If David Letterman thinks he has had a few bad weeks, he ought to be a Realtor! Dave has a beef with the Fourth Estate; we are duking it out with a gaggle of clueless appraisers. Dave’s odds are better.
Yes, I know there are some great appraisers out there, and I applaud you. In fact, I MISS you! I am referring to the yahoos who just received an appraiser’s badge and now believe they are qualified to appraise the Millennium Falcon. Some of these appraisers are as new to the territory as Lewis and Clark were to the Columbia River. Of course I blame the bone heads behind the HVCC for this situation, because they have inadvertantly set us up for disaster.
Who Are These People???
I actually had a call from an appraiser who sounded so young I assumed she was calling from her backyard Play Gym. She chirped that her name was Sandi (probably spelled with an ‘I” that she dots with a heart.) Poor Sandi asked me if Mulholland Drive is “anything special” because the listing remarks on the house she was appraising touted the property’s Mulholland location. Dear God! I was tempted to tell her it’s a Dutch community she should check out…right after she watches the cattle roundup on Rodeo Drive. I felt very sorry for the parties involved in that escrow, which was being jeopardized by a prepubescent with a gross lack of expertise in our particular locale.
And last week I received an equally distressing call from a male appraiser who is from somewhere so far East of L.A. that he can no doubt see the Painted Desert from his clown car. He asked me what an HPOZ is and why the listing agent said in the listing remarks that it would “help protect the integrity” of a home. He had never heard of an HPOZ. (I swear, it’s true!) I considered telling him that an HPOZ is a giant condom that fits over the edifice to “protect” it, and that HPOZ is an acronym for Have Protection Or Zipit. (I try to help whenever I can.)
You may think I am being hard on these appraisers, but too many deals are falling out of escrow as a result of their lack of knowledge about specific areas, and that directly affects our shrunken paychecks…not to mention Prada shoe sales. As a result of the new HVCC , the lenders have been busing in the cheapest appraisers they can dig up. Congress needs to hear our collective Munchian scream. They would drag up the dead guy from Weekend at Bernie’s if he would offer a discount. The masterminds behind the new HVCC codes need to be reminded that with random selection, usually based on the most attractive price, the results are often a disaster… like sleeping with your promiscuous cousin.
To that end, I have compiled a short test that an Appraiser must pass before he will be allowed to step foot in my town again. I urge you to do the same. If they cannot answer these simple questions, call me and I will have my cousin Guido educate them properly:
1. An HPOZ means: a) Historical Preservation Overlay Zone or b) Help Preserve Ohio’s Zoo.
2. Coastal Commission is an entity that: a) protects and enhances the resources of the coastal zone or b) an entity that makes agents cliff dive for their commission checks.
3. Upgrades mean: a) improvements to a property or b) a scholastic spike resulting from sleeping with your tutor.
4. Faulty wiring means: a) electrical problems or b) a tightrope act on the San Andreas fault.
5. Cape Cod home: a) an architectural style or b) a spawning ground for Superhero, cape wearing fish.
6. Square feet refers to: a) a means of measurement or b) a seller with deformed appendages.
7. Foreclosure: a) the repossession of a house by the bank or b) a part of the body that requires circumcision so you can close your zipper.
8. NOD is: a) Notice of Default or b) Winken and Blinken’s brother.
9. Copper plumbing: a) an upgrade in systems that increases house value or b) the urinary tract of an LAPD officer
10. House bolting: a) a house that is affixed to its foundation b) a house that got up and went.
11. HVAC: a) Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning or b) Hookers in Vermont Accept Cash
12. HOA: a) Home Owners Association or b) Homely Orphan Administration
13. REO: a) Real Estate Owned or b) Romanian Elf Obsession
14. Escrow: a) process where sellers and buyers give funds and documents to a neutral third party or b) a warning yell from Tattoo on Fantasy Island when a big black bird flew over his tiny head.
15. COE: a) Close of Escrow or b) Crotch Odor Expert
16. Notice to Perform: a) a notice to fulfill contractual obligations or b) a husband’s cue when he sees the Viagra on his pillow
17. Transaction: a) a business deal or b) the hopes of a West Hollywood cross dresser on a Saturday night
18. Request For Repairs: a) a negotiation for to repair property or b) the cry of Joan Rivers’ face
19. Retrofit: a) to make repairs to meet government compliance or b) to squeeze yourself into your 1970’s bell bottoms
20. Statutory Disclosures: a) disclosures required by civil code or b) a few facts Roman Polanski wishes to hell he had not ignored.
The answer to all of these is letter ‘a’. If your appraiser misses any of these, please put him back on the Greyhound and then file a report with the DRE (Dolt Recall Embassy). It’s time to fight back!