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.

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

The Growing Use of Drones in Appraisal

Posted by: McKissock Date: Oct 13, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Drones are increasingly becoming a more common sight. From adventurers documenting their epic journeys to commercial real estate—there’s a myriad of uses and enthusiasts. The real estate industry has been quick to dive into this new and innovative technology, and appraisers are no exception. What are the advantages to using drones in appraisal? Drones can provide different and unique perspectives on properties, and many believe they can give useful information for a credible appraisal.

A significant obstacle that drone users once faced in the United States was the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. In certain situations, FAA would grant businesses the right to fly drones commercially, but that went on a case-by-case basis with specific (and often difficult to meet) regulations the businesses had to abide by.

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Topics: Trends

Appraiser Blacklisting: Why Are Real Estate Agents Turning Away Appraisers?

Posted by: Joseph Dobrian Date: Sep 1, 2016 9:00:00 AM

New conversations are starting about the occasionally fractious relationship between appraisers and selling agents. The complaint that some real estate agents are guilty of appraiser blacklisting (refusing to allow certain appraisers to appraise their listings) isn’t a new one. But it seems to have become more common lately.

Most often, apparently, agents complain that a certain appraiser lacks “geographical competence” (i.e., the appraiser doesn’t know local conditions). While this is sometimes a legitimate objection, appraisers fear that the unspoken complaint is, “This appraiser doesn’t hit the numbers I want him to hit. He’s a deal-killer.”

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Topics: Trends

The Truth About the Appraiser Shortage

Posted by: McKissock Date: May 12, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Do speculations about the current appraiser shortage have you worried about the industry—or possibly giddy over the never-ending business you can expect? Not so fast, cautions David Bunton, senior staff member of The Appraisal Foundation in a post he penned for Appraisal Buzz. While it’s true that there are about 20% fewer appraisers today than there were eight years ago, there is a little bit more to the data than just the sharp decline.

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Topics: Trends

How Will Rising Mortgage Interest Rates Affect Your Appraisal Business?

Posted by: Alexis Petersen Date: Mar 10, 2015 3:41:00 PM

Economists have been predicting that mortgage interest rates will rise in 2015, and MarketWatch notes that the average mortgage fixed-rate did, in fact, rise in February. Wondering how this trend will affect your appraisal business? Here’s an overview of the impact mortgage rates have on professional home appraisals.

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Topics: Trends

How Marcellus Shale Can Affect Property Value

Posted by: Carrie Amann Date: Feb 24, 2015 4:15:19 PM

In recent years, states like Pennsylvania have seen a massive natural gas boom as improved fracking and horizontal drilling techniques have allowed companies to extract natural gas from shale rock in the Marcellus Shale region. These recent developments have not only affected the oil and gas industry, but the real estate industry as well. One of the most significant concerns, particularly for real estate professionals, is how drilling in the Marcellus will impact property value. Read on for more information on the ways this process may influence the appraisal process.

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Topics: Trends

Understanding Drilling Technology: Marcellus Shale

Posted by: Claire Bevevino Date: Feb 17, 2015 5:05:00 PM

Small-scale drilling in Marcellus Shale has occurred for decades. Until fairly recently, it was not economically feasible to extract the natural gas trapped in this region. However, current drilling methods, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, allow rigs access to the natural gas in the tight shale layer. When appraising a property in the Marcellus Shale region, it’s important that you are familiar with these processes.  Knowledge is power.  Read on for a brief review of these technologies.

Horizontal Drilling

Shale gas is usually extracted by means of a "horizontal well," which is first drilled down vertically to a depth above the target gas-bearing rock formation. Special tools are then used to curve the well so that the hole is drilled horizontally within the gas-bearing rock for several thousand feet. Except for special tools used underground, horizontal drilling is performed using the same equipment and technology as vertical drilling, with the same protocols allegedly in place for aquifer protection, fluid containment, and waste handling.

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Topics: Trends

What's the State of the Appraisal Profession?

Posted by: Alexis Petersen Date: Oct 21, 2014 1:49:37 PM

Listen to McKissock's very own Tracy Martin interview with Voice of Appraisal's Phil Crawford as they discuss the current state of the appraisal profession. The duo covers everything from specialty niches and hotspots in the market to the finer points of UARs and extraordinary assumptions.

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Topics: Trends

REOs: Valuable Appraisal Business?

Posted by: Kamie Kennedy Date: Oct 6, 2014 10:29:45 AM

More than 55,000 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in August, up 12 percent from previous month and flat from year ago, according to RealtyTrac. It was the second consecutive month where U.S. foreclosure starts have increased on a month-over-month basis.

Sadly, these foreclosures represent opportunities for appraisers.  As we discussed in a recent post, though, REOs and foreclosures are not necessarily “easy money” in that they can differ greatly from traditional mortgage assignments and may require a higher skill set as it relates to the development process, valuation, and reporting.  We discussed the differences in the development process previously; now let’s dive into valuation. Here are 3 broad ways in which REOs and foreclosure assignments can differ:

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Topics: Trends

REO Appraisals: (Still) Worth the Effort?

Posted by: Kamie Kennedy Date: Sep 3, 2014 9:56:00 AM

July marked the 46th consecutive month where U.S. foreclosures were down on a year-over-year basis, according to a recent report from RealtyTrac.  While many believe that this indicates the stabilization of foreclosure numbers nationally, still 1 in approximately 1,000 housing units filed for foreclosure last month and some state and local markets still are bucking the trend.  (To see a list of “problematic” states and local areas, download our infographic here)

While we don’t want to bask in others’ misery, it is a simple fact that defaults and foreclosures represent business opportunities for appraisers. That said, this doesn’t necessarily mean “easy money” in that REO and other like foreclosure assignments can differ greatly from traditional mortgage assignments and may require a higher skill set.  How so?

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Topics: Trends