Stress and pressure on the real estate appraiser

It is interesting how local and state governments are concerned for the police and fire departments and other professions that have stress. They are trying to help these people deal with their stress. There are the unions and local groups there to help them. It is important they have a place to turn to for help.

Below are just some of the typical particulars real estate appraisers have to work through:

  • If you are a real estate appraiser, there are no unions, trade groups, or local groups there for you.
  • The stress and pressure we are under are simple; we deal with the public. You have the homeowners demanding we be at the house at a certain time.
  • The real estate agents want us to be there at specific times. For example, the home inspector will be at the house from 12 noon till 3 pm on Tuesday. It is expected of us to be there.
  • The stress of trying to accommodate everyone’s schedule is not easy. The lender expects us to get the report back in 48 hours.
  • If there is a value issue, and the property is under appraised, everyone starts to pressure you to raise the value. The homeowner tells you their property is worth more based on their needs.
  • The real estate agent will provide you with additional comparables that are much larger and do not make sense. The lender is on your back to respond with the 50 sales their AVM (automatic value model) report provided.

All of this must be accomplished in 24 hours, or else you get reprimanded. As you can see, this is a perfect example of the kind of stress and pressure real estate appraisers can expect.

Recently I received a call from a real estate agent at 8:30 am on a Friday, and she wanted to go that morning and check the work was completed on the house. I explained to her I am in my office getting ready to go out for appointments. I will try to be there that afternoon. I was able to rearrange my schedule; I was there at 2 pm. I drove an hour out of my way to accommodate her and the buyer. I get there, and the buyer meets me and starts to give me a hard time about the repairs on the house. I explain that the lender requested it. Nothing I said was right; I was the one holding up the closing. I did not need this stress from them, and now I have the lender pressuring to sending in the report so they can close. They expect me and demand that I work through the weekend who needs this stress.

We are under the federal mandate, and every week they want to change the rules of this profession. They want us to work faster and harder for less money.

The profession is dying. The median age of appraisers is close to 60 years. New people do not want to enter to work long hours for low pay and no benefits. They are always coming up with new report types and raising the bar of excellence. It makes it very stressful, and stress in the profession never takes a holiday.

Is the R-word here? – RECESSION

According to the current administration, there is no recession, and there will not be a recession.

The Federal Reserve this year reduced the interest rates twice. Their concern Is the US economy, and the Global economy is slowing down.

Recently the short-term interest rates when out of control for a few days before the Federal Reserve was able to get the situation under control.

The big banks and lenders are predicting the recession will be 2020.
Various economists are starting to predict the recession is on its way.

Wall Street is starting to talk about “The inverted yield curve.” This is causing some buyers to be hesitance with the uncertainty of the future market. Early this year, the Federal government was shut down for 35 days. That affected the US economy. With the trade wars and new tariffs, this is having an impact on the US economy too.
Some countries are talking about doing negative interest rates. I have never heard of this before. Is it possible for this to occur?

There is an interesting article, “setting off a recession with words” by Robert J Shiller. The item is worth reading.

We are in crazy times, and crazy things can happen. In the US, with the elections a year away in 2020. I would think the current administration would do whatever they can to avoid the recession.

At this point, time will tell. I would watch the stock market and the inverted yield curve, the big banks, and the Federal Reserve.

Why be a Residential Appraiser?

I have been in the appraisal field for decades. My brother got me my start in the business. He is a commercial appraiser. He told me to do my best and write an honest appraisal report. Here it is several decades later and so many crisis’s savings and loans, Fannie Mae failure the bogus too big fail crisis and so forth.

I still every day try to do the best appraisal report I can. I make sure it is credible, and the information I have in it is correct and not miss leading. Most people do not realize the responsibly of the real estate appraiser. We are held to a high standard; we are responsible for knowing everything about the market areas that we do appraisals in and we are responsible for what we do not know.


There is no other industry that individuals are held to such high standards and responsibilities.

When you had a high-level, government official who did not know having government information on a personal computer was against the law, no action was taken against that person. With dealing with the public and working with realtors, homeowners, attorneys. Lenders, etc. You have to explain to them why you need the information and the delays in completing the appraisal reports. I have to review the sales contract and make sure the buyers and sellers have signed the contract. I need to see if there are any condition of sales, for example, seller concessions. I must disclose that in my appraisal report. I am not an attorney.

If you are doing a VA appraisal and it is a purchase, you must review the VA escape clause and make sure it is in the sales contract and signed by the buyer and seller. What is interesting is the attorneys involved in the transaction are not required to review it. I am now a loan processor too.

There are delays that are beyond our control. In a recent assignment, the buyers went on vacation, and the sales transaction was delayed, and the lender pressured me to turn the report in faster. Another delay when the homeowner submitted the paperwork for the refinance and can not see me for a month because they had surgery. When I did schedule the appoint, the homeowner wanted me to rush.


They all have unrealistic expectations.

I needed my lawn sprinkler system repaired. I called the lawn sprinkler company, and they told me 3-4 weeks before they could come out. I told them I need them to come out right away. I had to wait several weeks for my sprinkler to be repaired. But for the appraisal report, it must be ASAP.
Wow, I think I may make a career move.

DIY– Do It Yourself (Dangers?)

Do it yourself.! That sounds great, appealing, and the first thing that crosses your mind is I will save money!

So you boot up YouTube, or you watch the fixer-upper shows on television. Now you feel empowered, and you can tackle anything and any project.

I have an example of a DIY project that went wrong. A homeowner has a brick colonial, and they needed the shutters redone. So they did a DIY on the shutters and painted them blue. What is the big deal correct?

The problem is now the house is listed for sale, and no one wants to see the house. I was consulted and asked why isn’t anyone interested in the home? The homeowner was perplexed. “I just repainted the shutters so what is the problem with the house?”

When I saw the picture of the front of the house, the blue shutters jumped right out at me, almost screaming!. If it bothered me. It is going to bother and be a distraction to the next person.

My suggestion was to paint the shutters black and do an open house immediately after that and see what happens. Good luck to that DIY, but do your research of the dangers.

In New Jersey, there have been changes to the construction process where certain things do not need a permit — replacing the roof, siding, etc. When it comes to the kitchen or bathrooms if you only replace what is there and not move any plumbing? No permit is required or town inspection. That sounds great, and the homeowner saves money right. No wrong if that homeowner does not install everything correctly, they can damage the house.

Take a bathroom re-model for example. If the showerhead is not installed correctly it could be leaking behind the wall and create a mold problem.

When they go to sell the house, and the buyer hires a home inspector, the inspector will point out all the things that were not installed correctly. That could hold off the sale and may be a deal-breaker. Depending on the township Certificate of inspection on resales may fail it.

Here are some suggestions

Always keep in mind the long-term effects of customizing and moving forward with a DIY project. Understand its ramifications on market value and keep in mind what you think may add to your home vs. what someone else’s view may be.

It’s Time

Changes are in the air, so explore some of these opportunities that are evolving that could impact a segment of our population

Spring is here and summer is around the corner. The buying/selling season has begun. Good news interest rates are low. The federal government is talking about keeping the rates low. With the presidential election next year, they should stay low until then.

The millennials who were left out of the market. There is talk about college loan forgiveness. If they occur that would make millions of millennial potential buyers.

With these lower interest rates, it will make it affordable for people to buy a house, that is part of the American dream.

There is options available 3% down payment with FHA financing. Banks and various lending institutions are also lending on 5% down payment and specials with closing costs.

With the VA you can purchase a house with no down payment. The federal reserve may lower the rates. Finally, the stock market has gone up with this news. The negative to this news if the interest’s rates go down and the potential loss to gains in savings, CDs, treasury, 401k, etc.

I hope it works out for everyone with this news.

 
732.974.7658

Call us today!

Serving your real estate appraisal needs in NJ and all of New York’s five boroughs. Providing your real estate appraisal needs with knowledge, reliability, and an understanding of your needs

For more information about Coast Appraisers and Consultants or a quote please call or contact us via email at: 
info@coastappraisers.com

Our fax number is 732.612.1441

Thank you
Kevin McDonald
President, Coast Appraisers and Consultants Inc.

Is your house in the mood?

Everyone likes different colors. My favorite color is blue. Not everyone would like blue.

When it comes to the interior of your house. Painting it with too personal colors may harm the sale of the home. When I was putting my house on the market for sale. I asked several realtors and other professional what is a popular color at the time it was gray. Probably now it is a different color.

The color I choose was a neutral color beige. That color went well with the tile floor in the kitchen and the hardwood floors.

When my house was on the market there was another similar house on the market. It had different colors in every room and the colors were bold. That house took longer to sell, I think one reason, too many colors in the house and too personal.

The buyer of that house would have to immediately spend thousands of dollars to change the colors to their liking.

You can hire experts to come in and tell you what fool proof colors will sell your home. Like you see on those real estate shows on television.

Here are some suggestions

  • Brown-a very light shade will provide warmth, cozy and comforting to a room.
  • Blue/Grey- in a lighter shade has a soothing effect on many people great for a child’s room.
  • Yellow- images of sunlight and summer it helps the room that is all white or painted beige or brown.
  • Green- In a lighter shade can be consider happy, country style.
  • Kitchen cabinets with the right color? (natural finish). Makes everyone feel welcome. The kitchen is a gathering place for people.
  • Oranges/reds can be used in the kitchen too. They need to be soft and appealing neutral colors.
  • Earth tones example Coffee goes with hard wood floors. You can also use orange, browns, blues evoke a natural and inviting ambiance that is appealing to the buyer.
  • The colors of the house, is similar to feng shui you want everyone in the right alignment and mood.

April 1st Deadline – Tips on how to prepare for Tax appeals

In some municipalities, you must submit your tax appeals by April 1st. Checking this link will provide you with more information on Important 2019 New Jersey Property Tax Appeal Deadlines you should be aware of.

Earlier we posted an article about tips and recommendations when filing a tax appeal. In New Jersey depending upon which county you reside in, the due dates for a tax appeal will vary. Some counties like Monmouth County the filing date is January 15th and in the other counties are April 1st. Before you decide to file a tax appeal find out which date is correct for your county. In counties where there is a municipal-wide reassessment has been performed the deadline is May 1st.

The first step you should do is meet with your local tax assessor and discuss the property record card. Make sure all the information on it is correct.

If you are not satisfied with your local municipalities assessment, then you need to begin the process of filing a tax appeal. You will have to provide to the tax board reasons you believe your property is over-assessed. You will have to supply closed sales that are similar to your property. An example would be the size of and the number of rooms, land features and property amenities.

Do not let this keep you from reaching out to your local tax assessor any time during the tax year. Before filing a tax appeal, we can accurately evaluate and discuss your tax assessment.

Some people hire real estate appraisers such as Coast Appraisers and Consultants to prepare a property appraisal. In some extreme cases, people hire firms specializing in tax appeals and attorneys.

Remember that in your county with revised calendars the reassessment date may be different. Some are January 15th while the other is April 1st, so check with your municipality.

Remember

It is essential to give yourself enough time to gather your facts and records to ensure you are on track to validating a reassessment of your property.

Zoning Best Tips When Buying a Home – NJ Real Estate Appraisal Suggestions

With the excitement of buying a home, no one thinks about what zone the house is located in and does it mean. You are assuming it is a great house, has everything you need and want, but you need to understand some of the basics of zoning and its issues that can arise.

  • If the house is located for example in the R-5 zone 5,000 square foot min lot size. You might need to be concerned your lot size is 5,000 square foot.
  • If it is not conforming, some towns require a variance if you want to make any changes. An example will be if you are planning an addition, adding a front porch, deck, patio, pool, garage, etc.
  • If you have a survey of your property, you should bring it. Contact the zoning department and get the requirements for that zone.
  • With the survey, it shows where the house is located and if it meets the current setbacks requirements.
  • Another reason to know the zone that the property is in: You may want to buy a particular property like a 2-4 family, or a house with an accessory unit, maybe two homes on one lot.
  • Some of these uses may be illegal or grandfathered in. If that is the case, you might need to hire an attorney who specializes in land use. Another issue that could come up is finding a lender to provide financing. If your home does not meet minimum lot requirements.
  • If you have owned the property for a long time, there could be changes in the zoning and use.
  • The changes in zoning and use you should be concerned with: example the neighboring property that is a wooded lot across the street from you could get developed some day.

Remember

Carpe Diem let the buyer/owner beware.

Winter Outdoor Staging Tips – NJ Real Estate Appraisal Suggestions

Houses sell all year long. During the winter season, it can be more challenging. It is essential to maintain the curb appeal to get the buyer from the curb to the front door. There are ways to accomplish it THOUGH. If you know that the house will be on the market during the winter, preparation should begin in September.

  • If you use a lawn service, explain to them the house will be on the market during the winter. They can provide some ideas and suggestions. Make sure all the leaves have been raked up, all the outside furniture is layout well, all hoses and miscellaneous outdoor items are put away to create a pleasant and organized appearance. Finally, ensure that the front lawn has had the final cut for the season, and all the brushes and plants have been trimmed.
  • The front door painted and steps have been cleaned. If there is snow or ice, be sure that the walkway and driveway are shoveled and maintained.
  • On the front door, you may want to place a wreath or have planters on the porch. A suggestion is during the winter put something that will hold up like evergreens.
  • The address numbers should be well displayed.
  • Some outdoor lighting can brighten the front of the house nicely. Contact a company that specializes in it.

Remember

Before you finish, go to the curb, stand there and look at your work. As always, work with the local Realtor for their ideas and suggestions. Remember serious buyers are looking all year long.