Well, the first of two important dates is almost upon us. On April 1st, Fannie and Freddie will require the 1004 MC Market Conditions Addendum with all 1-4 unit property appraisals. And that means most appraisal types, not just the 1004. It also applies to the 2055 (exterior only), 1073 & 1075 (condo forms), 2090 and 2095 (co-op forms), and 1025 (2-4 unit multifamily form). Here is a link to a FAQ's page at FannieMae if you are interested in the details.
Personally I can live with this one. I'm not happy about it, but I can live with it. I think I've got the form down to about a 10 minute exercise. My MLS data is pretty good and easy to search, and so the info is fairly good. However, I sincerely doubt it is going to solve the problems Fannie thinks it will. I've done about 10 of these so far, and I can tell you it is just as easy to manipulate the data as it always was, so the cheaters and liars in our business will continue to do so. The only difference is now the rest of us have to suffer through another 10-30 minutes (or more) of work. And from what I'm hearing from appraisers around the country, no lender is willing to pay any more for it. PERFECT!
And of course we have May 1st bearing down on us, the (theoretical) start of the HVCC. While the NAMB is currently trying to sue to stop it, I have to believe the major damage has been done. There is a great (or depressing, more appropriately) chart here from Alamode that shows the increase in orders through AMC's over the past year. So the threat of the impending implementation forced most lenders to move to AMC's, and why change back if they are already there? I think some will find they miss their old appraisers, while others will get used to the status quo. Let's face it, as long as it makes value, most LO's don't care who does the work.
What I've realized is the most distressing part of this is the "unknown" -- not knowing what will happen in the next 6-12 months for my business. When the legislation first came out last March, there was a Q&A period and then a decision was going to be made in May or June. Then it was pushed back to November. Then a revision came out around Christmas, and a new start date of May 1, 2009. Now the NAMB has filed suit, which may delay it again if they can get in front of a judge in time.
While I would love to see the majority of the HVCC go away, I'm getting to the point where I just wish it were done with either way, so I had a better idea of what the next 6 months or year would look like for my business and could plan accordingly. I've made some moves over the past year to be better positioned for the HVCC if it does go into effect, but I also hedged my bets and did some things that will be beneficial if it gets defeated. The problem is, I can't get fully engaged with any of it until I know what the final outcome is going to be, and I think that is probably the worst of it all.
As a business owner, I want to have a defined plan of action. I will tweak it as necessary month to month, but to make a major shift -- which the HVCC is going to cause some of us -- is not something you can do in a months time without a significant negative impact to your business.
I guess I should have taken that job in the financial products division at AIG, collected my million dollar bonus after flushing the economy down the toilet, and required to my weekend home in the Hamptons. Oh well...