do not warranty if the device is working, just that it is there. “The test button doesn’t test the workability of a device—only the alarm. Just because it squeaks doesn’t mean it works,” reports Bunzel. This disclaimer language should be included in the appraiser’s report.

Another tip is to check the date of a CO alarm and smoke detector

To read more, click here

My comments: Read this article, especially how to identify and check CO detectors. The disclaimers are useful. I have CO and smoke detectors in several locations in my house. CO is much riskier than smoke as you can’t smell it.

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Reconsideration of Value and Appraisers

How to Respond to ROV Requests: Updated Guidance

By Greg Stephens, SRA, AI-RRS

Excerpts: Suggested protocols for responding to Reconsideration of Value requests

When you receive an ROV request, some recommended steps to take include:

1. Maintain USPAP compliance – Confirm the ROV request came from your client, either directly or through the client’s AMC, acting as an agent for the client, or other party designated as an agent by the client. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Appraisers are still required to comply with USPAP when responding to an ROV request, including the confidential nature of assignment results.

2. Identify ROV content to determine next steps – take the time to analyze the content of the ROV to determine what specifically is being requested of you (the appraiser) and what level of information will be needed to respond to the requestor of the ROV. This is an opportune time to maintain a professional demeanor and not react to an ROV request as if it is an affront to your competency or experience. After receiving an ROV request, send an acknowledgement of receipt and advise the client that the ROV request will be analyzed and responded to in a timely manner.

To read more, click here

Click here to listen to Tim Andersen, MAI’s podcast, “Reconsiderations of Value: Satan’s Own Seed, Right?” (Podcast 9.5 minutes) on ROVs, included in a 12-21 issue of this newsletter, so it may look familiar to you.

My comments: ROVs are a PITA for many appraisers. Very well written and practical. Greg Stephens is a very experienced appraiser and reviewer. He worked in management positions for several large AMCs.

Reconsideration of Appraised Value

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Cost Approach – When to Use in Appraisals

Fannie Mae and the Cost Approach

Excerpt: We often receive questions from appraisers regarding Fannie Mae and the cost approach. For example: “I’m appraising a property and have been instructed to comply with Fannie Mae guidelines. I understand that Fannie Mae requires the sales comparison approach, but what if there aren’t enough good comps? Can I use the cost approach as the primary method of valuation?”

Answer: No!

In order to comply with Fannie Mae guidelines, the sales comparison approach must be the primary method used to determine the value. In fact, Fannie Mae will not purchase a mortgage on a property if the cost approach is the primary or only method of valuation used.

Quite simply, if there isn’t enough data for the appraiser to develop a reliable opinion of value by the sales comparison approach, the mortgage will not be marketable to Fannie Mae.

However…

To read more, click here

My comment: I included this article plus the one below, which both address the Cost Approach’s common appraisal questions.

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The Cost Approach: An Underutilized Approach to Value

Excerpt: In residential appraising, the cost approach and the income approach have in many cases become less utilized in favor of sole reliance on the sales comparison approach.

There are occasions when the income approach can be the primary indicator of value for residential properties, such as developments with a high percentage of homes owned by investors.

The fact that Fannie Mae won’t accept reports that rely solely on the cost approach, with a few rare exceptions, doesn’t mean that approach can’t be the primary indicator of value. It just means Fannie Mae won’t buy that loan.

To read more, click here 

My comments: I started with an assessor’s office in the 1970s. At that time, my county was changing from only using the Cost Approach for decades to a sales-based approach. I never liked to use only the Cost Approach when I started doing fee appraisals.

In my area, there are very few land sales. There has not been one for over 20 years in my city. Depreciation is always iffy when appraising Victorian homes built before 1915.

But, I always use the Cost Approach for new construction to determine the financial feasibility of custom homes. I use a few land sales from other cities. If the new proposed home is on a vacant parcel, I go back to when the parcel was purchased, sometimes many years ago, and do a market condition adjustment.

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So Many Appraisal Cost Approach Questions

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Fannie’s New ANSI FAQS July 2022

Fannie’s New ANSI FAQS July 2022

Standardized Property Measuring Guidelines

Excerpts: Updated guidance, including some new and substantively revised FAQs

In response to your feedback, we’ve updated the Standardized Property Measuring Guidelines with some new and substantively revised FAQs, including clarifications on the terms “declaration” and “statement of finished sq ft.”

A few of the Q&As

Q5. When common practice in the local market differs from the ANSI standard, can the appraiser modify the subject’s GLA to conform to local custom?

Q6. The standard mentions a “statement of finished sq ft”; does Fannie Mae require appraisal reports to make an affirmative statement that the standard was followed?

Q7. The standard describes three scenarios in which a “declaration” is required. What is the difference between the statement of finished sq ft and the declarations?

Q19. Will appraiser adherence to the ANSI standard cause confusion when the subject GLA differs from other sources such as MLS or public record?

Q20. The GLA of comparables available to appraisers may not be based on the ANSI standard. How should appraisers manage this issue?

To Read this 5-page Update click here

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Bryan Reynolds speaks with Fannie Mae representative about the new ANSI FAQ. 37-minute podcast. Listen to this podcast!!

The Appraisal Update – Episode 109 | Fannie Mae’s New ANSI FAQ

Speaker: Bryan Swartwood III, Fannie Mae Credit Risk Senior Manager – Single Family Collateral Policy

Topics: The two Bryans discuss below grade, subject GLA different from MLS, comps not measured using ANSI, what happens to appraisers not following ANSI, ceiling height below 7 ft., manufactured homes, using exception code, and many more from the FAQs.

To listen to the podcast, click here

It is on the top of the web page now. scroll down the page looking for Episode 109. If possible, a copy of the ANSI Standards and the new FAQs makes it easier to follow the speakers. I subscribe to The Appraisal Update Podcast from Appraisal eLearning.

My comments: I listened to the podcast. The speaker was very good with practical advice. Reading the 5-page FAQs was okay, but the speaker helped me remember and understand what was written.

I received the Fannie email notice on July 19, 2022, at 10:30 Pacific time. The Appraiser eLearning podcast was available on July 19 at 2 PM. Whether or not FAQs were original, revised, or new is not indicated in the document. I did not compare it to the original Fannie FAQs.

When Fannie first announced in December 2021 that ANSI would be required on April 1, 2022, there was lots of confusion among appraisers who had never used ANSI or were not using it properly. ANSI was designed by home builders, not appraisers or lenders. Also, what Fannie wanted was not clear.

ANSI standards and Fannie requirements sometimes appeared to conflict. The forms were not designed to accommodate ANSI, such as where to put the different square footages on the form. Owners, reviewers, underwriters, real estate agents, and many others who read the appraisals are sometimes confused. These FAQs help to answer some of the questions.

ANSI Z765-2021 Resources for Appraisers

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Appraising Short-Term Rentals/Airbnb

Debate on Appraising Short-Term Rentals

By Julie Friess, SRA, AI-RRS, MA

Video 22 minutes. Worth Watching!

Excerpt: What can appraisers learn when it comes to short-term and long-term rentals? What role does an appraiser take when sorting between the two? What can appraisers learn when it comes to short-term and long-term rentals? What role does an appraiser take when sorting between the two? These questions and much more will be answered.

My comments: Julie is not referring to an owner-occupant renting out a spare room in their house for a short term. She is talking about an investor buying and renting many rooms in a house, sometimes changing the floor plan. The photo above is a good example: an exterior door for access to a bedroom. This is not typical for a single family home

In the video, Joan Trice and Julie disagreed on how to appraise Short Term Rentals. I have been a commercial appraiser for over 40 years. It is obvious to me that you need experience and knowledge of what to do when appraising them as commercial properties.

If the GSEs are unclear on this, that is their problem, not yours. Just Say No! Don’t Risk Your License! 

Julie has lived for decades in Sedona, a popular vacation location. Many homes were changed to investor-purchased Airbnbs with few home rentals available for local residents. Julie and a group of other concerned residents are now preparing for August 5, 2022, when there is an election for new city council members.

Julie and I are co-hosts every Thursday at 2 PM Pacific Time in our Clubhouse group (Real Estate Appraisal Questions). To attend, download the Clubhouse app on your smartphone. All sessions are recorded and available. Recent topics include Water rights, views, location, and more. Short-term Rentals. Zoning, Highest, and Best Use. Past, Present, and Future of Residential Appraising.

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Two articles by Julie on my website:

Residential Appraisals and Airbnb Income?

Click here to read

Excerpts from the article: Don’t get caught like a deer in the headlights! State appraisal boards ARE disciplining appraisers across the country for improperly using the business income (Short term Rental – STR) from AirBnBs on the residential 1007 Fannie Mae form. 

Lenders and AMCs want residential appraisers to value these properties as both the real estate and the business values of these properties – Wrong!!

Tales of a Trainee at Appraisal Camp Sedona

Click here to read

Residential Appraisals and AirBnb Income?

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Subject Property Location in Appraisals

Subject Property Actual Location

By Dave Towne

Excerpts: Appraisers, this article was prompted by my ‘coming in contact with several appraisal reports where different regional appraisers report the physical location of the subject property “in” a particular City associated with the postal ZIP Code for that City. Actually, the property was not “in” the City at all. It was in the County.

Don’t say that the subject property is ‘within’ a particular City or Town due to the postal ZIP Code that applies to the street address unless that is accurate. The actual location may be miles away from there.

Starting with the ZIP Code: those are merely lines on a map the US Post Office established, used to plan mail routes, and distribute mail more efficiently. ZIP Code boundaries do not always follow City Limit or County (Parish) boundaries, and in some cases, the boundaries are a long way from the City name associated with the ZIP Code. See Map 1. This shows 5 ZIP Codes in a region. The ‘City’ for 98273 and 98274 has two ZIP Codes associated. Note how wide the area coverage boundaries are for those two ZIP Codes. It’s not shown here, but 98284 extends north into the adjoining County!

To read more, click here

My comments: I have seen this locally. For example, the two cities were very different. Having an address in one city was more valuable than in the other city. The cities shared a few zip codes. When using GPS internet searches such as Google maps, the city boundaries don’t show up or are not reliable. I keep printed maps in my car that include city and county boundaries.

Appraisal Business Tips 

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Appraisals – Check the Water Source!

Excerpt: We continue to see claims alleging that the rural property appraiser failed to adequately identify or report details surrounding a water source. In one claim, the appraiser correctly noted that the property was serviced by a “private water well.” It was later discovered that the well was not located on the property which was appraised. Unfortunately, the well was actually located on an adjacent lot that, at one time, was part of the subject lot prior to the lots being subdivided.

My comments: An appraiser lost a lawsuit because he said the vacant parcel had public water access. It did not even though many lots nearby were developed. Nearby, I noticed a large water tank. It was shared by four nearby homes. This was not in a rural area. I worked for 4 years in rural areas. Water access was critical. If there was no access, trucks had to bring the water.

Appraisers – check the water source!

10-12-17 Newz//FHA-Appraisers responsible for water quality reporting?, Hybrid appraisal survey)

Appraisal Business Tips 

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My Comments on Market Changes

My inbox is flooded with news emails about opinions on what is happening now and forecasts for the future. (Most of the information in these newsletters comes from emails. I am on many email lists.) It looks like the change is starting because of increasing mortgage interest rates. I have included some of the articles below.

Fannie and Freddie have long said that they want appraisers to tell them about their markets. Include graphs and charts in your appraisal to show your clients what is happening now and why they need human appraisers.  

It is extremely important for appraisers now to closely track changes in your local markets at least once every day and tell your lender clients about it. When will it affect your market? No one knows if there will be foreclosures or when they will start. The number of potential buyers will decrease as rates go up in many markets.

Segments may be very different from the overall stats. A few examples:

  • Different price ranges – first-time homebuyers, high end
  • New homes – what is happening?
  • Detached vs. townhomes and stacked condos.
  • All cash and investors
  • How many offers
  • No inspections or appraisals?

COMPS ARE THE PAST. YOU MUST KNOW YOUR MARKET TRENDS. TRACK AND GRAPH THE NUMBER OF LISTINGS VS. PENDINGS AND EXPIREDS, DAYS ON THE MARKET, PRICE CHANGES, ETC. 

Today is NOT the same as 2008+, with its massive fraudulent loans made to unqualified buyers. Computer modeling did not predict the 2008 crash. Many were in denial that it was coming and refused to listen to appraisers. We have never seen a pandemic real estate market before. Did anyone think in early 2020 that home values all over the country would go off the charts? No one did. Appraisers wrote up long disclaimers about how they did not know the effects. Some still include them in their appraisal reports today.

Watch the excellent 4-minute video with Mark Zandi, “There’s a comeuppance coming in the housing market”. It discusses how today is different from 2008 and what is happening today. Before becoming the chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, he was a real estate economist. I listened to him for many years about real estate economics. He is very savvy. I agree with what he says about real estate. I am unsure about inflation. To watch the video, click here

I have been writing about these upcoming changes in these newsletters for a while now. Ryan Lundquist writes about this almost every week. He has lots more details and examples of graphs that can help you see what is happening in your market. www.sacramentoappraisalblog.com He writes for the Sacramento, CA market but what he writes is relevant for other markets also.

Two days ago the Fed raised rates by 0.75%. Recession? Lower inflation? Real estate market?

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Residential Appraisals and Airbnb Income?

Residential Appraisals and Airbnb Income?

By Julie Friess, SRA, AI-RRS, MA

Don’t get caught like a deer in the headlights! State appraisal boards ARE disciplining appraisers across the country for improperly using the business income (Short term Rental – STR) from Airbnbs on the residential 1007 Fannie Mae form.

Lenders and AMCs want residential appraisers to value these properties as both the real estate and the business values of these properties – Wrong!!

 

Some of the topics:

• USPAP issues

• GRM is an Income Approach that applies to homes with long long-term tenants, not homes with many Short Term Rentals.

• Functional Obsolescence

• External Obsolescence

• Covid-19 Pandemic and Airbnb’s

The photo below has an exterior entrance to a bedroom, typical for an Airbnb remodeling.

To read more, click here

My comments: This mainly applies to cities where many homes are being converted to Airbnbs, including exterior doors for bedrooms (see foto below) and expanding the number of bedrooms. In popular vacation areas, such as Sedona, AZ, where Julie lives, investors purchase homes and do extensive remodels to turn them into Airbnbs with Airbnb management companies handling everything for them (clean up, new furnishing, and renting).

Julie does not include short-term rental income (STR) in her appraisals of homes with Airbnbs. I posted her article on my website so that everyone can read it. I have a few of my comments, of course!! I’m a commercial appraiser and know how hotels and Bed and Breakfasts are appraised. The appraisals include separate values for real estate, fixtures, and Going Concern (business income and expenses).

Julie speaks about this topic regularly on our weekly Clubhouse meetup, Real Estate Appraisal Questions, every Thursday at 2 PM Pacific Time (audio-only social media). All the sessions are recorded. The May 12, 2022 session was “Residential 1004/1007 Form Appraising & AirBnB Income”.

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