ProxyPics

Chicago, IL —ProxyPics, Inc—A new mobile app has been launched that allows anyone to request on-demand photos of anywhere, quickly and affordably.

In the real estate industry, there has always been a huge demand for timely photos of properties. Deals can be held up by the simple need for an up-to-date photo of a home. With ProxyPics new app anyone with a mobile phone can take a picture of anything you need immediately.

ProxyPics is a life changer for those requesting and taking pictures. ProxyPics is part of the gig economy revolution, allowing everyone to make money on their own schedule. Once you have the app, you will also be notified of available jobs in your area. You can earn extra money while walking to the coffee shop.

ProxyPics is a platform designed to make region-specific photography available to all. ProxyPics leverages GPS and digital payment technologies to match photo requests to the photo takers on a global scale. It is also set to disrupt entire industries, by making time-sensitive, affordable photos available on a grand scale. Real Estate, insurance, merchandising audits, and news media outlets are all areas that can greatly benefit from immediate photos of specific locations and subjects.

ProxyPics is available for both iOS and Android devices. Download it today and start making money with a click of a button. Visit www.proxypics.com/download to get started.

About ProxyPics
ProxyPics is the first-of-its-kind on-demand system for getting the location-specific media you need from wherever you are. Our simple-to-use platform creates an online marketplace, matching users needing geographic-based content with users near to the location ready to take your photo. Never before has it been quicker, cheaper, or simpler to get timely images and video from anywhere around the world.

Contact
Name: Luke Tomaszewski
Phone: 773.524.8468
Email: Luke@proxypics.com

Reposted from Appraisal Buzz; original post here

Prime real estate: Amazon now delivers tiny houses

Prime real estate: Amazon now delivers tiny houses
by Dani Vanderboegh Staff Writer

Got a pesky, post-college millennial living at home who just won’t let you be an empty nester? Or what about a parent who doesn’t want to live with you, but can’t live alone?

As seen over on the website Apartment Therapy, Amazon and MODS International have the answer for you, just in time for Christmas: a 320-square-foot shipping container home you can order right from Amazon’s website, alongside your paper towels and bulk kitty litter. For $36,000 plus $4,500 for freight shipping, you can kick your relatives to the curb and give them a home to live in.

Reminiscent of the Sears Catalogue homes of the early 20th century — except tiny — Amazon will ship this tiny home, complete with appliances, bath fixtures and plumbing, water and electric hookups — all you have to do is add it to your cart.

Just don’t look for a discount on Prime Day, as this 7,500-pound send will take longer than two days. Check it out for yourself in the slideshow below

Original Post Here

Malcolm Gladwell: the Snapchat problem, the Facebook problem, the Airbnb problem

John Koetsier July 24, 2015 10:25 AM

Last night futurist, journalist, prognosticator, and author Malcolm Gladwell told pretty much the most data-driven marketing technologist crowd imaginable that data is not their salvation.

In fact, it could be their curse.

“More data increases our confidence, not our accuracy,” he said at mobile marketing analytics provider Tune’s Postback 2015 event in Seattle. “I want to puncture marketers’ confidence and show you where data can’t help us.”

The Snapchat problem

The average person under 25 is texting more each day than the average person over 55 texts each year, Gladwell says. That’s what the data can tell us.

Malcolm Gladwell at Postback 2015

What it can’t tell us is why.

“The data can’t tell us the nature of the behavior,” Gladwell said. “Maybe it’s developmental … or maybe it’s generational.”

Developmental change, in Gladwell’s story, is behavior that occurs as people age. For instance, “murder is a young man’s game,” he said, with almost all murders being committed by men under the age of 25. Likewise, dying in a car accident is something that just “statistically doesn’t happen” over the age of 40. In other words, people age out of developmental changes — they are not true long-term lasting shifts in behavior.

Generational change, on the other hand, is different. That’s behavior that belongs to a generation, a cohort that grows up and continues the behavior. For example, Gladwell said, baby boomers transformed “every job in America” in the ’70s as they demanded more freedom, greater rewards, and changes in the boss-employee relationship.

The question is whether Snapchat-style behavior is developmental or behavioral.

“In the answer to that question is the answer to whether Snapchat will be around in 10 years,” Gladwell said.

The Facebook problem

Facebook is massive, amazing, and almost literally incredible: a social network connecting over a billion people. That’s what the data can tell us.

What it can’t tell us is what it will become — what its full upside potential could be.

File photo of a photo illustration with 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo in front of displayed logos of social networks in ZenicaFacebook is at the stage that the telephone was at when they thought the phone was not for gossiping — it’s in its infancy,” Gladwell said, referencing that the early telephone marketers thought the phone was only for business. “We need to be cautious when making conclusions … we can see some things now, but we have no idea where it’s going.”

Why?

The diffusion of new technologies always takes longer than we would assume, Gladwell said. The first telephone exchange was launched in 1878, but only took off in the 1920s. The VCR was created in the 1960s in England, but didn’t reach its tipping point until the 1980s — over and above the vociferous opposition of the TV and movie industry, which was convinced it would destroy their business.

And that’s for technologies that are just innovative.

Technologies that are both innovative and and complicated, like Facebook, take even longer to really emerge.

“Any kind of new and dramatic innovation takes a long time to spread and be understood,” Gladwell said. “If we look at history, it tells us that the Facebook of today looks almost nothing like what it will tomorrow.”

The Airbnb problem

The sharing economy, featuring companies like AirBnB, Uber/Lyft, even eBay, rely on trust. And they’re growing and expanding like wildfire.

And yet, if you look at recent polls of trust and trustworthiness, people’s — and especially millennials — trust is at an all-time low. Out of ten American “institutions,” including church, Congress, the presidency, and others, millennials only trust two: the military and science.

AirbnbThat’s conflicting data. And what the data can’t tell us is how both can be true, Gladwell said.

“Data can tell us about the immediate environment of people’s attitudes, but not much about the environment in which they were formed,” he said. “So which is right? Do people not trust others, as the polls say … or are they lying to the surveys?”

The context helps, Gladwell said.

That context is an massive shift in American society over the past few decades: a huge reduction in violent crime. For example, New York City had over 2,000 murders in 1990. Last year it was 300. In the same time frame, the overall violent crime index has gone down from 2,500 per 100,000 people to 500.

“That means that there is an entire generation of people growing up today not just with Internet and mobile phones … but also growing up who have never known on a personal, visceral level what crime is,” Gladwell said.

Baby boomers, who had very personal experiences of crime, were given powerful evidence that they should not trust. The following generations are reverting to what psychologists call “default truth.” In other words, they assume that when someone says something, it’s true … until they see evidence to the contrary.

Whether that’s true or not, however, is extremely important to the future of the sharing economy.

Why marketers have a job

The deficiencies not only in data but of data are the reason marketers have a job, Gladwell said. In fact, it goes deeper than that:

“The reason your profession is a profession and not a job is that your role is to find the truth in the data.”

And that’s a significant challenge.

12 amazing content marketing ideas — no blogging allowed

These tips will get you out of your blogging rut

Style icon and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood once said that your life would be more interesting if you wore impressive clothes.

You can apply that principle to content marketing — your brand will be more attractive if you can create impressive content.

Don’t get me wrong; real estate blogging is great and can help you brand your business, but there are other ways to create valuable, shareable content.

To ensure that your content stands out from all of the standard formatted, dry blog posts on the Web, why not use a different approach? Frame your content in a new way.

There are many different ways that you can differentiate the message of your brand and engage with your local prospects. We have compiled 12 of the most creative media formats below.

1. Frame the content in the form of a quiz.

Why not create some shareable content in the form of a viral quiz? It’s a great way to segment your audience and create a viral buzz focused on you and your website.

Check out sites such as Qzzr.com and TryInteract.com for ideas on quizzes you can deploy in your market. It doesn’t have to be real estate-related all the time. You can create quizzes about your local area or city and target local homeowners in your city with a Facebook ad.

2. Hold a Q&A on Twitter.

Tweeting isn’t all about one-offs. You can release a block of questions and answers on Twitter and interact with people in your city. Later, you can repurpose that content into a curated blog post.

3. Ask a “yes or no question” in a text.

If you want a customer to give you a straight answer, then ask them a straight question. It is easy to get a simple response via a text message by using SMS applications. This type of content drives not only readership but also engagement.

4. Instead of thinking website, think document.

Go bigger by offering downloadable content. A discrete document, such as an e-book, white paper or PDF frequently is perceived to have a higher value. This tactic is great to create as a lead magnet for a landing page.

GO BIGGER BY OFEERING DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT – AN E-BOOK, WHITE PAPER OT PDF

. Use infographics and charts.

Infographics and charts are a great way to map out the data of your local real estate market. You can use sites such as infogr.am and Piktochart to create highly engaging images. Be sure to add your logo to the image — infographics can be great content that people love to share.

6. Review a recent case study.

Do you have a product that you need to present? Focus in on imagining how it was used by one ideal buyer or seller client to solve their problem. When you can be specific, it frequently has general appeal and helps with encouraging people to purchase work with you.

7. Set it up like a comic strip.

Everybody loves comics. If you can say what you need to in the form of snappy one-liners, you can always present them with sequential panels, stick figures and bright colors. Bitstrips can help you get started.

INMAN, NANA SMITH, REALTOR, APPRAISER, STAMFORD CT

8. Use a shared space to place content.

Scrapbook sites such as Pinterest are excellent for pulling together related content and having it all in one place. Take lots of pictures as you tour and list homes, and build a significant following. You can also start a conversation in Reddit.

SCARBOOK SITES LIKE PINTERST ARE EXCELLENT FOR PULLING RELATED CONTET IN ONE PLACE.

9. Consider video marketing

Video is taking off and will continue to grow. You can easily shoot video content when you are out in the real estate field. You can also record on-screen presentation on tools such as ScreenFlow and Camtasia.

10. Interview an expert and do a podcast

Craft your content in the form of questions that your audience might ask, along with answers provided by an expert. Maybe you are the expert, or you can collaborate with a lender, home inspector or another agent on your team. You can even turn this interview-style content into a real estate podcast.

11. Write a glossary or FAQ

It isn’t just great for SEO. Reference pages such as glossaries are a type of evergreen content that will get the attention of real estate buyers and sellers now and years from now.

REFERNACE PAGES WILL GET THE ATTENTION OF REAL ESTATE BUYRS AND SELLERS NOW AND FOR YEARS.

Think of frequently asked questions, and start building a database of answers. What are the average days on the market? How long is the escrow period? What are the average closing costs?

12. Keep an eye out for more unusual content opportunities

Captions, ALT text, rollover text — these forms of microcontent can all be customized and add interest to your content. It will not only optimize your website — it will also make you appear very knowledgeable about your material.

Those are 12 real estate content ideas. You can find even more by just thinking about what attracts you eye when you’re reading content. Is it color, captions, sidebars, audio or video? They all provide you with clues for the next content marketing project you do that isn’t just a simple blog post.

Where to Buy: Price-to-Rent Ratio in 76 US Cities

Original Article

Price, Rent, BUY, COMPETEREA, EXP, NANA SMITH

The price-to-rent ratio is a measure of the relative affordability of renting and buying in a given housing market. It is calculated as the ratio of home prices to annual rental rates. So, for example, in a real estate market where, on average, a home worth $200,000 could rent for $1000 a month, the price-rent ratio is 16.67. That’s determined using the formula: $200,000 ÷ (12 x $1,000).

Price-to-Rent Ratio by City

Using U.S. Census data, SmartAsset calculated the price-to-rent ratio in every U.S. city with a population over 250,000. Applying that ratio, we also calculated a projected average home price for a house or apartment that rents for $1,000 in each market.

Note that actual home values will vary based on factors such as proximity to commercial centers, access to transit and home size—rentals tend to be smaller (and therefore less expensive) than for-sale properties, so these values may overestimate true market prices.

Renting vs. Buying

The cities with the highest price-to-rent ratios are San Francisco, Honolulu and New York City, which means that they are least friendly to buyers. San Fran’s price-rent ratio of 45.02 is reflective of a market that is highly unfavorable to buyers, although with rents soaring that may soon change.

In NYC, an apartment that rents for $1,000 should cost around $433,920. That, however, represents the entire market—all five boroughs. In Manhattan and Brooklyn, the numbers look even worse. Here are the price-to-rent ratios for the five New York boroughs individually (prices for $1,000 rental in parenthesis):

Manhattan – 49.98 ($599,760)

Brooklyn – 42.31 ($507,720)

Queens – 30.05 ($360,600)

The Bronx – 32.54 ($390,480)

Staten Island – 35.83 ($429,960)

Based on its ratio of rental costs to home values, Manhattan is probably the most expensive place to buy a home in the country. At the other end of the spectrum are places like Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. These Texan markets are very favorable to home-buyers, with ratios below the national average price-to-rent ratio of 18.92.

The city with the lowest ratio in the United States is Detroit, with a price-to-rent ratio of 5.60. That means that a $1,000 rental in Detroit should sell for just $67,200. Indeed, Wayne County, in which Detroit is located, is the best county for buyers in Michigan.

Historical Price-to-Rent Ratio

National and city price-to-rent ratios have risen and fallen over the years depending on the state of the housing market. In the years before the housing crisis, as the housing market heated up, the national ratio rose from 22.73 (in 2005) to 24.50 (in 2007). Then, however, after the real estate market turned, as home prices fell and rentals grew more expensive, the ratio began to fall, dipping below 20 in 2011, down to the current rate of 18.92.

Before the housing bubble and subsequent crisis, the average hovered somewhere around 15. That indicates that we are still in a time period that is more favorable to renters than buyers from a historical perspective.

What Price-to-Rent Ratio Says About Affordability

While the price-to-rent ratio is useful for comparing buying to renting, it does not reflect the overall affordability of buying or renting in a given market. In theory, a place where renting and buying are very expensive could have the same price-to-rent ratio as a place where both renting and buying are very cheap.

Take San Francisco for example. San Fran has the highest price-to-rent ratio in the country, which indicates that renting should be more affordable than buying in the City by the Bay. However, as we all know, rentals in San Francisco are very expensive. The city’s high price-rent ratio is only reflective of the fact that buying is relatively more expensive than renting. It does not saying anything about absolute affordability of either buying or renting in that city.

PRICE-TO-RENT RATIO
City Price-to-Rent
Ratio
Home Price
(for a $1,000 Rental)
San Francisco, California 45.02 $540,240
Honolulu, Hawaii 40.2 $482,400
New York, New York 36.16 $433,920
Oakland, California 35.73 $428,760
Los Angeles, California 34.69 $416,280
San Jose, California 34.56 $414,720
Seattle, Washington 33.47 $401,640
Long Beach, California 32.62 $391,440
Washington, D.C. 32.09 $385,080
San Diego, California 29.52 $354,240
Portland, Oregon 28.7 $344,400
Anaheim, California 28.55 $342,600
Boston, Massachusetts 27.56 $330,720
Denver, Colorado 26.46 $317,520
Chula Vista, California 26.02 $312,240
Jersey City, New Jersey 24.75 $297,000
Santa Ana, California 23.97 $287,640
Austin, Texas 22.67 $272,040
Anchorage, Alaska 22.51 $270,120
Colorado Springs, Colorado 22.02 $264,240
Raleigh, North Carolina 21.83 $261,960
Miami, Florida 21.76 $261,120
Lexington, Kentucky 21.67 $260,040
Albuquerque, New Mexico 21.53 $258,360
Sacramento, California 21.42 $257,040
Atlanta, Georgia 21.35 $256,200
Chicago, Illinois 21.07 $252,840
Minneapolis, Minnesota 21.06 $252,720
Newark, New Jersey 20.85 $250,200
Greensboro, North Carolina 20.44 $245,280
Virginia Beach, Virginia 20.38 $244,560
Lincoln, Nebraska 20.11 $241,320
Louisville, Kentucky 20.08 $240,960
Riverside, California 20.07 $240,840
New Orleans, Louisiana 19.97 $239,640
Bakersfield, California 19.95 $239,400
Plano, Texas 19.46 $233,520
Fresno, California 19.32 $231,840
Nashville, Tennessee 19.32 $231,840
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 19.17 $230,040
St. Paul, Minnesota 18.93 $227,160
Phoenix, Arizona 18.71 $224,520
Cincinnati, Ohio 18.68 $224,160
Mesa, Arizona 18.15 $217,800
Henderson, Nevada 18.15 $217,800
Charlotte, North Carolina 18.12 $217,440
Wichita, Kansas 17.77 $213,240
Omaha, Nebraska 17.61 $211,320
Aurora, Colorado 17.32 $207,840
Stockton, California 17.26 $207,120
Tulsa, Oklahoma 17.19 $206,280
Kansas City, Missouri 16.92 $203,040
Las Vegas, Nevada 16.4 $196,800
Tucson, Arizona 16.24 $194,880
Baltimore, Maryland 16.15 $193,800
St. Louis, Missouri 16.09 $193,080
Columbus, Ohio 15.76 $189,120
Arlington, Texas 15.72 $188,640
Tampa, Florida 15.63 $187,560
Indianapolis, Indiana 15.3 $183,600
Fort Wayne, Indiana 15.29 $183,480
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 15.28 $183,360
Dallas, Texas 14.97 $179,640
Houston, Texas 14.77 $177,240
El Paso, Texas 14.71 $176,520
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 14.49 $173,880
Fort Worth, Texas 14.18 $170,160
Jacksonville, Florida 14.06 $168,720
San Antonio, Texas 13.96 $167,520
Corpus Christi, Texas 13.09 $157,080
Toledo, Ohio 12.56 $150,720
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 12.19 $146,280
Memphis, Tennessee 12.06 $144,720
Cleveland, Ohio 10.97 $131,640
Buffalo, New York 10.73 $128,760
Detroit, Michigan 5.6 $67,200

Confused about Collateral Underwriter?

CU images

What is really happening with CU? How does it affect you?

My Appraisal Today FREE email newsletter can help.
I report the facts, plus my opinions on what it means for you.

CU Facts:
– Not all loans go to Fannie Mae – Freddie, VA, FHA, jumbo, etc. do not.
– Lenders are not required to use CU.
– Fannie guidelines, including CU, are the minimum. Lenders can add their own.
– Gradual implementation of CU’s web based interface, which has the list of the “20 comps” suggested by CU. This information is not available to AMCs or appraisers.
– Some appraisers get few or no appraisal warning message and some get on a lot of them, depending on their clients.
– A new Fannie Letter (dated 2-2-15) specifically tells lenders to manually review the appraisal warnings before sending any to appraisers.
– CU sends out warning messages for adjustments on only 6 factors: GLA, lot size, view, condition, quality, and location. For example: GLA adjustment for (comp x) is smaller than peer and model adjustment.
– CU warning messages for “data consistency”: the 6 factors above. Plus, CU also looks at consistency, not adjustments, for 6 additional characteristics: quality rating, condition rating, total below grade areas, finished basement areas, above grade bedroom count, and above grade bathroom count. For example: “The condition rating for (comp x) is materially different than what has been reported by other appraisers.”
– Per Fannie, there is no direct relationship between AQM and CU. However, Fannie uses data analytics like those seen in CU to find patterns of behavior. AQM decisions are not based on automated results. Humans are required.

Original Article Here

Collateral Underwriter- Too Much Too Soon

GREAT ARTICLE!

Collateral Underwriter- Too Much Too Soon
by David Braun, MAI, SRA

I would like to communicate some concerns and suggestions regarding the roll-out of the Collateral Underwriter (CU) scheduled for January 26, 2015. This is not an attack on Fannie Mae or the CU. In fact, these suggestions support the potential of the CU in improving the loan process and the end result of having quality mortgages.

Let me introduce myself so you can understand my perspective. I have been a working appraiser for 39 years. I have been studying statistics for over eight years, specializing in regression analysis. I have no degrees or formal education in statistics. I call myself and people like me “valuation analysts,” as I have one foot squarely placed in traditional valuation methods and the other in the statistical world. I have no axe to grind with Fannie Mae; I like many of the things it has done and dislike others. As an appraiser, I am highly attuned to its influence on how appraisers perform their work. I performed residential appraisals for the first 20 years of my career, and commercial appraisals the remainder of the time. In addition, I develop seminars and regression software for appraisers.

I have been using regression analysis in conjunction with appraisals and have run literally millions of scenarios of regression analysis in a laboratory setting to understand what it can and can’t do for appraisers. When the 1004MC form was introduced, Fannie submitted an email to appraisers dictating how to count the listings for the month’s housing supply (MHS) calculation. I published an article on the web indicating that the calculation method would often over-state the MHS by as much as 50 percent. I am not sure the folks at Fannie ever saw my article, but they did later retract the stipulated method, replacing it with a better one. The point being that as the old saying goes, two heads are better than one.

CU Upside
There are many potential upsides to the CU. Perhaps the most applauded by appraisers is that the CU is actively trying to identify the handful of unethical appraisers. Ethical appraisers would like to see the CU swat them like flies. I have personally seen appraisals where the comparable’s data were fiction. Unfortunately, many of the appraisers who tend to inflate values are sometimes encouraged by a few underwriters. The CU is going to make this unethical group of underwriters uncomfortable, as there is now a check and balance system in place. You can see I support the use of the CU for a lot of reasons. Let’s move on to some of the negative aspects, and what might be done to prevent them.

CU Downside
I have worked closely with underwriters over the years, and they do not pretend to be appraisers. They work with a simple checklist for review. I have personally been contacted from call centers in India who were the ones filling out the checklists. When the appraiser legitimately varies from secondary market guidelines there is a real problem explaining this to the holder of the checklist because they just don’t understand the guidelines well enough. Now imagine these same underwriters and reviewers looking at the CU program on their monitor. I don’t see how the CU is going to enable them to address the legitimate exceptions to the statistical analyses provided to them by the CU. The result will be an unacceptable addition of time and effort on the appraiser’s part to explain the issues. Some appraisers may simply throw up their hands, and modify their appraisals to meet the suggestions of the CU. This path of least resistance is the last thing that should happen, not to mention it will tend to erode the appraiser’s independence.

 
There is a myth among appraisers and underwriters that when the CU uses holistic regression analysis methods, the outputs will be infallible. Fannie’s training material clearly states that the CU analysis will produce some “false positives and false negatives.” This means that the outputted indications of the CU will sometimes simply be wrong. Right or wrong, the appraiser can expect to get a call from the underwriter/reviewer asking them to explain why the CU is suggesting something different than he/she reported. In terms of line-item adjustments rates (coefficients), regression analysis is just a tool that provides evidence, not proof. This can be demonstrated by scrubbing the same data with a different method, omitting a couple of sales, or by omitting or adding variables. When these things are done the coefficient in question may change significantly. Also, it is not unusual for a 90 percent confidence interval for a coefficient for the gross living area to range from as much as $40 to $70. This wide range is further evidence that the coefficient is only statistical evidence, not statistical proof.When there is a 90 percent chance that a coefficient will be within a specific range, this means that there is a 10 percent chance that the output is incorrect. From an appraiser’s perspective receiving additional evidence for a line-item adjustment rate after the appraisal and report are completed is counterproductive. Consider a house painter who is told to paint a room a certain shade of brown. However, the mother-in-law would be visiting soon and if she didn’t like the color he would be required to repaint the room a new color for free. The painter would say, if your mother-in-law wants to provide input about the color it must be done prior to my work, or I will have to charge for my additional work. If a client has any information for the appraiser, such as additional evidence of a line-item adjustment rate, they should provide it prior to the appraisal being performed, not afterward. If the appraiser performs adequate due diligence then he/she will have to charge extra to consider the additional information. I understand that Fannie Mae may have no intention for the underwriters/reviewers to require the appraisers to comment or provide additional support, however, if the CU provides it, the appraiser will almost certainly be asked to comment on it.

Jury of Your Peers
Many of the outputs of regression analysis are more reliable than the line-item adjustment rates. For example: identifying variables which have a relationship with value, identifying the random variance associated with a market, and final value estimates. These sorts of conclusions may be useful to underwriters.

The check that the CU will perform by comparing what the appraiser did to his peer group is problematic. This will penalize the very good appraisers who will be asked to explain why their conclusions are different from less experienced, inferiorly trained, or unethical appraisers. Considering a bell curve perspective, it is likely that you could divide appraisers into three groups, below average, average, and above average. This means that the majority of appraisers would be average or below. The implication is that the good appraisers should conform to the actions of the less credible appraisers. A reasonable answer from the good appraiser to the underwriter might be, “Yes, because I am a better appraiser than the overall pool of appraisers, I would expect my conclusions to often be inconsistent with the other appraisers.” Again, I am not saying it is Fannie’s intent that the underwriters will require an explanation from the appraiser, I am saying it will, none the less, be the reality appraisers are forced to deal with.

Here are a few suggestions:
• Do not report the comparison of one appraiser’s line-item adjustment rate to that of their peers to the underwriters. This information may be useful to Fannie, but is of no practical value to the underwriters or appraisers.
• Postpone the underwriter’s access to any of the CU analytical outputs concerning line-item adjustment rates until both underwriters and appraisers have time to educate themselves on what the implications of those outputs are, and how they should be handled. Quite frankly, the appraiser could not comment on the CU analytical outputs without knowing the scope of work and due diligence that the CU used. This does not involve facts such as transaction and property data.• Fannie Mae should work with appraisal and mortgage organizations to encourage more related training. It is a simple truth that no system can be successful without the users being properly trained. Consider promoting standard certificates of “Valuation Analyst” and “Underwriting Analyst” that establish competency levels necessary to successfully take advantage of the CU system.

• Data that includes quantifiable rating systems for condition and quality of the improvements tremendously adds to the effectiveness of statistical analysis. This superior data, which was gathered and assembled by appraisers, must be accessible to appraisers. Appraisers have access to regression software, but not the superior data Fannie has collected from their appraisals. If one of the goals is to improve the quality of appraisals then it is not logical to withhold high quality data from the appraiser.

• Fannie and appraisers must accept that compliance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) is the best avenue to a credible appraisal and report. Fannie Mae would best be served by working with the State Appraisal Commissions and Boards to include additional USPAP compliance checks in the CU such as:

o Was the analysis of the highest and best use performed and reported?
o If applicable, was the land value analysis performed and reported?
o Was an applicable explanation reported for the omission of any of the major approaches to value?

I understand that USPAP compliance is the responsibility of the appraiser and the lender, not Fannie Mae. However, so is the reasonableness of the line-item adjustment rates, and the CU is providing analysis of them. Advanced holistic analyses are not necessary to predict the quality of an appraiser’s work who can’t or won’t meet the minimum requirements of USPAP. Any of the state agencies can list the prevalent USPAP violations that should be addressed.

Conclusion
The appraisal profession lacks a research and development arm which would develop things like the 1004MC form, better databases, and improved analysis techniques. I applaud Fannie Mae for moving forward to improve its business model. However, I believe the current plan to unroll the CU needs to be modified to reduce the potential negative aspects. The planned role out, could end up making Fannie Mae look like Don Quixote, and the underwriters and appraisers resembling Sancho Panza, if underwriters believe that the appraiser’s opinions should be similar to the outputs of the CU. If this happens, underwriters and appraisers will be fighting a lot of windmills. The truth is that the outputs of the CU are not statistical proof, they are only statistical evidence.

To minimize the chance of things going very wrong, the individual aspects of the CU should be phased in over a 12 to 18 month period allowing for more training regarding the implications of the CU’s outputs and how underwriters should best use these tools. Certainly, inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and data anomalies are examples of issues the CU should be flagging for underwriters. I am happy to answer any questions that Fannie Mae might have about my comments and suggestions.

About the Author
David Braun, MAI, SRA can be reached at david@AVTtools.com.www.AVTtools.com

This Zero-Emission Home Creates Enough Energy To Power An Electric Car For One Year

This just might just be the most beautiful zero-emission home we have ever laid eyes on. Snøhetta, a design firm in Norway, has created the ZEB Multi-Comfort House in Ringdalskogen, Larvik, Norway. The house not only runs solely on solar energy, but collects enough extra solar energy to power an electric car for one year.

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ZEB took 10 months to build and, according to Kristian Edwards, the lead architect of the project, a very intricate process was employed to ensure that the solar energy would be used at the highest efficiency.

house1

The result? A home with striking features like a tilted roof that is slanted at a 19-degree angle to accommodate the photovoltaic panels (the ones that provide electricity) and the solar thermal panels (the ones that provide heat and hot water). Edwards told The Huffington Post that the roof also provides a dramatic flair to the inside of the home. “It is perhaps the most striking element of the upper floor,” he says. “Relatively small bedrooms gain great volume, hugely beneficial to sleep comfort, light transmission and of course, a certain drama.”

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In the atrium, Edwards used recovered brickwork from a barn that was being demolished. “The recovered brick serves a thermal mass which passively contributes to balance temperature spikes,” says Edwards.

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There are currently no tenants in the home. However, Edwards says that there are plans in the works to have families occupy the space “in order to realistically test the building and system performance.” Feedback from visitors has been “generally extremely positive,” he adds.

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Despite it’s forward-thinking approach, Edwards says the goal of ZEB was to create a place that is welcoming and comfortable, with energy-saving features that virtually disappear into the background. “Our goal was to ensure that the house, whilst advanced, is predominantly welcoming,” says Edwards. “The outdoor covered atrium with a fireplace gives a welcome extension of the outdoor season that is fundamental to the Norwegian culture. This shows that the steps toward zero carbon housing need not represent a quantum leap in lifestyle, and therefore, makes it simpler and quicker to make the switch.”

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Original Article

 

Reverse Mortgage

Are you 62 years old or older?

Complete Real Estate Answers, Inc.

Is reverse mortgages right for you?

See article bellow with a great information on reverse mortgage types and helpful phone numbers to call to get more information.

Reverse Mortgage

Below is another link with detailed breakdown on:

Reverse Mortgage Guides

And below is totally different opinion on reverse mortgage. A well written article from 2012 but still worth reading since it is applicable:

The Hidden Truths About Reverse Mortgages

And of course this always is a good idea to seek legal advice.

You  also may want to appraise your house first so you know where market stands for you.

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203-858-6727

C.R.E.A. – comment using this form; what is your opinion on reverse mortgages, or simply share your experience:

 

Hot Town, Summer in the City

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn’t it a pity
Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city

All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

Fellow appraisers, share your thoughts how do you deal with hot summer, neck getting dirty and gritty, while appraising in the city, by using form bellow:

Contact C.R.E.A.

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Phone: +1 203 858 6727

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Nana G. Smith, Proprietor

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