Author: Dave Towne

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...

Rounding of Adjustments Because We Are Just Not That Good 16

Adjustment Question

Rounding of adjustments is perfectly acceptable. Would someone kindly, and logically, explain to me why the ‘Site’ is adjusted precisely at $0.20 per square foot, down to the nearest dollar, but all other adjustments are rounded to $50? Are ‘we’ appraisers really that good, where we can divine buyer motivations or values (i.e., adjustments) as accurately as that?  In other words: “Well, I believe it’s worth exactly that much.” Usually I see this kind of adjustment practice to the nearest dollar when applied to the Gross Living Area and below grade areas, which is also screwy (IMHO).  This is the...

Alternative Hybrid Reports, Finding a Solution By Working Together 22

Solution for Alternative Reports

Lenders are having a problem finding enough appraisers to fulfill the number of ‘alternative’ reports… This is my follow-up to the previous essay about FIVE different types of ‘hybrid’ reports. You need to know some background about why I’m writing about this. I’m acquainted with a highly skilled appraiser/instructor of 40+/- years in the trenches. I had the pleasure of meeting this appraiser in glitter gulch in 2008, again in 2013, and we have stayed in touch over the years. I greatly respect this appraiser’s opinions and willingness to contribute cogent remarks in-person, when teaching, and via various forum posts, etc....

Portal Fees Disclosure & Complying With the Intent of USPAP 15

Portal Fees

Should you disclose portal fees… Appraisers, Some of you know that I have written numerous times about my viewpoint that disclosure of the ‘back end’, and sometimes 'front end' portal fees we appraisers must pay to deliver a completed report to a particular client should be disclosed. You don’t have to report the FEE, only that you had to ‘pay a fee’ to obtain the assignment. If you don’t pay the fee, you technically cannot complete the assignment. My viewpoint has always been, and will remain, that if you cannot technically ‘complete’ an assignment without paying a delivery fee, then the net...

Hybrid Reports - The Story About "Hybrid" Who Does What 5

The Story About “Hybrid” Who Does What

WHO actually fills in the subject info in ‘hybrid reports… Appraisers, This is a long message… grab a cold one and settle in! Last Wednesday, (yah, bad on me!), I sent out a message asking appraisers who have done, or are doing, the new ‘hybrid’, ‘alternative’, ‘bifurcated’ or “easy squeezie” desktop reports promoted by some AMC’s and others, what the actual process is concerning WHO actually fills in the subject info in ‘hybrid reports’. A number of appraisers took time to answer via email that afternoon. Among the responses, I actually CALLED and talked to 4 appraisers who are from different...

mysterious device revealed 2

Mysterious Device Revealed

On Monday, I distributed a photo (see below), which was taken by a western US appraiser at the subject property, and asked if anyone could accurately describe what this device is: The property owner was not at the property when the appraiser was there, and the appraiser was frankly stumped as to what this ‘thing’ is. By late afternoon Monday, the appraiser was able to talk with the property owner, and was told about this contraption. Meanwhile, dozens of appraisers wrote back with suggestions or positive “it’s a” statements. One appraiser actually has an administrative assistant who is a HAM radio...

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