Author: Jonathan Miller

USPAP Misleading Definition Inviting Problems, Not Protecting Public Trust 3

New “Misleading” Definition Inviting Problems

I perused the latest copy of USPAP and saw a new definition on the list: Misleading. While I appreciate the attempt by TAF to create clarity and their hard work, and appraisers need standards to operate by and USPAP should be that standard, the addition of this word to the list is symbolic of over-regulation. “Misleading” as a word is a qualitative term and the courts will determine whether something is “intentional” or “unintentional.” In Webster’s dictionary, the word “mislead” already has a negative connotation. “to lead in a wrong direction or into a mistaken action or belief often by...

Some Cobras Might Want To Look In The Mirror 5

Cobra’s Favorite Target is TAF Dave Bunton

In 2016 I began to wage a battle with the Appraisal Institute to bring to light how they were working against the residential appraisers’ interests by going to state legislatures (largely, Scott DeBiasio). What triggered my outrage was their attempt to take control over the local finances of each chapter and I’m not even a member. Their lack of residential representation continues today but the difference is, the appraisal industry’s deeper understanding of AI’s past behavior, linkage with AMCs including past senior officers who run them and lack of effectiveness in moving residential forward. One of my thought processes during...

You Should Be Insulted if That’s All You Think You’re Worth 17

You Should Be Insulted…

A good friend and appraiser colleague of mine in the midwest sent me this appraisal order request from Better Mortgage in New York [redacted]: My friend and I and most of my peers marvel at order requests like this. They are paying half the market rate to the actual person analyzing the asset to be used as collateral for the mortgage, but most importantly that seems to enable them to provide free lunches and snacks to their employees who process the loans. See the review in Glassdoor. Companies like this can often find a few appraisers willing to work for...

Sign of GSE Compression Into One Entity 15

GSE Compression Into One Entity

Here’s one little thought before you sip that New Year’s champagne… Because we appraisers sweat the details to provide credible valuations, we might miss the macro right in front of us. A few months ago I suggested that the current pilot programs for wide-scale bifurcation assignments were “dead man walking” per suggestions and insider tips related to actions by the new head of FHFA. He has consistently mentioned his aversion to the additional risk taken on by the GSEs in public speaking. Yes there is already bifurcation out there, but nothing near the scale should bifurcation go mainstream (under false...

Luxury Real Estate Appraising Designation? - Appraisers Blogs 22

Luxury Real Estate Appraiser Designation?

Back in the late 1970s, when comedian Steve Martin was at his standup peak, he appeared on Saturday Night Live in a routine whose theme was “How to have A Million Dollars And Never Pay Taxes.” Steve got right to the heart of the matter: “First, get a million dollars…” Appraisalbuzz provided a press release type piece on luxury real estate appraising, and I did a double-take wondering whether this was a parody. McKissock, a well respected online education company, now offers a designation for luxury real estate appraising, which I find quite silly. Here are the steps they shared...

NAR Bifurcation Position Is a Good Thing 16

NAR Bifurcation Position Is a Good Thing

I reread last week’s post in Appraiserville: “NAR Real Property Valuation Committee Issues Position On Bifurcation” and felt I left the reader hanging with this incomplete thought: But I don’t want our industry to think: There, we’ve addressed and resolved the threat to appraisers and more importantly, the public trust. After marinating in this topic, I believe the more accurate way to think of this new NAR policy position is this: One of the largest residential real estate trade groups (NAR) developed an appraisal policy on a controversial appraisal topic: bifurcations. Appraisers have been battling the implementation of bifurcation for...

The Costly, Less Accurate & Less Timely GSE Pilot Programs Are Dead! 18

GSE Pilot Programs Dead

The Only Good Pilot Is A Dead Pilot? Like my father always told me about having a business partner (see title above). But I digress. I have yet another independent confirmation that all GSE pilot programs are now dead under the new FHFA director. Fortunately for appraisers, his biggest concern is risk management and this action seems to confirm this. The GSE pilot programs designed to “improve” efficiencies, such as bifurcation (a spurious solution that is more costly, less timely and less accurate), are dead. Not everyone in the chain of command may be aware yet. Real Estate Appraising Is...

North Dakota Was Told Getting A Waiver Was A Snap - ApppraisersBlogs 3

Waiver Was a Snap – It’s All About Control

When North Dakota re-applied for a state-wide waiver, the appraisal industry was nearly unanimous in outrage at the audacity of the state to apply for one in the first place because its entire premise was false. Some of the facts brought up by the appraisal industry in opposition that were ignored were: There were more appraisers in the state than there were a decade ago There are plenty of appraisers in the cities Rural appraisers have always been hard to find because the economics make nominally feasible to cover those markets The economics of AMC-gouging of appraiser fees had forced...

Appraisal Fee Transparency Is in the Public Interest 24

Appraisal Fee Transparency

Bill H.R.3619 has left the House and is now ready for consideration in the Senate. There are a number of key issues presented in this bill. Three of them jumped out at me: SEC. 3. TRAINEE APPRAISERS. (12) TRAINEE APPRAISER. — The term ‘trainee appraiser’ means an individual who meets the minimum criteria established by the Appraiser Qualification Board for a trainee appraiser license and is credentialed by a State appraiser certifying and licensing agency.” This definition is critical to help undo the logjam that appraisers face bringing more people into the appraisal profession. SEC. 5. REQUIREMENT TO DISCLOSE APPRAISAL FEES....

GSEs to Halt Hybrid Pilot Program? Rumors or Fact? 26

GSEs to Halt Hybrid Pilot Program?

My colleagues in the appraisal industry and I have been confused/alarmed by the actions of the former GSEs Fannie & Freddie over the past several years in their efforts to raise mortgage volume. Banks continue to remain in the fetal position on risk post-financial crisis and low mortgage rates and inverted yield curves aren’t helping. As a result, the GSEs, who remain in receivership, are doing all they can to remove pain points for banks to lend more and as a result, exposing the mortgage process (and, of course, the taxpayer) to unnecessary risk. As an appraiser, I’m clearly biased...

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