USPAP Changes 2014 – What and Why

Back in the day, changes to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) used to take place every year. This event created much year-round excitement for those for whom Standards was a full contact sport. As much as I am a fan of USPAP, dealing with changes only every two years is much more rational and allows a more orderly transition. It also allows for more considered and better vetted changes. Read more »


Straighten Up and Fly Right

Straighten Up and Fly Right, or, Good Ideas from the Outside?

Appraisers slogged through the long and messy housing collapse: we were told what to do after being told we didn’t do it right before, during, or after. We tried to keep our heads above water all the while resisting being pulled under. And we complained in between gulps of air. Our larger scale contributions to the crisis were not very imaginative.

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End of summer recap: Sharing some questions and observations about the market

The summer is winding up. After some two months of low traffic in and around Boston (sometimes) due to the absence of students on the roadway and others on vacation or in hiding, the traffic returns. Read more »


Commercial real estate property comparables: The wise appraiser will compare apples to apples

Commercial appraisers have to examine many types of market evidence in the course of investigating a particular market and property. Commercial appraisers observe and analyze sales and rentals, market trends, activity and non-activity, listings, offerings, and rumors, and, hints of rumors. Further, we have to worry about not only what has happened and try to understand it in the context of what we think is going on now and what may happen. Or what may not happen. This is true in active markets with a reasonable volume of transactions. It is also true for markets where there is less velocity. Read more »


What would make a perfect appraiser, and also who are the perfect clients?

At the heart of any appraisal lie the appraiser’s opinions. Appraisers know, deep down, that they are right, since it so hard to be proved wrong. Even if wrong, many appraisers think they are probably less wrong than their peers, appraising being the imperfect profession that it is. Read more »


Ice road truckers in July? Is the CRE market onto something big in the future?

While there has been long needed improvement in the volume of sales in residential markets: buyers and sellers are finally finding a middle ground. This trend is an affirmation of a fundamental principle: all markets finally find a bottom. Hopefully it’s all up from here. Read more »


Next on the hit list: Could it be the commercial real estate appraisals?

Real estate appraisals are crucial in real estate lending transactions. Whether the loan is residential or commercial, the appraisal is a central document with respect to value. For commercial deals, the appraisal addresses factors such as the size of the building, its income (if applicable), the market environment in which it functions, and other concrete and interpretative factors. Read more »


Can appraisers take back some measure of control? And, are we up to the task?

The appraisal process is under serious assault. It will get worse before it gets better. Appraisers are no longer believed. What appraisers do is no longer credible. There is no faith in appraiser’s abilities. Read more »


Revisits the 1004MC: A look at this form and asking the question, does it need fixing?

A note of caution: the following might be a little technical. It could even hurt. It might not mean much to folks on the commercial side, but is rich with meaning for those on the residential… Read more »


Light winter, what about the spring? What weather can do to real estate markets

It’s been a mild winter in New England, of nearly historic proportions. Many of us are thinking golf in March with daffodils not far behind. But that could change in an instant because it’s New England. Read more »