9-18-20 Newz: Funny Agent Photos – House with a Train – Refi Forecast

80-Foot-Long Train Car Is Part of Washington Home

Excerpts: The former passenger-train car is about 80 feet long, 12 feet wide, and has been incorporated into the rest of the residence.

“[The first owners] connected it to the house, so you walk from the kitchen out into this train,” Anderson explains.

“You walk past the kitchen island and into a hallway where there is stained glass—and you walk into the train.”

To read more and see lots of interesting photos click here:

My comment: Sorry, I would Just Say No on this appraisal. Too busy now is my excuse. But really the appraisal would drive me crazy!!

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Random Thoughts of an Appraiser

By Matt Simmons

Excerpts: Always makes me laugh when I see a subject-to appraisal with “subject to inspection.” That’s all? Doesn’t matter what the result of the inspection is? Perhaps an adjective that conditions the appraisal on the OUTCOME of the inspection would be a good idea.

Read more!!

9-11-20 Newz: Racial Bias and Appraisers? – Appraisal Process Challenges – House With 11 Domes

The Most Challenging Part of the Appraisal Process

Excerpts: Number 1: Data analysis (34%)

“When comps are limited, or when sales prices vary by as much as 50% for what appear to be very similar properties in the same neighborhood (which seems to be more and more common in the Denver metro area), selecting the best comparable properties can be a very time consuming and stressful process.”

Number 2. Site value opinion (17%)

“I choose ‘Site Value Opinion’ as the most challenging since there are very few vacant land sales in the areas that I appraise in. With very few sales, it’s very difficult to provide an opinion of value for many sites.”

To read more comments from appraisers and the other 7 challenging parts of the appraisal process click here

My comment: Lots of good appraiser comments. Data Analysis is my number one choice also. Tract homes are sorta boring but can be a welcome break from all the non-tract homes I appraise. Also, with Covid, I don’t connect with real estate agents every week at open houses to find out what is happening (behind the data).

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11 connected Domes in Australian house!!

Just For Fun! What We All Need!!!

Excerpt: With 11 domes and twenty rooms across 1,050-square metres (10,925 sq.ft.) of floor space, this house, or spaceship, is a “world first”.

It’s situated on half a hectare (0.74 acres), with multiple balconies and a wine cellar.

To see lots of very interesting photos click here

My comment: I tried to count the domes myself but gave up! I have never seen, or heard of, a house with this many connected domes. I definitely would need to use a builder or architect drawing!! I would go crazee trying to measure this house…..

Read more!!

7-17-20 Newz: Basement Rooms in GLA? – Toilet House – COVID Humor

What’s your favorite part of the appraisal process?

Excerpt:

Number 1. Data collection and property description (38%)

“The best part is the property review. I enjoy seeing what people have done to their properties and talking to them about their homes.”

“I enjoy viewing/observing the subject home.”

“Detective work”

“Each dwelling is different, and not every appraiser takes the time to clarify the differences in the dwellings. The quality, the construction, the egresses, and especially the correct way to calculate GLA or measure a dwelling.”

Number 2. Data analysis (27%)…

To read more about favorites, click here

My comment: I love working in the field, so my choice is Number 1. But, my very best choice is getting paid ;>

Read more!!

6-19-20 Newz: Strange Appraisal Terms – Appraiser Makes $280k Per Year – Mosaic Homes

Appraisal Terms That Are Out of This World

Just for Lotsa Fun!!

Excerpts: Since space is the only place that is pandemic free, I thought it would be fun to try to apply space and science fiction terms to real estate. Let’s take a little break from the stressful atmosphere we are experiencing here on earth and have a little fun. Perhaps you can think of more.

Here are two:

Orbit– The path homeowners take whilst following the appraiser around the home, trying not to follow too closely by maintaining at least six feet of distance. (Probably taking pictures of the appraiser in the PPE)

Black hole – The place where Zestimates go after being debunked by reality.

To read and see lots more, click here

My comment: I love Jamie Owens’ blog posts! Unbelievably creative!! Plus, outstanding/strange videos, animated gifs, etc. etc. I have been a big scifi fan since high school and used space videos in my experimental music band for many years.

Read more!!

6-5-20 Newz: Waivers; Wavy House; Unemployment Help For Fee Appraisers

A Very Wavy House 

Just For Fun!!

Excerpt: “Everyone basically has this ‘Wow!’ reaction, and it’s pretty polarizing: You either love it, or you hate it,” Assemi says of the home, which is now listed for $599,000. Its roof mimics ocean waves and is covered with cedarwood shingles.

“It’s just so unconventional, but inside, it’s a regular house,” …

The home has three bedrooms and three bathrooms in 1,845 square feet, and its ceilings are 21 feet high. It comes with 6.22 wooded acres on Collins Creek at the base of the Sierras and Sequoia National Park, about 20 minutes from Fresno, CA.

Interesting article and lots of fotos: To read more, click here

My comment: Located in Sanger CA, close to Fresno in a primarily agricultural area. A very unusual home for this part of California!! The median home price in Fresno is $258,500 per Zillow. Can You say: over-improvement? In the Bay Area, our the median price is around $950,000.

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What’s the ONE thing that is most often overlooked by appraisers?

By McKissock

Excerpt: We recently asked our appraisal community, “What’s the ONE thing that is most often overlooked by appraisers?” We received a wide variety of answers ranging from big-picture oversights to specific details. The most common answer we received was “Highest and Best Use.”…

Highest and Best Use (HBU)

This was the top answer, which was written in by about 8% of survey respondents“First question when doing an appraisal is the highest and best use. If there are two very different opinions of value on a property, different HBU is often the reason.”…

Obsolescence

Obsolescence is another item mentioned by multiple survey respondents. Appraisers cited both external obsolescence and functional obsolescence as being frequently overlooked.

“External obsolescence for the subject property – When I’m reviewing appraisals, I see this more often than other oversights. When I was performing retrospective reviews for FNMA, their biggest complaint was that appraisers did not point out external obsolescence for the subject and/or its impact on marketability (if there was an impact).”

“Functional obsolescence – Appraiser focus has changed over the years as subject functionality has changed.”

To read lots more, click hereb>

Read more!!

5-29-20 Newz: Home Prices Up? – GSE COVID Requirements – Round House

May 27, 2020 By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpts: What are prices doing? That’s the question I’m getting asked the most. Here are some thoughts about how to look at prices during the pandemic. I also have two brand new price visuals.

1) Eggs in one basket: I recommend watching multiple price metrics instead of putting all our eggs in one basket. So in addition to the median price we can watch the average sales price and average price per square foot.

2) Pure pandemic data: When May stats come out we’re likely going to see 80-90%+ of those sales having gotten into contract after mid-March when the pandemic began to affect us. Thus May sales will be a stronger indicator of pandemic trends than April sales.

3) Seasonal rhythm: It’s key to understand the seasonal rhythm of the market because it helps us spot what is normal and not. For example, the median price usually increases from March to April, but this year we saw the median price dip instead. What does this mean? We need time to understand it. For now we’re recognizing something has happened that is less common. It’s worth noting we often see the median price climax around May or so, which means if we see prices soften in coming months we’re going to have to ask whether it’s a seasonal thing, pandemic thing, or something else.

For more info and of lots of graphs click here

My comment: My big article on Fannie COVID changes, including recommended “disclaimers”, is in the June paid newsletter. See excerpts in the ad below. You MUST discuss market conditions in your appraisal. Ryan’s blog post, and his other posts, give you some good ideas of what to include.

Read more!!

5-22-20 Newz: Refis to Surge – Selling Over List – What’s Happening in Your Market?

Mortgage refinancings set to surge to a 17-year high

Lenders probably will originate $1.5 trillion in refis, a 51% jump from 2019, Fannie Mae says

Excerpt: Even as other parts of the economy tank, lenders will originate $1.5 trillion in refis in 2020, a 51% jump from 2019, according to the forecast. That would be the highest level since 2003 when $2.5 trillion of mortgages were refinanced, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The lowest interest rates on record will bolster refis after the Federal Reserve began buying mortgage-backed securities to stimulate bond demand and grease the wheels of the credit markets. The average U.S. rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to an all-time low of 3.23% at the end of April, according to Freddie Mac.

It’s probably heading even lower, according to the Fannie Mae forecast. The average rate probably will be 3.2% in the second quarter, down from 3.5% in the first quarter, and drop for the rest of the year.

To read more, click here

My Comment: And I thought my 3.5% rate loan was a low rate!! Everyone should refi!! Appraisers will be very busy!! Maybe more lenders will order external and desktop appraisals.

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Will Sex Sell? BDSM Dungeon in Arkansas Basement

Excerpts: A hidden door gives access to the dungeon, leading down a spiral staircase. At the bottom is a full nightclub, outfitted with an entertainer’s pole, along with custom-BDSM furniture Shayne made himself.

The couple says the neighborhood is quiet and an excellent place to raise a family.

Some of their neighbors know about the dungeon, and a few have been invited over. The space isn’t a dirty secret, and the couple is happy to talk about it with anyone who shows interest.

Despite the fact that the surrounding community is largely conservative, Shayne says the couple has had “zero negative feedback ”

For more info and lotsa fotos click here

Read more!!

4-24-20 Newz: Markets Changing? Free Webinars – UFO Homes

NOTICE TO READERS: No covid analysis this week except for this market discussions. Taking a break from Covid. To read my April 3 newsletters, with lots of mostly scientific info, plus updates in these emails since that April 3, go to www.appraisaltoday.com/coronavirus

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House with epidemic influenza and Coronavirus Covid-19 concept

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpt: FIVE WEEKS AGO: About five weeks ago the real estate market started to have a strong reaction to the coronavirus. I look to March 12th as our day of change as that’s when things started to kick into high gear with events cancelling and sellers and buyers backing off the market.

OBSERVATIONS RIGHT NOW:

1) Pendings and listings declined heavily for a few weeks.

2) Pending contracts have begun to increase again.

3) More new listings are hitting the market.

See how Ryan analyses his market – lots of graphs. Also watch a video interview with Ryan. To read more, click here

My comment: See how the Burmingham, AL is analyzed below. What works for your market?

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Do We Have To Wait To Know How The Pandemic Will Affect Our Market?

Ryan’s interview with Dustin Harris, the Appraiser Coach

Excerpt: Many appraisers are in a “wait and see” pattern, but should we be doing more to be on top of the market? My friend Ryan Lundquist joins me today to talk about his recent article on Sacramento Appraisal Blog called “Seven Things To Watch In Real Estate During a Pandemic.” This is a timely topic for all appraisers.

To listen to the 30 minute audio recording click here

My comment: Ryan’s “Seven Things” article had a huge number of clicks last week. If you missed it, click here

Read more!!

2-14-2020 Newz: FIRREA Under Attack – Spectacular Spirals – Lending Up to 2005 Levels

FIRREA Under Attack!

Excerpt: Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Congressman William Lacy Clay request a formal study/investigation into Title XI (FIRREA) and the recent dilution of its intent by the Federal Agencies. The letter to Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General, Government Accountability Office, addresses threshold increases, regulatory exemptions, appraisal waivers, the North Dakota appraiser certification waiver and evaluations in lieu of an appraisal. It is clear the Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee and Subcommittee Chairman on Housing, Community Development and Insurance see the issues surrounding the recent events.

To read the press release and appraiser comments, click here

My comment: finally someone in Congress is noticing what is happening and complaining to the GAO!!

Read more!!

1-30-20 Newz: Tax Records SqFt. – Weird SFR Zoning – 5 ft. Wide Home

13516718 – white wood texture with natural patterns

Tax Records is not the definitive source for square footage!

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpt:

Why is the appraiser saying it’s only 1,400 sq ft? Tax Records shows the home is 600 sq ft larger. This issue comes up ALL the time, so let’s talk about it.

The truth: The Assessor’s records are generally reliable, but I’m just saying sometimes they’re not. Why is this? At times it’s as simple as the original builder not turning in accurate information when a house was built. Or maybe an owner took out permits but official records were never updated. Of course we’ve all seen instances where the tax roll shows two units on one lot, but there’s really just one house nowadays. Let’s not forget sometimes owners do an addition without permits, so the Assessor might actually be correct even though the house is technically larger or has even sold on MLS as a larger home. For reference, here are ten reasons why an appraiser’s sketch might be different.

For lots of comments and more info, click here

My comment: This one of the main reasons that AVMs will never be very successful for all homes. Over and over again, statistical analysis shows GLA is the most important physical feature overall.

Also, how bedrooms are determined varies a lot, depending on the local market and can vary over time. The assessor number of bedrooms may not match the appraiser’s. For example, tandem rooms. Finished basements can vary also.

I started appraising at a CA assessor’s office in 1976. In CA, State Board of Equalization regulated county assessors offices, so the procedures and terminology are very similar all over the state. However, GLA from the assessor may have different requirements than other sources, such as ANSI.

Proposition 13 passed in 1979, which only allowed an annual 2% increase in assessment per year, unless there was a sale or improvements (determined by permits). Over time, the information has become more and more out of date.

Data is not available for smaller counties if the assessor says it is confidential. Until the 90s, my county did not release any data, so I had to “guesstimate” on square footage for sales and listings. We finally got it when an MAI was elected assessor.

In the early 90s, I researched assessors records around the country. In some small rural counties the records were kept at the assessor’s home. They were not digitized and available for purchase by data companies.

Appraisers need to know which areas are not accurate. Someties GLA is “political”. Within a city, accuracy can vary. In my city the least accurate records are in the “Gold Coast” with many of the city’s larger, historic homes. In other nearby cities, some properties have low GLAs to keep the property taxes lower.

Read more!!