Author: Michael Ford

Stop the Housing Tax for Transportation -Taxing us out of our homes - Flickr - Riley Kaminer 2

Stop the Housing Tax for Transportation

Hidden tax on homeowners The California Association of Realtors® in conjunction with the National Association of Realtors® has published a widespread “Call to Action”, Stop Congress From Taking Money From Future Homeowners. I have already contacted my Congress Member and received a reply. In a nutshell, the bill being discussed is a hidden tax on homeowners. Whether on a refinance or on a new purchase, anyone with a mortgage of about $400,000 could expect to pay an additional $8,000 for federal transportation infrastructure funding through an add on mortgage tax included in their monthly payment! For decades the Federal Highway...

A Contrary Response to The Future of Valuation - Imagecredit Flickr - Simon Cunningham 6

A Contrary Response to The Future of Valuation

Recently an article appeared in WorkingRE about the Future of Valuation. The author is the President of a large and highly respected Appraiser  Peer and Educational Organization.  My own contrary response was either too lengthy, or deemed too critical of a big advertiser for publication in WorkingRE. I thank the hosts of this blog for granting the space. My concern with the author’s views starts with the description of our Real Estate Appraisal profession as ‘valuation.’ The concern is more than mere quibbling over semantics. Valuation is the phrase preferred by the Business Valuation community. They have long been dominated...

Free Enterprise an Appraisal Myth 40

Free Enterprise an Appraisal Myth?

Is THAT free enterprise? I’m surprised anyone in the business today sees any minimum pricing proposal as being anti-free enterprise. Contrary to popular belief we have not had free enterprise in the GSE appraisal process since HVCC first reared its ugly head. AMCs ‘telling’ us to pick a number from $250 to $350, or that ‘THEY pay’ $325 per 1004 is NOT free enterprise. I’m an old timer (1986) that was brought up on what used to be AIREA (now the AI) & SREA (now gone) positions that free enterprise and the Sherman Anti-Trust Act prohibited us from ‘even discussing’...

“Customary” & “Reasonable” Fees Exclusive Oxymorons 10

‘Customary’ & ‘Reasonable’ Fees – Oxymorons

If WE don’t set ‘reasonable’ minimums for ourselves, then others will do it for us (or to us). Fellow appraisers, Please read this draft proposal for minimum national appraiser fees. I appreciate those who believe no one other than themselves should set fees, and I concur. Except, in the real world of today someone (lenders and AMCs) are ALREADY SETTING your fees. If not directly, then through ruinous less than customary OR reasonable fee competition. I’m interested in your meaningful, constructive feedback as well as comment & discussion here. For those that insist ONLY regional fees are practical, this same system works...

Another Win for Appraisers - California 6

Another Win for Appraisers – California

Cooperation between appraisers and multiple appraiser organizations wins the day in California! When is the last time you heard of a State bill that was already passed by both State Houses (Assembly & Senate) in any state, being quashed short of a Governor’s veto? Especially a “consent calendar” item that legislators automatically vote to approve for each other as a legislative courtesy. In less than two months? Let me share a quote from Rey Cano’s regular appraiser newsletter (www.Malibuappraisal.com). Rey, along with George St Johns, was an original co-founder of the California Coalition of Appraisal Professionals (CaCAP), where with full...

Skewed Customary Fee Perceptions - Imagecredit Flickr - Quinn Dowbroski 14

Skewed “Customary” Fee Perceptions

I no longer care about “customary”. “Customary” in Dodd-Frank’s customary and reasonable is a negatively biased fee before state studies begin! We all know that the “C” part of C & R is supposed to represent the normal fee charged by most appraisers for similar work and conditions. Some AMC appraisers even know the “R” part is supposed to be an amount that is reasonable based upon ALL factors necessary for completion of the assignment in a USPAP compliant and professional manner. Unfortunately HVCC and the AMC havoc it wreaked has existed far too long for there to be a...

LSI Fees - Absolutely Criminal! 15

LSI Fees – Absolutely Criminal!

We used to do a lot of work for LSI back when they paid semi decent fees that were only about 10% below the competitive norm back around 1992. I think the norm was around $300 and they were paying $275+/-. In late 1992+/- they cut back to $235. We lost a few people but most stayed. Bear in mind the appraisers were being paid on a fee split. I think they got 50% of the firms fee. I was on salary for QC review and teaching work plus a split fee for field reviews. Back then it was much simpler to...

AMC's “My Way or the Highway” Attitude 47

AMC’s “My Way or the Highway” Attitude

Apparent appraiser abuse by AMC’s… As Chairman of the American Guild of Appraisers (AGA) National Appraiser Peer Review Committee, I have had the opportunity to see and hear directly about many cases involving alleged, as well as apparent appraiser abuse by AMC’s. These cases ranged geographically from California, Arizona, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana, New Jersey, Virginia, New York, Maryland, and District of Columbia. As a QC consultant to a smaller appraiser owned AMC, I have also seen low fee spreadsheets from a variety of lenders that had 90% listed at the SAME APPRAISER fees: $495.00 (which INCLUDED the AMC...

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Appraisal Fees ARE Being Manipulated

Gas prices in California were $4.25 to $4.50 when oil was last at $100 a barrel. A week ago they were $50+/- a barrel and our pump prices were still over $4.00 a gallon. We are told ‘environmental’ mandated blended methanol is the cause of the $1.30 higher pricing than anywhere else in the Continental US. When those environmental laws were being passed we were told they’d only add from $0.05 to MAX of $0.15 per gallon-NOT $1.30 or 43% more! We KNOW that California politicians have also very recently heavily increased gas taxes in their never ending war against internal combustion....

I Did Not Quit when HVCC, UAD and CU Came Along. I Do Not Quit, Not Ever - Imagecredit Flickr - Andew Hurley 8

I Do Not Quit, Not Ever!

I Did Not Quit when HVCC, UAD and CU Came Along. I Do Not Quit, Not Ever! I do not quit. Not ever. I have a different perspective based on lifelong lessons from my father. I did not quit when a lost helmet in the last play of the season made it painful to block during high school football. That effort got me my school letter despite being 3 quarters short. It was worth the headache. I did not quit Boot Camp in 1969 when at 129 pounds and six feet, very few thought I’d make it. To this day I...

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