Do you check to see if permits were pulled on remodeling on subject properties?

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POLL: Do you check to see if permits were pulled on remodeling on subject properties? January, 2016 

My comment: A controversial topic. I’m not surprised at the results. However, if permits are online and free I don’t know why appraisers would not get them. In my city, free online records only go back to about 1970. Most of the homes were built before 1940. It costs $15.25 to get a full permit history and it can take up to a week to get it. The old records are a bit flakey, such as “remodeling” or something else very obscure. Lots and lots of unpermitted work in my city. But, in nearby cities with a lot of tract homes built since 1950, work without permits is not done very often. I was told by a lender’s chief appraiser many years ago not to pull permits so the borrower would “not get into trouble”.For quite awhile, I have been pulling the old permits when needed and run the online permits on all properties. In other cities, if something does not “look right”, such as an addition, I pull the permits.

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Where VA loans are soaring. Are you doing VA appraisals?

Excerpt:
With features including no required down payment or minimum credit score, the Department of Veterans Affairs mortgage guarantee program is a popular home finance choice for servicemembers and lenders alike. That trend continues in 2015, when 14 markets had more than $1 billion in VA mortgage lending during the first half of the year, compared to just five during the same time in 2014. From the Capitol region to Southern California – and many places in between – here’s a look at the top 10 markets for VA mortgage lending. The data, from RealtyTrac, is based on metropolitan statistical areas ranked by total VA originations during the first half of 2015, along with the year-over-year increase for that market.

My comment: Still not doing VA appraisals? They are the only client I know that has stated fees and no big hassles, scope creep, etc. I have an article on how to get on the VA panel, the plusses and minuses, etc. I spent a lot of time interviewing VA employees and fee appraisers. “VA is looking for fee appraisers! C/R fees and no AMCs!!” Read this article before applying for the panel or to find out why you can’t seem to get on the panel.It is in the June 2014 issue of Appraisal Today, available free to all paid subscribers.

From this week’s MBA loan volume report:

The FHA share of total applications is 13.7. The VA share of total applications is 10.8 percent . I have no idea why so many appraisers don’t want to work for VA but do FHA appraisals with the considerable inspection requirements!!

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How to Stay Happy as an Appraiser

How to Stay Happy as an Appraiser with Ann O’Rourke – Dustin Harris Podcast 12/13/15

In a recent paid Appraisal Today newsletter I wrote an article: “Staying positive with unreasonable fees and Scope Creep from AMCs”. In my article I go over many ways to be positive. These ideas are not new and have been around for many decades. I applied them to appraisers.

Whenever I do public speaking, I am much more “out there” than I am when I write. I am much more spontaneous, similar to when I am interviewed for podcasts.

I don’t think that there have ever been as many dissatisfied residential appraisers as there are now, primarily due to several factors:

– AMC and over-management of appraisers

– Low AMC fees for the work required

– Ever increasing requirements from investors and lenders

I know many long time residential appraisers who have quit appraising because they don’t want to work for AMCs. If I could only get work from AMCs, I would have quit also. But, I also know appraisers who do a lot of AMC work and they are satisfied with it. Dustin is a good example. They modified their businesses. I also know appraisers who do very little AMC work.

All successful business people have a positive attitude. Some of us are fortunate to be born that way. But, you can change your attitude.

Click here to listen

http://theappraisercoach.libsyn.com/075-how-to-stay-happy-as-an-appraiser-with-ann-orourke

 

To subscribe or listen on other web sites, go to

– Android – http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-appraiser-coach

– iTunes – Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any! I am a subscriber.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-appraiser-coach-podcast/id966765322

– Website – http://theappraisercoach.libsyn.com/

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ID badges for appraisers? A controversial topic

 

Excerpts:
Appraisers are not required to provide identification (in California), even a driver’s license, when they come to a house, do not always look the part and can cause alarm if not expected. One Orange County company says that is a problem.

Six months ago, Mission Viejo-based Comergence rolled out something the appraisal industry has never had – shiny ID badges.

Since the service started, just 22 of roughly 300 appraisers in San Diego County have signed up and the head of local industry group, the Appraisal Institute, says she thinks she knows why.

“A badge doesn’t identify you any differently than a business card does,” local Appraisal Institute president Susan Merrick said. “It’s pretty much typical operating procedure to give a business card when you go to the door… From a residential standpoint, it’s totally useless as far as I’m concerned.”

The state Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers says there is no law requiring appraisers to carry identification and has no opinion on Comergence.

Bureau head Jim Martin said he is not aware of any recent occurrences, at least in the last two years, of someone posing as an appraiser.
A San Diego commercial appraiser with 30 years experience, Gary Rasmuson, has pushed for a badge for the industry for years and even created his own.

My comments: This is controversial among appraisers. Many years ago, the chief appraiser for a lender told me that appraisers should not give a business card to the borrower. Of course, I didn’t agree. I have always give out business cards as that is a good source of referrals for me for non-lender work. I also want to be seen as a professional.

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7 Things an appraiser has to be thankful for

 

NO WORKING ON THANKSGIVING!! USPAP VIOLATION!!! THE APPRAISAL POLICE ARE WATCHING YOU!!!

 
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7 Things an appraiser has to be thankful for
Most Excellent comments By Tom Horne on his blog
I didn’t have time to contact Tom for permission to read his entire blog posting. It is worthwhile reading.
It’s easy to get caught up in the negative parts of our jobs, however I would guess that if we all thought about it we would find more positive Things an appraiser has to be thankful for things than negative. It’s always nice to have something like Thanksgiving to help us reassess our situation. Appraisers are no different than anyone else.
  1. Relaxed work schedule- The majority of appraisers work for themselves and enjoy a relaxed work schedule.
  2. You can pick and choose your clients.
  3. You’re in total control of your success.
  4. Good blend of working in and out of the office. I like my job because I don’t have to sit at my desk all day. I am able to work outside of the office during appraisal inspections which helps me to not get bored with what I am doing.
  5. You have control over how much money you make. A good part of owning your own business is that you are in charge of everything you do.
  6. Current trends in grassroots efforts. … some positive changes that have resulted from this is the trend in appraisers starting to take control of the situation and make themselves heard through the use of social media and state coalitions.
  7. Better tools for doing our job.
Read the details at:

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Very funny appraiser commercial!!

The podcast, The Wits End Broadcast, is very “off the wall”, including “fake” commercials. I suggested including an appraiser commercial. It is hilarious!!

Episode 4, the most recent, has the appraiser commercial – appraiser Candy Cotton, short – only 7 minutes long for the entire episode. Hits a lot of appraiser “hot buttons” ;>

You gotta listen to it!! Plus, check out her other 3 posted podcasts. Please post a comment on iTunes or Stitcher.

Stitcher:

http://app.stitcher.com/browse/feed/75222/details Can link to social media, post a comment, get an app to subscribe on your iphone or android phone, etc.

iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-wits-end-broadcast/id1048415737?mt=2 The best if you use iTunes. iTunes has labeled the podcasts as “explicit”. Sorry, not much in them except for a brief very humorous reference to group sex in an early episode ;>  My iphone has Gigabytes of podcast from subscriptions, including this one. I gotta take off a week to listen to them!!

Libsyn:

http://thewitsendbroadcast.libsyn.com/ – very easy to use but not many features such as comments, social media links and subscriptions.

About the podcast author: The podcast author and speaker is Lucinda Ryan, who edited my paid Appraisal Today newsletter for a few years when I first started it in 1992, and knows about appraisal issues. She is a former newspaper reporter and editor. Lucinda loves comedy writing and always wanted to do more, including writing for a few Famous Comedians and making lots of money ;> Maybe her podcasts will take off and I can say that I knew her “back in the old days”.

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Fannie is tracking photos from appraisals

“(Bob) Murphy (Fannie Mae) does acknowledge that Fannie Mae is able to track photos in each appraisal, a practice many appraisers have long suspected, which means that Fannie Mae is able to detect when appraisers reuse comparable photos in different appraisals and flag appraisals which contain outdated photos as deficient.”

My comment: I have been hearing for awhile about appraisers who use the same smoke alarm photo in all their appraisals. Be careful out there. Fannie is watching!!

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What are the most frequent adjustments that appraisers make?

Source: Corelogic

Excerpts:
Using a national sample of approximately 1.3 million appraisal reports between 2012 and 2015, new analysis from CoreLogic shows which home features are being adjusted the most frequently, as well as which are being adjusted for the most money, thereby having the greatest impact on appraisal values.
So what is being adjusted and how often? CoreLogic analysis reveals that some type of adjustment was made on 99.8 percent of appraisal reports reviewed. Figure 1 shows the various features adjusted on appraisal reports in relation to how often that adjustment was made, as well as the financial impact, or value influence, it had on the appraisal report.
Differences in Living Area was the most adjusted feature at 96.4 percent. Other features that were adjusted on 50 percent or more of appraisal reports were Room, Car Storage, Porch and Deck, Overall Condition and Site Area. It is significant to point out that the frequency of an adjustment is indirectly correlated to the financial impact, as four of the top five most adjusted features resulted in relatively low average dollar adjustments. For example, Room adjustments were very common at 70.4 percent but had minimal value influence, recording an appraisal adjustment of only $2,246 on average. Conversely, a Quality Rating adjustment had the highest value influence, with an average adjustment of $14,748, but accounted for only 18.7 percent of all adjustments.
Although the adjustment features that result in the highest value adjustment levels (Condition, Quality and Location) are harder to quantify, appraisers are professionals who can do this and adjust their reports appropriately to reflect the most precise appraisal for the home.
My comment: Interesting results. The actual dollar amounts don’t mean much as they are aggregated from all over the country. But, the frequency of adjustments and their relative amounts are worth checking out. What I see is that too many adjustments are being made for items that don’t affect value much and are hard to support. Savvy appraisers are not making adjustments for items such as porches and deck. Many are putting 0 in the grid to indicate that no adjustment is needed. Some appraisers only make adjustments for market conditions and GLA. Other differences, such as condition and location, are considered in the reconciliation. For example, if the subject has superior condition as compared to the comps, a value on the higher end of the range of adjusted comps is selected.
Fannie is focusing on adjustments in the new CU 3.0. They have been focusing on Q and C ratings. I will be writing about what all this means in the November, 2015 issue of the paid Appraisal Today.
Click here to see the adjustments graph and full article. Very interesting and worth checking out.

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How many appraisals per week and how much time to complete an appraisal report?

To keep up on what is happening in appraisal businesses, mortgage lending, USPAP, etc. , Plus humor and strange homes, sign up for my FREE weekly appraisal email newsletter, sent since June 1994. Go to Home on the left side of the menu at the top of this page or go to www.appraisaltoday.com
Sign up in the Big Yellow Boxes

I regularly write about hot topics in appraising and appraisal business management issues
in my paid Appraisal Today monthly newsletter.
$99 per year or (credit card only) $8.25 per month, $24.75 per quarter, or $89 per year.
For more info, go to https://www.appraisaltoday.com/products

How many appraisals per week and how much time to complete an appraisal report?
Source: Steve Costello at www.fncinc.com. Published 8-4-15
This month I want to discuss three recent polls dealing with how much time it takes to complete appraisal reports and how many hours you end up working to get them all done. In the first poll, we asked “On average, how many “interior inspection” appraisals reported on a 1004 do you normally produce in a week?” This poll was very popular with 4945 responses. There was a clear winner with the response of “4-6 appraisals per week” pulling in 44 percent of the vote. The next most popular answer of “7-9 appraisals per week” took quite a drop and only pulled in 20 percent vote. The last two available answers were those at either end of the scale and they were almost tied. A few appraisers really crank out the orders because 16 percent responded that they do “10 or more” appraisals per week. On the opposite end were those representing 17 percent of the vote who only complete “1-3” appraisals per week. My guess is that many of the people in this group may be semi-retired but like to keep active in the profession while making some extra money. Of course, any individual’s volume is going to depend a great deal on their specific geographic area and general complexity of their assignments.
In the next poll we asked: “On average, how long does it take you to complete a 1004 interior inspection appraisal report including inspection time (excluding driving time)?”
This was another popular poll with 4836 responses. The winner here was “4-5 hours” with 39 percent of the vote. Not far behind was “6-7 hours” with a 29 percent share of the vote. From here the numbers dropped substantially with 13 percent of appraisers going with the response of “8-9 hours”. That is really getting to be painful when it’s taking that long to finish each assignment. The most extreme answers both received the lowest number of votes. “More than 9 hours” was the choice of 8 percent of the appraisers with the final 10 percent going for the answer of “2-3 hours”. My guess is that the appraisers in that final group really have their system down to a science and fully utilize all the available technology.
Finally, we asked, “On average, how many hours per day do you spend working on appraisals and appraisal-related business?” This poll was the most popular of the three with a total of 5451 responses. The winner was “9-10 hours” with 37 percent of the vote. The second most popular answer with 23 percent pushed the level up to “11-12 hours”. The old standard workday of “7-8 hours” came in a distant third gathering only 17 percent of the vote. Not far behind were the 15 percent who really “burn the midnight oil” working “13 or more hours” per day. Only 9 percent work “6 hours or less” each day with most of these appraisers reporting at least 5-6 hours worked per day. It’s clear, and not at all surprising, that most appraisers are working very long hours there days.
My comment: Appraisers are working long hours now because appraisal volume is way up. If you are willing to work for low AMC fees you can get as much work as you want. I would have liked to see how many hours per week. I suspect many appraisers are working 6-7 days a week. I did, during previous boom times. These polls do not include time spent on revisions. I have some data below on that. Plus, the amount of time returning update requests – answering phone calls and emails.
============================================
How much time is spent on revisions?
 From the November 2014 Appraisalport newsletter
On average, how much time do you spend making and delivering requested revisions on any given appraisal?@ We had a total of 4870 responses to this poll. Nearly half (48%) of those chose the response of A10-30 minutes.@ This would seem about right for most minor to moderate revisions. Many must be making pretty minor revisions because the second most popular response with 24 percent of the vote was under 10 minutes@. Another 18 percent are having to take a bit more time and went with the choice of A31-60 minutes.@ A smaller group of 7 percent is having to invest some real-time to make the revisions and picked the response of over an hour.@ The final 3 percent selected the answer of AI  to make revisions.@ I=m not sure if that means they are doing an amazing job on every report and never get a request or if they just refuse to do any revisions!
My comment: Lots of appraisers complain about excessive revision requests, but this poll indicates that appraisers aren’t spending much time on them. The time may have increased since 11/14.
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How often have you received revision requests that have no contributory value to the report, or were already addressed in the report commentary?” Sept 7 poll – www.fncinc.com received 3,273 votes

 

 

 

 

 

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

A very, very funny appraiser video!

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Why are appraiser phone numbers and email addresses so hard to find online?

I set up my web site at www.appraisaltoday.com in 1998. Every page has my name, postal address, phone number, and email address. If anyone wants to contact me to give me an appraisal assignment, or for any other reason, they can find me. I get a lot of work from my web site.

When working on an article for my newsletters, I often need to contact appraisers. Also, I give out a lot of referrals, as I am very busy and turn down a lot of appraisals. For more information on my appraisal newsletters, click the banner ad below.

My assistant spends a lot of time trying to contact appraisers for my newsletters. When she googles a name, such as Janet Johnson appraiser new mexico, sometimes nothing comes up. If they are on an old directory web site, the postal address is available. Asc.gov only has postal addresses. Some state regulators have phone numbers. Some appraisal association member data comes up, such as the Appraisal Institute.

Email addresses are hopeless. They are very seldom available anywhere.

Often the appraiser has no web site, even a simple one page with name, address, resume, and contact info. If there is a contact link, you must fill out a form to contact the person.

I guess they just want to work for AMCs that contact them. Not interested in any other clients, I guess.

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