Readers Respond


WRE Issues

Readers Respond

Fannie/Freddie/Cuomo Agreement
The proposed changes to the appraisal process are well intentioned but are the equivalent of “throwing out the baby with the bath water.” While the process does need some reforming, this change appears to be an overreaction. Effectively, it will put me out of business.  I have spent over 20 years developing my business which is primarily focused on mortgage brokers.  This proposed new regulation is the death knell for the small independent appraiser.  No longer can I market my business.  No longer can I set my fees. I now have to wait, like the Maytag repairman, for my phone to ring. – JR Durette, Durette Appraisals, Inc.

Who Owns the Data? (Library, Vol. 18)
Many lenders have their own quirks and preferences regarding appraisals and at times ask that a change be made to an appraisal.  Many of these lenders request that rather than sending an addendum, the appraiser edit the appraisal and resend it. This is a significant problem. USPAP requires that there be only one original appraisal report. Lenders are required to maintain a copy of every document submitted to them for a loan application. Accordingly, if a modified appraisal is submitted instead of an addendum, confusion will result as the lender is required by law to maintain the original and modified appraisal. With two appraisals, how can the lender identify which should be used? A modified appraisal leaves all persons involved in the package in the position of having to match the two block by block since there is no other way to determine what is different. A precise addendum which includes no more information than is necessary is the most logical, intelligent and efficient method for correcting an appraisal report. This also ensures that no fraud occurs. –  Ray Willis

Cost Approach: Why Sidestepping it Can be Costly (WRE Online, Vol. 139, Feb. 13, 2008)
I have been running Marshall & Swift on every residential appraisal for the past year and a half. It is not time consuming once you learn how. Some say it doesn’t apply to older homes. When the proper effective age is entered, I find it works for homes of all ages and is a good cross check to the market approach.  – William R. Getter

In the current market I find the Cost Approach to be an unreliable indicator of value. This is due to the decline in prices versus the stable or in some cases, increasing cost to build. Those costs, in my area, sometimes reach as much as 35-40 percent above the market price of a home. I always include a caveat regarding the reliability of the Cost Approach as an indicator of value.- Robert Coop, NV

Rise and Fall of Real Estate Values
Excellent article. I have forwarded this on to everyone I know in the business, including the few clients I have left who actually want a legitimate appraisal, all two of them; isn’t that sad?  – Steve Tessmann

Rise and Fall is the best of the recent articles. Will anyone listen and understand what most appraisers saw happening even five years ago? – Evelyn Simpson

(Read the story Rise and Fall.)

Appraiser Sues Washing Mutual for Blacklisting
There seems to be a game of chicken being played among appraisers in many markets because no one wants to be the first appraiser in an area to risk their future business by checking the dreaded DECLINING box on the URAR. It is disconcerting that Fannie Mae and the lenders say they want honest market opinions from appraisers when their behavior and actions say, “We don’t want to hear the market is in decline.” –  Kevin Ormerod

(See Appraiser Sues over Blacklisting. Read the complaint: Wertz vs. Washington Mutual)

Carbon Monoxide: Keeping Safe (Library, Vol. 18)
I am a home inspector in the Atlanta area.  I also serve as the president of the Georgia Chapter of NAHI (National Association of Home Inspectors). I just read your article in Working RE.  It was very clear and informative.  I’ve encountered several instances where gas ovens have emitted enormously high concentrations of CO (600-800 ppm). In most of these extreme cases, the emissions taper off within 10 minutes, though I have still measured a significant amount of CO after 30 minutes of operation. This condition has been noted not only on older ovens but brand new ones as well.  It prompted me to contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission. But based on their initial responses to me it seems that the CPSC does not set a standard for CO emissions or a testing protocol for new appliances. – Rob Golden Pres., Georgia Chapter of NAHI Pres., Safeguard Home Inspection, Inc.

Up until recently I had been receiving your publication (It is FABULOUS!).  But not any more. Now I get the email version, however, I don’t seem to have a password. My question is this:  If I opt out of the email version will I start getting a paper copy again?
– Bob Giovannini

Editor’s Note: Thanks Bob. From now on you (and all readers) can find the entire current issue of Working RE in its new interactive digital format at (click the cover image). The email edition you refer to is Working RE Online. It is one story every other week plus special editions from advertisers. Opting in or out does not effect delivery of the print publication (I’m not sure why your print issue didn’t arrive). The “password” you refer to is required to read the locked stories in the library and premium content areas. You can get complete access to all stories online, including premium content and the story library plus other benefits, such as corporate pricing on the goods and services you use most, through a paid subscription- it’s $50 for two years. You can subscribe at Thanks for reading!

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