Sound Off!

Freddie-Fannie Concerns

Dear Henry,

If a floundering submarine has sunk and is now taking on water, why in the "h***" would anyone stay on board? Gee, that sounds like Fannie/Freddie......morally, ethically, financially — and now intellectually — bankrupt. Why would anyone listen to their 'guidelines' and/or the 'new' UAD? I know that I am not writing this as a lone wolf, as over 51% of the appraisers would rather be pursuing some other career at this point. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Fannie is trading 'OTC' at .39 cents a share! Wow — how the mighty have fallen from a high of around $65.00 a share!! I sure am glad that I told our investment club not to invest in Fannie 6 years ago. I could smell it coming. Apple Computer has done better with a pay-off well in the 5 figures as an investment.

I see Fannie/Freddie as just another failed institution. So: UAD — why, and who cares? Like a loan officer once told me, "You know, Don, the more paper work that is required by Fannie/Freddie, the better the loan..." (Of course, he was kidding!)

Seems the powers that be are determined to take the 'art' out of appraising. That's something to think about.

Donald Lentz
Dear Donald,

I am sure many appraisers would agree with your desire that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac disappear. Buying their stock now is like buying a lottery ticket. In my opinion, they may change their names and they may become government agencies again, but they are not going to go away. Freddie and Fannie play a key role in the mortgage market that may be impossible to replace, at least in the short term. I agree that it is unlikely the UAD will make much difference in the quality of appraisals. This is not its primary purpose, which is to standardize the way appraisals are electronically transmitted. However, after studying the UAD for over three months in preparation for writing the UAD/URAR guide, I don't think there is anything in the UAD that prevents an appraiser from producing a quality appraisal and complying with the USPAP.

The computer, unfortunately, has contributed to removing the "art" from appraising. I agree with you that appraising is not a science, and that making good appraisals is really an art.