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

The Partisan Battle to Eliminate Dodd Frank 10

The Partisan Battle to Eliminate Dodd Frank

Dodd Frank created the illusion… I had a different “take away” from the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee “Modernizing Appraisals” hearing. My impression was that there were two simultaneous hearings by the same people in the same place. There was the actual televised hearing with disparate prepared speeches, and then there was the real underlying reason for the hearing. The partisan battle to eliminate Dodd Frank. I try very hard to take a non partisan approach to the issues facing appraisers when writing about or for the American Guild of Appraisers (AGA). Obviously AGA is a union organization, though as I’ve...

Appraiser Qualification Board Moving Like a Turtle 14

Appraiser Qualification Board Moving Like a Turtle

Appraiser Qualification Board moving like a turtle in solving how to get more people into the appraisal profession. I recently returned from a trip to Maui, Hawaii. While there, we saw two beaches where the ‘famous’ green sea turtles were lounging around during the day. Kinda reminded me of how slowly the Appraiser Qualification Criteria (AQB) is reacting to the near shut-off in getting new and younger people into our business. The AQB didn’t take real constructive action at their Nov. 18, 2016 public meeting, but they did provide this riveting synopsis of what they did do during the meeting:...

Conforming Loan Limits to Be Raised 2

Conforming Loan Limits to Be Raised

FHFA raises conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Appraisers, The announcement by Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) on November 23, 2016 may affect your fee structure if your fees are higher for loans above the upper limit for home sale prices for a standard mortgage loan, so called conforming loan. When mortgage loans are for amounts higher than the conforming limit, the loans are termed “Jumbo” loans. This is not the same as basing appraisal fees on APPRAISED values. As a general statement, Jumbo loans are for homes with excessive characteristics – considered ‘complex’...

Exclusionary List Banning Appraisers 7

Appraiser Exclusionary List

Exclusionary list not discussed in the House Subcommitte hearing… Appraisers, Rob Chrisman, in his column in the Mortgage News Daily e-newsletter on 11/18/16, dropped this tidbit of news: Nationstar Mortgage now maintains and distributes a monthly Appraiser Exclusionary List. Correspondents are encouraged to review the Nationstar Mortgage Appraiser Exclusionary List prior to submitting a loan for loan purchase. That’s all Mr. Christman said about this. A huge problem with these lists is the appraisers involved seldom know they are on one, much less why. Reasons could be trivial, or serious. When appraisers attempt to discuss the situation with the exclusionary...

Individual Adjustments to the Detriment of the Bigger Picture 10

Seeing the Forest Through the Trees

Focusing on individual adjustments to the detriment of the bigger picture… Growing up, my parents used to refer to my inability to see the forest through the trees. This simply meant not being able to see the bigger picture because focus was so narrow that I only saw what was right in front of my eyes. Fortunately, I am older now, and (usually) better at seeing the bigger picture. I suspect this is a common phenomenon in all walks of life, and particularly in our work. This can happen in many aspects of the appraisal puzzle. One of the most...

Modernizing Appraisals: It seems we're stuck in 1989. 43

Modernizing Appraisals & Being Stuck in 1989

Modernizing Appraisals: It seems we’re stuck in 1989… On November 16, 2016, the Housing and Insurance Subcommitte held a hearing on “Modernizing Appraisals: A Regulatory Review and the Future of the Industry.” Subcommittee discussed modernizing appraisals to benefit American consumers. The hearing focused on necessary changes to the appraisal industry. Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) explained: “Appraisals are one of the cornerstones of the home-buying process. Issues that impact appraisers also impact nearly every American buying or selling a home, in rural and urban areas; in high- and low-income neighborhoods. Yet when it comes to the regulatory regime surrounding appraisals,...

Line Item Adjustments for Every Little Difference? 7

Bugged About Adjustments

Illogical line item adjustments… Appraisers, I’ve recently ‘come in contact with’, in a semi-official capacity, a recently completed appraisal report. In looking at the adjustment grid pages for 5 comps, items jumped out at me. These do not appear logical. All comps, except one, have sale or list prices at even thousand dollar figures = $XXX,000. The one is $XXX,950. These are pretty typical in our market. Very seldom do we see these in odd numbers, unless the listing agent is trying to be cute, and buyers accept the oddity. For line item adjustments in the report, the appraiser has...

Expert Witnesses Don't Include Appraisers - You Are NOT Invited! 13

Appraisers Are NOT Invited!

“No room” for any additional expert witnesses representing appraisers’ interests… Who are the Valuation Professionals? Appraisers are unbiased and impartial in determining the market value of a property. We have the most training, both in the class room and in the field. We continually improve our skills and knowledge. We are the first to see market trends and continually monitor our coverage areas for triggers of market change. We are held to the highest standards. Appraisers are the valuation professionals that protect the consumer. If the above statement is correct, someone please provide some insight into why not one appraiser...

Freddie Mac Criminal Aspects of Its Appraisal Free Mortgages 31

Freddie Mac Criminal Aspects of Its Appraisal Free Mortgages

Freddie Mac is opening itself up to over 150,000± potential individual lawsuits… This is a response from Mike Ford to Kenneth Harney’s article, “Freddie Mac planning appraisal-free mortgages”. I represent the American Guild of Appraisers, #44OPEIU, AFL-CIO, and the real estate appraisal-related consumer and taxpayer interests of our more than fifteen million± AFL-CIO members, retirees and their families. I’m prompted to write this open letter regarding your recent well written & researched article, titled “Freddie Mac planning appraisal free mortgages”. Regrettably, it was too brief to cover several additional critical aspects of the issue, but I assume the Chicago Tribune’s...

Automated Revolution Valuation Imposters 14

Automated Revolution, the Valuation Imposters

Along comes the automated valuation revolution… The appraisers we need, to keep consumers protected, are the very ones being driven out of the business. They are being forced out by big banks and AMCs (who much too often provide zero benefits to consumers). Everyone seems to have forgotten that these services (provided by AMCs) used to be part of the bank’s responsibility for every loan. It was just the cost of doing business. Then came the AMCs and banks’ profits had to go up. After all, they lost a whole department. Now they pass the expenses along, mostly on the...

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