Southeastern Evaluation Blog

Subprime Mortgage Bonds Are Back in Fashion
Southeastern Evaluation Team


You may remember the subprime mortgage crisis and the role mortgage backed securities played in the crisis. Well, it seems that subprime mortgages are back in fashion ....

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Spotlight: Suffolk, VA
Southeastern Evaluation Team


This month we turn the spotlight on Suffolk, Virginia, with its small-town charm and big city opportunities....

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More Families Living in Multigenerational Homes
Southeastern Evaluation Team


The share of Americans living in multigenerational households has hit an all-time high....

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Spotlight: Myrtle Beach, SC
Southeastern Evaluation Team


This month we turn the spotlight on one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations: Myrtle Beach, heart of the South Carolina beach area known as the Grand Strand. Because of its warm subtropical climate and extensive beaches, Myrtle Beach is one the nation’s premier tourist destinations with more than 14 million visitors a year...

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Outdoor Home Improvements Provide Greatest Value
Southeastern Evaluation Team


The Appraisal Institute (AI), the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, recently encouraged homeowners to “prioritize outdoor renovation projects when seeking to increase their potential return on investment...

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House Flipping Reaches New Heights
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Turn on the television and you are bombarded with program after program about people flipping houses. It no wonder that more than 200,000 homes were flipped in 2017 (representing 5.9 percent of all single-family home and condo sales during the year). That’s the highest number of homes being flipped in a decade. The number of people or companies flipping homes, almost 140,000, also jumped to a decade high...

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Spotlight: Night to Shine
Southeastern Evaluation Team


This month we would like to do something a little special and turn the spotlight on one SEE’s favorite events—Night to Shine, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation. This year, 537 churches around the world, staffed by more than 175,000 very excited volunteers helped treat thousands of people with special needs, ages 14 and up, to an unforgettable, prom night experience. This very special event is the highlight of the year for many.

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HUD Streamlining Regulations
Southeastern Evaluation Team


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced a top-to-bottom review of its manufacturing housing rules as part of its broader effort to identify regulations that may be “ineffective, overly burdensome, or excessively costly given the critical need for affordable housing.”...

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Tearing Down the Walls Between Families and Communities
Southeastern Evaluation Team


With housing costs rising and wages stagnant, many are “tearing down the ways between family and community” to live their version of the American dream through cohousing. Raines Cohen of Berkeley, California is a good example. Cohen and the approximately 30 other people in his cohousing community celebrate birthdays together and share community meals each day...

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Spotlight: Columbia, SC
Southeastern Evaluation Team


You may have noticed that Southeastern Evaluation is proud of our state. Not just because we call it home, but also because so many of our readers call it home. And, no place generates more pride and interest than our state capital of Columbia. Known as “Cola” to locals and home to the University of South Carolina, Columbia is a city filled with history, tradition, and a wonderful Southern charm....

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The FHFA Needs Your Help
Southeastern Evaluation Team


The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) needs your help! It is asking all interested parties to provide insight into proposed changes to its credit scoring models. As part of the agency’s 2015 and 2016 Scorecard for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Common Securitization Solutions...

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What's In Store for 2018
Southeastern Evaluation Team


With 2017 at an end, it’s time to take out the crystal ball and see what housing and mortgage trends promise to have the greatest impact on our industry in 2018. While no one source provides all the answers, they all offer certain insights that may be helpful to explore. Gathered from a variety of sources, here are what the “experts” say will happen in 2018...

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Spotlight: Roanoke, VA
Southeastern Evaluation Team


This month we profile a city close to many of our readers hearts and turn the spotlight on Roanoke and the Roanoke Valley in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains where the outdoors come alive and offer something for everyone. You can take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, or spend the day shopping at the markets and boutiques in Downtown Roanoke and Salem.
...

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Meet the New Guys on the Block, Gen Z
Southeastern Evaluation Team


In a recent Zillow Group study, Generation Z stands out as the newest generation to enter the housing market. Generation Z is considered to be those born from 1995 to 2010 which means the oldest in the generation is now 22 years old. According to Zillow...

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Fannie Mae Answers Appraisers Questions
Southeastern Evaluation Team


SEE recently joined with Fannie Mae to offer the Collateral Policy Update & Technology Guidance for Appraisers Webinar. Hosted by SEE’s own Mark Chapman and Gaby Arena and presented by Fannie Mae credit analysts Julia Jones and Jeremy Staudenmaier...

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Spotlight: Greenville, SC
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Greenville is one of those cities that once you visit, you never want to leave. Our downtown features a one-of-a-kind “floating” bridge spanning cascading waterfalls, all with the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop...

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Industry Realignment
Southeastern Evaluation Team


While many of us are still feeling the effects of recent adverse weather events, the mortgage industry nationwide is also undergoing a realignment of sorts. The refinance boom seems to be abating while new purchase applications are starting to fill in the gaps according to many industry sources. This shift to more purchase applications also brings an increased risk of fraud, according to a recent CoreLogic Mortgage Fraud Report...

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Back to Back Hurricanes
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Over the past year we have introduced you to many members of the Southeastern Evaluation team. Since the summer vacation season is in full swing and many staff members are taking advantage of the good weather, we have decided to shift our focus and shine the Spotlight on some of the markets we serve...

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Spotlight: Charleston
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Over the past year we have introduced you to many members of the Southeastern Evaluation team. Since the summer vacation season is in full swing and many staff members are taking advantage of the good weather, we have decided to shift our focus and shine the Spotlight on some of the markets we serve...

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Spotlight: Charleston
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Over the past year we have introduced you to many members of the Southeastern Evaluation team. Since the summer vacation season is in full swing and many staff members are taking advantage of the good weather, we have decided to shift our focus and shine the Spotlight on some of the markets we serve...

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Home Prices Expected to Stay High
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Most housing markets across the country remain healthy and are projected to stay that way throughout the rest of the year and all of 2018 according to the Spring and Summer editions of the Arch MI Risk Index (the Index), a statistical model based on leading housing market indicators...

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Why Aren't We Building Enough Houses
Southeastern Evaluation Team


A decade after the Great Recession, the housing market is rebounding. House prices today are higher than they were at the peak in the summer of 2006. Near-record low mortgage rates continue to boost housing demand and sales volumes remain high. So why aren’t we building enough houses to meet demand...

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Housing Starts Take a Nosedive
Southeastern Evaluation Team


The economy continues its nine-year long expansion with full-year growth of 2 percent expected, according to Fannie Mae’s June 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook report......

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Desktop Underwriter Gets a Makeover
Southeastern Evaluation Team


The long-awaited update to Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter (DU, version 10.1) software is set to release during the weekend of July 29th. With the summer season kicking into full gear, now is the time to preview the changes in this release and plan for its implementation......

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6 of 10 Homes Still Affordable
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Since the beginning of the year, six in 10 U.S. homes were considered “affordable” to households earning the national medium income (currently $55,775). This is based on a standard 30-year conventional mortgage, good credit scores and a modest down payment according....

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Housing Prices are Rising
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Housing prices continue to rise according to several sources. In the most recent Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Housing Price Index (HPI), housing prices rose 1.4 percent in the first quarter of 2017....

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Spotlight: Meet Christy Dyer
Southeastern Evaluation Team


The review department is the life-blood of Southeastern Evaluation. And to keep things running smoothly, SEE relies on our very own Christy Dyer. Christy is a seasoned mortgage professional with more 20 years’ experience in the industry....

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Creating A More Vibrant Mortgage Market
Southeastern Evaluation Team


TThe push to reform the government sponsored enterprises – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – has never been stronger (see our December newsletter). It’s been almost ten years since the GSEs went into conservatorship. In response, The Mortgage Bankers Institute (MBA) has developed its own “roadmap” – in the form of a white paper – to help guide the reform process...

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Are Regulatory Burdens Holding Appraisers Back?
Southeastern Evaluation Team


The mortgage community has given a lot of thought lately to appraisal issues and the impact these issues have on our industry. Issues like appraisal turnaround time, rush fees, and the lack of potential new appraisers entering the profession continue to dominate the discussion......

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Spotlight: Meet Teresa Fowler
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Many of us dream of being on the stage. For SEE order coordinator manager Teresa Fowler it was just another day at the office. Before entering the mortgage industry, Teresa spent her summers performing as a singer/dancer in Germany with an American cast. In addition, she performed as an actress/singer in Nashville in numerous productions with various companies.....

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Are Appraisers At Increased Risk Of Identity Theft?
Southeastern Evaluation Team


It seems none of us are safe from the dangers of fraud or identity theft and it can hit us at any time. But recent reports suggest that appraisers are at an even greater risk. In February, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Inspector General (OIG) took the unprecedented step of issuing a fraud alert to appraisers. HUD uncovered a series of cases of appraiser identity theft we should be aware of....

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Consumer Confidence Reaches An All Time High
Southeastern Evaluation Team


The average loan size for new purchase mortgage applications hit an all-time high earlier this month according the Mortgage Bankers Association. (MBA). The MBA has published its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey since 1990. That’s the highest that figure has been at any time since the Survey began...

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Spotlight: Meet Leslie McConnell
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Southeastern Evaluation recently hit a milestone… zero files in the late queue! To reach this point it took a lot of hard work from our appraisers and not a little bit of prodding from our own Leslie McConnell....

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Fannie Mae Brings Needed Clarity
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Recently, Fannie Mae announced several updates to its Seller Guides. These updates affect appraisal policies, data security, and seller/servicer financial eligibility requirements. As mortgage professionals, staying abreast of the latest developments better helps us make informed valuation decisions...

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Speed, Simplicity, and Certainty
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Next month Fannie Mae will release the latest version (4.1) of Collateral Underwriter (CU), an integral part of its Day 1 Certainty initiative to offer representation and warranty relief to lenders that use its suite of technology services. This follows the February update of Desktop Underwriter version 10.0...

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Spotlight: Meet George Koury
Southeastern Evaluation Team


George Koury is Southeastern Evaluation’s very own renaissance man. His talents are many. After graduating as valedictorian of his high school class, he went on to earn degrees in criminal justice, mechatronics, business and psychology from the University of South Carolina......

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The Era of Big Data is Here!
Southeastern Evaluation Team


It wasn’t so long ago that most appraisal firms referenced just a few data sources for their research. But as the industry continues to evolve, appraisers will need to broaden the data sources they depend on.....

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Resistance is Futile
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Google Translate made news recently when its ability to more accurately translate languages improved exponentially. Overnight, the passible but often humor-inspiring global translator became something akin to the “universal translator” of the old Star Trek series.....

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Let’s All Move to The Country!
Southeastern Evaluation Team


The agrarian ideal – open spaces, small town life, and affinity for the natural world – while deeply rooted in our culture has largely passed to myth. But many will agree that living in a rural setting exposes us to many of these marvelous things....

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Is It Time to Privatize Freddie and Fannie?
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Few mortgage industry executives are happy with the current housing finance system that has Fannie and Freddie under government control. Yet so far, all initiatives to change the system have gone nowhere...

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Spotlight: Meet Lisa Jenkins
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Every organization has one person it depends on to keep “production” running smoothly. For SEE, that person is operations manager, Lisa Jenkins. ...

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Spotlight: Meet Martha Watson
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Customer service is an important part of the Southeastern Evaluation approach to appraisal management. That’s why Martha Watson is such a good fit for our team. Martha is an appraisal coordinator in our order placement department. ...

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Millennials Embrace Homeownership
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Homeownership for many represents the promise of the American dream. Millennials so far have been slow to embrace this aspect of the dream. But as baby boomers begin to age out of the housing market, there are signs that millennials are beginning to fill the void....

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New Order-Placement Process Reduces Appraisal Delays
Southeastern Evaluation Team


In our efforts to streamline the order placement process, Southeastern Evaluation has added a new entry field to its appraisal ordering screen. Now, when placing an order, you will see the field...

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Spotlight: Meet Shannah Russell
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Shannah Russell has been with SEE from the beginning. She started work for our appraisal group – Access Appraisals – in 2002 as a part time employee. “I answered the phones, handled orders, scheduled appraisers’ appointments, etc. …very old school stuff”...

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The Difficult Task of Putting Everything Back Together Begins
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Imagine a jigsaw puzzle but with real people and real places. For many of us, this is all too real. Hurricane Matthew may now be in the history books but the damage and destruction it caused will be with us for many more weeks, if not months....

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Loan Closings Rate Rises to 72.3 Percent
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Many mortgage professionals currently use Sallie Mae’s Encompass software for loan origination. And, those who do not are at least familiar with the system. With such a large percentage of loan applications passing through Encompass....

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Spotlight: Meet Jamie Bobo
Southeastern Evaluation Team


For many, your first contact with the SEE team is when you place an order. The person you talk to first is Jamie Bobo. Jamie is our Appraisal Scope system administrator and client and vendor manager. She has been with Southeastern Evaluation for more than six years. ...

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Up, Up and Away
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Are drones the next big thing in real estate appraisals. Licensed drone operator Grey Mays thinks so. Mays is the owner and operator of Flying Fish Aerial Photography, LLC. Mays had been licensed to fly drones since 2015. He is also an appraiser with more than 25 years of experience...

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Don’t Let Data Errors Slow You Down
Southeastern Evaluation Team


June 27, 2016 has come and gone and the EAD Portal is now a way of life for all FHA mortgagees and appraisers. By now everyone understands the benefits of the EAD system. The system streamlines the FHA submission process, identifies data and compliance issues upfront, and reduces time correcting these report errors....

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How to Avoid Pesky Appraisal Delays
Southeastern Evaluation Team


Missed closings are a fact of life in the mortgage industry. With so many different parties involved, it is not uncommon for closings to be delayed. Appraisals can impact closing dates too. But there are upfront steps mortgage professionals can take to help us keep the appraisal process moving along smoothly...

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