Category: Appraisal News

Reality of Today's Appraisal Environment; Discriminatory Falsehood 10

Reality of Today’s Appraisal Environment

Proving discriminatory activity is hard, which is probably one reason HUD is dragging their collective feet in resolving the filed complaints.  The real scourge of what’s been happening to appraisers for the past 5 years (yes, it started prior to the last election) has been revealed by Mr. Isaac Peck, in this article. You really need to read it, perhaps again, if you saw it come through your email on Wednesday October 25. Isaac has allowed me to “re-broadcast” his article. Yes, it’s a ‘sales promotion’ but it contains critical information appraisers need to know about. The first paragraph, contained...

Majority of Reviewers Had Very Limited Field Experience 22

Majority of Reviewers Had Very Limited Field Experience

It was my experience that the majority of reviewers, FNMA included, had very limited field experience. Which is painfully obvious when they request baseless revisions for “more or better comps”.  I’m a Certified General Appraiser that started appraising in 1984, almost 40 years ago! Spent the majority of my career appraising both residential and commercial properties in a major metropolitan market. I had my own appraisal firm for a number of years, prior to the AMC model which dissolved years of relationship building with clients large and small, almost overnight! Like most of you, I really enjoyed appraising and was...

Fannie Mae Filed a Complaint Against Me 39

Fannie Mae Filed a Complaint Against Me

An appraiser shared the following with us which was posted on one of the appraisers’ groups. Fannie Mae filed a complaint against me with my state appraisal board. Here’s what happened. The Report In June of 2021, I completed an appraisal for a conventional purchase. The appraisal was ordered by an AMC on behalf of a lender. At that time, the real estate market was still being wildly affected by the COVID pandemic. Remote work was in full swing, and consumers were desperately seeking to get out of the cities. Prices for all types of residential properties were rising rapidly,...

Fannie's Loan Buyback Sophistry Relies on Modifying Analysts' Behavior 8

Fannie’s Loan Buyback Sophistry Relies on Modifying Analysts’ Behavior

“Many of the repurchase letters make no sense,” said the insider. If analysts don’t write enough defects on those files, they get hammered. If analysts fall short of their peers in “production points,” it’s considered their fault, said the insider.  At the heart of Fannie Mae’s valuation system is a tool that shunts a subset of the millions of loans purchased by the mortgage giant each year into a “high risk” pool. Fannie then pressures and incentivizes a corps of in-house analysts to create further doubt about the loans in order to send repurchase demands to lenders for up to...

Mortgage Application Volume Nearing Historic Low 32

Mortgage Application Volume Nearing Historic Low

Appraisers, I’m almost reluctant to distribute this article, but the reality is what it is. Per the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the loan application volume is at another low point in our history. The article in Mortgage News Daily titled “Mortgage Application Volume at Lowest Levels Since 1996” in this link provides context. For a related perspective, the article contains a graph, which can be expanded to show mortgage rates and application volume for decades. The brown line in the graph shows 30 year mortgage rates – since early 1971. The light blue indicates the loan application volume, which corresponds...

It’s a Great Time to Leave the Appraisal Profession 138

Leaving the Appraisal Profession

It’s a Great Time to Leave the Appraisal Profession. I can hear the chorus of my fellow appraisers rising up in disagreement with me. I envision many of them screaming, “But I love being an appraiser”! Yeah, I hear you. I loved being an appraiser too. Let’s not consider what we were but what they want us to become. First, ask yourself if you are still making a livable wage. I’m not and instead of blaming myself, I started running the numbers. In, my high value market, 18% of the solds were cash sales. No appraisal required on those! Values...

Appraisers Pressured to Inflate Values Based on Race 12

Appraisers Pressured to Inflate Values Based on Race

The real estate appraisal industry has long been subject to pressure from various sources, such as lenders, borrowers, and agents. In the past, this pressure often came in the form of withholding business if appraisers refused to inflate values, or ignore property deficiencies. Nowadays, it appears that government efforts, aimed at curbing discrimination, are actually leading to increased pressure on appraisers to inflate values. This is a troubling development for honest appraisers who may be feeling more pressured than ever before by those looking for higher numbers than what an accurate appraisal would yield. Unfortunately, some have taken this opportunity...

The Unbiased Reality of Census Tract Data Dump... Open Letter to FHFA 11

The Unbiased Reality of Census Tract Data Dump… Open Letter to FHFA

Folks, the following letter was sent to FHFA by an appraiser I know. It was sent in response to the ‘first’ data dump FHFA made which uses CENSUS TRACT data to try to convince others that appraisers are biased by using ‘people demographics’ contained in Census Bureau info. You can find that ‘dump’ here. The writer of that first FHFA dump was identified by name, and included an email address. So the appraiser wrote a respectful email to Mr. Russell. It turns out, shortly after this FHFA document was released, Mr. Russell left FHFA. So this nice letter sent several...

Finding of Bias in Home Valuations Fails by Own Measure 34

Finding of Bias in Home Valuations Fails by Own Measure

To the surprise of no one, their redacted study found that what Perry et al. had characterized as race-based differences in home valuations were almost entirely due to socio-economic status, not racial bias by real estate appraisers. In an updated refutation of the findings of Brookings Institution researcher Andre Perry, Edward Pinto and Tobias Peter of the AEI Housing Center demonstrated just how broken the Brookings research was. Perry’s 2018 research, titled “The Devaluation of Assets in Black Neighborhoods,” pinned the nation’s racial wealth gap on 80,000 state-licensed real property appraisers. Unfortunately, these now-discredited findings have been levered by housing-industry...

Appraisal Bias - A Counterpoint 14

Appraisal Bias – A Counterpoint

It is a fact that 85% of appraisers are white with the majority of them being middle-age white men, although that is rapidly changing. The bias argument presupposes they are inherently more biased than women, Hispanic, African American, Asian, Pacific-islander, etc. We simply don’t have enough data to verify whether this is true or not. Therefore, as the argument goes, white appraisers must be biased. Just as there are more black NFL players in professional football it follows that the majority of touchdowns will be scored and fumbles made by a black player. We can, and should, encourage more diversity...

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