Friday, December 31, 2010

All the Best for 2011

Fortunately, for me, 2010 is ending with a flurry of activity. Folks are calling in with requests for valuations for estate purposes, and several lawyers have inquired about engaging me for expert witness assignments. Unfortunately, that has kept me from posting here on Appraiser Active. My resolution for 2011 is to post more regularly, and to follow up on promises of information.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Appraiser Active wishes you a Merry Christmas. We hope you have a chance to visit St. Petersburg some winter. It's expected to be about 70 degrees later today, although the temperature is only 51 at 9:45 A.M.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pick a Number, any Number - Who to Blame?

This story is getting huge distribution, but the spin offered by bloggers and commenters on news sites really varies.

Special Report: What's a home worth? Pick a number, any number

 WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Aaron and Beth Stiner are renters, but not by choice and not because they can't afford to buy a house. They had a move-up home in Phoenix selected and good credit scores. They even had buyers lined up for the home they were selling. Then they entered appraisal hell.
The first appraisal on their chosen home came in at $295,000, a figure that both the Stiners and the sellers agreed upon. The lender didn't like it, and ordered up a second appraisal. Based on comparable homes that were in a different neighborhood, the new appraisal came in $25,000 lower -- too low to allow the loan to go through.
They switched lenders and got another appraisal that, at $290,000, would have allowed the deal to go through. Their new lender was skeptical, and ordered up another appraisal. At the same time, the home they were selling was appraised three times, with each subsequent valuation falling.
Four months later, the Stiners and their buyer both gave up. Together, they were out $1,600 for seven appraisals. "As a result, we are now renting our home out, and renting the home we wanted to buy," says Beth. "We were frustrated and we weren't going to keep doling out cash for new appraisals. It felt like a game."
Read the full story HERE.

During the build up to the boom time and housing bubble, the loan originiators and lenders were pushing and shopping for the highest number from the appraiser. It's now come full circle; if the lender doesn't like the number the first appraiser delivers, they start shopping for a lower number.

Interference with the objectivity of the appraisal process is not acceptable, no matter the direction folks are pushing the appraiser. Although it has been, and continues to be fashionable to blame the appraiser, take a close look at the story. It's the lender shopping for a "value" to their liking. By what "standard" are the appraisals being evaluated?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Trying to Catch Up

It's been over a month since posting. Please do not take that as an indication nothing is going on; things are hopping! Over the past 30+ days, I've attended the meetings of the National Association of REALTORS® and NAR Appraisal Committee in New Orleans, finished up a big appraisal review assignment for a potential class action lawsuit, completed a few single family and condominium appraisals, and put a dent into examining 52 cases for the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board's Probable Cause Panel.

The picture with this post shows what 52 cases looks like.

Every day, I wake up hoping to have some time to make a few comments here, and post some information. The time flys by. Although I'm still up to my eyeballs in files and have two appraisals due tomorrow before noon, I did some updating to the site by adding a few links to section on the left of this page.

Over there you will find a link to the Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines released by the
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury (OCC); Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB); Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); Office of Thrift Supervision, Treasury (OTS); and National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). I also added a link to Fannie and Freddie's Appraiser Independence Guidelines, and the "redlined" version of TITLE XI as amended by the Dodd - Frank Act.

For your reading pleasure, the ASC produced "red lined" version of Title XI is reproduced after the jump.

As soon as the FREAB Probable Cause Panel meeting is over, I hope to provide an update of some of the goings on during the NAR Appraisal Committee meeting and NAR Board of Directors. Some good things for appraiser members of NAR are coming up.