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Archive for February, 2012

“I Was Dead Wrong on Housing”

February 28th, 2012

Warren Buffett Admits That Last Years Housing Forecast Was “Dead Wrong”

In his annual letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett admitted that last year’s call for a housing recovery in 2011 missed the mark. In this letter, Mr. Buffett now says that “Housing will come back-you can be sure of it” but only indicates that it will happen “over time”. He goes on to say that: “Every day we are creating more households than housing units. People may postpone hitching up during uncertain times, but eventually hormones take over.”

Okay, admit it, you thought the headline “I was dead wrong on housing” was an admission by Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors NAR). Much has been made of their two most recent news releases yesterday and last Wednesday optimistically titled “Existing-Home Sales Rise Again in January, Inventory Down” and “January Pending Home Sales Rise, Market on Uptrend”. Both reports cite small gains in sales but (buried within the reports) include references that the gains are from “downwardly revised” numbers in December.

Even a broken clock is correct once every day. Hopefully the cheerful forecast by Mr. Yun eventually proves to be correct sometime soon.

Links to Warren Buffett’s letter and the NAR releases are found here:

Berkshire Hathaway’s 2011 Shareholder Letter (Opens a .PDF File)

January Pending Home Sales Rise, Market on Uptrend

NAR Collaborates with U.S. Treasury on Short Sale “Help for Homeowners”

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AppraiserNews is a free publication, supported by advertising and sales of products designed to help appraisers support and grow their businesses. Please consider supporting us today by seeing what we and our sponsors have to offer.

The All New, Fully Revised Directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies is now available for download! Please visit our website to learn more. Current members of our Appraiser Directories are eligible to receive their copies FREE!


Special Announcement: Appraiser Help Releases Comprehensive Up-To-Date Directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies

While most appraisers have had some unpleasant experiences with appraisal management companies, it is clear that consideration must be given as to what role AMCs will play in their overall appraisal practice.

To help appraisers evaluate which AMCs are right for them, we have compiled this directory of over 200 AMCs and National Appraisal Companies, listing complete, up-to-date contact information and other details for each listing.

If you’re looking to expand your appraisal practice, our Directory of Appraisal Management and National Appraisal Companies is a great place to start.

Download the directory today — at only $49.99, it will pay for itself with your first appraisal order!

Please visit our website now to make your purchase securely or contact us at (877) 434-2825 for more information on this exciting new directory!

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The Season for Property Tax Assessment Grievances and Appeals is Starting in Many Parts of the Country

Appraisers who perform appraisals for tax grievances say that the season has begun in many areas and a number of published reports back that up. In a report titled “How can I bring down my property taxes?” on Friday, CNNMoney’s Judy Feldman discussed the situation in New York and neglected to discuss the important role appraisers can play. It is surprising that many in the media are as ignorant as many homeowners in regard to the support that an appraisal by a certified appraiser can give to a tax grievance. Appraisers can do something about this, let your local media know that many departments of assessment appreciate an objective, well supported opinion of value by a certified appraiser rather than an assortment of ill conceived “comps” prepared by a homeowner or realtor. A link to the CNNMoney report is found here:

CNNMoney – How Can I Bring Down my Property Taxes?

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McKissock 2012-2013 USPAP Online Course Now Available in Approx. 40 States and DC

McKissock Education, the official provider of the Appraisal Foundation’s online 2012-2013 USPAP courses, is now available in most states. Earlier this year, the Appraisal Foundation and McKissock announced their partnership and the online course is now available to most appraisers who are interested in completing this before the end of 2011. See if courses are available in your area and save up to 20% on course fees by going to our Online McKissock Portal.

Start saving up to 20% off of your continuing education course fees today with McKissock and Appraiser Help! 2012-2013 USPAP Courses Now Available!

Assorted Views on Foreclosure Settlement and Housing Fixes

Since the recent announcement of the foreclosure settlement involving the five big banks and regulatory authorities, along with Obama Administration initiatives, much has been written about what will occur with some saying that the “devil is in the details”. Similar to the differences in agreement with how the Dodd-Frank Act would be implemented, a number of published reports offered various perspectives on what would now happen.

On February 20th, David Dayen in Firedoglake.com and February 14th Cora Currier in Propublica offered critiques of these matters, followed by the New York Times Nelson Schwartz on February 21st. Links to these three reports are found here:

The “Robo-Signed” Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

Obama Housing Plans vs. Reality – ProPublica

Some Doubt a Settlement Will End Mortgage Ills

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AppraiserNews is a FREE publication, supported by advertising and sales of products designed to help appraisers support and grow their businesses. Please consider supporting us today by seeing what we and our sponsors have to offer.

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Stupid AMC Tricks

Sorry that we can’t publish all of them but here are a few that we received this week:

Florida Appraiser Anthony Powell wrote: “Thanks for the many interesting and informative articles that you publish. One topic that I haven’t seen discussed is the ongoing misuse and abuse of the Geographic Competence’ requirement by certain clients and AMC’s. Due to security issues with my mail, I updated all my website profiles to direct future checks to a P.O.Box close to my home.

There was an immediate and unmistakable drop in orders. I talked to several Clients/AMC’s that I’ve known for years.  The responses were amazing to me. For example, S___ AMC said  “We go by your (mailing) address”.

Another Florida appraiser, who prefers to remain anonymous, wrote: “How about this one. I recently did an appraisal on proposed construction. After turning in the report the AMC emailed me to go back out to the property and take interior photographs. My reply. Is there something about the work proposed that confuses you?”

One additional “special instruction” from an AMC was sent to us by “J” (I guess he/she prefers anonymity too): “Show Client/Lender Name as “this company is one of the top 5 lenders”

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AppraiserNews is a FREE publication, supported by advertising and sales of products designed to help appraisers support and grow their businesses. Please consider supporting us today by seeing what we and our sponsors have to offer.

Start saving up to 20% off of your continuing education course fees today with McKissock and Appraiser Help! 2012-2013 USPAP Courses Now Available!


Rates & Dates

Mortgage interest rates moved up in the most recent weekly reports issued by Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

On February 23rd, Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 3.95% from the historically low 3.87% of the prior two weeks. They also noted that last year at this time the rate was at 4.95%.

The MBA in its most recent Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released February 22nd for the week ending February 17th, reported that 30 year rates with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) rose to 4.09% from 4.08% during the previous week. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) increased to 4.32% from 4.30%. At the same time, the average rates for FHA backed mortgages remained at 3.87%.

In their press release of February 22nd, the MBA also reported a decrease of 4.5% in mortgage applications during this most recent survey. Refinance applications increased to 80.1% from the prior week’s 81.1%.

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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AppraiserNews is a FREE publication, supported by advertising and sales of products designed to help appraisers build their practices. Please consider supporting us today by seeing what we have to offer.

The All New, Fully Revised Directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies is now available for download! Please visit our website to learn more. Current members of our Appraiser Directories are eligible to receive their copies FREE!


Ask Angie

We want to congratulate our most recent winner: James J. Woodring, a Certified Residential Appraiser with Real Value Appraisals in Beltsville, Maryland. Real Value Appraisals covers Washington D.C. along with several suburban Maryland counties and Jim has been an appraiser here for 32 years. He was the first to accurately report that the answers to the last contest questions were: “The Eskimos had fifty-two names for snow because it was important to them: there ought to be as many for love” (Margaret Atwood); “There are two kinds of people I don’t trust: people who don’t drink and people who collect stickers” (Chelsea Handler); and “If you die in an elevator, be sure to push the Up button” (Sam Levenson).

Today’s questions:

1. Who Said: “You have to be unique, and different, and shine in your own way.”

a) Lady Gaga

b) Madonna

c) Adele

d) Taylor Swift

e) None of the above

2. Who said: “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

a) Rick Santorum

b) Dorothy Parker

c) Newt Gingrich

d) Felix the Cat

e) None of the above

3. Who said: “When you can’t create you can work.”

a) Woody Allen

b) Henry Ford

c) Henry Miller

d) Benjamin Franklin

e) None of the above

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

One Free Regular Listing on AppraiserHelp.com

A Free Copy of the NEWLY RELEASED 2012 Directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies!

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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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