Author: Dave Towne

FHA Attic Inspections - FHA appraisers - Imagecredit Flickr - Jamie Beverly 2

FHA Attic Inspections

FHA Attic Requirements FHA Appraisers, FHA has always had a requirement for appraisers to inspect ‘attics’. However, HUD/FHA does not have a real definition of ‘attic’ in their documentation. Because there is no definition of ‘attic’, assumptions have been made by FHA and appraisers that the ‘attic’ includes any space above the ceiling and below the roof inside dwellings – despite that space in modern design homes typically not having any flooring. An appraiser in WA State, not me, was concerned about this inspection requirement and sent an inquiry question to HUD/FHA. Their response is below. Be sure to read this...

Background Checks Issue for Appraisers - Imagecredit Flickr - Alan Levine 12

Background Checks Issue for Appraisers

Background checks & third party relationships Appraisers, One of the recent thorns in appraisers’ sides has been the issue of background checks. A key reason for this is the Office of the Controller of the Currency (OCC) bulletin, which outlines the management responsibility banks must take when dealing with ‘third parties. Third parties include the AMC’s banks use to ‘manage’ their appraisal orders, and vendor appraisers. The bulletin puts the fear of God into bank Board of Directors. Since water runs downhill, the banks are telling AMCs that they must improve how they ‘vet’ appraisers on their panels. Many AMC’s are...

TRID Impact on Appraisal Fees 8

TRID Impact on Appraisal Fees

Appraisers, The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) has mandated new residential mortgage application and disclosure procedures, which take effect Oct. 3, 2015. Here’s a link to a brief article about this. When a consumer applies to a mortgage lender, the lender requests certain information from the consumer before the clock starts ticking in terms of ‘timing requirements’ on the consumer’s application. When the application is considered “complete”, the lender has 3 business days to provide the consumer with the Loan Estimate document. What’s of concern among lenders and appraisers is the speculated inability to change appraisal fees, which is disclosed...

Enhancements to Collateral Underwriter (CU) Are Coming - Imagecredit Flickr - Alan Levine 4

CU “Enhancements” Are Coming

CU risk score, flags and messages Appraisers, In about 6 weeks, Fannie Mae will make available to LENDERS only, and probably by default indirectly, to their AMC agents, enhancements or improvements (in their opinion) to the Collateral Underwriter electronic review process. None of the Collateral Underwriter background info,  especially about Fannie Mae’s ‘additional comps’ selection process, is shared directly with appraisers.  But when these are returned to appraisers in the form of a Quality Assurance request from the lender or AMC, appraisers are expected to drop everything and immediately review those for applicability in the appraisal report. Pay attention to the...

Report an Opinion of Value as a RANGE - Yes or No - Imagecredit Flick - brandbook.de 3

Report an Opinion of Value as a RANGE – Yes or No?

Can appraisers report an opinion of value as a range? Can that be done? The answer is both YES and NO, or as some like to say, “It Depends!” Here’s an interesting example of YES, involving two commercial properties in Miami Beach (yeah, I know, resi’s, but hang with me here!): Appraisals: Town-owned lots in West Palm Beach worth millions You will notice in the article that the value reported in the appraisals is stated as a RANGE by the appraisers. That is entirely acceptable when appraisals are done under the guidance of USPAP Standard 2. It makes sense to do it...

Calling on Licensed & Certified Residential Appraisers - Be the Change - Imagecredit Flickr - Simon Greening 0

Calling on Residential Appraisers

Calling on Licensed & Certified Residential Appraisers Appraisers, The Appraisal Foundation seeks candidates for its Boards. We need a diversity of ‘license types’ to serve on these Boards. Your service time and travel expenses are covered. I just completed an analysis for the current members on the Appraiser Qualifications Board. Individually, they are all nice and very qualified people, but they are ALL Certified General appraisers. In the US there are fewer CG’s than there are License or Certified Residential appraisers. The composition of the AQB has been largely dominated by CG’s for years. These are the folks who have mandated...

The "Property Prices Reach All Time High" Hype - Imagecredit Flickr - FaceMePLS 2

The “Property Prices Reach All Time High” Hype

“Property Prices Reach an All-Time High” Oh really? The subject line is a press release headline put out by a national sales organization. Do you buy into the hype, or do you actually do local comparable property market research to verify trends? I just completed an appraisal on a property I appraised 2 years ago. I did a 5 year market study on comparables then, and found the market for that type of property had been DECLINING at that time. I did another 5 year market study on this same property this time around. And guess what? The property values for this type...

AQB Changing Course on Appraiser Qualifications? 60

AQB Changing Course on Appraiser Qualifications?

Is AQB Potentially Changing Course on Appraiser Qualifications? Appraisers & others, The Appraisal Qualifications Board (AQB) is one of the voluntary Boards under The Appraisal Foundation. Their role is to analyze, debate, review, and decide the minimum qualifications necessary for a person to become an appraiser. While all who currently or in the past have served on this Board, are individually good and experienced people, collectively by Board action they have nearly caused residential appraising to grind to a halt due to their highly restrictive policy decisions. Yes, this a strong statement, and ‘halting’ won’t happen until the majority of current...

Do you laser - laser distance measuring tool 3

Do You Laser? Watching the Red Dot

Laser Measuring Tool One of the fastest and reliable ways to measure properties is with a laser distance measurer.  These devices are accurate to 1/8th inch over long distances, not that we ever need that preciseness. I started in this business like most other appraisers using a 100′ tape and a 25-30′ tape. I still carry those in my ‘tool pouch’ when measuring, but a majority of the time I use my laser. There are times when I find the tapes better for a particular situation. There are several manufacturers of laser distance measurers, with probably the best known having...

What is Gross Living Area and What Does it Include 10

What is Gross Living Area (GLA)?

What is Gross Living Area and What Does it Include? Appraisers, There are certain properties where aspects of Gross Living Area (GLA) might not be obvious. It’s more confusing when the selling real estate agents lump all “living space” together, because that’s what they are selling, or when the county assessor includes basements with upper level areas. These include homes with a detached ADU, additional rec room or sleeping space above a garage, additional living space with roof attached to the primary dwelling via covered breezeway, basement living spaces with separate entry, etc. Fannie Mae has a giant book called...

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