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Appraisers As Superman

September 22nd, 2014 by Bill Collins Leave a reply »

"It’s a’s a plane.. it’s.. Super-Appraiser-Man!"

One year ago today, on September 23, 2013, I underwent bypass surgery after a heart attack.  Since then, I have been through cardiac rehab and have worked to understand and change the lifestyle habits that resulted in this life threatening/altering event.

During the past year, I have heard from a number of appraisers who have had heart attacks, recovered and are continuing to appraise.  Most have undergone the same change in lifestyle as I have, striving to make healthier choices.

I’m writing this for those appraisers who have not yet been impacted by serious health events and continue to make unhealthy choices.  Yes, you.  I know many of you, I’ve spoken to many of you about this for a long time and you don’t really listen.  I know what you think, it can’t happen to you.  But think for a minute about the many unhealthy aspects of our chosen profession:

~We have many days where we are sedentary.  Whether we are spending an entire day writing a narrative, commercial appraisal report; riding in a car doing drive-by appraisals; writing up several residential, form appraisals; working the phones; we are hardly moving. 

~We are noshing on pizza, cookies, getting caffeinated.  Some of us are still smoking.  At the end of the day, we are mentally spent and many choose alcohol over exercise to unwind, put the day behind us.

~We are under deadline after deadline.  We are really always on one DEADline or another.  Residential appraisers are afraid of meeting AMC deadlines, losing their top appraiser ratings and being shut off.  Commercial appraisers are afraid of that $100 per day late fee and the call from the loan officer. 

Homeowners, commercial property owners, real estate agents, attorneys, AMCs, banks, the list is long: they all are pressuring us in various ways.  A number of studies suggest that everyday “on the job” stresses can trigger inflammation, a known instigator of heart disease.  Harvard Women’s Health Watch noted that stress can also influence our behavior in more subtle ways by causing us to act in ways that increase the risk of heart disease (i.e. the aforementioned high fat foods which lead to artery damage; smoking; drinking).

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5 Ways to Manage Stress

Harvard Women’s Health Watch offers these 5 ways (for both men and women) to manage stress and help your heart:

1. Stay positive
2. Meditate
3. Exercise
4. Unplug
5. Find your own path to stress release

If not now, when?

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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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Recent Real Estate Reports

Yesterday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that existing home sales (including single family dwellings, townhouses, condominiums and coops) declined by 1.8% in August from a downwardly revised figure one month earlier.  This figure is also 5.3% less than the figure for existing home sales in August 2013.

The median home price in August was $219,800, up 4.8% from August 2013.  The inventory of homes for sale declined by 1.7% from the prior month but was up 4.5% from last August. 

All cash sales represented 23% of total sales, falling to the lowest share since December 2009.  Individual investors (who make up many of these sales) represented 12% of transactions, down from 16% last month.

The percentage of first time buyers remained at 29%, making this 16 out of the past 17 months in which the figure was below 30%, historically this figure is substantially higher (approaching 40%).  8% of sales in August were distressed sales with foreclosures and short sales respectively making up 6% and 2%.  The NAR found that foreclosures sold at a discount of 14% below market value and short sales at a 10% discount. These discounts were significantly less than found in July: 20% (foreclosures) and 14% (short sales).

Other findings:

~Sales in the Northeast were up 4.7% month to month but were down 4.3% year to year; the median sale price was $265,800, down 0.8% from one year ago.

~Midwest sales increased 2.5% month to month but fell 3.9% from last year; the median sale price was up 5.9% from last year to $173,800.

~Sales in the South fell 4.2% both month to month and year to year; the median sale price rose 4.7% to $186,700.

~Sales in the West dropped 5.1% from July and were down 9.8% from last August; the median price was up 5.4% to $301,900.

Last Friday, Zillow reported that their U.S. Zillow Home Value Index was up 6.6% in August from the previous year, the slowest pace in the last year.  Zillow projects that U.S. home prices will rise another 3.1% during the next 12 months.  Zillow also reported that rents rose nationally at the rate of 0.7% from the previous month and 3.3% during the past year.

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Some Random Tweets to Make You Smile

1) If you want breakfast in bed, sleep in the kitchen.

2) Imagine being so out of touch with reality that you invite someone to an event through Facebook.

3) The best feeling in the world is being loved back by the person you love.

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Appraiser Help’s 2014 Directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies is Now Available!

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.

If you’re looking to maintain or expand your mortgage appraisal practice, our Directory of Appraisal Management and National Appraisal Companies is a great place to start. Order it today for $69.99 and download it immediately!

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

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Rates & Dates

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

In their survey on September 18th, Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages jumped to 4.23% from 4.12% the previous week. They also noted that last year at this time the 30-year rate was 4.50%.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported on September 17th (for the week ending September 12th) that 30-year rates with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) rose to 4.36% from 4.27%.  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) increased to 4.24% from 4.15% while rates for FHA backed mortgages also moved upward, from 3.97% to 4.03%. 

Mortgage applications increased by 7.9% from the previous week with the share of refinance applications as a percentage of all applications rising to 57% from 55% the previous week.

On September 19th, HSH Market Trends reported that 30-year mortgage rates rose to 4.29% from 4.23% the previous week at 4.17%.  Rates for FHA-backed mortgages also increased, from 3.92% to 4.00%.

In their news release last Friday, HSH noted that this two week “bump-up” in rates brought interest rates up to May levels.

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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Appraiser Help has Released its 2014 Directory of AMC’s and National Appraisal Companies. Click the link above to learn more and to download your copy today!

Ask Angie

We would first like to congratulate our most recent winner: California appraiser Sandy Bass, SRA of AA Action Appraisals LLC.  AA Action Appraisals provides appraisal services in the northern California counties of Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Monterey.  Sandy was the first to answer correctly that Henry David Thoreau was the author of all three Angie’s questions in the last newsletter: “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals”; "Wealth is the ability to fully experience life”; and “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”

Today’s Questions:

1. Who said: “I hate housework!  You make the beds, you do the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again.”

a) Aubrey Plaza
b) Alan King
c) Joan Rivers
d) Chelsea Handler
e) None of the above

2. Who said: "I knew I was an unwanted baby when I saw that my bath toys were a toaster and a radio.”

a) Bob Newhart
b) Alan King
c) Joan Rivers
d) Chelsea Handler
e) None of the above

3. Who said: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is God’s gift, that’s why we call it the present.”

a) Jim Parsons
b) Robin Williams
c) Joan Rivers
d) Tina Fey
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 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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