Appraisal Comp Photos Drive or Not Drive?

To Drive or Not To Drive, That is the Question!!

Excerpt: The argument of using MLS photos or shooting your own photos has been debated by appraisers for the last few decades. You, as appraisers, want to be sure the comparables you are using are of the correct house and also look as the MLS illustrates. Most importantly, you want to make sure the house is still standing. The listing agent’s job is to sell the house. As the salesperson they will highlight all the positives and leave the negatives up to the imagination. This is one of the main reasons it is extremely important to not solely rely on MLS when utilizing comparables.

Click here to read the full post, plus over 50 comments from appraisers. Add your own comments!!

My comment: this issue has been going on for decades and is still controversial. Especially in rural areas!! Note: the post is a sorta promo for proxpics, a photo taking service, but the appraiser comments are great.

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City and building maps for appraisers

A Map of every building in America

Excerpts: Classic maps answer questions like: How do I get from Point A to Point B? These data images, instead, evoke questions – sometimes, simply: What’s that? City and building maps for appraisers

We found fascinating patterns in the arrangements of buildings. Traditional road maps highlight streets and highways; here they show up as a linear absence.

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In the August 8 2018 issue of this email newsletter, I published the link

Visualizing the Hidden ‘Logic’ of Cities

Excerpt: Some cities’ roads follow regimented grids. Others twist and turn. See it all on one chart.

Excerpt: In Chicago or Beijing, any given street is likely to take you north, south, east, or west. But good luck following the compass in Rome or Boston, where streets grew up organically and seemingly twist and turn at random.

Fascinating!! Check it out at:

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Do tandem bedrooms count as bedrooms in appraisals?

Do Tandem Bedrooms and Garages Impact Value?

 Excerpt: There is less privacy in the one bedroom because it must be walked through to get to the other bedroom. This is considered to be functional obsolescence.
This type of situation is most often found in older homes. I have seen this type of situation many times on the second floors of many bungalow or cape cod style dwellings I have appraised. Although, it can exist in any style home.

My comment: I see tandem rooms a lot and sometimes tandem garages. I think I have finally convinced the local agents not to call them bedrooms. Of course, some insist on using Assessor data, which has not been updated since 1979, when Prop 13 passed and re-assessments stopped unless there was a sale or new construction.

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Appraiser conflict: objective/impartial vs. what clients want

Do You Have Two Appraiser Brains?

By George Dell
Excerpt: One appraiser brain says you must be “independent, impartial, and objective.” (USPAP) It wants to be good. It wants integrity and to sleep peacefully at night.

But there’s another brain. It’s primal and wants to survive. It has other responsibilities: meet the bills, feed the family, pay the mortgage, and pay government taxes/fees. And recorded in this brain is that part of the standards which say: Do what your clients expect; do what everyone else does. As paraphrased, the sole guides to an acceptable scope of work.

Worth reading. Short. Plus the comments.

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Appraising Cabins

 

Why We Love Cabins

Excerpt: Set against the chaos and complexity of contemporary life, the dream of eloping to the woods to live out a simple and unfettered existence is an increasingly tempting fantasy. The perfect wooden cabin plays a large part: appealing not just for their material honesty, attractive geometry, and breathtaking surroundings, cabins are, at least in popular imagination, a symbol of unity between man and nature, the humble abode of adventurous pioneers and poets-and, more recently still, the object of our wanderlust.
Great photos and info at:
My comment: When I first moved to the Bay Area in the late 1960s I rented a small cabin in the Santa Cruz mountains. It was high in the mountains with a great view of the distant ocean. I had to learn to use a chain saw and an axe to split wood, be careful using water during the dry season so I didn’t run out of water in the water tank, etc. I drove up and down a very steep, long and narrow one lane road my cabin. When winter storms knocked down trees and blocked the road, I helped a neighbor cut and remove them. I will never forget lying on the ground staring up into a grove of redwood trees nearby. I still have a great fondness for redwood trees. Of course, now it is fully developed with a lot of big homes…

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New 1004 appraisal form?

 

To Form or Not To Form? What will it be? A new 1004?

By George Dell
Excerpt: What’s the difference between a form and a data entry page? Will “forms software” even be necessary? Will the result require less appraiser expertise – or more? Will it encourage the “form-filler” people, or will it require some real understanding of problem identification, data selection, predictive methods, and communication? Will the transmittal require both an electronic data stream and human actionable views?

Will it require appraisers at all? Or will the “data analysts” simply create the ultimate model.

These are big questions. From my point of view, some of the answers are obvious. But first, let’s outline how we can even ask the right questions . . .

My comment: Fannie Mae has been planning on revising the forms. I have known George for quite a while, heard him speak and taken his class. Looks like people are finally starting to pay attention to what he says about stats, data, etc.!! His blog posts are fine, but sometimes you want more. The September issue of the paid Appraisal Today will have George’s 6 page article, “Why, Why, Why? Why do we put “stats”, “graphs”, “data,” and “science” together?”

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Appraisal Report certifications

Certifications: Understanding What You’re Signing

By Tim Andersen, MAI
Excerpt: Next is another declaration to aid in the transparency of the analyses behind the appraisal. “I have performed no (or the specified) services, as an appraiser or in any other capacity, regarding the property that is the subject of this report within the three-year period immediately preceding acceptance of this assignment.” Here, the intent is to prevent the client from perceiving the appraiser is in any way biased for or against the subject property by disclosing any relationship the appraiser may have with the property.

Occasionally appraisers appraise the same property numerous times for different entities. This component of the Certification discloses the appraiser has received knowledge of the property from having provided a past service involving the property. Because of the use of the word services, it is clear if the appraiser has provided any services relating to the property, the appraiser must disclose them.

My comment: When I used to teach USPAP (before the Appraisal Foundation mandated what to teach) I always spent time on the 1004 certifications. I suspect that was the first time that attendees read them. I make my own certifications for my non-lender appraisals.

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Reconciliation for appraisers

Reconciliation – Paint a Picture with Words

By Rachel Massey, SRA
Excerpts: The reconciliation is precisely the place we want to avoid any boilerplate…Appraisers relationships with their clients has similarity with other relationships, but mainly in that we have to really communicate with each other to avoid misunderstanding. This goes for the engagement of services and why we are being hired in the first place, and also goes for communicating our assignment results. In this article, the focus is on the reconciliation section of a written report. Reconciliation for appraisers is very important.

Read the article, and the comments at:

My comment: Excellent, well written article, as usual, from Rachel Massey. FYI, Rachel is a regular contributor to the paid Appraisal Today.

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NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on history of appraising, price declines, dining rooms, mortgage origination stats, etc.

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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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13 Very strange bathrooms for appraisers

13 of the Craziest/Coolest Public Bathrooms

Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: We know, there is a lot to hate about public restrooms, but we’ve found they can actually be a very unexpected but very potent source of inspiration. We’ve never seen tile layouts like the ones in public facilities-and that’s why we like them. Overlapping squares with zigzag edges? A woven look with a whopping five different colors and two different tile sizes?

My comment: Wow! Vibrant colors and tiles….

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