Appliances for FHA appraisals

How does the FHA define appliances?

By Daniel A. Bradley, SRA, CDEI

In September of 2015, FHA revised Handbook 4000.1 to provide a specific definition, which includes:

Refrigerators

Ranges/ovens

Dishwashers

Garbage disposals

Microwaves

Washers and dryers

It’s important to note this does not include garage door openers, swimming pool pumps, intercoms, sound systems, and security systems.

How do appraisers consider appliances?

FHA Handbook 4000.1 also clarifies when appliances are required to be operational by stating, “Appliances that are to remain and that contribute to the market value opinion must be operational,” and, “The Appraiser must note all appliances that remain and contribute to the Market Value.”

FHA requirements for appliances: Is a house required to have a stove?

To read more, Click Here

My comments: Worth reading if you do FHA appraisals. Short and understandable. I did FHA appraisals for a few years in the mid-80s. Too many requirements so I quit doing them, but they helped me get started in my appraisal business.

 

Appraisers Riding the Waves of Up and Down Mortgage Rates

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2024 Updated UAD and URAR – What does It Mean for You?

2024 Updated UAD and URAR – What does It Mean for You?
The Appraisal World Is Changing

January 25, 2024

Excerpts: There has been a lot of talk about the Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) and Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (URAR) redesign initiative, and how it will make life easier for appraisers. What exactly does this mean? In this post, we’re providing an overview of the UAD and URAR, what’s changing, and what benefits these changes will bring.

How will these UAD and URAR changes be beneficial?

A redesigned, dynamic URAR will replace the numerous and separate appraisal forms and can be used for different property types, such as two-to-four units, condominiums, and manufactured homes, and for different scopes of work, such as interior and exterior inspections, updates, and completion assignments.

The new URAR will be better organized and populated based on the property type and characteristics.

The standardized data in the new UAD will allow appraisers to better define the property (outbuildings, additional units, site influences, energy efficient and green features, etc.).

Concerns that require attention will be easily identified in each section of the report instead of being buried in an addendum.

Photographs will be included in relevant sections to make descriptions easier for appraisers and enhance reader understanding.

To read more, Click Here

My comments: A brief summary of the coming changes. See below for more timeline information.

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Freddie – Updated UAD and Forms Redesign Timeline

The Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) and Forms Redesign team has released an updated timeline. The overall timeline has not changed; however, we wanted to provide the industry with more milestone details to help in development, testing and training to prepare for the new UAD and Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (URAR).

To see the timeline (from 2018 to 2026) PDF, Click Here

Too large to include in this newsletter.

To go to the Freddie UAD page (mostly technical) Click Here

To go to the Fannie UAD page, Click Here

——————–

A few comments from Dave Towne:

My concern at this point is ‘training’ materials will be available in Q4 2024, but actual implementation of the ‘new reporting process’ won’t begin until Q3 2025 with limited production, into 2026.

As someone who’s potentially interested in ‘training’ appraisers on the new process, it seems to me that providing training in Q2 2025 would be more appropriate than 6 months before. But we’ll have to see how things progress as this time-line gets more firmed up.

To read the recent appraisersblogs.com post with new comments from Dave plus other appraiser comments, Click Here

My comments: No date changes, but more information on the timeline. Maybe there will be some appraisers left to do full appraisals…

The UAD and Appraisers – Past, Present, and Future

5-24-18 Newz//UAD and Fannie Form Changes. Floating Island. Refis dropping

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Appraisal Time Adjustments Underutized

FHFA Report: Underutilization of Appraisal Time Adjustments

Published: 1/8/2024

Excerpts: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Federal Housing Administration appraisal guidelines require such adjustments whenever market conditions have been changing. However, this blog shows that appraisers frequently do not make time adjustments, even when they are likely to impact the appraised value substantially. This analysis also finds that the adjustments appraisers do make are typically substantially smaller than house price indexes would suggest.

The main dataset used in this blog is a 5 percent sample of single-family housing in the Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) collect.5 The time period covered, the third quarter of 2018 through the fourth quarter of 2021, includes all the UAD data available to FHFA when the analysis began.

…monthly house price indexes for ZIP codes are used to walk forward the comparable sales amounts. For each comparable in the data, the price indexes are used to calculate a predicted time adjustment corresponding to the age of the comparable and local price trends.

To read more, Click Here

My comments: Check out the very good graphs. Maybe the indexes were not as reliable as actual appraisal adjustments, but overall adjustments were lower by appraisers.

When I started my business in 1986, several very experienced local appraisers said don’t make time adjustments for lender appraisals. In a significant drop in prices, in the 1990s, some appraisers who made negative adjustments lost their businesses. I always made them and never had any complaints from my lender clients. I worked for an assessor’s office in the late 1970s where we were making 2% per month time adjustments upward. Since Fannie started focusing on UAD analysis around 2015, losing business because of negative market conditions has almost stopped. They are one of the easiest adjustments to make.

My market is very volatile. The only dollar adjustments on non-lender appraisals that I make on homes are market conditions unless it has a valuable feature, such as an excellent view, that needs an adjustment.

———————————————————————–

Online comments by a very experienced and savvy appraiser:

This (price indexing) is one thing that AVMs do quite well.

I’ve seen thousands of appraisals over the years where appraisers made no Positive or Negative Market Conditions adjustments, as though the market is always in balance and prices are always stable, even during periods of rapidly changing prices.

Ignoring market conditions adjustments makes us look incompetent to buyers, sellers, lenders, Realtors, and the general public. I purposely omitted AMCs from this group as they are order takers. It’s not good for Residential Fee Appraisers when FHFA tells the public how poorly we’re performing with regards to what most call “time adjustments”.

 

Appraisal Adjustments Yes, No, Maybe

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OK to average adjusted comps on appraisals?

OK to average adjusted comps on appraisal?
To Mean, or Not to Mean, That is the Question

By Brent Bowen

Excerpts: There seems to be a consensus among appraisal reviewers that the appraiser should not average the adjusted sales prices of their comparables in order to arrive at an indicated value of the subject from the Sales Comparison Approach. Fannie Mae is referenced as the source of this prohibition, although no such prohibition explicitly exists according to Fannie Mae’s Selling Guide.

There is a prohibition on averaging techniques, but that applies in the Reconciliation section with regards to reconciling the three approaches to value. In other words, Fannie Mae does not want you averaging the indicated values from the Sales Comparison Approach, Cost Approach, and Income Approach in order to arrive at an opinion of value. The discussion of the reconciliation of the indicated value of each comparable sale contains no such prohibition.

The conventional wisdom is that the most similar comparable be given the most weight. But that begs a question… similar how? We can fairly easily observe the comparable which is the most physically similar, but what about the one that is the most transactionally similar? In other words, which comparable deviates the least from the mean?

To read more, Click Here

My comments: Excellent analysis. One of the best I have read. Basic Appraisal, but not all appraisers know about this, especially if they “appraise to fit the form” aka form fillers. Worth reading, plus the appraiser comments.

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SFR with ADU or Two Units?

How to Identify a Single-Family with ADU vs. Two-Family Property

By McKissock

Excerpts:

The presence of an additional living unit can complicate the appraisal process. It may make it difficult for you, the appraiser, to know how to classify the subject property. How do you know whether you’re dealing with an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) or a second unit?

Topics include:

  • ADU meaning and types
  • What is a two-family property?
  • How to tell if it’s a single-family with ADU vs. two-family property
  • It’s more likely to be a two-family property vs. single-family with ADU if:
  • It’s more likely to be a single-family with ADU vs. two-family property if:

To read more, click here

My comments: ADUs have been a controversial topic for a long time in California as state and local governments kept changing their ADU requirements. Finally, what they are and where they can be built became standardized. Today, they are becoming popular to get extra rentals in markets low on housing. Most recently, there is a possible regulation to sell them separately from the main house. Another tricky HBU issue in California!

Check the regulations in your state, county, or city.

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NAR Member Survey on Appraisal Data Collectors

NAR  Member Survey on Data Collectors

Excerpts: In May 2023, NAR surveyed its members pertaining to data collectors in the appraisal process. Here are a few of the many survey results.

Survey respondents

Sales agents accounted for the largest proportion, with 45% of participants holding this license. Brokers followed with 24%, and appraisal-certified professionals comprised 14% of the respondents. Broker-Associates and Appraisal Licensees accounted for 13% and two percent, respectively, while the remaining two percent reported holding other types of real estate licenses.

According to the survey responses, the majority of participants (76%) perceive the quality of property data collected by data collectors to be lower than that collected by appraisers themselves. Conversely, 23% of respondents believe that the quality of data collected by data collectors is comparable to that of appraisers.

The survey findings indicate that 30% of respondents reported that a data collector had given them the impression that they were the appraiser or had a role other than merely collecting property data.

Fifty-one percent of respondents expressed safety concerns with the data collection process.

To read more, click here

My comments: Now we know what NAR members think about it. Not very positive. I was surprised at how negative they were. Read the full report. Very interesting. I am working on an article on Hybrid Appraisals for the November issue of Appraisal Today. To me, the big issue is who is doing the inspections. Only appraisers do the appraisals. I see very different levels of inspectors.

Before Covid, I talked with various AMC upper-level managers who were testing it. What they were doing about inspectors had a wide range. They included appraisers, real estate agents, and someone with a week, a month, or online video training. They should definitely not be paid the same. An AMC can offer different levels to their clients, depending on how much reliability their lender customers want or need.

On a more positive side, I have done thousands of drive by appraisals since 1986. I drove by the house and looked at what was nearby, etc. For example, I’m appraising a Victorian built before 1910. There is no way to know what the inside looks like or the foundation (many are brick). Using MLS photos is a joke, as real estate agents don’t take photos of defects. A buyer gets a seller’s disclosure statement for that information. I would be more comfortable if someone used an app that was set up to take specific photos, do floor plan, etc. At least I would have some independent photos.

Data Collectors: Appraisers vs. Uber Drivers

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Apps for Appraisers

7 Must-Have Apps for Appraisers

By: McKissock

Excerpts:

1. Dragon Anywhere

Dragon Anywhere is a dictation and speech-to-text app that allows you to create, edit, and share documents from your mobile device. This professional-grade dictation service could save you tons of time on typing reports and taking notes in the field. The company boasts a 99% accuracy rate as well as powerful voice editing capabilities. Dragon is very well-liked among appraisal professionals, making it number one on our list of must-have apps for appraisers.

6. Genius Scan

This app gets a lot of love from appraisers. Genius Scan makes it easy to scan, upload, and share documents using your mobile devices. It can even scan handwriting and convert it into text. This tool is excellent for making copies of tax records, floor plans, etc. Over 200 million users and thousands of small businesses are currently using Genius Scan. This app could be a lifesaver for your workfile creation.

To read about the other 5 apps, click here

My comments: Worth checking out. When business is slow is an excellent time to look for new apps, learn how to use your MLS and forms software, etc. etc. Dragon has been around a long time and is popular with commercial appraisers.

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Fannie: Words and Phrases in Appraisals

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The End of Lender Appraisals?

The End of Home Appraisals?

By Jeremy Bagott, MAI

Excerpts: In his 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language,” the late British novelist, essayist and critic George Orwell examined the connection between political orthodoxies and the debasement of the English language. In a truly Orwellian move, mortgage giant Freddie Mac recently announced its intent to censor an arbitrary collection of words such as “desirable,” “safe,” “well-kept,” “student” and “crime” when they appear, in any context, in the hundreds of thousands of appraisal reports it relies on in mortgage underwriting. It would be hard to make this up.

As with all banned words, Freddie’s list will lead to the need to ban additional words over time as appraisers, expunging the word “desirable,” will find synonyms when analyzing market reaction to the views of two homes or to the cul-de-sac location of a home versus the midblock location of a comparable. When discussing how market participants view side-by-side school districts, appraisers will figure out they can use synonyms like “advantageous,” “preferable,” or “beneficial” instead. Soon, these words, too, will need to be banned. In a college town, the banned word “students” will become “matriculants,” a word that will likewise need to be banned.

The attack on the protected speech of independent appraisers erodes their ability to describe how the properties they appraise relate to the preferences of market participants. The censorship is part of a march toward what appraiser and podcaster Phil Crawford has coined “universal basic home value” – a utopian vision among idealogues in which government technocrats dictate the supposed value of a property using algorithms and machine learning. The censorship began with Fannie Mae, and has now predictably spread to Freddie Mac.

To read more plus appraiser comments, click here

My comment: Worth reading. Lots more AMC/lender appraisal correction requests. Last week’s email had a discussion of the “words” which got a lot of clicks by appraisers wanting more information.

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Fannie: Words and Phrases in Appraisals

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Value of a Pool for Homes?

The value of a pool for Homes?

July 18, 2023 By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpts:

Some areas have more pools than others

Real estate is about location. That’s what we always hear. And, it’s true. Homes in different locations and price points tend to have different amenities, and that includes pools. Keep in mind the presence of a pool could be about lot size also – not just the price range.

More pools at higher prices

Here’s a look at the percentage of homes sold with pools by price range in a few local counties. In short, the higher the price, the greater chance of having a pool. This likely has to do with the cost of building a pool, cost of maintaining a pool, and even larger parcels at higher ranges – not to mention buyers at higher price points expecting a pool more often.

NOTE: Does your market look similar?

Adjustments for pools

Last but not least, let’s remember there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all adjustment for a built-in pool because the value of a pool is going to depend on quality, condition, and even age. But it’s also about location because some price ranges and areas simply expect a pool to be present. In contrast, pools hardly exist in some locations, so it’s less of a factor because buyers don’t expect a pool. Ultimately, let’s look to the comps for the answers. What are buyers willing to pay? The ideal is to find similar homes with and without pools to help us understand that.

To read more and see Ryan’s tables and graphs on pools, click here

My comments: I live in an island city with a “Mediterranean” climate located on San Francisco Bay, which means some fog and moderate temperatures. This week, the highest temperature will be under 70 degrees. About 10-15 miles away, east of the hills, the climate is totally different, with very hot summers. The current high temperature there is about 100 degrees.

Where I live, very few homes have pools. After 35 years of appraising here, the value effect is none. Often, the MLS mentions that the sellers will fill in the pool, but I don’t know if that has ever happened. In dramatic contrast, when I first started appraising “over the hill”, 10-15 miles away where there are many subdivisions, I noticed that in certain neighborhoods, a pool was almost mandatory. I used comps with pools for any homes with and without pools to see any adjustment.

If you are not in an area where this is clear, making pool adjustments can be tough without adequate comps. I have appraised a few homes with pools in areas with few pools. It was tricky.

Pools can be a significant hazard, especially for children. Also, maintenance and heating is a hassle.

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What Tools for Measuring Houses for Appraisals

What tool do you prefer to use when measuring a house?

Recent Appraisal Buzz survey

  • Measuring tape – over half
  • Laser – less than half
  • Guesstimate – a few, but way too many!
  • Phone app. – not many

To see the graph, click here

My comments: I have always wondered about this. I prefer my phone app – no more rose bush thorns, dog poop, tripping over miscellaneous stuff, etc. I was hooked the first time I used it! I was surprised to see how few use phone apps.

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