Changing the Marketing Focus

April 29, 2009 at 7:51 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It used to be that Appraisers wouldn’t market directly to homeowners. After all, when you purchase your house or get it refinanced, the loan officer orders the appraisal. Every year I’d get calls from the high school to sponsor the basketball team, or from the town asking if I wanted a booth at one of the town festivals, and I used to confidently say that my audience was not the individual homeowners.

But times have changed, and the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) has eliminated the communication between Appraiser and loan officer (don’t get me started on that one). Quite coincidentally, the individual homeowner is finding out more frequently that they require an Appraisal for non-lender related issues. These situations include:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Divorce
  • Death in the family
  • Loan modification
  • Home equity line of credit line decrease
  • or various other reasons
  • If you find yourself in one of these situations, of course I’ll blatantly ask you to call me, but I’ll try and be a little more diplomatic about it. First off, call your Realtor because he or she should be able to recommend a good Appraiser. In fact, any good Realtor understands the importance of knowing a reliable team of professionals, which includes handymen, painters, lawyers, home inspectors and of course Appraisers. And find out if your Realtor really knows the person or is simply passing you a business card. If a Realtor wants to continue their relationship with you, they will make sure that they provide you with quality business referrals that will help you with your situation.

    To learn more about the Appraisal process, give me a call at 480-544-1217 or visit our website at www.advantageappraisalsllc.com. We look forward to helping you when the need arises.

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    But the Bathwater is so Dirty!

    April 28, 2009 at 3:32 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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    …or is it?  Short post here simply because I know that I have loyal readers.  And I’m actually plaigerizing this one sforgive me.  It’s more of a “spread the information” sort of post:

    The National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) Friday called on its members to contact their Senators and/or Representatives to stop or halt the Home Valuation Code of Conduct, which is set to be implemented May 1.

    After recently dumping its lawsuit against the FHFA over the proposed changes, the NAMB stepped up its political fight against the key appraisal changes.

    The agreement eliminates mortgage broker-ordered appraisals, prohibits appraiser coercion, and reduces the use of in-house appraisals and captive appraisal management companies.

    It was the result of a 2007 lawsuit in which Attorney General Andrew Cuomo sued First American Corp. and its eAppraiseIt unit for falsely inflating home values tied to Washington Mutual home loans.

    But NAMB argues that the proposal will hurt consumers and small businesses, and could violate certain procedural and compliance laws.

    Instead of relying on independent appraisers, HVCC will require the use of “unregulated” Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs), which are often located thousands of miles away from the subject properties.

    NAMB believes independent appraisers with in-depth knowledge of local market conditions will be sacrificed for large AMCs, despite the fact that an AMC was the focus of the lawsuit that led to the creation of the HVCC.

    The brokers also believe the changes will negatively impact the consumer, who will incur higher costs, limited choice, and longer processing times at a time when lending is already quite backed up.

    Additionally, they feel the HVCC breaks procedural law and is a potential violation of RESPA (confusion that could push mortgage brokers out of the picture), while arguing that appraisal standards already exist.

    Unfortunately, their pleas may fall on deaf ears, as reports like this from the Center of Public Integrity found tons of fraud on both the lender and appraiser end, making it pretty clear that big changes are necessary.

    Please visit the NAMB website for more information.

    Visit our website at www.advantageappraisalsllc.com, and if that doesn’t roll off the tongue, just try www.appraiserdude.com. Give me a call at 480-544-1217 if you have any questions. I look forward to working with you.

    Sincerely,

    George

    What’s a Room?

    April 10, 2009 at 6:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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    I’m not going to bore you with explaining what a room is like you’re 5 years old- Harry Potter had a room under the stairs- and perhaps Appraisers watching the movie gasped with this inaccuracy.  If you’re in real estate, you want to know what counts as a room and what doesn’t.  So in a nutshell here we go:

    You’ve got a home with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom with a washroom, living room with adjacent dining room, kitchen, nook, family room, den, laundry room upstairs, master walk in closet, retreat and a loft.

    Anyone want to guess how many rooms you have?  It could be as high as 17- but it’s not.

    Here’s the breakdown.  4 bedrooms, living room, kitchen, family room, den and loft- that’s 9 rooms.

    Bedrooms, living room, kitchen and family room are obvious, den should be pretty obvious too.

    The den is typically bedroom sized so that counts.  The loft is typically bedroom sized so that counts.  But if it’s like a big computer station area, then that’s NOT a room.  Can you put up a wall and a door and make the loft a room?  Then it’s a room.

    Many tract homes have the dining “room” adjacent to the living room with the hanging light being the item that makes it look like a dining room.  But picture this- can you put up a wall between the living room and that dining “room” and have both feel like their own room?  In many cases, it would look and feel ridiculous.  Here’s three examples (and yes, you can click on each to see a bigger version of it)- the first is NOT a dining room, the second is probably a dining room and the third is definitely a dining room – hence- a room.

    Not a dining roomProbably a RoomDefinately a Room

    Bathrooms don’t count as rooms- but from as an aside from an appraiser you have 2 1/2 bathrooms.  If that half bath had a standing shower but no bathtub- what many call a 3/4 bath, then it would be considered a full third bathroom- Appraiser’s typically don’t go by quarters- we round up to the nearest half.

    A nook is not a room- it’s sort of like an annex- same goes with the master retreat.  Both of these are similar rationale as dining room.  But if you have a giant master retreat, then it could be considered a room.

    Laundry room is not a room- period.

    Closets- no matter how big- are not rooms.

    Visit our website at www.advantageappraisalsllc.com, and if that doesn’t roll off the tongue, just try www.appraiserdude.com. Give me a call at 480-544-1217 if you have any questions. I look forward to working with you.

    Sincerely,

    George

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