Author Archives: Steve Costello

Unraveling Fannie Mae Guidelines

In August, I reported on an educational session I attended at The Appraisal Institute (AI) annual conference in Austin, Texas, on Aug. 4-6, 2014. In that article, I mentioned Robert Murphy from Fannie Mae covered some of the changes made in the first major update to the property and valuation section of the Fannie Mae Selling Guide since 2009. This is very important to appraisers because the Selling Guide is… Continue reading

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AppraisalPort Weekly Poll Analysis

This month, I want to take a closer look at three recent polls that address some questions appraisers wanted us to ask. First, we asked: “What best describes your office setup?” This poll was the most popular of the three with 6,121 responses. Not a big surprise here with 73 percent answering, “It’s in my home.” The second most popular answer was “It is in an office/commercial/industrial building” with 20… Continue reading

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Proposed Federal Regulation of Appraisal Management Companies (Minimum Requirements for AMCs)

I hear a lot from appraisers concerning their interactions with various appraisal management companies (AMCs). Many keep wondering why appraisers are licensed and strictly regulated while it seems that AMCs for the most part have been left to do whatever they want. That was the case for a while; today the majority of states have already imposed regulations on AMCs. Currently, as part of the Dodd-Frank Act, a group of… Continue reading

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News from the Appraisal Institute Northern California Chapter Annual Spring Conference

In March, I once again traveled to Modesto, Calif., and attended the Annual Spring Conference of the Appraisal Institute’s Northern California Chapter. This month, I will share some useful and interesting information from the presentations. The conference focuses on the California market, but many of the presenters also covered topics related to the national market.

The first session was “State of the Appraisal Profession;” the speaker was Lance Coyle… Continue reading

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AppraisalPort Weekly Poll Analysis


This month, I featured three recent polls that were very popular. The first one asked a key question for most appraisers: “I think the business environment for appraisers in 2014 is going to be …” This poll collected a total of 5,460 responses and the top answer was, “About the same as 2013” receiving 35 percent of the vote… Continue reading

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AppraisalPort Poll Analysis: Appraiser Shortage

I have three AppraisalPort polls to discuss that are all related to a possible future shortage of appraisers. First, we asked, “With few new people currently entering the appraisal profession, do you foresee a shortage of appraisers at some point?” This was a popular poll with a total of 5,698 responses. The top answer with nearly 47% of the vote was, “Yes, in the next few years.” An additional… Continue reading

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Appraisal Guidelines from Residential Chief Policy Roundtable

In the August edition of the AppraisalPort newsletter, I reported on some of the general information covered at the National AI Connect Conference in Indianapolis, July 23-25, 2013. This was a great conference, covering a wide range of topics. This month, I want to pass on some information covered in one of the breakout sessions for residential appraisers.

The session was titled, “Residential Chief Policy Roundtable” and included… Continue reading

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More Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP) Hard Stops Are Coming

In the June 2013 issue of the AppraisalPort Newsletter, we covered the first set of UCDP hard stops that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issued. On Aug. 27, 2013, both agencies issued joint releases regarding updates to the UCDP Portal, specifically referring to the next wave of Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) edits that will convert from a “warning status” to “fatal error” that will cause a “hard stop” on the… Continue reading

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How to Avoid the New UCDP Hard Stops

At this point almost every appraiser is at least aware of the Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) appraisal requirements, if not an expert on them. But remember, the UAD requirements you deal with every day are only one part of the entire Uniform Mortgage Data Program (UMDP) that has been set up by the government-sponsored agencies (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. A key part of the UMDP is the requirement… Continue reading

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AppraisalPort Weekly Poll Analysis: Property Data

property data

This month, I want to first discuss a couple of AppraisalPort polls dealing with property data. First we asked, “How would you feel about your client sending you detailed information about the subject property and possible comps as part of the assignment?”

We had 5,224 responses and almost as many emails. This one really seemed… Continue reading

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