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Location, Location,…Love?

February 11th, 2013 by Bill Collins Leave a reply »

Looking For Love in All The Right Places?

In a pre-Valentines Day news release yesterday, Zillow reported the first results of their “In the Mood for Love Index” which named the “best cities for singles to move for love”. Zillow’s Chief Marketing Officer Amy Bohutinsky notes that: "Today’s society is more transient than ever, and when young singles are considering where to move next it makes perfect sense to consider how easy it will be to meet that person of their dreams. We took a scientific approach to something that’s typically been assumed more art than science; we looked at demographics, median income, rent prices and a number of other factors to pinpoint the best places for singles under 35 to move."

The winners: Worcester, Massachusetts is the top choice for both men seeking women and women seeking women. Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the best place for women seeking men while Miami is number one for men seeking men.

A link to Zillow’s “Love Index” is found here:
Zillow Real Estate Research- In The Move For Love

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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!

What’s The Adjustment For "View?"

While Zillow has helped many singles (at least those under 35) plan their next move, Kris Hudson (writing in the Wall Street Journal last Thursday) helps to answer a question that has perplexed appraisers since ancient times: “In Real Estate, What’s a View Worth?”

Mr. Hudson begins by saying that:
“Academic studies and appraisers note that a pristine view, especially of a lake or ocean, can boost a home site’s value by 5% to nearly 300%, depending on the scope of the view and what it contains. A more common range, however, is 10% to 50%. Conversely, obstruction of such a view can wipe out tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of dollars in value”.

Citing several research studies along with interviewing several appraisers, Mr. Hudson also offers a number of helpful hints for preserving a valuable view. A link to his report is found here:

What’s a View Worth?

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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!

Bashing the FHA

Edward Pinto, a “resident fellow” at the American Enterprise Institute, has received much coverage for his unrelenting criticism of the FHA.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Nick Timiraos reviewed the FHA’s role in the housing market. He notes how economists at Moody’s Analytics have estimated that housing prices, down approximately 30% from the market peak, would have dropped another 25% if not for the FHA. Mr. Timiraos cites a comment by John Griffith (senior analyst at housing nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners) as saying that “If the foreclosure crisis was a fire, Mr. Pinto would be blaming the firefighters for getting the house wet”.

Considering the editorial positions that the Wall Street Journal has taken regarding the FHA (similar to Mr. Pinto), the objective analysis by Mr. Timiraos is refreshing.

A link to the Journal article is found here:
Tangled in Housing Bust, FHA Seeks a Hand

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End of Year Commercial Real Estate Reports

In a news release dated February 4th, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported a 21% drop in the volume of multi-family and commercial mortgages due to mature in 2013. The MBA’s “2012 Commercial Real Estate/Multifamily Survey of Loan Maturity Volumes” released that day showed a drop to $119.5 billion (8% of the outstanding balance) in mortgages due to mature from $150.6 billion in 2012. Jamie Woodwell, the MBA’s Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research noted that:
“Commercial and multifamily mortgages are generally long-term loans that span seven years, ten years or longer, and each year since 2010 the volume of commercial and multifamily mortgages maturing in that year has declined. The volume of loans maturing in 2013 and 2014 will mark cycle lows for loan maturities, each representing less than 8 percent of the outstanding balance of loans. In reality, the relatively long-term nature of commercial and multifamily mortgage debt helped the market weather the recession and its slow recovery.”

In a second news release on February 4th, the MBA reported that Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Originations jumped 49% in the 4th Quarter of 2012 from the 3rd Quarter (as well as being up 49% from the 4th Quarter of 2011) and were up by 24% for all of 2012. Large increases were seen in originations for hotel properties, health care properties, industrial properties, office properties and multi-family properties. A lesser increase was seen in originations involving retail properties. Jamie Woodwell noted that:
“During the fourth quarter, commercial and multifamily mortgage borrowing and lending hit the highest level since 2007.  Low interest rates are prompting borrowers to finance, and improving property markets are helping more deals underwrite successfully.  The relative strength of commercial and multifamily mortgages as investments continues to fuel lenders’ appetites.”

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Rates & Dates

Mortgage interest rates mostly increased in the weekly reports issued by both Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

On February 7th, Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages were unchanged from the previous week’s rate of 3.53%. They also noted that last year at this time the 30-year rate was 3.87%.

A link to a graph depicting Freddie Mac’s survey of interest rates during the past year is found here:
Economic and Housing Research – Freddie Mac

The MBA in its most recent Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released February 6th, for the week ending February 1st, reported that 30-year rates with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) increased to 3.73% from the previous week’s rate of 3.67%. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) increased to 3.96% from 3.95% the previous week. Rates for FHA backed mortgages rose to 3.53% from the previous week’s rate of 3.48%.

In their press release of February 6th, the MBA reported an increase of 3.4% in mortgage applications. Refinance applications represented 78% of all applications, down from 79% the previous week. This is the lowest refinance share in more than six months.

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 would first like to congratulate our most recent winner: Illinois appraiser Mari Mabus of Proficient Appraisals in McHenry, Illinois. Mari covers the counties of McHenry, Lake and Cook in northeast Illinois. She was the first to answer correctly that Abraham Lincoln was the author of all three quotes: "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other”; "Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?"; and "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

Today’s questions:

1. Who Said: "If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love."

a) Oprah Winfrey
b) Tom Croci
c) Maya Angelou
d) Candy Crowley
e) None of the above

2. Who said: "The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing."

a) Blaise Pascal
b) William Shakespeare
c) Trish Bergin-Weichbrodt
d) Ryan Seacrest
e) None of the above

3. Who said: "Money can’t buy love, but it improves your bargaining position"

a) Christopher Marlowe
b) Sarah Palin
c) Donald Trump
d) Abraham Lincoln
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

A Free Copy of the Directory of Appraisal Management Companies (Available to Members of and FREE!)

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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: 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


Bill Collins, Appraiser Help Inc.

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