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Spring Sales Already Sprung? More Appraiser Hunger Games

April 23rd, 2012 by Bill Collins Leave a reply »

Has the Spring Selling Season Already Passed?

A frightening thought for home sellers, underwater homeowners and real estate agents:  Is it possible that the Spring Selling Season has come and gone?

The record-breaking, mild winter which increased traffic at open houses in many parts of the country may have been little more than a “blip” on the real estate radar screen rather than a “kick-start” to a recovery in the housing market.  Tight lending conditions, immobile homeowners (underwater and lacking flexibility in pricing their homes) and the nervousness of prospective purchasers may be “freezing” the real estate market at a time when it historically “thaws”.  It is possible that the only “thaw” we will see this year might be in the foreclosure pipeline with an increasing number of foreclosed properties coming to market.

On April 9th, Jessica Lautz, Survey Research Manager for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released a report which indicated that the typical home seller has owned their home for nine years, up from a low of six years in 2007.  Given the lack of Congressional support for substantive measures to help the housing market, it is likely that (excluding those who lose their homes) the number of years homeowners stay in place will continue to increase as many become “frozen” in place.   A link to the NAR report “Tenure in Home” is found here: Tenure in Home

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Appraisers Approaching License Renewal: McKissock’s 7 Hour 2012-2013 USPAP Online Course is Now Available in Most States

McKissock Education, the official provider of the Appraisal Foundation’s online 2012-2013 USPAP courses, is now available in most states. Last year, the Appraisal Foundation and McKissock announced their partnership and the online course is now available in most states. 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!


Recent Real Estate Reports and the Question of Whether Some Housing Markets May Not Recover for Years

RealtyTrac reported last week that short sales surged 33% in January in comparison with the year before.  CNNMoney’s Les Christie discussed this on April 19th and quoted RealtyTrac VP Daren Blomquist as saying that "[W]e believe 2012 could be a record year for short sales". A link to Mr. Christie’s report is found here: Short Sales Expected to Flood the Market

Earlier this month, CoreLogic released their February Home Price Index which showed a decline of 2.0% year to year and 0.8% month to month and the Case-Shiller report due out later this morning is expected to show an even greater year to year decline.  Last week, the National Association of Realtors reported a 2.6% drop in existing home sales from last month while at the same time reporting a 2.5% increase in price from March of last year.

Interesting link: the Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission weekly highlighting of housing news.  The Commission’s stated mission is “…to reform the nation’s housing policy by crafting a package of realistic and actionable policy recommendations that consider the near-term and address the long-term challenges in the sector.” While it is our opinion that little will be done during this political year, it is interesting to see what the Commission is viewing regarding housing and a link to their most recent report is found here:
Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission

On April 5th, Yale Professor and economist Robert Shiller was interviewed by Motley Fool’s Brian Richards regarding his projections for housing prices.  In the interview, he states that on his website “you can find I have my index of home prices back to 1890, and it looks like this recent boom and bust is unique. It hasn’t happened at such magnitude on a national scale before”.  Mr. Shiller provides the example of the previously most famous real estate boom, the Florida real estate land boom which peaked in 1926, which wasn’t followed by another such event for approximately 80 years.  He also cites the example of Los Angeles where approximately 90 years passed between great “booms”.

Some recent reports have suggested that in certain areas (for example, many suburbs) price increases may not increase significantly for decadesWouldn’t it be a nice change if decision makers seriously addressed the consequences of their inactions on the housing market and the lives of millions of Americans?

A link to the video interview with Robert Shiller is found here: Where To for Home Prices? Robert Shiller Weighs In

On April 18th ProPublica released a report “10 Questions-And Answers-To Help You Understand the Foreclosure Crisis” in which they summarize how the crisis happened, where we are now and what may happen in the future.  A link to this informative report is found here: 10 Questions – And Answers – To Help You Understand the Foreclosure Crisis

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Navigate the Minefield of AMCs With the Assistance of Appraiser Help’s Newly Released March 2012 Comprehensive, Up-to-Date Directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies

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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More Appraiser "Hunger Games-" Spoiler Alert!

Here it is: Katniss Everdeen survives-but what about appraisers? Will they be "fighting it out" for an ever-decreasing number of mortgage appraisals?

Hint: Work smarter (like Katniss,) not harder (alas, also like Katniss). Also: Work to end BPOs (Broker Price Opinions) and support appraiser organizations in their efforts to regulate Appraiser Management Companies (AMCs) in your state.

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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!


Change.org Petition "Tell Chase to Stop Intimidating, Threatening and Bullying Appraisers"

Are you tired of being pushed around by the big banks? Here is a link to a petition created by Arizona appraiser John Dingeman which addresses a number of issues including “…scrubbing each one of these appraisals…” (in foreclosure actions) “…in an attempt to place blame on a loan gone bad…”

Tell Chase to Stop Intimidating, Threatening and Bullying Appraisers

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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!


New Rockstar in Social Media: Pinterest

Pinterest, a social networking site with a “virtual pinboard” interface, has quickly become one of the most popular social networking sites on the Internet. For those readers not familiar with Pinterest, the site allows users to collect photos and link to products they like, in the process creating their own pinboards and following the pinboards of others.  In case you’re interested in checking it out or signing up (by invitation only), here is a link to the AppraiserNews two day old Pinterest site: Appraiser News on Pinterest

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Boycotting Property Tax Assessments; in Ireland

Writing in the New York Times earlier this month, Douglas Dalby discussed the acknowledgment of Ireland’s government that more than half of that country’s 1.6 million homeowners failed to pay a new property tax due by March 31st.  This tax was introduced by the government on January 1st and was the first installment of a comprehensive property tax assessment scheduled to begin next year.  It will be interesting to see how the Irish eventually deal with this new form of taxation, one that U.S. property owners have increasingly grieved as property tax burdens have risen dramatically in many American communities.

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A Transparent…Church

Great pictures of this “See-through Church” thanks to Architecture Lab, a link to which is found here: See-through Church, Limburg/Belgium by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh

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Some Thoughts Regarding Helping Those Less Fortunate and Assisting Causes That You Believe In

In our last newsletter, Florida appraiser Victor Harrison described his efforts helping his church in providing free appraisal services for many years.
While these are not easy times for many appraisers, we think that it is important to acknowledge the efforts of many appraisers in providing free or discounted appraisal services for organizations and individuals in need of help.  It is not easy for an over-worked appraiser to take on pro-bono assignments when they are having difficult times themselves. 

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Stupid AMC Tricks

A Florida appraiser who requested anonymity, fearing a loss of business, wrote the following:

“I appreciated the article “Appraiser Hunger Games”-it’s so true.  I received an offer (“be the first to click accept, and you get the assignment!”) for a 5 unit building.  I called them and told them that a Certified Residential Appraiser could not accept this assignment (not to mention no one should due to their ridiculously low fee and turn time!). Imagine my surprise when they told me that a Certified Residential Appraiser had already accepted the assignment-at their offered fee and turn-around time.  I again stated that they needed a Certified General Appraiser to do this one, and they hung up on me.  I often wonder what happened to that appraisal! I hope the AMC had to eat their fee to the Residential Appraiser!”

New York appraiser Deborah Urianek, the self-professed “Queen of Stupid Addendum Requests” gave us her favorite from last week:

“Sale #3 is undergoing renovations as per the picture provided by the appraiser-  should the report be made subject to?”

Regarding the “41-handle kitchen” discussed in previous newsletters, California appraiser Steve Hassoldt asked:
“I can’t believe that you left us hanging! I’d love to know that answer as well…”

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Rates & Dates

Mortgage interest rates remained at low levels in the most recent weekly reports issued by Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

On April 19th, Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose slightly to 3.90% from 3.88% during the previous week.  They also noted that last year at this time the 30-year rate was at 4.80%. 

The MBA in its most recent Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released April 18th for the week ending April 13th, reported that 30-year rates with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) declined to 4.05% from 4.10% during the previous week.   The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) dropped to 4.36% from 4.43%.  At the same time, the average rates for FHA backed mortgages fell to 3.83% from 3.87%.

In their press release of April 18th, the MBA also reported an increase of 6.9% in mortgage applications during this most recent survey.  Refinance applications rose to 75.2% from the previous week’s 70.5%. 

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: Billie Waits, a Certified Residential Appraiser with AABICO, Inc. in Crandall, Texas. AABICO provides appraisal services in northeast Texas.  Billie was the first to accurately report that the answers to the last contest questions were:  “If you’re going through hell, keep going” (Winston Churchill); “I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much” (Mother Teresa); and “You always pass failure on the way to success” (Mickey Rooney).

Today’s questions:

1. Who Said: “Where ones treasure is there also is his heart."

a) The Dalai Lama
b) John the Baptist
c) Jesus Christ
d) John Wesley
e) None of the above

2. Who said: “Men who succeed keep open minds and are afraid of nothing."

a) Anita Hill
b) Faith Hill
c) Napoleon Hill
d) Hill Billy
e) None of the above

3. Who said: “Despite a lack of natural ability, I did have the one element necessary to all early creativity: naivete, that fabulous quality that keeps you from knowing just how unsuited you are for what you are about to do."

a) Jon Stewart
b) Martha Stewart
c) Steve Martin
d) Alexis Stewart
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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