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New Newsletter...Appraisal Intelligence...oxymoron?

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Elite Member
Apr 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
I got my 'free' issue of Appraisal Intelligence ($339 per year!!!)
and its the most depressing newsletter I've ever read.

Its supposed to be aimed at us, but this issue's big article is
on "Could new Freddie program yank $millions in
appraisals out from under the industry?" Which is all about
one mortgage for the life of a property....want to refinance
or sell, no problem. Apparently consumers are jumping
around and refinancing, and the big boys don't like that.
So they'll just re-adjust your rate every now and then
and they'll save you appraisal fees, escrow, and title insurance.
This should work just fine, ha ha (think they might try to charge
you higher interest?). So about 40% of Freddies loans
would be able to skip the normal process.

Then there is an article on Charlie Elliott (no relation to me),
MAI, SRA who yammers on about franchising appraisal companies
and how you have to adapt and change to lender's new
needs (apparently he has attended enough Institute classes
to be totally indoctrinated in the "AI Way".

And then there are stories about new regs for appraiser....which I
don't understand. Since the S&L problem is now ancient history
and appraisers are virtually unnecessary, why construct ever
increasing regs?

Oh well, it does have nice graphs on mortgage activity, though they
don't label the x axis.

Somehow I think this newsletter has missed its market.


Judy Whitehead (Florida)

Senior Member
Jan 20, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
I'm with you - why pay all that for a newsletter - when we have the forum?

Stephen J. Vertin MAI

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser

I signed up for the 30 day free trial period myself. I did not get a warm fuzzy feeling reading any of the stories either. Not that that was what I was looking for but you would think something up beat was happening. Furthermore, for the price, it really did not have stories within the story, i.e., there was an article about Illinois trying to enact the crazy laws that were posted here 3 months ago. The post in Wayne's World received over 3,000 hits so it was a good candidate for an article. The Appraisers Intelligence article told about how the organizations stopped a lot of the more bazaar laws, etc., etc., but there really was not much more than what was discussed in the 100 plus responds to the Wayne's World post. In fact the post were more interesting.

When I say story within the story I would like to see the editor or journalist find out who wrote such rules in Illinois and why? I guess what I am talking about is good old fashion journalism. Where the reporter gets on the phone and talks to all parties involved getting all sides of the argument. It seems like many appraisal publications currently out there do not want to say the wrong thing. Furthermore, the stories are mostly after the fact. They rarely take a stance as the event is occurring. Most shy away from controversy. You would think these guys and gals with journalist back grounds would kill to get the real stories. Here are some great ideas for stories:

Is the AI really intent on strong promotion of AVM's and why?
Who is behind the movement, if any, and what are their real motivations?
What State's are doing little or nothing about enforcing USPAP?
Who is behind this movement and why?
What State's have stepped over the edge into lunatic zealousness?
Who is behind this movement and why?
Interviews with people who had their licenced yanked, where are they, what are they doing now and what do they think about the industry?
Interview with people who lost their house because of bad appraisals, where are they, what are they doing now and what do they think about the industry?

You never see anything like this. These comments are not meant as a sole indictment of Appraisers Intelligences. It is most of the major appraisal rages and e-mails. In fact Appraisers Intelligence was better than most; however, that is not saying much. These publications should take lessons from major news providers who have successful tract records in our country. They should not run from controversy. I also believe Judy coined it when she said the forum is more informative than a lot of publications. At least you get a well rounded view of most industry issues. Or at least you see where others stand.

Steve Vertin

Larry Lyke

Senior Member
Feb 2, 2002
Guys --

This Intelligence letter didn't promise you a rose garden. It's news about the business and it's their views too of what's happening.

Depresssing ought not be a consideration.

If you want happy ... quick ... easy ... tune in to Fox News.

Light and frothy is Enron, World.com, Bill O'Reilly.

There is so much free news from all the e-mails I get, I can't believe I would have the time to read a paper e-mail newsletter -- That's what it is.

All of the paper news is old by the time you get it.

Believe it or not I have two friends who still take the hard copy Sold books to prepare their appraisal reports from. The stuff is 6-weeks old by the time the delivery boy drops the book on their porch. While the electronic MLS is updated every 10 minutes! And it's all organized or you can change the parameters to get what you want within seconds.

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
Stuck on paper huh? Some eastern countries laugh at us for sticking our hand down there with a thin sheet of TP. :lol:

I think they can keep their nice pessimistic news letter. I only want to here from the successful people, read the monthly NAR magazine.... I don’t think that you will read about how to NOT sell. Like the old computer lingo goes: Garbage in = Garbage out.
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