Author: Dave Towne

AMC Request to Only Appraise the Residence of the Live-Work Building 9

Is This Something You’d Do?

An AMC for a lender contacted a residential appraiser with the request that the appraiser “appraise only the second floor residence” in a two story Live-Work building within a commercial district, where SFR’s are allowed by zoning. Ground floor area of this Live-Work building is an ice cream & gift shop. The second floor is a fully finished & functional residence. Entire property is being sold. There are numerous legitimate Live-Work buildings in Seattle (and likely elsewhere also). They are properly zoned as such, are listed that way, appraised by using similar type sales – and mortgaged. Typically these are 2-3...

Subject Street Scene Photos' Policy - Appraisers Blogs 11

Street Scene Photos of the Subject Property

Appraisers, the discussion of subject photos occurred recently on a forum I read. How many of you know the street scene “view” policy of FHA and FNMA? How many of you were trained to just take ONE photo from the very front of the subject, looking down the street in one direction or the other (without having the subject in the photo)? Is that ‘good enough’ for a lender to know the context of where the subject is on the street? If a ‘street view policy’ between agencies is more strict for one, would it be appropriate to adopt that policy for...

Assessor's Incorrect Legal Description...Property Research is Vital! 12

Advance Property Research is Vital

‘Subject to’ obtaining a correct legal description… Appraisers, an unusual situation occurred with an appraiser buddy, who asked for advice. After reviewing the details and providing input, I decided that this would be a good ‘teaching moment’ for others. See PDF for images below. Appraiser was asked to do a ‘refi’ assignment for a home that was purchased about 6 months prior by the borrower. The report was completed and turned in. Not long afterward, the appraiser received a ROV request because the borrower felt the value was too low. In the course of this process, the prior appraisal done for the purchase...

Another Draft to a USPAP Draft! Everyone Should be on Their Toes... 13

Another Draft to a USPAP Draft!

Well, don’t toss your reading bifocals in the wastebasket just yet. Apparently, there were so many negative issues with the THIRD exposure draft to the 2020-21 version of USPAP, that the ASB jettisoned it, and will move forward with a FOURTH draft. Everyone should be on their toes, ready to peruse this stellar document when it is released not long from now! Can’t we, please, establish a set of reliable and understandable procedures, and leave them in place for 5 years minimum? Please! Here’s the announcement issued on February 8, 2019, after the ASB meeting in Scottsdale, AZ: (From the Appraisal Foundation)...

MCS Valuations (AMC) Closing Shop - ABA Supports Raising De Minimus 18

MCS Valuations (AMC) Closing Shop

I saw a posting by another appraiser on a Facebook page on February 5, 2019 that MCS Valuations, based in Lewisville, TX, is closing shop. They are an AMC, and provide BPO’s and other real estate related services. The appraiser posted a letter from the company. They will not be placing any more appraisal assignments, but are asking appraisers to finish any assigned reports already in the pipeline. What’s really striking about this closure is that in 2014, MCS Valuations bought ‘components’ of CoreLogic’s associated entities that CoreLogic no longer wanted in their business! February 5, 2019 This communication is to inform...

What's Happening With the New Forms? 11

What’s Happening With the New Forms?

Many of you are aware that the GSE’s are in the process of evaluating the entire appraisal process, including the existing ‘forms.’ This initiative was announced in 2nd Qtr 2018, and reps from both FNMA and FrMac made presentations at various appraiser conferences and other places through the year to gather info and suggestions from all appraisal forms users. This new initiative was never intended to be an immediate make-over; instead, the GSE’s said it was to be an approximate 3 year process. In December 2018, the GSE’s released their Executive Summary (see PDF below) describing what’s been accomplished so...

Highly Skilled Appraisers' World. Where Would You Go to Find Comps? 3

The World of Highly Skilled Appraisers

…the world of highly skilled appraisers, who are more than just “form fillers”… I hosted a USPAP Update class on Friday January 25 (taught by an approved USPAP instructor). During the class I asked attendees if they had heard about the ‘most expensive residence sale’ in the US. Some attendees knew about this, but most didn’t. To see what I’m talking about, click on this link from Jonathan Miller’s Housing Notes blog. Scroll down and you’ll see a photo of the view from that unit, a multi-story penthouse apartment in a brand new building, I think the tallest now in New...

Bonding Company Info for CoesterVMS for if You Are Owed Money 11

Bond Company for CoesterVMS

…contact information for the bonding company… Appraisers, if any of you are owed money for unpaid appraisals from CoesterVMS, you might want to read and save this message. However, first…often, bonding companies require a Superior Court judgement in writing before they will pay up. So you may need to follow that process in your state. You will need to have invoices for all unpaid reports which document the property address, and report file number, plus lender name if known. A peer appraiser has provided me the name and contact information for the bonding company as filed with the CoesterVMS AMC...

Ulterior Motive in Raising De Minimus 20

Ulterior Motive in Raising De Minimus

…raising de minimus shenanigans being promoted… Appraisers, a couple of weeks ago, I sent out a message about a Fee/TT quote conversation I had with an AMC clerk. I received a number of responses from appraisers across this fruited plain who said often they will receive Fee/TT quote requests for the SAME property from MULTIPLE AMC’s. That corroborates stories I hear from appraisers I talk with at conferences. The entire AMC situation is a giant time-wasting game that really doesn’t benefit the borrower at all, and least of all, appraisers. Lenders are the coaches in this game. Another message I received...

Quoting Fee/TT to AMCs - Lenders SLOWING DOWN the Loan Process 24

Quoting Fee/TT to AMCs

Appraisers, I had a revealing conversation with a clerk at an AMC last week. I actually received an email requesting Fee/TT, then awhile later a phone call about the same property, from a different clerk. I decided to call that clerk back after researching the property. Conversation went something like this: AMC clerk: Hi, this is James. Me: Hi James, I’m calling about the Timbucktoo property, which I can do for you. AMC: OK, I have that pulled up. Me: First of all, I don’t discount my fee for anyone, including your AMC. Second, I can do the assignment, probably...

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