Monthly Archive: February 2016

Urban or Suburban 8

Urban… or Suburban?

Difference between Urban and Suburban locations Appraisers, Last week, I asked your input regarding why in many cases appraisers check suburban in the Neighborhood Characteristics when often the subject’s location is actually an Urban area (at least from the definitions perspective below). The example I used was from an actual report. The subject property is located within a city of 90,000 population. It has typical urban services, including police and fire protection, utility water deliver and sewer service. It is surrounded by competing subdivisions, nearby shopping, colleges, city administrative offices and business buildings. It is also close to Interstate 5,...

First American Financial and ACI software 13

Software Provider Conflict of Interest(s)?

ACI software & “restricted appraisals” that suffer from schizophrenia… It’s been awhile since I reviewed or researched influences affecting products offered by appraisal software providers. It’s hardly been a number one priority lately. However, I just noticed something I’ve missed for I can’t even begin to guess at how long. Like many appraisers, I use a variety of software providers. Some do some things better than others, or easier. It’s usually been a matter of preference. I started out back in the 1980’s with Formfil PC+, back on my old DOS based system. It was a decent appraisal software. Pretty...

Demand Payment - AMC in Trouble 11

Payment Trouble – Another AMC Failing?

If you don’t demand payment, you work for free. Folks, I learned from two different appraisers, that an AMC/Appraiser Company may be on the verge of failing. The AMC is based here in Washington State not far from Seattle. It has 4 initials in its name. First initial starts with “W”. This company operates as an Appraiser Company with W-2 employee staff appraisers, and as an AMC with vendor appraisers in those areas where their staff appraisers don’t work. The situation came to light today in an email sent out to their appraisers. They admitted they do not have the...

Appraisers 4 year college degree 51

College Degree Requirement is Flawed

Why the 4-year college degree requirement is flawed and how to make the requirement work? Many, many years ago, my local college offered appraisal classes. You could take a couple classes, go take the state test and start knocking on doors. New people didn’t need a mentor. And new people learned by trial and error. It probably wasn’t the best way to do things. But it did allow for new people to freely get into the profession without a bunch of hurdles to overcome. Times have changed. Today, new people have to have a 4-year college degree in anything first,...

Mister 225 appraiser & VaCAP 27

Mr. $225 Appraiser and VaCAP

Mr. $225 Appraiser, you are a major contributor to the problem Recently VaCAP has been receiving correspondence from Virginia Appraisers complaining about low fees and AMC abuses. Comments like the “The AMC is taking more than half of my fee” and another “Why hasn’t VaCAP done something?” One of the best yet… ”When is the Customary and Reasonable Fee Committee meeting? I can’t keep accepting appraisals for $225“ This came two weeks after the Customary and Reasonable Fee Committee meeting! Well Mr. $225 Appraiser, what rock have you been under? VaCAP sends out information on a regular basis; on average...

Porter Ranch Environmental Issues 5

Environmental Issues Notice to Appraisers

Response to LRES email concerning appraiser’s responsibility regarding environmental issues Fellow Appraisers, Have you asked yourself WHY a few more of the larger regional AMCs are joining organizations like REVAA? In my opinion, it is because they and their clients (usually GSE lenders) KNOW that they are not truly compliant with Dodd-Frank’s C&R requirement. Despite disclaimers or advisories like this, they also know that the bulk of their work products are ‘probably not compliant’ with USPAP. Notices like this don’t normally get set out until ‘after the fact’ issues arise. REVAA recently helped coerce the State of Virginia (through threat...

Big data is in real estate 13

Big Data is in Real Estate

The only thing Big Data can’t do is smell. I got a call from my credit card company. Now I have been traveling a lot lately on business. Apparently, someone got my number and charged $199.53 at WalMart on Monday. I was not in WalMart, but a couple a weeks ago I bought a new TV at Sam’s Club. No question about the Sam’s Club purchase. How did they know I did not go to WalMart? I am truly amazed. The reason – BIG DATA! The banks are amassing massive amounts of data on you, me, everyone. They know more...

Board Member Says Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease 2

Board Member Says ‘Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease’

Board Members reported a shortage of individual appraisers offering suggestions, complaints and concerns… Legitimate ‘complaints’ should never be referred to as whining by any professional in my opinion. To do so diminishes the importance of the concerns being addressed. I attended the Las Vegas Public Hearing of the The Appraisal Foundation (TAF) / Appraisal Practices Board (APB) last Friday. No Appraisers Guild or member funds were used in any way for this. There was lots of good information. Board Members reported that there really is a shortage of individual appraisers offering suggestions, complaints and concerns to them as a Board,...

What Does Your Appraisal Business Look Like in Three Years? 34

Your Appraisal Business in 3 Years?

What Does Your Appraisal Business Look Like in Three Years? If I were to ask you to paint an accurate picture of what your appraisal business looks like three years from today, could you do it? If you can’t answer this question, perhaps you are getting hung up on the word “accurate”. Any individual can guess what the future might look like, but can you make that prediction with some sentiment of reality? In an exercise such as this, it is easy to get paralyzed by so many unknowns that are outside of our control. What will the markets do?...

PACE Pro Form is an appraisal 11

Form PACE Pro – Appraisal or Evaluation?

Frankly this form is so screwed up! To First American Mortgage Solutions…(copy to appraisers around the US): Do you folks really understand what your PACE form report REALLY is??  It is not an Evaluation report. It is an actual appraisal, disguised very poorly as a so-called Evaluation. Here’s what I found in your form, after actually reading it: “This report is provided for the benefit of the named customer only and is not intended to be, nor shall it be deemed to be, an appraisal or any form of an appraisal.” OK, fine, not an appraisal. The main form page says...

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