Tagged: square feet

Building Codes: Need for Railings or Handrails? Is this a Legal Bedroom?... 6

Building Codes

Appraisers should have a basic understanding of residential electrical, plumbing and building codes. Or at least have a way to research them… While reading the National Appraisers Forum on Friday December 4, 2020, I found a post contributed by California appraiser Craig Gilbert, who provided this link to building codes in each state. Over the years, I’ve seen numerous appraiser comments in various places stating that I don’t need to know anything about building, electrical or plumbing codes. Well, I hate to be the Grinch who stole Christmas, but I disagree with that perspective. Appraisers should have a basic understanding...

Language Barrier... What We Got Here is … Failure to Communicate 9

Failure to Communicate

Realtor’s language is “local” whereas an appraiser’s language is universal… What we got here is … failure to communicate. It’s a line from Cool Hand Luke … a great old movie with Paul Newman. Newman played a prisoner in a jail in the Deep South. The story was all about Luke Jackson, played by Newman, who was sentenced to two years in a Florida prison farm. Well, Luke was a free spirit who didn’t play by the rules and this angered the prison’s sadistic warden. In one memorable scene, the warden said, “What we’ve got here is … failure to communicate“. That line was...

USPAP Confidentiality Questions... Can Using a Contractor Be a Violation? 7

USPAP & Questions on Confidentiality

How can using such a contractor not be a violation? In the context of a real estate appraisal, especially a residential real estate appraisal for a lender thru an AMC, what is confidential? First, look at USPAP’s definition of confidential information (lines 105 – 108 in the 2018-2019 edition). It says “confidential information [is] information that is either…identified by the client as confidential when providing it to an appraiser and that is not available from any other source; or…classified as confidential or private by applicable law or regulation” (ibid; emphasis added). Notice confidentiality flows to the client, not to any...

Public Records Are Dead Wrong - How Big, Really... Size Matters... Suggestions 20

How Big, Really… Size Matters… Suggestions

Very often the public records are dead wrong… Appraisers, We all know Fannie Mae (FNMA) has their Collateral Underwriting (CU) report scoring system after the .xml file of the report is submitted through the Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP) portal used by both GSE’s. This system of theirs is used to ‘score’ an appraisal for a loan quality rating, and it’s also used to provide a lender with a guarantee of relief from a FNMA loan buy-back demand, if the report ‘scores’ a number of 2.5 or lower. We’ve previously discussed how that can be manipulated by a lender or an...

Individual Adjustments to the Detriment of the Bigger Picture 10

Seeing the Forest Through the Trees

Focusing on individual adjustments to the detriment of the bigger picture… Growing up, my parents used to refer to my inability to see the forest through the trees. This simply meant not being able to see the bigger picture because focus was so narrow that I only saw what was right in front of my eyes. Fortunately, I am older now, and (usually) better at seeing the bigger picture. I suspect this is a common phenomenon in all walks of life, and particularly in our work. This can happen in many aspects of the appraisal puzzle. One of the most...

House measurement square footage 6

How Big is My House?

As a house gets older the wood begins to shrink… Do you ever get those questions? “Well ABC appraised my house last year and my house was 3,726 square feet. Why do you say it only contains 3,698 square feet?”. I have always wanted to say, well as your house gets older, the wood begins to shrink… Everyone knows of course that houses come in different sizes, shapes and that walls can be built at angles other than 90, 60 or 45 degrees, thus accurate measuring can be a challenge. When you factor in roof pitch for upstairs rooms, or...

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