Appraisal News and Business Tips

Posts Tagged state appraiser regulators

7-19-19 Newz: Rates Going Down?- Appraiser Boards – AVMs Misunderstood?

AVMs Are Not Understood By A Large Swath of Non-Appraisers

Source: Jonathan Miller
Here are some recent survey results that show more than half of the respondents indicated, it is either NEVER appropriate or NOT SURE if it is appropriate for a non-appraiser to perform a valuation on a home.
So the jury is still out for a third of respondents but a third are absolutely sure it is inappropriate. One can infer that appraisers have an opportunity to convey what AVMs really are to the public.
Link to NAR AVM survey results click here
My comment: Good graphics and easy to read. Lots of topics including AVMs, desktops, bifurcated, etc. Results of a survey of NAR members. Lots of topics. Scroll down to AVMs, etc.
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Fannie Mae lowers mortgage rate forecast and says home-price growth will accelerate

Mortgage giant predicts 30-year fixed rate will average 3.7% in 2019’s second half

Excerpts: Fannie Mae issued a new forecast that predicts the average U.S. rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage will be 3.7% in the second half of 2019, down from the 3.9% the mortgage financier called for a month ago. That compares to a 4.4% average rate in the first quarter and 4% in the second quarter.
“This continued decline in mortgage rates and our upwardly revised view on house price growth have led us to increase our forecast for single-family mortgage originations for the remainder of the year,” Fannie Mae said. “We now expect total originations to rise 7% from 2018 to $1.75 trillion, and we expect refinances to account for 32% of total mortgage originations in 2019, up from 29% in 2018.”
That would make this year the highest since the $1.8 trillion originated in 2017, according to Fannie Mae data.
To read more, click here
My comment: Lots more refi appraisals!!

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Joining Your Real Estate Appraisal Board

Interview with Cristy Conolly, current Chair of the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board and Chief Appraiser at Nationwide Appraisal Network,
Excerpt: Buzz: What’s one thing you wish to convey to appraisers about being on the Board? Are there any common myths you’d like to address?
Cristy: I think a common misconception is Board members are scary and unapproachable. Board members are people, just like everyone else. They want to do good for the industry and their state. They aren’t “out to get” anyone. They are charged with protecting the public and sometimes that means disciplining the “bad actors,” but that typically includes educating them so they can learn from their mistakes and improve themselves.
To read the full interview click here:
My comment: Worth reading. I have never seen anything written about what it is like to be a state board member.
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18 Historic Homes that Would Be Fascinating to Appraise

Excerpt: Historic homes make for complex and interesting appraisal subjects. As one appraiser said, “I love unusual properties, and the challenge they present to appraise. I have always loved appraising large, older properties. They take us back to another world back in time.” We recently asked our appraisal community, “What famous historic home would you want to appraise?” Here’s what they said.
A few of the homes:
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater
The White House
Norman Bates “Psycho” House
Graceland
To read the full list plus comments click here
My comment: For me, none of the above ;> Too difficult!

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What is a Bedroom?

Excerpt: Layout and Floor Plans (Fannie Mae)
“Dwellings with unusual layouts and floor plans generally have limited market appeal. A review of the room list and floor plan for the dwelling unit may indicate an unusual layout, such as bedrooms on a level with no bath, or a kitchen on a different level from the dining room. If the appraiser indicates that such inadequacies will result in market resistance to the subject property, he or she must make appropriate adjustments to reflect this in the overall analysis. However, if market acceptance can be demonstrated through the use of comparable sales with the same inadequacies, no adjustments are required.”
It is clear, then, that at least Fannie Mae depends on the appraiser to determine the definition of a bedroom and whether a room used as a bedroom meets local market acceptance, suggesting that adjustments for unusual layouts, be derived from the local market.
What does FHA say?
Then we move on to consider what FHA has to say about bedrooms. Here we receive more detailed information.
n Section II (B) 3. (v.)L “The Appraiser must not identify a room as a bedroom that cannot accommodate ingress or egress in the event of an
emergency, regardless of location above or below grade.”
FHA Handbook 4001.1 no longer contains the guidance concerning the size of windows below-grade.
To get lots more info on this critical appraisal valuation issue, read the full article, in the February 2019 issue of Appraisal Today, plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today.
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Should appraisers study statistics?

Excerpts: … In particular, I was already used to the fact that for both general and residential work, the data available to me included all, or substantially all, the sales in my area. I benefited from the fact that San Diego public records, assessor information, and even GIS (geographic information) was also ahead of data availability and quality in most other parts of the country. But one thing stood out. There was a conflict between what I was being taught in most of the PhD-level stats classes, and the reality of what I saw as a practicing appraiser.
The conflict was simple, yet convoluted by a belief system. The confusion mostly has to do with the difference between a sample, and a population.
… It’s time for our appraisal organizations to recognize the laws surrounding these fallacies, and cease teaching what has been fully debunked in a statement by the American Statistical Association itself.
Now is the time.
For more info, click here
My comment: I had the same problem with my appraisal classes in the 1980s. Very out of date, especially after I got my MBA and did multiple regression studies. Don’t get me started on the out of date stuff taught in commercial appraisal classes. The 3 approaches have not changed since the 1930s.
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A Truth About Bifurcation

By Robert Murphy, former Director, Property Valuation and Eligibility at Fannie Mae
Excerpt: The third-party inspection piece is the part of the bifurcation appraisal process which has garnered the most discussion. Don’t get me wrong, the discussion regarding who should be completing the inspection is understandable and justifiable. Should it be done by an appraiser or appraiser trainee? A home inspector or insurance inspector? Some random third-party? Unfortunately, as with many things today, we must be able to sort out the truths from the half-truths, and pure nonsense. There needs to be clarity on this issue prior to any type of bifurcated appraisal process becoming mainstream.
However, I believe there needs to be some focus given to the second step of the process. I have been hearing, anecdotally, of appraisers who have been completing bifurcated appraisals without ever having appraised in the specific market/geographical area where the subject is located. Therefore, a discussion regarding competency requirements might be useful.
To read the full article plus lots of appraiser comments, click here
My comment: Interesting analysis from Bob Murphy about appraiser geographic competency. I have spoken with appraisers who have done bifurcated appraisals all over the country. Bob started appraising in 1978 and worked for Fannie for many years. Very savvy. Leave your own comment.
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Homebuyer Bidding Wars Are Fading Fast, Even in San Francisco

Excerpt: Here’s how rapidly the U.S. housing market has cooled: Buyers are now about four times less likely to face a bidding war than they were just a year ago.
In June, 12% of buyers faced competition compared with 52% a year earlier, according to an analysis by brokerage Redfin of offers written by its agents. While San Francisco is the most competitive market, the share of listings that got multiple offers fell to 28% from 65%.
To read more, click here
My comment: What’s happening in your market? Mine is lot less competition for listings. Keeping a close watch for any price drops…
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Mortgage applications decreased 1.1 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 17, 2019) – Mortgage applications decreased 1.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 12, 2019. Last week’s results included an adjustment for the Fourth of July holiday.
The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 1.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 24 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 2 percent from the previous week and was 87 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 21 percent compared with the previous week and was 7 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
“Mortgage rates increased across the board, with the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rising to its highest level in a month to 4.12 percent, which is still below this year’s average of 4.45 percent,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Coming out of the July 4th holiday, applications were lower overall, with purchase activity slipping almost 4 percent. Refinance applications increased, with activity reaching its highest level in a month, driven mainly by FHA applications. Historically, government refinance activity lags slightly in response to rate changes.”
Added Kan, “Buyer interest at the start of the second half of the year continues to outpace year ago levels, with activity last week up 7 percent.”
The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 50.0 percent of total applications from 48.7 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 4.9 percent of total applications.
The FHA share of total applications increased to 10.6 percent from 10.1 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 12.9 percent from 13.2 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.6 percent from 0.7 percent the week prior.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) increased to 4.12 percent from 4.04 percent, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.37 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $484,350) increased to 4.07 percent from 4.03 percent, with points decreasing to 0.21 from 0.27 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 4.01 percent from 3.97 percent, with points decreasing to 0.28 from 0.30 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.48 percent from 3.42 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.32 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.58 percent from 3.56 percent, with points decreasing to 0.27 from 0.28 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.
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Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA
Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today
2033 Clement Ave. Suite 105, Alameda, CA 94501
Phone 510-865-8041 | Fax 510-523-1138

5-31-19 Newz: Hit the Sales Price – Hybrid Warning – Guitar shaped Hotel

Why do appraisers hit the sales price?

By George Dell

Excerpt: A recent study includes a graph which shows that some 90% of appraisals hit the sale price exactly, or were higher, while only some 10% were below the sale price (when the sale price is known).

Is this a bias on the part of appraisers, or is the bias the cause of the system? What could possibly cause this strong upside skew?

First, ignore the ongoing pressures from the entire ‘loan industry’ to make the loan, make the commission, make the quota, make the bonus, and look successful. Ignore the claimed purpose of the public trust (of our quasi-governmental standards and licensing quagmire).

The goal of protecting the public trust failed, and will fail again— this time with different excuses and blaming— but it will fail again.

Let’s look at some underlying economic truths and social/governmental policy. What economics and public policies come into play here? Three come to mind immediately:

To read the full, very interesting post click here

My comment: When I started my appraisal business in 1986, I was told by local very experienced appraisers to appraise at the sales price or I may be kicked off a lender’s approved list. Of course, since I was trained at an assessor’s office, I was shocked and refused to do this… There was always another lender client I could get.

Dell’s blog has very short posts. My June paid newsletter will have a much longer article written by him: “Old Versus New: Conflict or Opportunity?” It has a brief look into the past, including a photo of an acoustic coupler for connecting to remote sites. Plus, of course, comments on the future! I remember 30 baud transmission rates in the early 1980s connecting from my home PC to my company’s servers;>

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Read more!!

5-3-19 Newz: AMC Shockwave – Zillow Accuracy – 25 Appraisal Errors

25 Common Errors in Appraisal Reports

A compilation of the most common errors and deficiencies found in appraisal reports by reviewers, regulators, and appraisal boards.

Here are a few:
– Not providing enough analysis for the intended user or reader to understand the report properly.
– Inconsistencies between the description of the subject property in the improvements section and the photographs, sketch, sales comparison grid, and other areas in the report.
– Inappropriate use of boilerplate commentary in the appraisal report to describe the neighborhood or to explain the reconciliation of the sales comparison approach.
– Failure to summarize the analysis and rational that supports the Highest and Best Use opinion.
– Not complying with the most current USPAP.
Read the full list here:

My comments: Reminders are always good. For unknown reasons, I don’t see much CE or writing on these problems. These apply to all appraisals because we are licensed, not just lender appraisals.
It was soooo nice in the “old days” before licensing ;> Two Rules: Tell the  truth and disclose what is bad. No USPAP changing every two years, overzealous appraisal boards, renewal fees, etc.. Of course, the reason we have licensing is the lender mess in 1989, resulting in FIRREA,  regarding bad commercial property development loans by S&Ls
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4-18-19 Newz: Strange Bathrooms; Secret Suburbs; Accurate MLS Data?

SUBSCRIBER NOTICE:
Starting next week this email newsletter will be sent out on Fridays.
Why? After 25 years of sending on Thursdays, time for a change! Also, fewer emails on Fridays, so more time to read this newsletter (and not lose it in your inbox) ;>
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2-14-19 Newz: Coester Shuts Down; Beautiful Erosion; Facing Your State Board

17 of the World’s Most Beautifully Broken Places

Wind, rain, and retreating glaciers left this gorgeous destruction behind.

Here are two:
– Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Study Area New Mexico
The land is full of geologic eye candy like otherworldly spires, mushroom-shaped hoodoos, and prehistoric fossils.

Fjaðrárgljúfur Iceland
Strange rock formations tower above the river that snakes through this enchanting Icelandic canyon.

See the incredible locations and read about them at:

My comment: Click The Link And Take A Break from Your Appraisals!!
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Read more!!

10-11-18 Newz://Dome Homes – Tandem Bedrooms – Competency

8 Dome Homes Ideal for Well-Rounded Buyers

Excerpt: Geodesic dome homes always strike a chord with buyers looking for a different type of house.

They’re also in favor these days thanks to their cosmic, forward-looking designs. Futurist and architect Buckminster Fuller conceived the geodesic dome in the belief that the shape of these rounded dwellings was the most efficient use of resources possible, and that the homes were ideal for mind, body, and spirit.

Here are a few:
– 37849 W Johnson Lake Ln, Marcell, MN Price: $129,000
– 35685 Lake Summit Dr, Temecula, CA Price: $775,000 – Two connected domes
– 5825 E Saguaro Rd, Cave Creek, AZPrice: $469,000 – Price includes a large maze

Check out the fotos and info at:

My comment: They all kinda look the same to me ;> I have never appraised one, but don’t miss it. Very few here. Just use other odd ball properties as comps I guess. There is one in a nearby city that I drive by regularly as a reminder of what I don’t want to appraise ;>

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Is the market tanking or softening?

Video by Ryan Lundquist
About the Sacramento CA market, but applies to all markets
21 minute video. Worth watching.
More articles by Ryan at http://sacramentoappraisalblog.com
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Read more!!

8-2-18 Newz .1004MC dropped, Treasury Proposes Appraisal Downsizing, Rural Appraisals

No more 1004MC for Fannie appraisals

Date: 7/30/18 1:46
My note: This was posted in an appraiser yahoo email discussion group I have subscribed to since it started awhile ago. The person who sent it is very reliable. I have known him personally for many years. Below is the email. When I used to travel a lot to appraisal conferences, sometimes Fannie would make comments on significant changes. This was one of those comments. When I speak I am a lot more candid than when I write for unknown reasons. Maybe Fannie speakers do the same sometimes.
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Posted discussion group message:
“I’m in Nashville at the National Appraisal Institute Conference. I just left a presentation given by the collateral policy managers at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

The Fannie spokesperson said that Fannie Mae has decided not to make the 1004MC a required from anymore; the change will be effective as of the new Selling Guide update, which is expected to come out next week.

I asked Freddie if they planned to drop the requirement as well? They said they had considered dropping it when the new reporting formats were finalized, but also said in light of Fannie’s announcement, they may not wait until the form-changes and adopt that decision sooner.

The Fannie spokesperson said that just because Fannie won’t requirement doesn’t mean a lender might not still want it. So, she warned not to expect all lenders to adopt the change instantly.

In my opinion, I think most lenders will opt out of the 1004mc form, but will require something else (data/analysis) in the report to support the market condition identification and adjustments (if warranted). So I don’t anticipate the need for market condition analyses to go away (and it shouldn’t, in my opinion) but I do anticipate more flexibility in the manner we (individual appraisers) want to present that data.”

What I think about 1004MC: The 1004MC forced appraisers to make market conditions adjustments, which lenders had to accept. When I started my appraisal business in 1986, I was told by local, well respected appraisers that lenders “did not want any time adjustments.” Apparently this had been going on for many years. During price declines in the 1990s, I personally knew appraisers who went out of business because they refused to not make time adjustments. All my lender clients allowed them or they were off my approved client list.

I started appraising in the 1970s at assessor’s offices. We were making 2% per month time adjustments. Guess I just got “bad training” for lender appraisals ;>

Appraiser comments: Of course, there were lots of appraiser comments. Dave Towne’s are below:
~1 Lenders and AMC’s (and the other gov’t agencies) won’t back down on requiring the 1004MC form in reports. So you will have to do it, regardless of what the GSE’s do.

~2 Some report users may design their own market conditions reporting form, and demand its inclusion in reports per their own assignment conditions.(One no-longer-in business-by that-name AMC did this in 2008, and demanded their form be included even after the MC form became mandated – until appraisers loudly complained.) These may not be acceptable to other lenders/users. So we could have a situation where multiple users have different forms required, which will greatly complicate completion of reports in a timely manner.

~3 The several report software providers may design something to replace the MC form, which you could then be used in reports. But if 4 (or more) different ones exist, the same situation as in #3 will occur.

~4 The GSE’s may have another form already prepared to replace the MC Form and will demand it be used instead. (By the way….”new appraisal report forms” to replace the current ones are nowhere ready to be released, at least from what the GSE’s have said in the past couple of months.)

~5 Smart, and well versed, appraisers will continue to provide supportable documents and analysis to show market trend activity – which they’ve already been including in reports as a substitute to the MC form. Appraisers who have not been doing this should take steps to learn how to document subject/comparable market trends that are specific to each assignment, and not just a regurgitation of ‘regional’ or ‘national’ trends data reported by others that may not directly apply to the appraisal assignment.

Read more!!

6-14-18 Newz//New Fannie Selling Guide, AMC Changes, Crazy Restrooms

Dodd-Frank rollback weakens appraisal standards

Excerpts: Under the new law… smaller banks and credit unions will now be free to waive an appraisal for rural properties valued under $400,000, when they can’t find an appraiser in a timely manner.

Most loans are sold into the secondary market. It is a fairly narrow provision. They are basically looking at rural areas where banks are holding the loans in their portfolio.

…continuing concerns with what has been a pendulum swinging back to regulatory relief and loosening risk-management requirements. This is part of that wave.

Read more here:
My comment: good analysis by Bill Garber of the Appraisal Institute. Worth reading.

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….

Read more!!

5-3-18 Newz//Federal Enforcement of USPAP?, Public Restroom App, Unusual Houses & Buildings

How Lenders and Appraisers Can Work Better Together Through Increased Transparency

By Wes Costello
Excerpts: The relationship between lenders and appraisers has never been quite right. The association was scared by improprieties of the few that led to a fallout of the many, with each party retreating behind walls of mistrust and perceived regulatory requirement. Recently, communication is civil but has been described as resembling two parties of a legal arrangement who speak to each other on an as-needed basis….

Anyone who has directed appraisal management knows that they are only as good as the appraisers they partner with. This makes it vital to value each member of your appraisal panel as an integral partner in your company’s business.

My comment: Well written and worth reading, plus the comments, of course. The author is a Senior Vice President of Quality Management & Collateral Risk at AnnieMac Home Mortgage… He is a Pennsylvania Certified Real Estate Appraiser.

Public Restroom App by Charmin: Find Clean Bathrooms!

Excerpt: A clean nearby public bathroom can be hard to find. But not all restrooms are created equal.

With SitOrSquat we put clean public toilets on the map. Literally. Clean locations have a green “Sit” rating. Less desirable ones have a red “Squat.”

So, the next time nature calls and you need to find a nearby restroom, SitORSquat will help you know where to go.

My comment: Thanks to appraiser Jerry Walsh for this great tip. He has used it for years. I am downloading it today!! I coulda used this 40 years ago when I started appraising in rural areas….. Better than The Bushes or Behind A Tree ;>

Read more!!

2 GREAT ways to get into appraisal trouble. Tales From Barry Bates

If you really WANT to get in trouble here are 2 ways to do it, (eventually) guaranteed to succeed

Advertise your uniqueness!
More important than earning a living, providing support for your family or
serving the general public is to let the world know who you really are!
When meeting a homeowner or commercial building owner for the first time,
take a few minutes to explain your facial tattoos, your exotic mode of medieval
dress and your political positions as shown by the 188 bumper stickers on your car. Some straights are freaked out by creativity, so it’s worth taking the time to
calm them down.

When I was Chief Appraiser for The Money Store, I got a call from a
prospective borrower in one of the northern rural counties of California. I had just
added another appraiser to the panel in an effort to improve coverage. The borrower reported that although the appraiser was pleasant of demeanor and appeared to be knowledgeable, there was no question that she was living in her car.

When I called her, I had to cite that stuff in USPAP that talks about inspiring trust of appraisers among members of the public, and told her to reapply to the panel when she would be able to present a more conventional appearance. I didn’t hear from her afterwards, but, sure enough, she was a duly certified California appraiser.

Pump that value!
It’s a “win win” for everyone! I mean, you’d think so, right? What refi borrower
complains about a high appraisal? The lender sure won’t complain. Even in
appraising for a loan to purchase, it will flatter the owner and facilitate the
borrower’s deal, right?

Actually, wrongamundo, Buckwheat. By far, the most frequent complaint I
saw while at BREA (California Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers) was inflation of value, tendered by the lender, the buyer, the seller, etc.

I recall one respondent, who appraised exclusively for VA lenders, assuring
me that he considered it his duty to make sure that if the veteran really wanted the property and his valuation could make it happen, he would find legitimate
comparable sales to support that sale price.

What was unclear was his understanding of the word “legitimate”. I guess it’s tough when another couple of grand is added to the price just for the VA guarantee, but doable, certainly, for someone with such a holy mandate.

As an 11-year Army veteran myself, I let him know that I appreciated his
devotion to cause, but I had to tell him that he was a crook. And that he should
reexamine his assumption of duty during his license suspension, during which he
had to find 25 hours of courses on ethics.

Editor’s notes: this is a very brief excerpt from Barry’s article in the December 2017 issue of the paid Appraisal Today newsletter. Click the graphic below for more info on the newsletter. Barry has had a wide variety of appraisal jobs over the past 40+ years, including a state regulator investigator. He is now retired from appraising but still giving his opinions!! Contact him at barrettbates@gmail.com