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Terry Gets Lucky once in a while

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Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
well...not THAT kind of lucky. I'm old you know.

2 years ago, I co-signed a report with a trainee (now Cert. Res) who had about 2 years experience at the time. In House Bank Loan. Rural unregulated area. Manf. Home on a steep brushy hillside of about 5 acres. The older couple who owned the home went out of their way to show off new interior paneling, etc. and the "well system' near the edge of the MH. I did exterior inspect while Lanette did an interior inspect. They told her that the water was excellent "well water" and told the same thing to the buyers, ie. that the Health dept. said it was good. They showed the spot they said was the 'septic system." Summary report she marked it "well' and "septic".

After moving in, the buyer got deathly sick. The water was contaminated and it was not a well but from a shallow spring seep. The 'well' was just the well house and my appraiser did not realize there was a pipe going around the hill to a spring. Further, the septic proved to be a hole in the ground filled with rocks and covered with dirt. The line dumped into the rocks and seeped into the ground. No laterals no tank. But the septic is below the spring, so unlikely as source of water contamination. There are MH's uphill from this though. Owners come to find out that the owners indeed had sent the Health dept a water sample several months before and the H. D. had sent them a letter back stating not to drink the water and contact the sanitarian.

The interior paneling? Apparently put up to hide water leaks. (August sale) It is mildewing underneath now. Cover it and sell quickly....

Lucky for us the attorney for the buyers wants our cooperation (and will get it ) in documenting and estimating what the property really should have been worth. Just because they were nice old folks on the surface does not mean someone intending to cheat you will not get the job done. I can only wonder that with my experience over and above my trainee's if I could have caught the lies. I know I will go with her next time it is an older manf. home, even if she is CR! Two sets of eyes are better than one.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Wow. Hard to know what under or behind, especially when the 'nice' HO is sincerely feeding you a line of BS.

Eyes wide open, learn to recognize what your looking at and don't believe anybody!

Pretty sad, huh? Glad this doesn't appear to be biting you!!!
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Ter,

Advice from a New Jersey guy where there are Superfund sites everywhere and underground toxic plumes that contaminate wells far away. :lol: :lol:

Lesson 1) All mortgage companies hate appraisal "conditions" AKA the appraiser will not tell them what to do....so I throw it to the underwriter in the "Conditions of Appraisal" section on Page Two of the URAR.

My standard statement when a well and septic is encountered: "Appraised value assumes a potable supply of well water and a proper functioning septic system." If the underwriter chooses to ignore obtaining the necessary certs, so be it. At least the well and septic issue is right in front of their faces and I'm telling them what the value assumes upfront.

Hey, use those USPAP Hypothetical Conditions or Extraordinary Assumptions whenever possible 8O 8O (whatever the hell covers this situation-this year. I don't know and I don't want to guess 8O 8O )

Ben
 

Tim The Enchanter

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
come to find out that the owners indeed had sent the Health dept a water sample several months before and the H. D. had sent them a letter back stating not to drink the water and contact the sanitarian.

The interior paneling? Apparently put up to hide water leaks. (August sale) It is mildewing underneath now. Cover it and sell quickly....

Nothing like a little seller fraud. :x
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Montana
Ter:

Without realizing it, over time I have collected owner "tricks of the charade"

Perhaps this is good place to add to the list:

My favorites:

Freshly painted ceiling? I always look at the ceiling of the closet. Sellers who paint ceilings to hide water stains, forget to paint the closet ceiling.

Oddly placed scatter rug? Well we are not supposed to move stuff but what the heck, if they are not there, take a peek? It will be very worn carpet and likely a hole.

I always grin when I see the shower curtain all nice and tightly closed, sure as heck the tub is a mess and the window over the tub rotting out.

Garage door open? Just a good way to hide a really bad garage door.

I have had trap doors to crawl spaces so piled with stuff, you know they just do it to hoping you won't want to see the rusted furnace in the dug out cellar.

What are your favorite tricks of the charade?
 

Ken in Arkansas

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
I once did a relo on a 1,600 sf bungalow in the central part of town. Normal inspection, typical house, no big deal. About a month after turning in my appraisal, I was asked by my Cleint to reinspect the property and report my findings. When I entered the home I found that the homeowner had taken carpet remnants and cut them to fit around his furniture. With the furniture gone, gaping holes were left in the carpet. Also gone was an island in the kitchen, and four ceiling fans. Thank goodness for interior photographs!
 

Jeff Horton

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
Thank goodness for interior photographs!

Never needed them but I take interior photos on every job I do now! You just reminded me why I do it. :)
 

Phil Rice

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Terrel,

I have seen many posts on this board that are very cynical and distrustful. As an example, I made a post that said if a client tells you it is OK to give a copy of the appraisal to the homeowner, it would be sufficient to make a note of that and put the note in the file. There were 4 posts after mine that said they insist on a written document signed by the client.


Most of the time, I am willing to trust people and take them at their word. I prefer not to add to the cynicism, but in this case, I want to offer a word of caution about your dealings with the attorney. Obviously, you are the one that knows the situation with the attorney, I only know what you have posted. Please be careful that you don’t get duped by the attorney. Not all attorneys are sleazy, but some of them are. Just because the attorney is being very nice (sympathetic and understanding) now, does not necessarily mean that he/she will not name you as a defendant in an upcoming lawsuit.

It is common negotiating strategy used by attorneys to get all of the info that they possibly can at the beginning, while you are on friendly terms. It could be a mistake to assume that just because you cooperated and gave them the info, they will not try to use the info against you.

Has the attorney made any unequivocal statements (promises) that you will not be named as a defendant, or that the info you provide will not be used against you?
 

larryhaskell

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Nevada
Terrel:

I would be in contact with my E & O company to make sure I was on solid ground. They may want to be involved in the process. I would agree with Phil, a friendly lawyer would make me nervous.
 

Patti Jury

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Colorado
It is just my human nature to always assume the homeowner is up to something when they appear over zealous to show you some new and improved thingey in their house.

I recently inspected a home in the rural part of our County. Public Records indicated a "mobile Home".

I get there and discover a "brick rancher". The interior was a mobile but they had encased this mobile with brick. I found the original metal siding hidden within a 4 inch brick casing. The home owner was VERY proud of their "custom brick rancher"... A previous appraisal ...they told me... gave an opinion of value somewhere near the custom homes that were going up around this property. Basically about $200,000 more than actual mobile home value...In fact those custom homes were used to estimate value on the previous appraisal. The LO was not happy with my report due to the fact that this same company did the prior refinance... They were not mad at me but I suspect they still went back to the orginal appraiser to complete another appraisal...At Custom Home Value

Be Afraid.. Be very Afraid.
 
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