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Today's lesson (or gripe): mapping software

How many use an integrated mapping program that determines comp distance?

  • all the time

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • never

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • sometimes

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
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Tim Hicks (Texas)

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
I just did three field reviews this week, so bear with me. I don't worry about minor USPAP infractions or missing USPAP addendums, because you never know what pages the lender lost. However, we still have appraisers guessing, misrepresenting, guesstimating distance of comps. This is not a problem except under review. Appraisers have been fudging distances to comps for years, I know I did. Then you have the "how many blocks" debate, up and over or straight across, who knows what they used. My suggestion is embrace the mapping software used by your software provider. Alamode's mapping program will measure the distance and places it on the map and on the grid. When you do this, make sure you place the balloons in the right place. No reviewer can question your distances if you do it properly. Here is what I see in reviews:

The appraiser decides to jump out of the addition and use those better comps in another addition. Appraiser: 18 blocks west. Reviewer: 1.8 miles west. Red flag to the underwriter.

The appraiser uses a county wide map, rub on arrows with the subject pointed one way and the comps pointed toward the subject. Appraiser: comp #1 2-3 miles, comp #2 2-3 miles, comp #3 4-5 miles. Reviewer: comp #1 6.8 miles, comp #2 7.5 miles, comp #3 18 miles. Wouldn't you consider that to be misleading. never mind the 10+ sales within a mile.


The appraiser uses mapping software, but improperly places the comps on the map. Example: 1840 FM 916 and less than two miles to the comp. However, the comp is actually 1840 E FM 916 and over 7 miles to the east.
Did they drive to this sale and take the picture?

If appraisers would embrace their mapping software and use it correctly, there would be less likely reason to suspect the rest of the report because of the misleading data in just the proximity area of the the report.

I am posting this in the futile hope that it will decrease the rediculous errors in reports in my future reviews. When I see understated distances, I smell a rat. Is it really worth it to trim the distance for the underwriter?
 

Caterina Platt

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Mexico
My 'sometimes' vote is actually 'most of the time'. The only time I revert to my scanner and paper maps is when edomina fouls up the placement of a comp or the subject pretty badly. The edomina result will show a huge area map of 50 sq. miles or so and no detail due to misplacing one of the balloons. Even if you pick the balloon up and properly place it, you still have a map that is out of proportion and has no street detail. If I could get edomina to resize the map after properly placing the balloons, I'd still use it, but this currently doesn't seem to be an option.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Caterina,

Play with it. It does let you edit and resize, recenter, etc.. I do it all the time. Couldn't sit here and tell you how but, if it were only possible, I could show you.
 

Caterina Platt

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Mexico
Thanks Guys!

I'll give it a shot.
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
Tim
Being the lazy sort if I get my report written and print a map prior to shooting my comps, I am REAL aware if the bubbles aren't in the right places... driving around mumbling on the wrong block... and so correct the problem... not sure of intent of poll: are you asking if the software plots the distances from subject? Mine does not and I do that manually (usually via the software straightline measure method).

Have seen LOTS of wild distances though, like you it raises BIG redflag and I start looking harder for other things under the rug...
 

Tim Hicks (Texas)

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
I was just curious, since most software providers carry it now. It seems to be the easiest and most reliable tool available, but many just don't want to or just don't trust it. I had one appraiser friend dramatically state"I don't want them to know the real (actual) distance, because it just stirs up unnecessary questions."
 

Larry Lyke

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
The thing I've noticed is appraisers using GPS mapping are moving the arrow attached to the balloon toward the subject, thus reducing the distance.

It's very easy to detect. I set up a new grid and plug in the comps in and tell the system to create a map -- which, of course, ought to come out looking like the map in front of me.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
The map doesn't always place the properties where they are actually located. I always have a copy of the paper map when I shoot the comps and put little red Xs on it where they are located. The Alamode map is easy to edit to put them in the right place.

I had a review a few months back that didn't check the alamode map and had the comps all located in weird places. I put them into a new grid and the Alamode map put them in the same places they were in the original report.... miles off of reality.

Almost all of my Alamode maps are edited to put them in the correct place.
 

Frederick R. Ruffell

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
What is the fuss if someone is off by a half a mile for comps over 1 mile from the subject. Except for distances under one mile you should comment on exceeding the guideline anyway. If however an appraiser is shaving distance from over one mile to under one mile, that is being dishonest and is misleading. Some areas and markets just don't conform to the guidelines, that is why they call them guidelines.
 
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