Another ‘Bad’ Word to Avoid!

Another bad word to avoidTo lighten the load somewhat from discussions about current highly restrictive language use in appraisal reports that tends to circumvent actual reality and truth – which can positively or adversely impact property market value, replaced with only generic, non-offensive words, I present this cartoon.

It’s another word to avoid using:

words to avoid

Obfuscation of real and accurate market data using correct written descriptions, replaced with wokeism to foster an unworkable ideological agenda, is one reason why skilled appraisers are shifting their work to non-mortgage lending clients who actually want to understand the true reality of regional and neighborhood areas, and how market values are affected.

Appraisers who work for such clients are respected, and are valued positively. This is the exact opposite of what the mortgage lending arena has become for appraisers who only work in that space.

Plus, fees for non-mortgage lending work are much better than the beat down mortgage lending appraisers endure. This assumes that the appraiser does not incorporate the low pay mentality when engaging with private clients. If you are experienced and have higher level skills, don’t sell yourself short.

Dave Towne
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Image credit flickr - Tony Webster
Dave Towne

Dave Towne

AGA, MNAA, Accredited Green Appraiser - Licensed in WA State since 2003. Dave Towne on

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34 Responses

  1. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    The appraisal profession today is unrecognizable compared to when I bailed out in 2009. 95% of your time today is spent on keeping with new regs and forms, keeping up with the latest court battles, etc; leaving 5% for valuation.

  2. Avatar John says:

    Why would there be a reason to use the word “crazy” in an appraisal? I’m confused…

    • Avatar Johnny Q says:

      At this time, there is insufficient market support to adequately support the contract price of the subject property. The seller and sales agent are crazy. – There you go. ?

  3. Avatar Scott Hedrick says:

    I had one kicked back to me last week for the descriptor ‘mature landscaping’.
    Please remove the word ‘mature’.

    Clownworld…..Anything and everything now is an offensive buzzword.

  4. Stephen Reynolds on Facebook Stephen Reynolds on Facebook says:

    Old white men complaining about “woke” – that’s a great look for our profession!

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      A quite adept take at parroting the woke narrative. If you were still in the mortgage lending realm looking out for regular everyday consumers, you’d know this article is in response to a slue of update emails from several gse related clients talking about Freddies latest expansion of even more everyday words everyone routinely uses, now specifically prohibited for appraisers. If realty agents had to abide these rules their listings would be nothing more than some numbers, a few photos, and blank text areas. I’ll post the link below in a second. These policies will reach out to the commercial world soon.

    • Avatar Scott Hedrick says:

      Oh the Irony

  5. Jason Haroutunian on Facebook Jason Haroutunian on Facebook says:

    Apparently the word “school” gets flagged

  6. Pamela DeSimone on Facebook Pamela DeSimone on Facebook says:

    Well said.

  7. Avatar Will says:

    Twenty years ago as a commercial appraiser I had the opportunity to value two churches. All sorts of worship facilities are bought, sold and financed. So I added “churches” in my resume along with all the other property types I’ve valued over the years. About five years ago I was instructed to remove “church” from my resume and replace it with “religious facilities”. That was acceptable until today when I was informed that “religious facilities” might be offensive. These words are only offensive to COMMUNISTS which I personally find to be offensive.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Have you noticed these tech systems now adopting a different date format, where the year now comes first, just like in China? New rule of thumb; The first day of this month is no longer 11/01/23. You must clearly state; 11/01/2023. Because under the other countries date standards, the date would be interpreted as 01/23/2011.

      Communism and socialism is not just on the way. It’s here. Just one problem; We will never go with these new programs or mindsets. Your new constant counter; We did not vote for that! Irregardless of what the mandate, edict, or new thing you are supposed to follow is; If there was no vote, there is no authority to back. Even then, if a law which was voted for is unconstitutional, that law is also null and void. Hows globalism working out for you today?

      • Pleeeease! The UK uses the “communist” date structure that you find so awful. Let’s not go back to the 1950s with McCarthyism. The sky is not falling and appraisers can adjust if they are not looking for a fight.

        • Baggins Baggins says:

          The UK is not guiding much policy in America. But China is. Try again.

          I like Ike, and am sticking with metric and traditional American date formats. But this is a more modern world and civil rights have advanced. We do not need to revisit these racially based issues every day of the week anymore. We do not need anymore socialism or welfare, or any other special protections for anyone. We need to dial the majority of all that back. But race bating sells, and so does the idea of a free lunch. Which pays very well for those whom are still willing and eager to engage with that rhetoric. Every time a new government program is implemented, every time welfare is distributed, every time some new rule comes forth to benefit one person at the expense of another; someone gets paid much more than most people dare to realize.

          At the end of 1954, the Senate voted to censure McCarthy. Never again was the senator a major force in national politics. During the four years that he had the spotlight, however, McCarthy ruined many reputations by making reckless and unsubstantiated charges. Eisenhower played a significant, albeit limited, role in finally curbing McCarthy’s power.

  8. Baggins Baggins says:

    Let’s play a word game; How many words mentioned here can one fit into a reasonable and non biased appraisal statement.

  9. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    Bottom Line: A.I. is now in charge on giving English 2.0 lessons. Ask the Appraisal Foundation if you will receive college credits.

  10. Avatar Jeffrey N Allen says:

    The problem is not the reviewers because i think AMCs and possibly lenders, are using canned computer programs that look for buzzwords in a report. I doubt if anyone reads these reports for reviews. One client asked me to remove the word “poor” from my report when i was talking about the “poor condition of the roof”. I refused

  11. Avatar PD says:

    Yea, gotten to the rediculous. I used to use “places of worship” non denominational if noted in the defined neighborhood. I was asked to remove any reference to religion. So, in reality, I was told to falsify my report through ommision. Such bs.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Interesting factoid; The HR hiring policies drive much of that sort of gray area stipulation for language use. Looks like you’ve got a woke staff on your hands. Find another lender and you’ll most likely see those stipulations just disappear without any actual reporting language changes. Then again, the reports trade hands between so many different entities, may be best to just assume that all the time. I like to refer to this as color language. Like how in baseball the color announcer will get away from stats and say all those zany things. That’s the color or entertainment value. Just be pragmatic and logical. What was that old tv series; Facts, and only the facts. They don’t want the color commentary. The rub is the review staff may be so poorly educated in grammar and English that they can’t distinguish the difference between accurate description and biased terminology, so they tend to place everything in the latter category which they are not sophisticated enough to understand. That is what ‘woke’ is, a trash bin for the ignorant where everything they don’t jive with from their personal lives is deemed as biased. On this side of the fence referred to as a snowflake. You should see the utterly embarassing language my wife deals with in her job, like people actually type in wat instead of what, axe you a question instead of ask, and other such nonsense. They don’t even know it’s not accurate language use because they spend their entire lives on social networking via mobile devices. The internet; where dreams go to die.

      Also, fyi, get a dang browser based spell checker integrated already, it will highlight mis spelled words as you type literally anywhere on the net, so you can then just right click and pick the right spelling. Ridiculous, or redonculous? You’re the quarter back, you make the call! That’s why I like firefox, all those add ons are readily available and easy to use. The about config menu is seriously a cut above anything chrome or ms tools have to offer. Talk to me about anti fingerprinting technology, super cookies, limiting prefetch, predictive, so many others. And then try out privacy badger, it’s super fun, and easy to use. Advanced selections takes you to adblock plus, ublock, umatrix, ghost scripting, other various automation assistant items. Then get malwarebytes alongside S&D. Thanks.

  12. Avatar Bill Johnson says:

    A fellow appraiser sent me the following which was in an order she did not accept. Of note, the fee was $225 and the turn time was 3 days. Scary that for $225 these AMC’s/lenders want a drive-by appraisal with the promise to be an expert witness in the future.

    Please copy this URL into your browser to see Stewart Valuation Intelligence’s Best Practices and First Impression expectations:

    FHA Order Number: –

    Bankruptcy or foreclosure assignment may require the appraiser as an expert witness.

    Stop and Notify:
    Stop and contact your vendor manager (VM) immediately if any of the following apply:
    If not able to provide testimony as an expert witness for bankruptcy or foreclosure assignment, withdraw from assignment immediately.

    Seek the truth.

    • Avatar Realist says:

      Stop working for AMC and lenders – NOW

      If you are naïve enough to accept the assignment make sure you add at least a 1 or 2 in front of the $225 – in all seriousness.

      Make sure they also understand there is an additional $200+ per hour fee for court prep time, court appearance, commute time, related expenses and etc.

      Also, demand 2-3+ weeks to prepare the appraisal, minimum.

      The lenders offered terms for the appraisal demonstrate the lenders pathetic ignorance on steroids’.

      Anyone in, or anyone just entering the appraisal field, flee immediately – find another occupation – Now.
      This career, especially from this point on will destroy you.

      You have been warned.

  13. Avatar Dave says:

    It won’t be long until the word “Master” bedroom and bath is prohibited, if it isn’t already and I just am unaware.

    Crazy is a correct word to describe the political correctness society we live in.

  14. Avatar Tom says:

    Got a letter today from FNMA. They will be monitoring me now for using the term “good school” in 2 reports.

    They kinda gave away their agenda. “… the words used in the report can still influence the reader.”

    Translation. Our computer progs can’t distinguish your meaning that would be clear to most humans.

    Ironically in the market of these reports, the schools are a major influence. This is how the Appraisal Institute used to teach. You define the location of the property, you then describe the good and bad as to general surroundings, then you demonstrate how these manifest themselves in the market analysis through sales comparisons, etc…

    A computer review can’t discern if my statement is true or false. A typical human can and it’s fairly easy to verify.

    Oh well…. such is life. “good” is bad.

    @Dave — I can’t believe no one has told you not to use “Master”. I got a flood of emails and the MLS even outlawed it.

    • Avatar Johnny Q says:

      There are ways around this. We’ve a rich language and can use words that don’t suggest subjectivity. In the case schools, these are usually rated. If you must, state the rating.

      • Avatar Tom says:

        Oh, it’s no problem for me. It’s just so obvious how FNMA is diminishing the appraisal process in the name of Wokeism.

        My words did not suggest subjectivity. Except to someone that was a hammer and everything they saw was a nail.

        So you walk into a 3 Star Michelin restaurant with 5 friends. All of you order a different dish. As you dine, at some point and perhaps many points of the evening, everyone is heard to say something about their dinner was “good”. Is that subjective? No it is not because the restaurant and it’s food has been vetted so to speak. Same thing goes on with every school I have ever heard of.

        Their methodology / mindset would suggest that everyone carry an umbrella at all times as it “might rain”.

        It’s just foolish.

        • Avatar Johnny Q says:

          Tom, I’m not denying the wokism and dumbness that you point out but “good” is subjective. What’s good for me may not be for you. The same 5 persons went to a highly acclaimed movie after dinner. Three of them thought the movie was good and two of them thought it was bad. What was the movie in reality? Well, it depends on individual point of views, doesn’t it?

          • Avatar Tom says:

            Movies are a poor example. They are acclaimed by opinion that can not be quantified. Totally about feelings and personalities.

            Good in context means successful, of high quality or acceptable standards, etc.. Success / standards can be quantified by facts. Schools have their success and standards or lack thereof constantly measured, verified, and reported as public information.

            “Objective” is based on facts and not influenced by personal beliefs or feelings. Note that being objective is based on facts AND lack of bias.

            In the context of an appraisal report which is known as a value opinion based on facts and lack of bias. The entire report should be accepted as such and anyone or anything that sets out to read it and form opinions on it should be competent to do so BEFORE they assume it to be otherwise.

            In fact my report stated good schools,… available.

            Their reprimand only stated “good school” as a forbidden term.

            Good school or good schools can be presented objectively and as someone above mentioned reports of the schools success or failures could be placed in the appraisal as proof but I nor you can use the term “good school” regardless. Even though schools are a quantifiable entity. Totally unlike a desirable subdivision, poor whatever, etc..

            My only point is that FNMA is not using sound, practical, accurate, nor thorough reasoning in their decisions. I’ve got zero problem dropping the word “good” even in context if that’s the game they have decided to play. I think it’s wrong but pretty sure they don’t care.

            I just thought I’d pass along the info in the event others receive a letter. BTW, this was not one of those certified letters they supposedly send out. Just regular mail. Basically a cease and desist letter.

            • Avatar PD says:

              I think the point made was not from an appraisers point of view but from the general public which of course is based on perception. I’m not for over analyzing when it comes to the general public.

            • Avatar Johnny Q says:

              Yes you are right. Movies cannot be quantified. I wonder how they keep score at the box office and know how much money and movie has made. Oh well. it is as good or bad at example as the restaurant. It’s all a matter of opinion and feelings. Anyhow, I get your point about the GSEs

  15. Avatar PD says:

    The world is doomed. No wonder my children do not want to have kids.

    Is that bad as in good or bad as in bad….oh the inhumanity.

    The lunatics are running the asylum.

  16. Avatar PJTMC says:

    Another word that pops up from time to time is “desire” or any part thereof. The reviewer has blinders (or their review software does”.) and can take it totally out of context. I understand a statement such as “a desirable amenity” is subjective, and I have eliminated that from my reports. However, I have made comments such as “If a more thorough inspection is “desired” by the lender etc.” and have been asked to remove it when it plays no role what-so-ever to the appraisal proper and the request is taken totally out of context by the reviewer. It is not a problem, and I just substituted a more reviewer friendly word. This is a slippery slope when tunnel vision is employed to enforce an arbitrary set of rules without any thought process.

    • Avatar Tom says:

      That’s the whole problem with FNMA. They act before they reason.

      The ERC process is far superior to anything FNMA has ever done and it eliminates all these so called concerns of equality and bias while providing a better appraisal format that is very easy to complete and read.


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Another ‘Bad’ Word to Avoid!

by Dave Towne time to read: 1 min