About this blog

This blog has excerpts from my FREE appraiser email newsletter, sent out almost every week since June, 1994. I started with 6 subscribers on Compuserve. Now it is up to almost 14,000 subscribers!! To subscribe to the free email newsletters and get them them when they first come out,, go to www.appraisaltoday.com and sign up in the big Yellow Box!!

I have been publishing a paid Appraisal Today monthly newsletter since June, 1992 with in-depth articles on topics important to appraisers. Click below for more info!!

Standardizing adjustments??

 Channeling Deep Blue Versus Garry Kasparov in Home Valuations It’s time to standardize how real estate appraisers make their adjustments

Channeling Deep Blue Versus Garry Kasparov in Home Valuations It’s time to standardize how real estate appraisers make their adjustments

Source: Corelogic blog

Excerpts:
It might be time to reengineer the process appraisers use to make adjustments to comparable homes. The current approach does not appear to be defensible.

To investigate this issue, we obtained a set of relocation appraisals from an appraisal management company and conducted our own analysis. (As background, for relocation deals, two or more appraisals are ordered at the same time; and the two appraisers often choose an identical comparable property).

Continue reading →

NEWZ Unwanted mansions-Why homeowners don’t refi-Loan buybacks

5 Reasons Homeowners are not Taking Advantage of Refi Opportunities
Excerpts:
Historically low mortgage rates have been circling the housing market for several years now. Low mortgage rates present opportunities for homeowners to refinance their homes, but recent data and analysis shows that they are not taking advantage of billions of dollars in savings.
Although the number of refinancers may appear to be large, it is actually down from over 7 million in April 2015. Black Knight reports that interest rates were under 3.7 percent during this time, and the 20-year rate was 3.96.
Black Knight Data & Analytics SVP Ben Graboske explained, “This population is diminishing, and as mortgage interest rates rise, it will only continue to shrink further.”
Here are the five:
Lower credit scores and income.
Hassle and upfront expense.
Not enough equity.
Inconsistent job history.
Lack of assets.
Lots more info plus a link to the original study.
My comment: interesting analysis plus a link to the nerdwallet full analysis. I have always wondered why so few people are not doing refis with rates still at historic lows.
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 CU Quick Guide Videos Now Available

New short videos (~4 min) show how to easily use the Collateral Underwriter® (CU™) web application to research common messages. Watch the Quick Guide Intro to the Comp Selection Message to see how to use CU to review appraisals with a material difference between the appraiser-provided and CU model-selected comparable sale rankings. The Quick Guide to Data Discrepancy Messages shows how to quickly view other appraiser observations when there is a discrepancy in reported data (either from what the appraiser previously reported or from what other appraisers have reported.)

Want to learn how other lenders have leveraged CU? Review this new Housing Industry Forum article which details how lenders that maximize the use of CU have been able to make the underwriting process more efficient while improving appraisal quality and reducing appraisal-related loan defects.

Additional CU live webinar dates are also now available:

For more information on CU visit the CU web page.
My comment: see how CU works, from the lender side.
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America’s Most Unwanted: The Neverland Ranch and Other Unsold $100 Million Mega-Mansions
Excerpt:
Michael Jackson’s $100 million Neverland-formally known as Sycamore Valley Ranch-is still stuck on the block.
Listed last May (sans the King of Pop’s amusement park), the 2,698-acre compound in Los Olivos showcases a 12,598-square-foot, French Normandy-style main house with six bedrooms and nine baths. Other structures include three separate guesthouses, a 5,500-square-foot movie theater with a stage, numerous barns, animal shelter facilities, and a maintenance shop.
Check them all out at:
My comment: if they ever do sell… very, very long exposure times!
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Fannie, Freddie Unveil New Appeals Process for Loan Repurchases
Excerpt:
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac unveiled an appeals process Tuesday that will allow an independent arbitrator to resolve disputes between lenders and the government-sponsored enterprises over loan repurchase demands.
The new independent dispute resolution process, which was approved by the Federal Housing Finance Agency and endorsed by the Mortgage Bankers Association, is an effort to provide lenders more certainty that they won’t later face costly repurchase requests if a loan goes bad.
My comment: Maybe lenders will be less paranoid about appraisals causing buybacks and cut back on Excessive Appraisal Requirements.
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One-third of realty transactions are plagued by delays, some of them fatal By Ken Harney
Excerpt:
According to the study, of the 32 percent that experienced delays, 46 percent were triggered by “financing issues,” which is up from 40 percent during the first half of 2015. Appraisal-related problems caused 21 percent of the delays and home-inspection issues in 14 percent. Of the nearly 1 of every 16 (6 percent) of deals that turned into total disasters and fell through, home inspection and financing were the primary culprits. Sixteen percent went south because of the appraisal.
My comment: maybe that’s why some AMCs are pressuring/asking for more when you “come in” under the sales price. Their clients, the lenders, don’t like deals falling through…
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Study finds discrepancies between reported and actual home sales prices By Ken Harney
Are some realty agents hyping the pricing information on closed sales they report to their local multiple listing service, or MLS? And if so, should you care?
A first-of-its-kind study by appraisal and real estate experts suggests that maybe they are and maybe you should. Researchers compared closing documents – which are supposed to indicate the final price in sales transactions – with the prices that agents actually reported to their MLS and found that in nearly 1 of every 11 cases (8.75 percent) there were discrepancies. Overstatements of final price exceeded understatements by a ratio of nearly 3 to 1. In one case, the price reported to the MLS was 21.4 percent above the actual closing price.
My comment: And AMCs worry about discrepancies on public records and appraisers on GLA!! Another reason Big Data (CU) fails and needs appraiser input.
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HOW TO USE THE NUMBERS BELOW. Appraisals are ordered after the loan application. These numbers tell you the future for the next few weeks. For more information on how they are compiled, go to www.mbaa.org
Note: I publish a graph of this data every month in my printed newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to www.appraisaltoday.com/products.htm  or send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 8AM to noon, Pacific time.
Mortgage applications decreased 2.6 percent from one week earlier
WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 3, 2016) – Mortgage applications decreased 2.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 29, 2016.  The previous week’s results included an adjustment for the Martin Luther King holiday.
The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.  On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 11 percent compared with the previous week.  The Refinance Index increased 0.3 percent from the previous week to its highest level since October 2015.  The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 7 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 11 percent compared with the previous week and was 17 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 59.2 percent of total applications from 59.0 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 5.9 percent of total applications.
The FHA share of total applications increased to 12.9 percent from 12.7 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications remained unchanged from 11.1 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.7 percent the week prior.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to its lowest level since October 2015, 3.97 percent, from 4.02 percent, with points increasing to 0.41 from  0.40 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.  This is the fourth straight weekly decrease for this rate.  The effective rate decreased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) decreased to its lowest level since April 2015,  3.84 percent, from 3.89 percent, with points increasing to 0.26 from 0.25 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.  This is the fourth straight weekly decrease for this rate.  The effective rate decreased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.80 percent from 3.83 percent, with points decreasing to 0.35 from 0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.  The effective rate decreased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.22 percent from 3.28 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.37 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.00 percent from 3.09 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.  The effective rate decreased from last week.
If you would like to purchase a subscription of MBA’s Weekly Applications Survey, please visit http://www.mba.org/WeeklyApps, contact mbaresearch@mba.org
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

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

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

Source: www.appraisalport.com Vote in their current poll:

Do you consider appraisal trade groups important to the industry?
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.

Appraisal Today newsletter

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!!

Appraisal Today newsletter

Meet Widget O’Rourke – our new Appraisal Today cat team member!!

I am not sending our my Regular Thursday email newsletter this week. Just some fun photos of Widget O’Rourke!! More info after the photos. 
 
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Trying to supervise the humans. They can never understand what I am trying to say!!

Exercise time – getting bored!

Waiting for my human chaffeur. I’m ready to go!!

I’m not sure about this neighborhood!!

Is that a mouse??
   
Checking out the overgrown landscaping for any rodents…

2 stories or 3 stories?

Checking for any foundation mouse holes

Measuring the house. The human makes me take the “dumb end” of the tape. I should be on the smart end!!

Finally back home. Nap time!!
More info:
Age: 5 months
Birthday: July 29, 2015
Weight: 4 pounds
Breed: Burmese
Language: Cattish with Siamese accent
Personality: very friendly, likes to travel and play, talks a lot, not afraid of anything except skateboards
About cats, cars and leashes
Cats are very easy to train. A popular method for all pets is clicker training. Just google it. Leash/harness training is best if started when a kitten. I brought Widget home October 31 (3 months old) and started leash and harness training the next week. She learned it within a day and I started taking her on “walks” in the back yard and on the sidewalk on my street.
She did not like being in the car inside the cat carrier. Cats like to look out. Finally figured out how to get her to ride in the car – purchased a raised seat with an attached leash.
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In my 20’s I took several long trips with my cat in a van I converted (traveled 3-6 months at a time). The cat was not on a leash and harness. Went in and out of the van. When I was backpacking she followed along running in the bushes. I am finally traveling with my cat again!!!
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I am not taking her out on inspections for now… she is very easily distracted ;> She loves traveling to take comp photos.

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/

Appraisal Today newsletter

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.

Appraisal Today newsletter

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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