Appraisal News and Appraisal Tips For Real Estate Appraisers - Your source for appraisal industry news, appraisers' opinions, and discussions of appraisal issues

Is a Model Home Considered Occupied or Vacant? 17

Is a Model Home Considered Occupied?

Two days later the underwriter emails you ordering you to change “vacant” to “occupied” since there is clearly furniture in the house… Here’s a situation you’ll run into once or twice in your career. There is a new subdivision. Now, new subdivisions sometimes have model homes. Model homes typically have furniture, fixtures, and equipment – usually upgraded. The subdivision has completed its sales program and the developer is now selling the model(s). Your job is to appraise one of the models, since the developer has it under contract to a retail buyer. You do your inspection thing, take pictures of...

TAF Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee 5

TAF Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee

TAF president Dave Bunton has made it a point in the last two monthly newsletters to mention TAF created a “Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee” which is great if it actually accomplishes something. The Appraisal Foundation Board of Trustees added a Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee in April of this year, one month before the death of George Floyd, which highlighted some of the inequities experienced by Black Americans. The thing is, the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) hasn’t had a minority member and only 3 women in decades of existence. I really hope that this subcommittee is more than just window-dressing. Adding...

FNMA Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) Policy Updated 6

Fannie Mae’s ADU Policy Updated

On September 2, 2020, FNMA updated their policy allowing for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) on Single Family Residential (SFR) properties to be a Manufactured Home. This is in their Selling Guide Announcement SEL-2020-05, linked below. Key points: An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is an additional living area that is independent of the primary property and has basic bathroom, cooking, and sleeping facilities. With this update, we clarified ADU property eligibility and comparable sales requirements in the appraisal as follows: expanded the current definition of an ADU to improve proper classification of ADUs; expanded property eligibility by allowing multi-width manufactured homes...

Reconciling the Erosion Within My Profession... Preserving the Public Trust 12

Reconciling the Erosion Within My Profession

The continued reliance of unregulated aggregators and bifurcated products continues to erode the public trust at the expense of discarding the profession specifically intended to promote the public trust. How does this protect the public?… On June 14, 2005 Steve Jobs told a class of graduates, “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward” Around the same time, I was appointed as the sole residential member of the appraisal licensing board of my state. Little did I realize that this 2005 governor-appointed position would eventually lead me to sharing a stage in 2018 with...

Blaming Appraisers of Racial Bias Without Proof or Logic 15

Racial Bias Claims Without Proof or Logic

The Appraisal Institute just sent a letter to The Appraisal Foundation to address things that have been floating out in the ether for nearly two years. The November 2018 Brookings Institute report blames appraisers without proof or logic for lower property values in minority communities and then the June 2019 Congressional Hearing amplified the Brookings misrepresentation of the appraisal industry. It’s taken 14 months to send this letter? Interestingly, the chairman of the Board of Trustees that Jeff is writing to is a personal property appraiser and not a real estate appraiser. Real property appraisal is the reason for TAF’s...

The Honest Appraisers Warnings Should Have Prevented the Global Financial Crisis 4

Honest Appraisers Who Risked Their Careers

Meet the Honest Appraisers Whose Warnings Should Have Prevented the Great Financial Crisis The honest appraisers’ warning was ideal. It was timely, blunt, courageous, and unambiguous. If the regulators had acted on the warning, there would have been no Great Financial Crisis (GFC). Unfortunately, the Presidents Clinton and Bush (II) appointed financial regulators because they were anti-regulators, so they ignored the appraisers’ warning. From 2000 to 2007, a coalition of appraisal organizations … delivered to Washington officials a public petition; signed by 11,000 appraisers… [I]t charged that lenders were pressuring appraisers to place artificially high prices on properties [and] “blacklisting...

ASC Extends the North Dakota Waiver for Another Year 3

ASC Extends the ND Waiver for Another Year

On July 29, 2020, the Appraisal Subcommittee voted to extend the North Dakota waiver for another year with a 6 to 1 vote. The overarching reason to extend was because of the COVID outbreak prevented them from meeting in person this year. HUD was the only agency to take issue with this and I have to say I agree with their reasoning. North Dakota had 7 months to come up with a solution before COVID hit. I’m not taking ASC to task on this though because there is some validity to the COVID excuse. My assumption is that there is...

Could the CFPB Eliminate AMCs? End of AMCs Fast & Cheap Mentality? 10

Could the CFPB Eliminate AMCs?

Will this be detrimental to appraisal management companies that operate under the fast and cheap mentality?… Let’s face it, the appraisal management company will not survive with quality appraisals at a reasonable and fair fee… The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking public comments on the proposed rules for a Qualified Mortgage. The proposed rules require the lender to season the mortgage for 36 months before they can sell it to Fannie or Freddie. What that means is the lender will own that loan for 3 years. Fast forward if the new rule goes into effect… The lender will be...

Carlson Family Fire Relief Fundraiser 0

Carlson Family Fire Relief Fundraiser

Folks, California Certified General appraiser John Carlson (Napa area) just experienced a total devastating loss of his home, three others, outbuildings, etc., on the family ranch, Thursday 8/20/20, due to the major wildfire in the Napa valley wine country. Fortunately, John’s office is off-site and was not torched. A family friend has set up a GoFundMe account for John and family. If you see it in your heart, please donate! On that page, there is a photo of one of the horses that survived, surrounded by the burned area. As of about 8 pm on Friday 8/21/20, about 40% of...

Should Appraisers Pay to Be on AMCs Approved Appraiser List? 43

To Pay or Not To Pay, That is the Question

Should appraisers pay to be on an AMC’s approved appraiser list? Is this one way to get new clients? If an AMC solicited you, would you check it out? Now, I work for some AMCs that, frankly, you might not choose to work for. That’s fine. It’s a choice we all make. Understand that most of the areas I work are rural, so AMCs are generally willing to pay more because of this. Some AMC are very demanding. Yet, when I meet those demands, I get a lot of well-paying jobs from them. Recently, a new AMC asked me to...

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