Creative Financing for Home Purchases: What's Available Now?

Posted by: Joseph Dobrian Date: Feb 9, 2017 4:28:47 PM

A real estate agent whose client doesn’t have the best credit—or an appraiser who wants to facilitate the transaction if the appraisal comes in low—can present the prospective home-buyer with various creative ways to finance the purchase. “Creative lending” might include any of several innovative products and services. Unconventional methods such as crowdfunding might also bear consideration.

read more

Topics: creative financing

A 2017 Housing Bubble? Here’s What Appraisers Advise

Posted by: Joseph Dobrian Date: Jan 26, 2017 8:16:08 PM

Rumors of a 2017 housing bubble that is set to pop may be exaggerated. The housing market has been in a slow recovery since the mortgage-backed securities crisis of 2007 and the severe economic downturn of 2008.

Given the cyclical nature of real estate, it’s reasonable to expect a correction in the next year or two. But the bubble isn’t likely to burst, because there isn’t one.

read more

Topics: Trends, Residential Appraisal, accurate appraisals, appraisal trends

Appraising Smart Homes: Does 'Smart' Really Matter?

Posted by: Joseph Dobrian Date: Jan 19, 2017 1:59:28 PM

How much will modern smart home technology affect an appraisal, if at all? Nowadays, a homeowner can control just about any home device, remotely, via a smartphone: computers, HVAC, audio/visual equipment, surveillance cameras, ovens and slow cookers, you name it. Will a home that’s set up to handle all those capabilities be valued higher than one that’s still pretty 20th-century in terms of modern conveniences?

read more

Topics: accurate appraisals, appraisal trends

The Power of Transparency and Communication in Appraisals

Posted by: Joseph Dobrian Date: Jan 10, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Appraisers are usually able to disclose quite a lot about their methods and the information they’ve used—and it’s best to be prepared to share that information promptly, especially if the appraisal is not what was hoped for. Transparency and communication in appraisals is essential.

read more

Topics: accurate appraisals

Trendspotting For Appraisers

Posted by: Joseph Dobrian Date: Dec 19, 2016 11:09:14 AM

How do you spot and judge market trends and news events that might influence your appraisal, or that you should bring to the attention of the client? If you’re in a situation where the value of a property could rise or fall dramatically from its current appraised value, depending on various factors, how can you take the variables into account and provide the most accurate appraisal possible? The short answer is that your appraisal will be applicable to a certain effective date—but you shouldn’t neglect to let the lender know how market forces might affect the appraised value down the road.

read more

Topics: USPAP, appraisal market, appraisal trends

Arriving at an Accurate Appraisal, Even When Comps Are Few

Posted by: Joseph Dobrian Date: Dec 15, 2016 10:00:00 AM

You’ve been assigned to appraise a property in a remote area, or in a neighborhood where few sales have occurred lately. How do you arrive at an accurate appraisal if you’re not sure of your comparable sales? Can you take an approach to the appraisal that you wouldn't usually use? How could one unusual event or another throw your calculations off?

McKissock recently went over those questions with three expert appraisers—and their consensus is, you can always find a way to give an accurate appraisal.

read more

Topics: accurate appraisals

4 Ways Appraisers Can Make Time for the Work That Matters

Posted by: McKissock Date: Dec 8, 2016 11:14:00 AM

No matter what industry you’re in, when things get busy it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. It can seem impossible to get all of your work done with only 24 hours in the day. But there are some tried-and-true methods for eliminating the minutiae to drill down on the real estate appraisal work that matters.

read more

Topics: real estate appraisal work

Why the Appraisal Engagement Letter Isn’t Enough

Posted by: McKissock Date: Nov 25, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Should you execute an appraisal engagement letter with your clients? Absolutely. Is the engagement letter enough to ensure that you remain compliant with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)? Not necessarily.

An appraisal engagement letter is a legally binding document that defines the terms and conditions of your arrangement with your client, addresses the scope of the assignment, and establishes your compensation, so you should execute one with each appraisal client to protect yourself.

read more

Topics: appraisal engagement letter

How Groundwater Emergencies Affect Home Values

Posted by: Roni Robbins Date: Nov 17, 2016 11:00:00 AM

It’s been a few months since the national state of emergency was lifted from Flint, Michigan. But the city’s housing market may be in a state of unrest for several years as water pipes are replaced and the real estate market continues to stabilize from its recent lead poisoning crisis, according to appraisers consulted for this story.

read more

Topics: Groundwater

Are You Ready to Hire a Virtual Assistant for Your Appraisal Business?

Posted by: Joseph Dobrian Date: Nov 10, 2016 3:13:05 PM

 
By Joseph Dobrian

Editor's Note: Our recently published blog post, Hiring a Remote or Virtual Assistant: Can It Really Increase Your Earnings?, received several comments and questions about hiring a virtual assistant for your appraisal business. This article is a follow-up to that post to show how two appraisers found success with their virtual assistant.  

Appraisers can save themselves astonishing amounts of time and money by hiring a virtual assistant, that is, an assistant who works from a remote location, with little or no face-to-face interaction with the employer. Intelligent, hard-working, English-speaking personnel can be found all over the world through online sources. By taking the least-profitable work off your shoulders, they’ll allow you more time for the tasks that only you can do or like best to do. And because wages are considerably lower in countries with large talent pools—such as the Philippines—hiring an overseas virtual assistant will make it easier to add professional-level employees closer to home.

read more

Topics: virtual assistants for appraisers