Author: Dave Towne

Real Estate Driven by Psychology 10

Real Estate ‘Driven by Psychology’

What’s that? Real estate/home prices are driven by psychology? In an article in the National Mortgage Professional Magazine e-newsletter posted March 30, 2016, professor Robert Shiller, the co-founder of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, tells us what we appraisers have known for years and years and even decades… or longer! Excerpt: The co-founder of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index has studied the latest round of home price increases and has concluded the upward activity is being fueled by emotional impulses rather than economic reality. “These markets, I think, are substantially driven by psychology,” said Robert Shiller, a Yale economics professor,...

The 1004D for Disaster Inspections 3

The 1004D for Disaster Inspections – Advice

When Disaster Happens… Appraisers, The phrase “disasters happen” is, unfortunately, all too common. Fires, floods, vehicle accidents, wind storms, hurricanes, tornadoes are all factors that can affect real property. When a local disaster happens, and is officially declared, lenders often ask appraisers to observe the current condition of their mortgaged properties. The assignment date may be days, weeks or months after the declared disaster. The hiccups, hang-ups and head scratching occurs when the lender or AMC asks for a ‘Disaster Inspection Condition Report’ to be done on the wonderful 1004D form. Something it is not designed to do. And this...

Desirable - banned Fannie Mae words 8

Desirable, Rite or Rong?

Desirable, banned or permitted? I was caught up in a minor ‘dispute’ last week when a review appraiser wacked my knuckles when I described a ‘neighborhood’ as being “Desirable.” My original message was re-distributed on various forums and I’ve tried to read all comments to see how I might learn from this episode. Lots of appraisers offered their input. Some supportive and positive, some cautionary, and some who believe much of what we have to deal with is pretty trivial. “Banned words” were originally identified in the Fair Housing Act law many years ago (not the EEOC law as I...

Unacceptable sentence 22

What’s Wrong With this Sentence?

AMC says sentence was unacceptable based on one word in that sentence Beware appraisers, big brother is watching what you write. This is the sentence in question. See if you can figure out what is considered to be ‘wrong’ about it: “Skagit County is centrally located between Seattle and Vancouver, BC, and is considered a desirable residential area with good appeal and has had continued stable growth for years.” Okay…now re-read that sentence again. Then, read this, which is from the FNMA Seller’s Guide, pg 567 in the Feb. 2016 edition: Unacceptable Appraisal Practices The following are examples of unacceptable...

Homeowner report appraiser identity fraud 13

Appraiser Removed from AMC Panel due to Fraud

Homeowner was not comfortable with the apparent fraud that was committed… Folks, I am sometimes offered information about appraiser issues in a confidential nature by other appraisers. When that occurs, I do not distribute specific information about the issue, but may choose to reveal facts via the ‘big picture.’ This is one such case: A homeowner decided to refinance their home. Appraisal appointment was scheduled. ‘Someone’ showed up at the home to do the interior & exterior inspections and take photos, etc. When the homeowner asked who that ‘someone’ was, ‘someone’ provided a different appraiser name. Report was completed and...

Coffin Lid Closed on Defunct AMC 38

Coffin Lid Closed on Defunct AMC

AMC is indeed closed! Over the last number of days, I have sent messages about a Washington State Appraisal Management Company which was about to fail. This AMC is owing many appraisers thousands of dollars in unpaid appraisal fees. I performed an ‘autopsy’ on that AMC while it was still kicking and screaming. I now have confirmation from two separate appraisers, on two separate days, that the AMC office is now closed, with most furnishings removed. The AMC owner has not informed any appraisers about this action, or anything else related to the business closing. Because those of us involved...

Valligent New $40 Alternative Valuation Assignment 31

Valligent New $40 Alternative Valuation Assignment

Valligent, an AMC with ‘national’ presence, is soliciting appraisers to complete a new alternative valuation product on behalf of their GSE clients. There is nothing wrong with doing these. Any appraiser can. But any appraiser who does these assignments is required to comply with USPAP’s Record Keeping Rule. Which means keeping a Workfile for every assignment. In order to do these alternative valuation assignments, you need to comply with USPAP Standard 3, because you ARE providing a report review service. Even though Valligent is sly about not really revealing that aspect. The SOW for these assignments, which I highlighted below,...

Autopsy of a Failing AMC 16

Autopsy of a Failing AMC

The autopsy has revealed… Appraisers and others, I have previously reported about a Seattle area AMC, who I and others believe, is just about to ‘officially fail.’ This AMC claims to be registered in many states, places orders ‘nationwide,’ and uses both “Staff” (1099) appraisers in the metro areas, and independent vendor appraisers (also 1099) in other areas. I am purposely not reporting the AMC’s name. Even though it’s a terrible situation for many appraisers, the AMC deserves some courtesy as they attempt to stay afloat. They have taken steps to do so. But with no expectation from observers with...

Mortgage Rates Approaching all Time Lows 2

Mortgage Rates Approaching all Time Lows

Mortgage rates are approaching all time lows…again In case you have not been following mortgage lending rates activity, mortgage rates are again very close to what we experienced in the second quarter of 2013. Here’s the link to a Mortgage News Daily e-newsletter article. From the article: Mortgage rates were widely available at 3.5 percent for much of the day today. At any other time from the middle of 2013 through the end of 2015, that’s not something that very many people thought they’d be able to say (or read, or think!). A few lenders had been dabbling in quoting...

Urban or Suburban 5

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,...

xml sitemap