Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Change of Scenery

Usually this blog contains content surrounding the appraising and real estate industries.  But every once in a while I pick a new topic, this time it's drag racing.

I went to my first national event at Maple Grove, PA (The Grove) when I was 10.  I knew nothing of drag racing except that it was LOUD!  That first visit to the hollowed 1/4 mile nestled in the hills of Eastern Pennsylvania would be a seed that would sprout into a life-long dream.

Drag racing is fascinating for several reasons, but the sound and smell is what keeps me hooked.  Unlike any other Motorsports event, the smell of burning tires and racing fuel will leave its mark on me for several days after the event.  The second most fascinating aspect of the sport is the technical side.  How do you propel a car safely from 0 to 320 mph in less than a quarter mile?  How do you harness 6000 plus horsepower, nitro-breathing motors that defy the original intent for which they were created?  How do you consistently run a motor above 100% volumetric efficiency and be able to predict its performance within .01 of a second?
One little known facts of drag racing that is the amount of diversity in it's ranks.  Boys, girls, men, women, and folks from several nationalities all compete at various levels of competition.  But the top ranks are not exclusive only to men.  Women have been winning at the NHRA's top levels since the 70s, and recently Top Fuel has seen it's first African-American champion: Antron Brown.  Check out this article from SPEED recapping last season.

I try to get out to the drag strip at least once a year, and usually I take the kids in recent years.  My kids thought it was hilarious that a front wheel drive Geo Metro was beating up the Bracket 2 field the last time we were at Ohio Valley in West Point, KY.  I'm looking forward to the day that I get to take the family to a National event.  My last trip to a National event was the finals at Pomona in 2007.  I was only there for part of qualifying on Friday, but it reminded me of the raw power of the sport.  Standing beside the track for the sportsman categories is nice, but when the fuel cars get the green light, you can feel the shock wave pass through your body.  It makes your eyes vibrate in their sockets, the inside of your nose tickles from the nitro in the air, and you can feel the hair stand up on the back of your legs under your socks.

In closing, drag racing is my favorite sport, but I'm not obsessed with it.  I work it in when I can, and when my driver doesn't win it doesn't ruin my day.  If you are wanting to try a new sport and you like Motorsports, head out to the nearest sanctioned drag strip and see if it's for you.  Walk around the pits, talk to the drivers, and have a good time, you won't be disappointed.


Appraising in Hardin County

As I've appraised properties in the Hardin County area over the past year, I noticed the amount of inventory slowly start to drop.  But here recently I've seen isolated areas that are back up over 12 months of inventory, and some areas are as high as 32 months!

Local property values favor low inventory, which is a simple demonstration of supply and demand.  However, when the supply of homes in the Hardin County area start creeping over 12-16 months, I start to notice more depreciation and a higher amount of homes that are over-priced.

Here is a market condition report for the Elizabethtown area for the past year.  This report demonstrates the relationship of supply and demand compared to property values.  Check out the trend of both the inventory and median sale price rows; as inventory goes up, price goes down.

Well, hope this helps.  Feel free to visit our Google+ and Facebook page , click the like button, and don't forget to leave a review!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bluegrass Valuation Services causing problems???

I'm trying to remember the last article I read in national headlines that sang the praises of appraisers, that's right, I haven't!  I just read another article from Fox Business that describes appraisers as backwards thinkers when it comes to home values.  This statement is partially true since the only place to find evidence of what the market is willing to pay for a piece of property is in the past.  However, this thought process is a two-edged sword.

Realtors are on the opposite end of the spectrum.  Most Realtors I've dealt with will list a home based off the active listings in the neighborhood, or worse, what the home owner owes on it.  This is especially dangerous when the home owner has lost his mind and borrowed all the equity out of his property just as the market starts to soften.

Appraisers select opinions of value in three ways: retrospective, As-Is, and forcasted into the future.  Of the three, retrospective and forcasted see the least action.  That's because lenders want to know what the property is worth the day of inspection, not in the future.  The best way to do this is to analyze properties that have sold according to the definition of market value ( I won't bore you with the details).

Why don't appraisers make adjustments on comparable sales for the time that has elapsed between the sale date and inspection date?  They typically don't due to lending requirements becoming increasingly tighter (most lenders want properties that have sold between 90 days and 1 year).  This short period of time isn't long enough for most markets to develop a noticeable trend which would dictate a time adjustment.  Only volatile markets that have clear trends typically will get adjusted.

So, what have we learned?  Well, if you want to know what a property is worth, you need to find properties that meet the definition of market value, which are in the past.  Lastly, appraisers do have the ability to look into the past as well as the future in terms of finding an opinion of value.  Feel free to visit our Facebook page , click the like button, and don't forget to leave a review!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Appraisers in Hardin County KY are no strangers to appreciation

Wow, when I first read this article I was surprised.  After Hurricane Katrina, I didn't hear these types of stories, but I've got to wonder if this is wishful thinking since the country is still trying to recover from the recent depression?


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Appraiser Habits?

Now that the new year is here, resolutions are being broken almost as much as marriages are in Hollywood. The question is, how can we stick to our resolutions or develop new habits.  Well, I don't have the answers, but Tim Ferris has a few.  Old dogs can learn new tricks, and appraisers can break outside their comfort zone.  Check out Tim's article on developing your habits.