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Appraiser Top Ten for 2014

December 30th, 2013 by Bill Collins Leave a reply »

Top, Top 10 Lists for 2014

So many lists, so little time and space.  Here are summaries of our favorites:

On December 23rd, Erin Carlyle writing in Forbes released her “Housing Outlook 2014: 10 Predictions from the Experts”.  The top five predictions were:

1) The inventory of housing will increase.
2) Mortgage rates will increase modestly.
3) Lending standards will relax somewhat making it easier to obtain loans.
4) Home prices will rise approximately 3%.
5) Fewer homeowners will be underwater.

Forbes bases their forecasts on information from Zillow, Redfin,, Trulia and CoreLogic.  A link to their remaining ten predictions and the entire article is found here: Forbes: Housing Outlook 2014: 10 Predictions From The Experts

Also on December 23rd, Steve Bertoni writing for Forbes released his “14 Bad Tech Habits to Break in 2014”.  While this is not a real estate or appraiser related list, it contains some suggestions that many technologically “advanced” appraisers might want to consider as New Year Resolutions: 14 Bad Tech Habits to Break in 2014

One more tech list for tech savvy appraisers or wannabes. Writing in SocialMediaToday, Malhar Bahai discusses the “5 Dreadful Blogging Mistakes of 2013”: Inconsistency; bad blog design; less social sharing; proper headlines; and lack of proper SEO techniques. A link to this article is found here: 5 Dreadful Blogging Mistakes of 2013

At a conference in Chicago, the Urban Land Institute released their “Emerging Trends in Real Estate Report”.  Ilcye Glink of CBS Moneywatch discussed the top three trends in her report titled the “Top 10 Real Estate Trends for 2014”:

1) Millennials are moving the market, but are not forming as many households or buying as many homes as their parents at the same age.
2) Investors, developers and builders are losing interest in cities such as New York and San Francisco with “second-tier cities” (i.e. Dallas and Portland) leading the recovery.
3) Real estate recovery is still dependent on job growth with areas of significant job growth (i.e. cities in the Bay area and Texas) seeing strong housing recoveries.

A link to all ten trends and the entire CBS Moneywatch report is found here: Top 10 Real Estate Trends for 2014

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Appraiser News Top 10 List: Important Changes/Trends Appraisers Need To Know

1) Mortgage rates are likely to rise significantly.

2) Mortgage appraisal business is likely to continue to slow substantially.

3) Expand, expand, expand your efforts to expand, expand, expand your private, non-mortgage appraisal business.

4) This means: appraisals for tax grievance & appeal; appraisals for attorneys, accountants, private property owners.

5) Don’t forget about consulting assignments as well as formal appraisals.

6) Update your appraisal software (residential and commercial); become more efficient.

7) Beg, borrow and steal the money to increase your marketing budget as well as modernizing your appraisal practice.

8) However desperate you may get for business, just say NO to AMCs that offer only substandard pay and constantly “hassle” you.

9) Keep up on USPAP changes and changes in regulations and procedures. For example: Fannie Mae Lender Letter LL-2013-10.  Through the Uniform Data Collateral Portal, Fannie Mae has been able to collect data since 2011 on millions of appraisals which they can cross check for inaccuracies and inconsistencies in data reporting by an appraiser.  Appraisers are being carefully monitored so any appraisers “cutting corners” and not verifying data are likely to receive intense scrutiny and possibly be placed on a “do not use” list by Fannie Mae.  Here is a link to Fannie Mae Lender Letter LL-2013-10:

Lender Letter LL-2013-10 (Opens a .PDF File)   

10)  Don’t forget to enjoy your work-don’t work all the time-take time off!

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A Reminder for Commercial Appraisers

Check out Commercial Express from Narrative1. During these busy times, the need for short format commercial appraisal formats (which allow for quick data input, analysis and report generation) is great and we suggest checking out this new product from the number one commercial appraisal software company.

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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.

Narrative 1 Commercial Express

Click Here to learn more about Commercial Express by Narrative1

Recent Real Estate Reports

Yesterday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that pending home sales for November were up 0.2% from October but down 1.6% from November of 2012.  Pending home sales in the Northeast dropped 2.7% from the prior month but were up 1.9% from November of 2012 (likely due to superstorm Sandy).  Sales in the Midwest were down 3.1% from October of this year but up 0.4% from one year ago.  Pending home sales in the South increased 2.3% from the previous month and 0.1% from one year ago.  The West reported an increase of 1.8% from October but a decline of 8.7% from November 2012 which the NAR attributed to a lack of inventory.

Yesterday, CoreLogic released their MarketPulse report which showed an increase of 12% year to year from October 2012 to October 2013.  This represents a 16% increase nationally from the 4th Quarter of 2011.  With this gain, more than 3 million residential property owners have more equity with 2/3 of all mortgaged homes in the U.S. now showing at least 20% equity.  Projections of continued improvement promise to turnaround some of the remaining 6.4 million “underwater” homeowners, 1/3 of whom are in Nevada, Florida, Arizona, Ohio and Georgia.  Foreclosure inventories fell 28% year to year in October with the serious delinquency rate now at its lowest level in five years.  CoreLogic also noted that while the “…shadow inventory remains elevated…the directional trend is positive” and has declined by $87 billion in the last year.  Further information on this report and CoreLogic can be found by going to:

On December 20th, Bloomberg reported on the Blackstone Group’s offering of the first “rental-home-backed” security on Wall Street.  Blackstone is essentially betting that rising monthly rentals and high occupancy rates resulting from declining homeownership rates (declining from 69.2% in 2004 to 65.3% in 2013) will generate a healthy rate of return for investors.  A link to the Bloomberg article including graphical depictions is found here: Bloomberg Visual Data – Blackstone’s Big Bet on Rental Homes

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Last Day For Early Release Pricing! Get Appraiser Help’s 2014 Directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies Today!

To help appraisers evaluate how AMCs will work for their appraisal practices, we have compiled this expanded directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies, listing complete contact information and other details for each listing.

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Rates & Dates

Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Brokers Association (MBA) and HSH Market Trends all reported rising mortgage interest rates in their most recent surveys. 

On December 26th, Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 4.48% from the previous week’s rate of 4.47%. They also noted that last year at this time the 30-year rate was at 3.35%. 

Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac is quoted in the release as saying:
“Mortgage rates were little changed this week following mixed economic reports. Real GDP was revised upward to 4.1 percent growth in the third quarter of this year. However, existing-home sales dropped 4.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4,900,000 in November. Also, new home sales fell 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 464,000."

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported on December 24th (for the week ending December 20th) that 30-year rates with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) increased to 4.64% from 4.62% during the previous week.   The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) rose to 4.63% from 4.61%.  Rates for FHA backed mortgages moved upward to 4.29% from 4.25%. 

In their press release of December 20th, the MBA reported a decline of 6.3% in mortgage applications with refinance applications dropping to 65% from 66% of all applications the previous week.  Mike Fratontoni, the MBA’s VP of Research and Economics is quoted in the release as saying: “Following the Federal Reserve’s taper announcement, mortgage application volume dropped again last week, with rates increasing and refinance application volume falling to its lowest level since November 2008. Purchase application volume was weak too, continuing to run more than ten percent below last year’s pace. Notably, government purchase application volume is almost 25 percent below where it was at this time last year, with the larger drop compared to conventional purchase likely due to the increase in FHA premiums over the course of the year.” 

On December 27th, HSH Market Trends reported that 30-year mortgage rates increased to 4.60% from 4.56% the previous week. Rates for FHA-backed mortgages rose from 4.21% to 4.24%.

In their news release of December 27th, HSH commented that:
“2014 promises to see some changes to the mortgage landscape as new market realities kick in. If the economy grows, mortgage rates will rise, more so as the Fed tapers (at least for conforming loans). New documentation and paperwork will probably continue to vex borrowers seeking mortgages in the new year, while QM/QRM and Ability to Repay regs will keep lenders, investors and regulators on their toes, too… and all this will occur even absent any FHFA-mandated fee increases (or not).”

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

Additional information from HSH can be found by going to: HSH.Com

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Ask Angie

We would first like to congratulate our most recent winner: San Jose, California appraiser Angelito Reyes of Streamline Appraisals.  Streamline Appraisals covers the Silicone Valley county of Santa Clara.  Angelito was the first to answer correctly that Henny Youngman quipped “I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up-they have no holidays”; Pope Francis said “Just as the commandment ‘thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality”; and the saying “Please God, just one more bubble” is taken from a famous Silicon Valley bumper sticker.  Today’s Questions:

Today’s questions:

1. Who said: “The best way to predict your future is to create it."

a) Abraham Lincoln
b) Mark Cuban
c) Steve Jobs
d) Sheryl Sandberg
e) None of the above

2. Who said: “New Year’s Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time."

a) Mark Twain
b) James Agate
c) Old appraiser saying on working with AMCs
d) Old AMC saying on working with anyone
e) None of the above

3. Who said: "I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, s*x, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself."

a) George Carlin
b) Groucho Marx
c) Johnny Carson
d) Rodney Dangerfield
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 Newly Released 2014 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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