Author: Dave Towne

Don Machholz Hangs up his Clipboard & Gives Away Spreadsheets 3

Don Machholz Hangs up his Clipboard

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Don Machholz for his willingness to assist appraisers… Appraisers, A well respected appraiser who has voluntarily helped many of us has decided to hang up his clipboard, and remove the batteries from his laser measurer. I first became aware of Don Machholz back when the screwball GSE designed MC form was introduced in 2009. Don was one of the first appraisers who used his skills with Excel programming to design and distribute an Excel computation spreadsheet for the MC. Many appraisers have been using that, and his other Excel spreadsheets, ever since....

Location Reporting - Where, 'Exactly', is Your Subject Located? 9

Where, Exactly, is Your Subject Located?

Appraisers, I have another ‘observation’ to discuss, based on separate reports where I found the same type of subject location reporting by different appraisers working in different areas, nowhere close together. This ‘observation’ concerns the reported physical location (on form page 1 Neighborhood comment section) of the appraised property verses its street address and ZIP Code. This is especially relevant to appraisers who work in Suburban and Rural areas. Street addresses and ZIP Codes are assigned by the United States Postal Service, for THEIR convenience and operations. Those addresses and ZIPs may extend far from city limit lines which is the primary...

Rural Areas Appraisers at Risk by Dangerous Pending Bill in US Senate 22

Dangerous Pending Bill in US Senate

Appraisers, If you work in Rural Areas [that definition is referenced in (b)(1) below], your appraisal livelihood is threatened by this pending bill in Congress. This bill, if signed into law, will allow lenders to bypass appraisals for any property with a ‘transaction value’ of $400,000 or less (this is moving the de minimus goal post) if the lender was unable to find an available appraiser to complete an appraisal “within a reasonable amount of time”… that time frame apparently as determined by a regulator agency with jurisdiction over the lender. The bill shows ‘exceptions’ to this as per other laws. Appraisers...

Extraordinary Assumption & Hypothetical Condition Definition Changes 12

EA & HA Definition Changes

Appraisers, effective with the 2018-19 USPAP, definitions for Extraordinary Assumption and Hypothetical Condition have changed. Below is a one page PDF sheet you can print & post at your office, and you may distribute this to others if you like. According to the Appraisal Standards Board, the Extraordinary Assumption change was done to clarify the term and its applicability. It seems the same rationale was used for the Hypothetical Condition definition change, although that was not mentioned in their Summary of Actions document issued on Feb. 23, 2017. Underlined words are the changes made. I also include the prior definitions below...

Hybrid Reports: ASB USPAP Q&A Justifies Alternative Appraisal Reports 15

Hybrid Reports ASB Q&A

What the cohorts promoting hybrid reports are overlooking is APPRAISAL PRACTICE… Appraisers, On Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, the Appraisal Standards Board released their latest Q&A document (see embedded PDF below). This document appears to justify reasons why appraisers can complete the new ‘hybrid’, ‘bifurcated’, ‘desktop’ and ‘alternative’ appraisal reports (regardless of what they are named), although the Q&A document is written ‘generically’ and does not specifically mention those categorical names. I have two issues with this Q&A document: it does not discuss the appraiser’s true responsibility when completing certain kinds of these reports; for more on that see the additional...

Mobile Sketch User Guide - Total for Mobile Sketch 6

Mobile Sketch Guide

Just getting my big toe in the mobile ocean… Appraisers, For those of you interested to learn how to ‘sketch’ using a la mode’s Total for Mobile Sketch (T4M) on a tablet or phone, the attached PDF might be of interest to you. I’m a greenhorn, just getting my big toe in the mobile ocean and could not find a user guide for T4M Sketch, except as ‘single pages’ on the a la mode web site. I turned in a Support Request asking if such a guide was available. Turns out they don’t have a self-contained guide. So the support tech got...

1004D Update Shenanigans... Potential Games Played by Some AMCs 23

AMC 1004D Update Shenanigans

Why wasn’t the original appraiser asked to do the 1004D Update? Here it is the new year, and the potential games played by some AMC’s have already started. On January 3, 2018, I received word from an appraiser that this “substitute” appraiser was asked by an AMC to do a 1004D Update on a report another appraiser had done in September 2017. The AMC provided the original appraisal with the assignment request. I see mentions of this kind of assignment on various forums I read, and the posters always question these requests. On the surface, it was not a highly...

Appraisal Forms Revision? What Will Appraisers Charge For More Pages? 18

Revision to GSE Forms Coming?

Looking to revise appraisal forms… What will appraisers charge for more pages? Folks, This notice was posted in the National Association of Mortgage Brokers e-newsletter on Dec. 28, 2017: FHFA Looking to Revise Appraisal Forms As one of its 2018 priorities, FHFA says in its 2018 Scorecard that it wants to “research, assess, and begin planning for appraisal process modernization, which could include revised appraisal forms and data requirements.”  Now that we have a 17-page loan application coming soon, does that mean a 6-page appraisal form is inadequate? What will appraisers charge for more pages? This particular issue has been discussed...

Suburban Inside Urban City Limits 25

Suburban Inside Urban City Limits – Really?

Pre-filled template with ‘Suburban’ already checked… Appraisers, Another appraisal report was delivered by a homing pigeon to my windowsill the other day. After leaving a ‘deposit’ on the sill that kind of matches the goop I observed in the report, off it went. The subject property is within a built-up neighborhood area within the largest city in this particular area; it is within city limits. The neighborhood was developed in the 1950’s and 60’s. It is fully built out (i.e., all subdivided lots are developed) and has a couple of neighborhood parks. Population density is similar to other areas within...

Influencing Appraisers & Controlling AMCs to Commit Fraud 14

Appraisal Fraud

You might want to read this article. Notice what it says about an AMC allegedly ‘influencing’ appraisers to report incorrect or high values in disregard to federal law about appraiser independence. This brings up a salient point: When AMCs hire and employ W-2 “staff appraisers“, is there a potential for AMCs to direct appraisal value outcomes based on how reports are reviewed and suggested ‘better’ comps provided as a requested correction to a submitted report? But to be fair, this can also happen with lender-based internal appraisal servicing departments, which my first-hand experience proves. It seems that no matter how...

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