Lundquist Appraisal Company

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The Lundquist Appraisal Blog is taking an exciting step. We have officially moved all content to a new location with a new design too. All articles will now be published at www.SacramentoAppraisalBlog.com.  

wemovedOur new website is really an opportunity to create a domain that will compliment our main appraisal website as well as offer an easy-to-remember domain name. All original content developed here has already been transferred to the new site so that articles will be searchable in one place still. You can expect quality writing, in-depth market research, conversations about real estate and life, podcasts, and other local stuff we like to talk about.

Thank you to so many for following along and making this past year a successful beginning. Please join us on the new site and tell your friends. You can subscribe by RSS or get posts delivered to you by email.

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Here is a quick trend graph for you of all sales in the city of Fairfield over the past 12 months (red dots) as well as all current pendings (blue dots). What do you notice? Does anything stand out to you? Can you decipher any citywide trends based on this scatter graph? By the way, the unemployment rate in Fairfield as of November 2009 is 13.1%.

City of Fairfield Sales Past Year and Current Pendings Graph by Lundquist Appraisal Company

I know citywide graphs are not as descriptive as neighborhood-specific graphs or even if we looked at a specific square footage or age range in Fairfield. Just take the graph above for what it’s worth. It’s interesting to see six of the highest sales of the year over the past six months. Does it seem too that the lowest end of the market is a tad higher than the lowest point during the beginning of the year?

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog City of Fairfield Recent Sales and Pendings

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What is the substance in the pictures below? How would you describe it if you were telling a friend about the images? Have you ever encountered a property like this before? If you are a real estate agent, have you sold something similar? If you were planning to purchase a fixer-upper in the Sacramento Region (or elsewhere), would a blackish-greenish substance like this deter you from entering contract?

When appraisers come across issues like this, one would think we’d simply call the substance “mold”, but that’s not the case. The truth is that since a real estate appraiser is not a fungus or mold specialist, it’s important to not speak definitively about something that another licensed professional should be the expert on. Moreover, what if the substance was not just mold caused by excessive moisture damage, but ”toxic mold”?

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So what do appraisers say when encountering properties with an issue like this? Well, until we get clarification or a definitive pronouncement from a licensed mold professional, we simply describe the substance in words similar to “an unknown blackish-greenish substance”. When we do find out what the substance is, then we can better determine the impact on market value depending on cost-to-cure and the reaction in the marketplace to the existence of such a substance.

On Fannie Mae’s 1004 Appraisal Form, real estate appraisers are asked to identify any physical deficiencies or adverse conditions that might affect the livability, soundness or structural integrity of a property. The blackish-greenish substance in the photos above might potentially impact livability, right?

For further reading on mold, see the following links. You are welcome to suggest a link or share a story above in the comments sections.  Thank you to an appraiser colleague who provided these images to me out of his work file.

Mold Links:

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog An Unknown Blackish-Greenish Substance

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I’m disheartened to hear stats on President Obama’s “Making Home Affordable” program. So far it doesn’t look like the program is working very well (at all). A CNN article last week stated ”The administration projected that between half and three-quarters of applicants would have new mortgages at this point. As of the end of November, the number is 4.3 percent.” That’s not good.

In light of this less-than-wonderful news, I thought it would be interesting to use the “Obama Cam” app on my mobile phone to snap a few images of some local REO and Short Sale properties in the Sacramento area. The “Obama Cam” application overlays an image of President Obama (17 to choose from) on any picture taken with my mobile phone (an Android G1).

These images are in no way meant to belittle the President, make a political statement for any political party, or even rant about the Making Home Affordable program. There is actually a deep element here for me since the shots juxtapose governmental programs with real life local distressed properties. I’m reminded of the ever-present struggle in today’s economy for so many households, that recovery is going to take a long time, and also that good intentions in Washington DC do not necessarily translate to good results on “Main Street”.

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What do these images evoke in you? Why is the “Making Home Affordable” program not yet working as it should? Please give your two cents and feel free to share your experience. By the way, do you have an app like this on your phone? Your comments are welcome below.

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog ”Obama Cam” Photos in Sacramento

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I’d like to take a few moments to reflect on my favorite appraisal assignments of the year. Maybe I’m jumping the gun a bit since 2009 is not quite over, but that’s okay. I won’t get specific about addresses or location because I take client confidentiality very seriously.

Top 10 Favorite Appraisal Assignments of 2009

  1. water-bill-few-easy-steps-200X200Facuets Left On:  I appraised a bank-owned property in Solano County. It was a very nice property, but unfortunately all faucets and spickets were left on (with clogged drains), so there was extensive water damage. It was unclear if the damage was done by the disgruntled home owner or a vandal.
  2. oak park kj imagery former starbucksOak Park Fixers:  This year I appraised quite a few fixer properties in the Oak Park area of Sacramento that were purchased by an investment group, re-habbed, and then re-sold on the open market to first-time home buyers. It’s nice to be a part of a project where the end result is good for the community.
  3. 008Vacant Subdivision Land in Sacramento:  Acting as a property tax consultant, I valued two parcels in Sacramento County under the supervision of an AG (Commercial Appraiser). These sites were scheduled to be finished out as a subdivision, but then the market burst and subdivision building virtually stopped.
  4. imagesCA9RGC87Spring Water & Cesspool:  I appraised a house in Placer County that was on spring water and a cesspool (as opposed to a well and septic tank). Do you think this would have an impact on market value? How much of a price discount would it take for the typical buyer to look over an atypical feature such as this to purchase the property?
  5. Dilapidated Fourplex:  This property was interesting because it had repeated damage from squatters. I had to climb through a window to inspect one of the units too, and I cut my finger on broken glass (that made me remember this property even more).
  6. fixer-property-lundquist-appraisalUpgraded Duplex:  The residential-income market in Sacramento saw a huge decline in value over recent years. All of the latest sales in this particular neighborhood were fixers. So what is a bright and shiny upgraded non-bank-owned duplex worth in a marketplace of REO fixers?
  7. city-thumbnailRancho Cordova Property:  I’ll be honest. Since my office is located in Rancho Cordova, it sure is nice to get local assignments in the same city. I don’t mind at all driving to other counties, but it’s a great thing to travel a mile from the office to take care of business. My business in Rancho Cordova definitely increased this year.  
  8. Divorce Appraisals:  I do work for home owners and attorneys during a divorcedifficult time of life. It was a pleasure to provide excellent service to home owners in need this year and at least make the appraisal process smooth in the midst of a challenging situation. I grew up in a divorced home and I know it’s not an easy time of life.
  9. Pre-Listing Appraisals for Local Agent:  I am a realtor logohuge fan of working with local Realtors and it was a pleasure to establish a new working relationship with a particular agent who began to rely upon my knowledge and services this year. This year I had more referral work from Realtors and that’s a wonderful thing!!! I am also really grateful to be more connected to some stellar local real estate agents on Facebook and Twitter too.
  10. imagesCA42V1MYRipon New Subdivision:  There was nothing terribly complex about this assignment, but I really felt like I did a solid job on this appraisal in Stanislaus County and my client was very happy with the end-product. It’s just one of those I remember putting in a good amount of time and really enjoying the finished product.

I appreciate all my clients and colleagues who made 2009 a fantastic year. This has been a trying year for the appraisal industry in light of HVCC, but I am grateful nonetheless for all the good things that happened this year. Thank you.

If you are a real estate agent or home owner, what was the best experience you had this year with an appraiser? If you are a real estate appraiser reading this post, what were some of your favorite assignments this year.

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog My Top 10 Favorite Appraisals of 2009

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What are the latest unemployment figures for San Joaquin County and El Dorado County? Below you will find the latest rates for all cities and CDPs from October 2009 based on information provided by EDD. Unemployment rates for Sacramento County & Placer County, and Yolo County, Solano County & Merced County are also available. These are all areas I appraise in, so I keep a close eye on unemployment each month.

It’s interesting to hear so much on the news about how the economy is improving, yet one glance at unemployment seems to indicate that things are not so hot. Or is that just me?

El Dorado San Joaquin County Unemployment October 2009 Lundquist Appraisal Company

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog Unemployment Rates in El Dorado County & San Joaquin County

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What are the latest unemployment figures for Yolo County, Solano County and Merced County? Below you will find the latest rates for all cities and CDPs from October 2009 based on information provided by EDD. Unemployment rates for Sacramento County & Placer County, and San Joaquin & El Dorado County are also available. These are all areas I appraise in, so I keep a close eye on unemployment each month.

What do you see? Does anything stand out to you or surprise you? There are some fairly high levels of unemployment in each county, aren’t there, particularly Merced County?

Yolo Solano Merced County Unemployment October 2009 Lundquist Appraisal Company

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog Unemployment Rates in Yolo County, Solano County & Merced County: October 2009

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I am very pleased to announce that the final tally of donations for the Project 680 Shoe Drive is $3,601.51. This effort is something I fully support in my community, and I am very proud of the way local residents and organizations have advocated for students in need. I have been posting about this from time to time, so you may have known that our goal was to raise $1,500 to purchase 100 pairs of new shoes for students in need within the FCUSD.

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Together we can make a difference – even in this economy. Do you believe that? Thank you to local residents, businesses, churches and organizations that partnered together to put shoes on the feet of students in need. I stand in awe.

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog Wonderful Results from the Project 680 Shoe Drive

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I wanted everyone to know that I’ll be putting up some posts on HousingStorm.com. This is a great opportunity and I plan to have some fun with it.  You can check out my posts HERE.

HousingStorm.com was designed to give a unified platform and voice to those of us who believe that you, our clients deserve real un-spun facts and the honest real estate truth. It’s your money. It’s your house. You deserve to work with someone who actually understands the complexities and nuances of this market.

All of our writers have been fully-vetted and proven their desire to keep their clients informed. They have comprehensive knowledge of their towns and neighborhoods. They see the bigger economic picture and grasp the impact that global events will have on their local real estate market. They believe that a successful business is built on being completely honest with you, their clients.

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog My Posts on Housing Storm

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I configured the Lundquist Appraisal Blog to be viewable on the iPhone or any PDA. If you are able, please take a look and let me know if it works on your particular phone. Thank you.

This is what the Mobile Phone View should look like:

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http://www.lundquistcompany.com/blog Lundquist Appraisal Blog: iPhone and PDA view

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