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Appraiser News: “Easy” Summer Reading For Appraisers

August 1st, 2011 by Bill Collins Leave a reply »

U.S. Avoids Default, But What About Addressing Problems Facing Real Estate Market?

August is a good time to slow down and relax so we’ll provide some links to interesting reports that summarize the recent (bad) real estate news without overwhelming anybody.

On July 28th, NuWire Investor republished an article by Miriam Weiner from The Street titled “Summer Sales Slump Reveals Housing Market Weakness” which summarized the week’s disappointing housing news and a link to this report is found here: Summer Sales Slump Reveals Housing Market Weakness

On that same day, Bloomberg’s Bob Willis and CNBC’s Diana Olick discussed pending home sale reports along with the increase in contract cancellations by buyers along with other matters and links to these are found here: Pending Sales of Previously Owned Homes in the U.S. Increased 2.4% in June

Home Sales Contracts Rise, But Cancellations Run High

One day earlier, Ms. Olick discussed how the oversupply of vacant, foreclosed homes will doom a housing recovery and a link to this article is found here: Vacant Homes Will Drown Housing Recovery

On July 25th, Daniel Indiviglio, associate editor at the Atlantic, discussed how the housing market is even worse than we think and included a graphic depiction by CoreLogic of the increasing shadow inventory.  A link to this article is found here: Chart Of The Day: The Housing Market Is worse Than You Think

Writing for Bloomberg on July 20th, Brian Louis discussed the Moody’s report which cited an increase of 6.3% in commercial property prices in May, the first gain in six months.  He noted, however, that the Moody’s/REAL Commercial Property Price Index was down 11% from the previous year and 46% from the market peak.  Mr. Louis also noted that CoStar Group also reported a slight increase in May in its index which includes transactions up to $2.5 million.  CoStar’s index of investment grade commercial properties was down 6.8% from one year ago and 34% from its highest point.  A link to the Bloomberg report is found here: U.S. Commercial Property Prices Increased 6.3% in May, Moody’s Says

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Homeownership: Declining Rates and Declining Confidence As An Investment

Scott Rasmussen writing in Rasmussen Reports on July 22nd discussed the most recent polling by his firm which indicated that their June poll showed American’s confidence of homeownership as a sound investment was at a record low. Two days earlier, Bloomberg’s John Gittelsohn discussed a Morgan Stanley study which showed the U.S. move to a “rentership society” as homeownership rates had now moved below 60% when delinquent borrowers were excluded.  Links to these two reports are found here: Confidence in Home-Buying As a Family Investment Falls to Record Low

U.S. Moves Toward Home "Rentership Society," Morgan Stanley Says

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Some Possible Solutions?

On July 26th, the editors of BloombergView called for a more ambitious plan of government action to help the real estate market and the economy and a link to this editorial is found here: More Ambitious Housing Plan Could Unlock the U.S. Economy: View

On July 20th, Rich Miller of Bloomberg discussed the Treasury Department’s exploration of a plan to help one million homeowners avoid foreclosure and a link to this article is found here:
Treasury Explores Plan to Help 1 Million U.S. Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure

The New York Times Jim Schachter on Quora.com has a lot of interesting ideas and thoughts (along with the Times Gretchen Morgenson) and a link to recent postings is found here: Jim Schachter – Quora

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AppraiserNews.com In The News!

Ellen Yan of Long Island’s Newsday cited AppraiserNews.com on July 20th and a link to her article is found here: East End Housing Market Outpacing Rest of LI

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Readers Respond To Comments By Others In Our Last Newsletter

We received a large response from appraisers throughout the country who were familiar with the problems described by the New York appraiser with the large appraisal management company (AMC) and who had other similar experiences.  Here are some of the responses (sorry that we do not have room to publish all of them!):

“I read the letter to your newsletter from the appraiser in New York and I could not believe that you would delete the name of this crappy AMC in his letter.  Companies like this need to be exposed to the appraising public so that more appraisers don’t get the shaft from them when it comes to be paid for their work.  All you would have had to do to include their name was call them and ask for their response to the email and print that as well.

I had a very similar experience with an AMC that I no longer do work for.  I really don’t know if I was blacklisted by them or not because it was I who chose not to accept their work and I told them why. I had old invoices just totaling around $3,000.  I kept pursuing them with email and new invoices but got nowhere.  This is what I did.  Very similar to the appraiser in New York I notified the AMC that if I did not have a check for the all of the invoices sitting on my porch sent by overnight delivery that week, this gave them 3 days to pay me, I would contact the lenders for all of the appraisals and inform them that this company does not pay its appraisers and I was placing a legal lien on the property involved.  I then, in my email, asked the AMC how long they figured they would have this lender as a customer after I put a lien on the properties they had just loaned on.

Two days later the check was on my porch, overnighted by Federal Express.  I immediately sent them a thank you letter and told them it would be a cold day in hell before I handled any more of their work.  I added that I was sending an email to all of the appraisers I knew working in the thumb area of Michigan detailing the problems with this company.  I have not heard a thing from them since. Lucky for them!”

Thomas G. Sadler
Dependable Appraisal, LLC
Dryden, Michigan

We received this email from Kelly Hucknall, the office manager of Amon Real Estate Appraisers Inc.:  “Hi Bill. We do work for company A______ too.  =[”  

A Happy Ending?  We heard back from the anonymous New York appraiser quoted in the last newsletter and this is what he had to say:

“Hey Bill… Let me update you. Today, I received an apology from a particular management company for blacklisting me. As mentioned in the previous email, I was blacklisted for the simple reason for demanding payment of long overdue invoices. Apparently, this management company came under pressure from a certain lender-client to correct this unjustified situation. The management company promised that I would be paid in a timely manner from this day forward if I agreed to be placed back on their panel. Time will tell, but I won’t make any bets on being paid in a timely manner.

Signed,
Just another appraiser controlled by AMCs.”

In response to Everett Clark’s comments about the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) and how it functioned in California, Minnesota appraiser Tim Figge offered his thoughts:

“The California mention of N$P funding was good. Here in Minnesota they squandered N$P funds by demolition and landbanking throughout Dakota County. Dakota County has the highest suburban foreclosure rate in the state. The squandering protocol was done with little to no public input and even less appraisal involvement. I appreciate your contribution.”

One final email from an appraiser in Baton Rouge, Louisiana: “Thank you for standing tall for us little people. I am a one man shop and AMCs are killing our future. Keep up the great work that you do. Thank you very much.” Glenn D’Spain

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Some Projects For Appraisers To Work On Prior To Labor Day

Residential appraisers: Prepare for the UAD!  September 1st is the date this will take effect and we have heard some reports that appraisers may be asked to supply UAD compliant reports prior to the 1st.  Check out McKissock’s online class and upcoming webinar on August 9th by clicking on the following link: Discounted McKissock Continuing Education

Commercial appraisers: check out the state of the art offerings of Narrative1 by going to Narrative1 Commercial Appraisal Software

Residential and commercial appraisers: Diversify your appraisal practice and increase your private appraisal business.  Mortgage lending is obviously down while the needs for private appraisals for divorce, estate, tax grievance and tax appeal, bankruptcy, etc. is growing.  DON’T BE PENNYWISE AND POUND FOOLISH: Make sure that your company’s name appears when attorneys, accountants, property owners, etc. search for appraisers online.  This advice seems obvious but tough times make appraisers hesitate to invest in the growth of their appraisal practice which results in missed opportunities that other more proactive appraisers are quick to take advantage of!

Jessie Hempel, who writes about the Internet for Fortune magazine, recently dismissed the idea of an internet “bubble” by noting on Twitter that “Last time there was a bubble, the internet was 120 million dial-up. Today it is two billion connected devices.”

Is your appraisal company easily found by users of these “two billion connected devices”?

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Rates & Dates

Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) both reported slight increases in mortgage interest rates in their most recent weekly reports.

Freddie Mac reported that rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose slightly to 4.55% for the week ending July 28th in comparison with the 4.52% rate reported on July 21st.    

The MBA in its most recent Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 22nd reported an increase in its average to 4.57% from the previous week’s rate of 4.54%.   

In their press release of July 27th, the MBA reported a 5.0% decline in mortgage applications during this most recent week with refinance activity constituting 69.6% of applications.

Additional information from Freddie Mac can be found by going to: Primary Mortgage Market Survey PMMS – Freddie Mac

Additional information from the Mortgage Bankers Association can be found by going to their site at: Research and Forecasts – Mortgage Bankers Association

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Ask Angie

We want to congratulate our most recent winners, both of whom are designated members of the Appraisal Institute: Vern Meyer of Superior Appraisal Services in Payson, Utah, and William A. Spang of Spang Appraisal Associates of Duluth, Minnesota. Vern selected the trade show pass to Valuation Expo 2011 for his prize and William selected a listing on AppraiserHelp.com.

Here are the answers to the questions from the last newsletter:  Herm Alright was the author of the quote “A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort”, Samuel Johnson complained that “I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drives into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out as I do, and bark” and that Doug Larson said that “A true friend is one who overlooks your failures and tolerates your successes”. 

Today’s questions:

1. Who Said: “Usually terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things."

a) Russell Baker
b) Albert Einstein
c) Mark Twain
d) Henry David Thoreau
e) None of the above

2. Who said: “Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk."

a) Michael Lewis
b) Lucius Annaeus Seneca
c) Gretchen Morgenson
d) Michael Burry
e) None of the above

3. Who said: “I did everything by the seat of my pants. That’s why I got hurt so much."

a) George W. Bush
b) George H.W. Bush
c) Evel Knievel
d) Shaun White
e) None of the above

The first person to respond with the correct answers wins a choice of one of the below:

One Free Regular Listing on AppraiserHelp.com

A Free Copy of the 12/10 UPDATED Directory of Appraisal Management Companies (Available Now to Members of AppraiserHelp.com and FHAAppraisers.com FREE!)

One Free Trade Show Pass to Valuation Expo 2011 in Las Vegas

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Tell us what you think!

We invite your responses to any of the issues raised in this newsletter. Please e-mail us at: bill@appraiserhelp.com with your thoughts!

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We really hope you find our newsletter to be informative!  If you have any input on future topics for discussion, please email me your questions and I will do my best to address them in the next issue.  If you want to look back at past issues you can see our archive at www.appraisernews.com

Regards,

Bill Collins, Appraiser Help Inc.

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