Newz: Amrock suspends CA fee appraisers; Neutrality; Missle Silos
January 24, 2020
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8 Funny Quotes About Appraiser Work Stress
Just For Fun!!

Excerpts: Real estate appraisal is an exciting and enjoyable profession—for the most part. But every appraiser knows that the job can be stressful at times, especially for those who are self-employed. If you’re having a hectic or frustrating day on the job, it helps to have a sense of humor. Here are some super funny quotes about work stress that we hope will brighten your day.

A few quotes
“‘Yay! It’s the weekend!’ Said nobody who is self-employed.”
“There cannot be a stressful crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” ­— Henry Kissinger

Very creative gifs! Sorry, they don't work in these emails. To see them,  click here

My comment: Very Funny and Realistic!
Appraisal Writing Etiquette – Dotting I’s & Crossing T’s

Excerpts: We frequently see appraisal reports with run-on sentences, sentence fragments, improper use of words (for example: their, there, they’re), etc. Sentences ought to not end with a preposition. Why say, “Where is the house at?” when you can simply, and correctly, say “Where is the house?” This seems straight forward enough, but these are common writing errors.

I know, your AMC clients demand quick turn times; therefore, you don’t have the time to let that report roast for part of a day. Obviously, you have to make a business decision. Is turning reports fast, sans your own QC process, worth the reputational risk that comes with sloppy work? Can you reprioritize your calendar to allow a bit more time so that a report can sit and await a clerical review? What if your own QC check helps you uncover items that would have caused revision requests? ..

You might even end up saving yourself and your client some time by allowing some margin to dot the “I”s and cross the “T”s.

To read more, click here

My comment: Written by an AMC employee. Read what the "other side" says. Also, this applies to any type of clients. Never, never do court testimony with typos and grammar errors in your appraisal! It will be "shredded" by the opposing attorney. Or, want to get on a fee panel, etc. First impressions make a big difference.
Two More Titan II Nuclear Missile Silos Blast Onto the Market in Arizona

Excerpts: It's time for your real estate portfolio to go ballistic! After a decommissioned Titan II missile silo in Arizona was sold in just two weeks late last year, two more desert silos have blasted onto the market. One is in Oracle, AZ, and a second is in Benson, AZ. Each is priced at $495,000…

Potential buyers have already been in touch with Hampton, who says he's heard all sorts of concepts on how to repurpose the silos. Big ideas range from Airbnb rentals, to a medical marijuana facility, to a “semiunderground resort for those with electromagnetic sensitivities."

To see lotsa fotos and read more, click here

My comment: They are also popular for "apocalypse survivors", such as total electrical grid failure, very bad viruses, etc. also. Highest and best use?? Measuring?? Don't ask me to appraise one ;>
Amrock Suspends CA Fee Panel Appraisers 

Excerpts: Amrock recently sent their California fee panel appraisers an email informing them it will suspend the use of fee panel appraisers in California, in order to comply with AB5 law…

The Amrock letter said " We understand and share your frustrations on this issue. Amrock, along with many others in the industry, is actively pursuing efforts to loosen the restraints placed on the appraisal profession by this law and we remain hopeful that we can resume providing orders to our fee panel partners in the state.

To read the short letter and read the comments  click here

My comment: No one knows what AMCs will do about AB5. Maybe there will be more AMC staff appraisers jobs? Fewer appraisals for fee appraisers? There are people working on getting fee appraisers exempted from AB5. The AI's California legislative group is working with their lobbyists. Also, there is a conflict between AB5 and the CA AMC regulations. 

Amrock's parent company, Rock Holdings also owns Quicken Loans. ... "While the company shares a parent and a technology focus with Quicken Loans, Amrock gets a significant portion of its business from other lenders."
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What Does It Mean To Be Neutral?

By Jamie Owen

Excerpt: What does it mean to be neutral? Think about an automobile. What happens when the gears are in neutral? The car is not being advanced forwards or backwards. No matter how high the engine is revved up, the automobile does not move.

Likewise, when it comes to an appraiser, being neutral requires that our analysis and opinions are not for, or against, a cause or party. Can you think of some synonyms for the word neutral? Disinterested, indifferent, fair-minded, nonaligned, uninvolved or unbiased.

To read lots more, plus the fun videos and animated gifs of course,  click here

My comments: Another great post from Cleveland Appraisal Blog!! Written for home owners, but some good appraisal stories and lotsa USPAP excerpts. 
Maps of cities with the most solar

Excerpt: Cape Analytics, a company that uses machine learning to analyze geospatial data for insurance companies, scanned 38 million properties in 21 large metropolitan areas. The San Diego area, by far, has the most solar panels per capita, with around 10% of homes generating solar power. In a neighborhood called La Costa Ridge in the nearby city of Carlsbad, nearly a third of houses have solar on the roof.

To read more, click here

My comment: Guess I gotta get "up to speed" on the added value, if any, for rooftop solar!! What's happening where you work? I had always thought solar rooftops would be more popular in areas with hot summers and cold winters due to the cost savings. San Diego is a mild climate.
For just a buck you can own an old fire station

Excerpt: The fire sale is on: For just a buck, you can own the old fire station in Fremont CA’s Centerville district. But you’d better have a big wad of money because moving the old masonry structure won’t be cheap.

And you better hurry because the offer is only good for the next 59 days. After that, if there are no buyers, the long-decommissioned station will be given a date with the wrecking ball.

To read more, click here

My comment: Interesting story. Site to be developed. Looks sorta ugly to me, but in my city historic usually means built prior to 1920 ;> Fremont is a bedroom community built up after World War II. Not many historic buildings or homes. I have done a lot of appraisals in Fremont. One historic district, Niles, distant from the fire station, near Mission Bl., the former major street going through several cities. 

I appraised a fire station in a nearby city awhile ago. Highest and Best use was tricky, with a very long explanation!!
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Mortgage applications decreased 5.3 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 26, 2019) - Mortgage applications decreased 5.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 20, 2019. 

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 5.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 6 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 5 percent from the previous week and was 128 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 7 percent compared with the previous week and was 5 percent higher than the same week one year ago. 

"The 10-Year Treasury yield increased last week amid signs of stronger homebuilding activity and solid consumer spending, leading to a rise in conventional conforming and jumbo 30-year mortgage rates to just under 4 percent. With this increase, conventional refinance application volume fell 11 percent," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. "Refinance applications for government loans did increase, even though rates on FHA loans picked up. The change in the mix of business has kept the average refinance loan size smaller than we had seen earlier this year." 

Added Fratantoni, "We are in the slowest time of the year for the purchase market. Purchase application activity declined after the seasonal adjustment, but still remains about 5 percent ahead of last year's pace. The increase in construction activity will bolster housing inventories, which should be a positive for purchase volumes going into 2020." 

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 62.6 percent of total applications from 62.2 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 4.1 percent of total applications. 

The FHA share of total applications increased to 14.5 percent from 13.7 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 15.2 percent from 12.9 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.5 percent from the week prior. 

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) increased to 3.99 percent from 3.98 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.33 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week. 

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $484,350) increased to 3.97 percent from 3.96 percent, with points decreasing to 0.25 from 0.26
(including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week. 

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.87 percent from 3.79 percent, with points decreasing to 0.33 from 0.36 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week. 

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.39 percent from 3.40 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.26 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week. 

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.38 percent from 3.28 percent, with points decreasing to 0.21 from 0.23 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week. 
Ann O'Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA
Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today
2033 Clement Ave. Suite 105, Alameda, CA 94501
Phone 510-865-8041
Email   ann@appraisaltoday.com