Tag Archives: housing market

We Need To Talk About Fannie Mae A Bit


A couple of weeks ago, I learned about a new Fannie Mae program that was rolled out to lenders called Collateral Underwriter, or CU. From the press release:

Fannie Mae created the online tool in 2013 to analyze appraisal data it had been receiving from lenders electronically since 2012. With the rollout in early 2015, mortgage lenders will have access to the same information that Fannie Mae uses to evaluate property appraisals. It will enable lenders to review appraisals and address issues before delivering the loans to Fannie Mae.

It’s got the appraiser community in an uproar:

Only a few days into the release of the Fannie MaeCollateral Underwriter and my prediction of this being the biggest process change in the appraisal industry since the HVCC is becoming a reality for the field appraiser.

Appraisers and lenders are flabbergasted about what to do with the recent findings and feedback that CU has provided regarding appraisers’ work.

The appraisal community blogs and forums are packed full of questions regarding how to handle CU and how to properly defend appraisal reports as well as who’s responsible for review this information.

Fannie Mae’s guidance that the lenders are responsible for reviewing and interpreting the CU findings has turned into some lenders sending all the findings to the appraiser to comment on with no interpretation or guidance.

Granted, the program is new, there’s a lot of confusion, and a lot of unknowns. But while the industry’s been obsessed with Zillow and drones and such, something like Collateral Underwriter is likely to impact the real estate agent on the ground far more than any of those things. If you’re in the industry, I think it’s worthwhile to at least learn about it at a high level. Let me get the conversation started.

I’d like to thank Rick Lifferth, Founder and CEO of Data Master and a still-active appraiser with 40+ years of experience, and Bill Garber, Director of Government and External Relations for the Appraisal Institute, for taking the time to educate me on the topic as best as they could. Any errors or mistakes in this post are because I’m a poor student, not because they haven’t tried.

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Grading Time! Reviewing My 2014 Predictions


Welcome to another edition of an annual tradition, in which I go back and grade myself on my predictions made at the start of this year. My track record so far:

  • 2010 Predictions: 6 of 10 (.600)
  • 2011 Predictions: 4.5 of 7 (.642)
  • 2012 Predictions: 2 for 7 (.286)
  • 2013 Predictions: 4.5 of 7 (.642)

When I made my 2014 predictions, I wrote: “In any event, it’s customary here at Notorious to make predictions that are sure to go wrong, or your money back! 2014 should be no different in that regard.” Given how gloomy my predictions tend to be, I’m happy to report a solid no-good outing in 2014!

Let’s get into it.

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Grading Time! Reviewing My 2013 Predictions

Derek Jeter

Is it time for this Hall of Fame career to come to an end?

Welcome to another edition of an annual tradition, in which I go back and grade myself on my predictions made at the start of this year. My track record so far:

  • 2010 Predictions: 6 of 10 (.600)
  • 2011 Predictions: 4.5 of 7 (.642)
  • 2012 Predictions: 2 for 7 (.286)

As ever, I hope to be wrong most of the time, since my predictions tend to be a bit of a downer. But let’s see how I did in 2013.

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That Mysterious “Other” – Tales from Google Consumer Survey

Yes, I'd like to explore this mysterious Other, too...

Yes, I’d like to explore this mysterious Other, too…

Tim Dain is the Executive Director at SIRMLS and one of the most forward-thinking MLS people in the industry today. He’s also a bit of a tech geek and likes to experiment with techie things. Well, he sent me something he did through Google’s new consumer survey service, and I thought it was interesting enough to share. (With permission, of course.)

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Notorious P.O.D. Episode 5: RentMetrics and George Kalogeropoulos



Episode #5 is one of my favorites. I love introducing innovative startups in real estate to the high level elite audience that frequents this blog. (That would be you, dear reader/listener.) But this one was really special.

George Kalogeropoulos, Founder and CEO of RentMetrics.com, is frikkin’ brilliant. I think you can tell just from how he speaks, and the words he casually uses, but the actual substance of what he’s talking about, of what Rentmetrics has built, is pretty amazing.

There are a few spots where the Internet connection was a bit spotty, so forgive any weirdness. It’s my fault, or Comcast Xfinity’s fault, or… the ill humor of the Internet gods.

Rentmetrics and George are completely focused on rentals and rental space and servicing their clients in the financial markets. But listen carefully to what he’s saying, and I think you’ll see enormous applicability to general residential real estate.

Thanks again to George and to Rentmetrics for having the courage to come on Notorious P.O.D.