Mary Cummins, Real Estate Appraiser, Animal Advocates, Los Angeles, California

Mary Cummins, Real Estate Appraiser, Animal Advocates, Los Angeles, California
Mary Cummins, Real Estate Appraiser, Animal Advocates, Los Angeles, California

Thursday, August 29, 2019

1004P hybrid real estate appraisal report form analysis by Mary Cummins real estate appaiser

1004P appraisal form, report, 1004 p, mary cummins, real estate, appraisal, appraiser, los angeles, california, licensed, certified, cheap, affordable, 
UPDATE: 01/02/2019 The original article was about the 1004P appraisal and the lender, investor, appraiser. I didn't talk about how it affects the homeowner trying to refinance. Obviously it can't be used for purchases as they are riskier.

Here's a good reason why a home owner should make sure they don't get a cheaper 1004P desktop appraisal. They can only be used for same bank refinance with no money out. If you want to take money out, use a different bank, get a second instead of refinancing the first, home is older, not in perfect condition, hasn't been sold on the MLS recently, large loan, hight LTV ratio, not the best credit, market is decreasing...you will need a regular 1004 appraisal. Lender charges borrower the same price for either one. Lender pockets more when they use a 1004P. Purpose of 1004P is so lender makes more money. It doesn't help the home owner who could end up having to pay for two appraisals. It also takes longer to have two appraisals. With prices going down in my area that's not a good thing.

ORIGINAL: The 1004P hybrid appraisal report is a Fannie Mae real estate appraisal form and appraisal process. A licensed real estate agent or appraiser does the physical inspection of the subject property. They measure/diagram the property, note materials/condition and take the photos of the subject to form their report. A licensed real estate appraiser takes that data, selects the appropriate comps and types up the finished appraisal. The appraisal clearly states that John Doe license # 12345 did the inspection, measured, took the photos and appraiser John Doe 2 license # 678910 completed the appraisal report.

When I first heard about the 1004P hybrid appraisal report I was skeptical for a few reasons. One, is a real estate agent qualified to inspect property for lending purposes? How would a real estate agent be able to recognize building and safety violations, be able to note condition of the home or even all of the materials? How well will they measure the home? Would their photos be good enough for the appraiser to see materials and condition? Two, how would one know if the inspection and photos are of the subject property? Three, can a proper appraisal be made using MLS comparable photos? That’s why I decided to research the 1004P.

Below is the actual 1004P appraisal form and the USPAP Compliance Addendum. As you can see the 1004P Appraiser’s Certification form states page five item 12 “I obtained the information, estimates, and opinions furnished by other parties and expressed in this appraisal report from reliable sources that I believe to be true and correct.” The USPAP Compliance Addendum clearly states who inspected the property, i.e. name, license number, E&O Insurance and who did not, i.e. the appraiser. The MLS photos used clearly have a stamp that says “CRMLS,” “TheMLS.”

https://drive.google.com/file/d/12Cpcr4YUWTc88ehXFfIHxRe9mvGxVCng/view?usp=sharing
I decided that I should do a sample 1004P report. I’m not posting that report as I have a horrible cyber stalker who loves to forge documents. I had to add a hidden seal to all my docs for that reason.
This is what I’ve learned from doing an actual 1004P report.

The inspection report, sketch, measurements and photos give the appraiser enough information to satisfactorily complete the appraisal report. I’ve found the inspectors take way more pics than necessary. They take a few pics per room instead of just one. They take up close pics of the materials. The photos are large and detailed so you can zoom in if there are any doubts.

The measurements don’t always equal the tax roll due to unpermitted additions or mistakes e.g. adding area of stairs. Same happens when I inspect. I only include the tax roll gross living area, bed/bath in my report anyway.

The materials in the written inspection report aren’t always correct but it doesn’t matter. An agent wrote “wood siding” when it’s actually “shingle siding” which I can clearly see in the pic. I report what I see in the pic. The underwriter can see the material in the pic anyway in case the agent or appraiser made a mistake.

The inspection report and photos give enough information to see if they are of the subject or not. So far all 1004P have been ordered for homes which sold recently on the MLS. You have MLS photos, data, public tax data, permit data to compare to the inspection photos and report to verify. This is true for all cases unless the current owner did a full remodel. Then I check with permits. If I were to do a drive-by appraisal or exterior only appraisal, I don’t get to inspect the interior or receive any interior photos. The 1004P gives a lot more data than regular exterior only inspections.

MLS comparable photos can be sufficient if they match Google street view photos. So far I haven’t come across MLS pics that don’t match Google street view doing 1004P. I have seen other MLS photos where they photoshop dirt into grass, cut out high tension power lines or just use an architect rendering program photo. If I were to see that, I would use Google street view photo instead and note it in the report. In a regular report we are only taking street view pics of the comps anyway as of the date of our appraisal and not the date of the sale of the comp. We don’t know if interior photos are real or not as it is.

After my analysis I believe that 1004P appraisals are good enough to use for lending purposes in certain situations. Those situations would be easy appraisals of newer normal tract homes and condos that have sold more recently on the MLS. I don’t think they should be used for more difficult assignments where there would be more lender risk. Those assignments would be large custom homes, homes in C4 condition or worse, homes with any unusual conditions or very old homes i.e. 80 years plus. I believe those homes and properties should be appraised by a licensed real estate appraiser who has personally physically inspected the property.


Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the
Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.


Google+ Mary Cummins, Mary K. Cummins, Mary Katherine Cummins, Mary Cummins-Cobb, Mary, Cummins, Cobb, wildlife, wild, animal, rescue, wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife rehabilitator, fish, game, los angeles, california, united states, squirrel, raccoon, fox, skunk, opossum, coyote, bobcat, manual, instructor, speaker, humane, nuisance, control, pest, trap, exclude, deter, green, non-profit, nonprofit, non, profit, ill, injured, orphaned, exhibit, exhibitor, usda, united states department of agriculture, hsus, humane society, peta, ndart, humane academy, humane officer, animal legal defense fund, animal cruelty, investigation, peace officer, animal, cruelty, abuse, neglect #marycummins #animaladvocates #losangeles #california #wildlife #wildliferehabilitation #wildliferehabilitator #realestate #realestateappraiser #realestateappraisal #lawsuit

Monday, August 5, 2019

West Adams neighborhood in Los Angeles, California by Mary Cummins, real estate appraiser

west adams, neighbhood, historical district, historic  homes, mary cummins, real estate appraiser, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, los angeles, california, south los angeles, craftsman, spanish revival, queen anne, victorian, greek revival
west adams, neighbhood, historical district, historic  homes, mary cummins, real estate appraiser, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, los angeles, california, south los angeles, craftsman, spanish revival, queen anne, victorian, greek revival

West Adams is a historic neighborhood in the South Los Angeles region of Los Angeles, California. The area is known for its large number of historic buildings, structures and notable houses and mansions throughout Los Angeles. It is a youthful, densely populated area with a diverse population. The neighborhood has several public and private schools.

West Adams is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city of Los Angeles, with most of its buildings erected between 1880 and 1925, including the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. West Adams was developed by railroad magnate Henry E. Huntington and wealthy industrialist Hulett C. Merritt of Pasadena. It was once the wealthiest district in the city, with its Victorian mansions and sturdy Craftsman bungalows, and a home to Downtown businessmen and professors and academicians at USC. Several historic areas of West Adams, namely, Harvard Heights, Lafayette Square, Pico-Union, and West Adams Terrace, were designated as Historic Preservation Overlay Zones by the city of Los Angeles, in recognition of their outstanding architectural heritage. Menlo Avenue-West Twenty-ninth Street Historic District, North University Park Historic District, Twentieth Street Historic District, Van Buren Place Historic District and St. James Park Historic District, all with houses of architectural significance, are located in West Adams.

The development of the West Side, Beverly Hills and Hollywood, beginning in the 1910s, siphoned away much of West Adams' upper-class white population; upper-class blacks began to move in around this time, although the district was off limits to all but the very wealthiest African-Americans. One symbol of the area's emergence as a center of black wealth at this time is the landmark 1949 headquarters building of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company, a late-period Moderne structure at Adams and Western designed by renowned black architect Paul Williams. It housed what was once one of the nation's largest black-owned insurers (currently, along with an adjacent new building, it is now a campus for a large non-profit). West Adams' transformation into an affluent black area was sped by the Supreme Court's 1948 invalidation of segregationist covenants on property ownership. The area was a favorite among black celebrities in the 1940s and 1950s; notable residents included Hattie McDaniel, Tim Moore, Eddie Anderson, Joe Louis, Sweet Daddy Grace, Little Richard, Lionel Hampton and Ray Charles.

Singer Ray Charles's business headquarters, including his RPM studio, is located at 2107 Washington Boulevard. The intersection of Washington Boulevard and Westmoreland Boulevard, at the studio, is named "Ray Charles Square" in his honor.

Starting in 1961, construction of the ten-lane Santa Monica Freeway (Interstate 10) began through West Adams' core, with the freeway routed east to west just north of Adams Boulevard. Its construction resulted in the taking by eminent domain, and demolition, of numerous West Adams homes. As in many other American cities during the heyday of Interstate Highway Act construction, interstate highway rights of way were disproportionately routed through predominantly less affluent communities.

Many of the neighborhoods, including West Adams, are experiencing a renaissance of sorts with their historic houses being restored to their previous elegance.  The area is undergoing revitalization with young professionals, restaurants, new businesses moving into the area. Many professionals are being attracted to the area, due to the proximity of job hubs in Silicon Beach, Culver City, and El Segundo.

According to the "Mapping L.A." project of the Los Angeles Times, West Adams is flanked by Mid-City to the north—across the Santa Monica Freeway—Jefferson Park to the east, Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw to the south and Palms to the west. The neighborhood's street boundaries are the Santa Monica Freeway on the north, Crenshaw Boulevard on the east, Exposition and Jefferson Boulevards on the south and the Culver City line on the west (Ballona Creek and Fairfax Avenue).

West Adams is home to one of the largest collections of historic houses and small mansions west of the Mississippi River. The West Adams neighborhood was developed between 1880 and 1925 and contains many diverse architectural styles of the era, including the Queen Anne, Shingle, Gothic Revival, Transitional Arts and Crafts, American Craftsman/Ultimate Bungalow, Craftsman Bungalow, Colonial Revival, Renaissance Revival, Mediterranean Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, Mission Revival, Egyptian Revival, Beaux-Arts and Neoclassical styles. West Adams boasts the only existing Greene and Greene house left in the entire city of Los Angeles.

More than 70 sites in West Adams have received recognition as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, a California Historical Landmark, or listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Below are some photos of an assortment of regular homes that I've taken of West Adams south of Adams, north of Jefferson between Normandie and Vermont. These homes are a mix of the good, the bag and the ugly. 

west adams, neighbhood, historical district, historic  homes, mary cummins, real estate appraiser, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, los angeles, california, south los angeles, craftsman, spanish revival, queen anne, victorian, greek revival

west adams, neighbhood, historical district, historic  homes, mary cummins, real estate appraiser, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, los angeles, california, south los angeles, craftsman, spanish revival, queen anne, victorian, greek revival

west adams, neighbhood, historical district, historic  homes, mary cummins, real estate appraiser, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, los angeles, california, south los angeles, craftsman, spanish revival, queen anne, victorian, greek revival

west adams, neighbhood, historical district, historic  homes, mary cummins, real estate appraiser, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, los angeles, california, south los angeles, craftsman, spanish revival, queen anne, victorian, greek revival

west adams, neighbhood, historical district, historic  homes, mary cummins, real estate appraiser, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, los angeles, california, south los angeles, craftsman, spanish revival, queen anne, victorian, greek revival

west adams, neighbhood, historical district, historic  homes, mary cummins, real estate appraiser, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, los angeles, california, south los angeles, craftsman, spanish revival, queen anne, victorian, greek revival

west adams, neighbhood, historical district, historic  homes, mary cummins, real estate appraiser, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, los angeles, california, south los angeles, craftsman, spanish revival, queen anne, victorian, greek revival

west adams, neighbhood, historical district, historic  homes, mary cummins, real estate appraiser, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, los angeles, california, south los angeles, craftsman, spanish revival, queen anne, victorian, greek revival

west adams, neighbhood, historical district, historic  homes, mary cummins, real estate appraiser, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, los angeles, california, south los angeles, craftsman, spanish revival, queen anne, victorian, greek revival

west adams, neighbhood, historical district, historic  homes, mary cummins, real estate appraiser, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, los angeles, california, south los angeles, craftsman, spanish revival, queen anne, victorian, greek revival

west adams, neighbhood, historical district, historic  homes, mary cummins, real estate appraiser, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, los angeles, california, south los angeles, craftsman, spanish revival, queen anne, victorian, greek revival

west adams, neighbhood, historical district, historic  homes, mary cummins, real estate appraiser, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, los angeles, california, south los angeles, craftsman, spanish revival, queen anne, victorian, greek revival

west adams, neighbhood, historical district, historic  homes, mary cummins, real estate appraiser, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, los angeles, california, south los angeles, craftsman, spanish revival, queen anne, victorian, greek revival






















Mary Cummins of Cummins Real Estate is a certified residential licensed appraiser in Los Angeles, California. Mary Cummins is licensed by the California Bureau of Real Estate appraisers and has over 35 years of experience.


Mary Cummins, Mary K. Cummins, Mary Katherine Cummins, Mary, Cummins, #marycummins #animaladvocates #losangeles #california #wildlife #wildliferehabilitation #wildliferehabilitator #realestate #realestateappraiser #realestateappraisal #lawsuit real estate, appraiser, appraisal, instructor, teacher, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Brentwood, Bel Air, California, licensed, permitted, certified, single family, condo, condominium, pud, hud, fannie mae, freddie mac, fha, uspap, certified, residential, certified resident, apartment building, multi-family, commercial, industrial, expert witness, civil, criminal, orea, dre, brea insurance, bonded, experienced, bilingual, spanish, english, form, 1004, 2055, 1073, land, raw, acreage, vacant, insurance, cost, income approach, market analysis, comparative, theory, appraisal theory, cost approach, sales, matched pairs, plot, plat, map, diagram, photo, photographs, photography, rear, front, street, subject, comparable, sold, listed, active, pending, expired, cancelled, listing, mls, multiple listing service, claw, themls, historical appraisal, facebook, linkedin

Real estate neighborhoods of Beverly Hills, California by Mary Cummins Real Estate Appraiser


Beverly Hills is an incorporated city in Los Angeles County, California covering about six square miles. It's surrounded by the cities of Los Angeles and West Hollywood. It had a population of 34,109 at the 2010 census and an estimated population of 33,792 in 2019. 

Originally the area belong to the Tongva Indians. The Spanish claimed the land from the Indians starting around 1500. The Mexican Revolution made the land part of Mexico in 1821. The area which is now Beverly Hills used to be Mexican Ranchos and farm land which is why so many streets such as Rodeo, Canon, Carmelita, Elevado, Lomitas and El Camino have Spanish names. The land was sold to American investors around 1850 when California became a state. Beverly Hills was incorporated as a city in 1914 and developers began to sell lots.

Beverly Hills is home to many celebrities, luxury hotels, and the Rodeo Drive shopping district. Beverly Hills is also home to some of  the most expensive real estate in the United States. There are a few sub neighborhoods that make up the city of Beverly Hills. They are broken down by some obvious physical boundaries such as major streets and the old train tracks. Each of these sub neighborhoods has different characteristics such as lot size, home size and of course home values. 

I grew up in Beverly Hills and have been a broker, appraiser working in Beverly Hills since 1983. Below I share the different areas starting at the northern and most expensive area of Beverly Hills going south to the least expensive areas of Beverly Hills proper.

Trousdale Estates

"Just northeast of the Greystone Mansion sits Trousdale Estates, an enclave known for its high concentration of Modern and Mid Century Modern luxury homes. The natural setting (plenty of trees and lush landscaping) creates a relaxed vibe. When residents aren’t admiring the vegetation and architecture, they can gaze across the L.A. Basin; the neighborhood is positioned for gorgeous city views. Trousdale Estates sits within the City of Beverly Hills."

Beverly Hills Post Office

"North of the Beverly Hills Gateway and west of Trousdale Estates, you’ll find several residential neighborhood, enclaves, and gated communities nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains. The remaining subdivisions are part of what is called the “Beverly Hills Post Office” area; it refers to home with 90210 addresses but are part of the City of Los Angeles, not Beverly Hills." For this reason this area is less expensive than legal Beverly Hills.

"The Beverly Glen and Benedict Canyon neighborhoods stretch north and south following the ravines and tines of the hills between Trousdale Estates and Bel Air. People thinking of moving to Beverly Hills that require extra security and privacy will want to check out the gated communities of Beverly Park, Mulholland Estates, and The Summit."

Beverly Hills Gateway

The Gateway is a gateway from the flats of Beverly Hills into the Santa Monica mountains via Benedict and Coldwater Canyons. This area is mainly larger custom residential homes except for the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel (A.K.A. the Pink Palace). The hotel sits just off Sunset across from Will Rogers Memorial Park. Another famous landmark is the Greystone Mansion. The mansion is a Tudor Revival estate and notable filming location (Batman & Robin, The Big Lebowski, The Dirty Dozen to name a few). Homes in Beverly Hills Gateway are among the most expensive in Los Angeles County.

Beverly Hills Flats

The Flats section of town sits between the southern and northern boundaries of Santa Monica and Sunset Boulevards and between the eastern and western boundaries of Doheny Dr and Whittier. Topographically, the neighborhood is fairly level and the large lot sizes are conducive to building estates and luxury homes, which explains why so many Beverly Hills mansions can be found along its tree-lined streets. This area is part of the "Tree streets." The streets aren't just named after different trees but generally each street is lined with that species of trees. The names starting east of Rodeo are Alpine, Elm, Maple and Palm. West of Rodeo the streets are named after east coast cities Camden, Bedford and Roxbury. Other streets are named after the original Ranchos such as Rodeo, Canon or developers, owners such as Doheny, Beverly and Pico. Architecturally, homes in Beverly Hills Flats range from stately French Chateaus and Georgian Estates to Spanish Revival and Modern abodes.

South of the Tracks

Golden Triangle (Downtown Beverly Hills)

The Golden Triangle is the commercial core and shopping district of Beverly Hills. Rodeo Dr is its most famous and expensive shopping street. If you look at the map it is indeed a triangle bounded by Santa Monica Blvd to the north, Wilshire to the South and Crescent to the east. The "tracks" are the old railroad tracks should used to be on little and big Santa Monica Blvds. 

The Smaller Flats South

This area is south of the old railroad tracks which is Santa Monica Blvd and west of Doheny Dr. It consists of apartments and condominiums. There are some office buildings and other business properties in this area.

South of this area is an area of smaller less expensive homes north of Wilshire Blvd. This was the first area to be mansionized ala McMansions because the properties were less expensive. People bought the cheaper properties and built huge two story mansions that covered the entire buildable part of the lot. This was the reason for the first mansion regulations in Beverly Hills. Beverly Hills was laid out and zoned to have larger mansions on larger lots north of this area in the Flats proper. The Mansionization changed the look of this area and not necessarily for the better. The original McMansions were square two story buildings with ornate columns and embellishment on the fronts. 

The Cheap Seats

Everything south of Wilshire is considered "the cheap seats." Here you will find smaller homes on smaller lots along with duplexes, four plexes and apartment buildings. If you really must live in Beverly Hills just to say you do but can't afford much you can rent a small apartment in this area. Many people have done this so their children could go to the Beverly Hills Unified School District which is a superior school. I went to El Rodeo and Beverly Hills High School which was a great experience.

Beverly Hills is a city made up of quite a few different neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has its own school besides different home characteristics and price ranges. Below is a map of Beverly Hills zoning so you can more specifically see the different areas. Click to see larger. 



Mary Cummins of Cummins Real Estate is a certified residential licensed appraiser in Los Angeles, California. Mary Cummins is licensed by the California Bureau of Real Estate appraisers and has over 35 years of experience.


Mary Cummins, Mary K. Cummins, Mary Katherine Cummins, Mary, Cummins, #marycummins #animaladvocates #losangeles #california #wildlife #wildliferehabilitation #wildliferehabilitator #realestate #realestateappraiser #realestateappraisal #lawsuit real estate, appraiser, appraisal, instructor, teacher, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Brentwood, Bel Air, California, licensed, permitted, certified, single family, condo, condominium, pud, hud, fannie mae, freddie mac, fha, uspap, certified, residential, certified resident, apartment building, multi-family, commercial, industrial, expert witness, civil, criminal, orea, dre, brea insurance, bonded, experienced, bilingual, spanish, english, form, 1004, 2055, 1073, land, raw, acreage, vacant, insurance, cost, income approach, market analysis, comparative, theory, appraisal theory, cost approach, sales, matched pairs, plot, plat, map, diagram, photo, photographs, photography, rear, front, street, subject, comparable, sold, listed, active, pending, expired, cancelled, listing, mls, multiple listing service, claw, themls, historical appraisal, facebook, linkedin

Friday, August 2, 2019

The Squares of Los Angeles: La Fayette, Wellington, Oxford Square real estate developments by Mary Cummins

La Fayette Square, Los Angeles, Mary Cummins, real estate appraiser, California, licensed, certified, historical homes, oxford square, wellington square, victoria park, windsor square, real estate appraisal
La Fayette Square, Los Angeles, Mary Cummins, real estate appraiser, California, licensed, certified, historical homes, oxford square, wellington square, victoria park, windsor square, real estate appraisal

Los Angeles has many older historical neighborhoods. Some of the less well known are the "Squares" specifically La Fayette Square, Wellington Square, Oxford Square and Windsor Square. Below is some information about some of the Squares and some photos I've taken of some of the homes. 

La Fayette Square

LaFayette Square is a historic semi-gated neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California. Although founded in 1913 by real estate developer George Lafayette Crenshaw, it is named after the French Marquis de Lafayette, who fought alongside Colonists in the American Revolution. Lying west of Crenshaw Boulevard in the Mid-City area, it was designated by the city as a Los Angeles Historic Preservation Overlay Zone in 2000 for its significant residential architecture and history.

Properties in the tract, which was described as "part of the Nadeau Rancho vineyard," between "Washington and Sixteenth streets . . . immediately west of Crenshaw Boulevard" went on sale in 1913

According to the Los Angeles Conservancy, "LaFayette Square was the last and greatest of banker George L. Crenshaw's ten residential developments in the City of Los Angeles." The tract is composed of four north-south streets with an east-west grassy divider. Unsold lots were liquidated in early 1920.

Around 1980, the Lafayette Square Association proposed closing entrances to the neighborhood by blocking the ends of the streets to create cul-de-sacs. Neighbors debated issues of crime, traffic speed and emergency vehicle access. In 1989, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved the plans.

In the early 1990s, wrought-iron gates were installed at the ends of Buckingham Road, Virginia Road, Wellington Road and Victoria Avenue. The only way into the neighborhood by car is at St. Charles Place. To pay for the enclosures, the homeowners were assessed $40 per year for 10 years.

La Fayette Square, Los Angeles, Mary Cummins, real estate appraiser, California, licensed, certified, historical homes, oxford square, wellington square, victoria park, windsor square, real estate appraisal
La Fayette Square, Los Angeles, Mary Cummins, real estate appraiser, California, licensed, certified, historical homes, oxford square, wellington square, victoria park, windsor square, real estate appraisal

LaFayette Square is situated about 7 miles (11 km) west of Downtown Los Angeles. It is south of Victoria Park, east of Arlington Heights and north of Wellington Square.

It consists of eight blocks, centered on St. Charles Place, and situated between Venice Boulevard on the north, Washington Boulevard on the south, Crenshaw Boulevard on the east and West Boulevard on the west. There are 236 homes in the neighborhood. The median size is 3,455 sf. Median age built is 1914-1925. Median lot size is 9,243 sf. The larger homes are built on double lots. The older homes are a higher quality than the newer homes. 

Crenshaw wanted this development to have a European flair so it was designed as an elegant residential park centered on St. Charles Place—a broad palm tree-lined avenue with a landscaped median. The houses in Lafayette Square reflect residential styles popular during the 1910s and 1920s such as Tudor Revival architecture, Italianate, Mediterranean Revival, Neo-Federalist, American Craftsman, Spanish Colonial Revival, and American Colonial Revival. Several houses, such as architect Paul Williams’ own home, were designed in the Modern style, exemplifying an important trend in Los Angeles’ architectural development.

The neighborhood was designed for wealthy families and now-historic houses regularly have 5,000 to 6,000 square feet (600 m2) floor plans, although the average home size is 3,600 square feet (330 m2). According to a Los Angeles Times real-estate section article on the neighborhood, "Most of the properties have period details: Juliet balconies, mahogany staircases and libraries, sitting rooms, stained glass windows, triple crown molding, soaring ceilings—even four-car garages."

Some photos I've taken of some of the homes. 

La Fayette Square, Los Angeles, Mary Cummins, real estate appraiser, California, licensed, certified, historical homes, oxford square, wellington square, victoria park, windsor square, real estate appraisal

La Fayette Square, Los Angeles, Mary Cummins, real estate appraiser, California, licensed, certified, historical homes, oxford square, wellington square, victoria park, windsor square, real estate appraisal

La Fayette Square, Los Angeles, Mary Cummins, real estate appraiser, California, licensed, certified, historical homes, oxford square, wellington square, victoria park, windsor square, real estate appraisal

La Fayette Square, Los Angeles, Mary Cummins, real estate appraiser, California, licensed, certified, historical homes, oxford square, wellington square, victoria park, windsor square, real estate appraisal

La Fayette Square, Los Angeles, Mary Cummins, real estate appraiser, California, licensed, certified, historical homes, oxford square, wellington square, victoria park, windsor square, real estate appraisal

La Fayette Square, Los Angeles, Mary Cummins, real estate appraiser, California, licensed, certified, historical homes, oxford square, wellington square, victoria park, windsor square, real estate appraisal

La Fayette Square, Los Angeles, Mary Cummins, real estate appraiser, California, licensed, certified, historical homes, oxford square, wellington square, victoria park, windsor square, real estate appraisal


Wellington Square

Wellington Square is a neighborhood in Mid-City Los Angeles, California at the western edge of the West Adams Historic District. Wellington Square contains four streets: Victoria Avenue, Wellington Road, Virginia Road, and Buckingham Road. These four streets contain 209 homes of various architectural styles including Spanish Colonial, Tudor and French Norman. 

La Fayette Square, Los Angeles, Mary Cummins, real estate appraiser, California, licensed, certified, historical homes, oxford square, wellington square, victoria park, windsor square, real estate appraisal
La Fayette Square, Los Angeles, Mary Cummins, real estate appraiser, California, licensed, certified, historical homes, oxford square, wellington square, victoria park, windsor square, real estate appraisal

The neighborhood is bordered by West Boulevard on the west, Crenshaw Boulevard on the east, Washington Boulevard on the north and the Santa Monica Freeway on the south. The neighborhood is gated at West Boulevard and 23rd Street. The neighborhoods of LaFayette Square and Victoria Park are north.

Wellington Square was subdivided in 1912 by George L. Crenshaw. Wellington Square was developed by prominent real estate developer M.J. Nolan. Nolan was a native of Syracuse, New York and settled in LA in 1886. In 1914, Nolan started to develop 90 acres of land between Adams and the new La Fayette Square. He died in 1918, and the W.I. Hollingsworth Co. continued lot sales. The boom years of the 1920s saw the peak of development of the neighborhood. Homes in the neighborhood are an architectural mixture from Craftsman and Revival styles of the 1920s and 1930s.

In 1955, construction of the Santa Monica Freeway was started. The first segment opened in 1961 and the freeway was completed in 1964. It was named by the State Highway Commission on August 14, 1957. Many homes in Wellington Square were demolished by Caltrans to build the freeway.

On October 9, 2013, The Haight-Dandridge Residence, located at 2012 S. Victoria Avenue, was added to the list of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments. The house was designed and built by businessman George Washington Haight in 1908. The two-story residence exhibits character defining features of Craftsman Style and Period Revival architecture. In 1951, the family sold the home to actress Ruby Dandridge, mother of actress Dorothy Dandridge. [5] It is Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #1044.[6]

Oxford Square

Oxford Square is an historic neighborhood [9][10] which, according to the Oxford Square Neighborhood Association, lies between Pico Boulevard and Olympic Boulevard and includes both sides of Victoria Avenue and South Windsor Boulevard.

In 1910 the neighborhood was laid out between Wilshire Boulevard on the north and Pico Street on the south, west of the Los Angeles Country Club. It was served by the Pico Street streetcar line. The unimproved lots offered by developer Emil Firth ranged from 50 to 100 feet on the street and were 171 feet deep. The streets were 70 feet wide, with 15-foot sidewalks and parkways, which were to be planted with palm trees and flowers. Ornamental electroliers were to be placed every 300 feet. Lot prices ranged from $1,000 to $2,500.

Earlier, in 1907. the Harriman interests had begun a four-track subway line across Oxford Square, south of Wilshire Boulevard.

In 1991 the City Council approved a request by Oxford Square - Windsor Village residents to close 10th Street at Victoria Avenue in an effort to reduce crime in the communities after a recent outbreak of burglaries and robberies, as well as one homicide.

In February 2015 the neighborhood association was lobbying to form an Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ). That would have put a temporary moratorium on the issuance of city building and demolition permits. Los Angeles City Council approved the HPOZ, adopting its preservation plan effective March 26, 2017.

Victoria Park

Victoria Park is a small neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California. There are three Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments located in Victoria Park.

La Fayette Square, Los Angeles, Mary Cummins, real estate appraiser, California, licensed, certified, historical homes, oxford square, wellington square, victoria park, windsor square, real estate appraisal
La Fayette Square, Los Angeles, Mary Cummins, real estate appraiser, California, licensed, certified, historical homes, oxford square, wellington square, victoria park, windsor square, real estate appraisal

Victoria Park is bounded by Pico Boulevard on the north, the rear lot lines of Victoria Avenue on the east, Venice Boulevard on the south and West Boulevard on the west. It is bisected by Victoria Park Drive. It is 2.5 miles (4.02 km) south of Hollywood and 3.5 miles (4.83 km) west of downtown Los Angeles. Century City is five miles (8.05 km) to the west along Pico Boulevard. The West Adams Heritage Association considers Victoria Park to be part of Historic West Adams. Lafayette Square and Wellington Square are just to the south. Windsor Square and Hancock Park are to the north.

The platted but undeveloped tract was owned and offered for sale by a syndicate composed of Josias J. (Jerry) Andrews, David Barry, S.R. Barry, J.A. Bowden, E.P. Clark, H.P. Hoffman, E.G. Howard, M.P. Gilbert, Isaac Kennedy, Charles Lloyd, E.N. Mathis, J.W. Willcox, M.H. Sherman, M.O. Tremaine, B.S. Tyler, F.M. Tyler and W.E. Tyler.

Established "as a "desirable residence tract for desirable people", the subdivision was limited to "high-class homes" that would be built for no less than $4,000. It would be "lighted by handsome stone and wrought-iron electroliers, twelve to fourteen feet high, with five large electric lights on each".

The Victoria Park neighborhood design is based on the ideas of Frederick Law Olmsted, who felt that "circular shapes broke up the linear look of most urban areas". The area was intended to be upscale; for example, the streetlights were custom-designed and registered with the city as the "Victoria Park Fixture."

Many of the homes were built between 1910 and 1915 and serve as fine architectural examples of the American Arts and Crafts Movement.

Mary Cummins of Cummins Real Estate is a certified residential licensed appraiser in Los Angeles, California. Mary Cummins is licensed by the California Bureau of Real Estate appraisers and has over 35 years of experience.


Mary Cummins, Mary K. Cummins, Mary Katherine Cummins, Mary, Cummins, #marycummins #animaladvocates #losangeles #california #wildlife #wildliferehabilitation #wildliferehabilitator #realestate #realestateappraiser #realestateappraisal #lawsuit real estate, appraiser, appraisal, instructor, teacher, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Brentwood, Bel Air, California, licensed, permitted, certified, single family, condo, condominium, pud, hud, fannie mae, freddie mac, fha, uspap, certified, residential, certified resident, apartment building, multi-family, commercial, industrial, expert witness, civil, criminal, orea, dre, brea insurance, bonded, experienced, bilingual, spanish, english, form, 1004, 2055, 1073, land, raw, acreage, vacant, insurance, cost, income approach, market analysis, comparative, theory, appraisal theory, cost approach, sales, matched pairs, plot, plat, map, diagram, photo, photographs, photography, rear, front, street, subject, comparable, sold, listed, active, pending, expired, cancelled, listing, mls, multiple listing service, claw, themls, historical appraisal, facebook, linkedin

Monday, June 24, 2019

An example of one cause of housing crisis. Apartment buildings sell and new owner raises rents. Mary Cummins

436 - 440 W Imperial Ave, El Segundo, California was listed for sale on the MLS and Loopnet for $5,000,000. It sold for $5,000,000 June 9, 2019. It was previously owned by a trust. It looks like the landlord was an elderly person who just didn't raise the rents for years. Tenants were paying $1,100 to $1,400 for a 650 sf two bed one bath unit. The new rent will be $2,100. Tenants were basically saving the difference between market and actual rent all these years.

The property was listed as a "value-add property." It states rents are 35% under market which they are. Cost per unit is $312,500 which is low. LA CPU more like $500K though this building built in 1954 and probably needs kitchen, bath upgrades. Gross rent multiplier is 19 which is very high. It's high because rent is low. It market rent were used it'd be 12 which is about right.

Below is MLS listing.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YKMlj4IwqtmtbYe_7WK7E8I926yBBMFo/view?usp=sharing

Below is Loopnet listing.

https://images2.loopnet.com/d2/tEOAoY9dFRSdUIKzJ92ID0Lh2lOrDnRTt8QwUr6xZTg/document.pdf

This has been happening all over Los Angeles County and the state because of the housing rebound. It's one reason for the housing crisis. The current tenants will not be able to find another two bedroom unit for $1,100. They will have to pay $2,100 which is market rent. As the units are all two bedrooms at least two people live in each of them paying half each or $550/month which is insane cheap rent. Time will tell what happens to these tenants. A wise tenant would have realized that cheap rent wouldn't last forever. They should save money and look for a higher paying job. People on fixed income, retired, won't be able to find another place at this rate.

New owner will raise rents, tenants will move, they will renovate unit and re-rent for market rent.

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the
Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.


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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Letter in reply to Andre Perry of the Brookings Institute presentation to the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services

I watched the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services meeting today. All the experts were great except one that didn't belong there, namely Andre Perry. He was not in the real estate or finance industry. He works with the Brookings Institute in the Metropolitan Policy Program. He is clueless about real estate, value and finance.

Andre Perry thinks homes owned by black people are under valued by $48,000 by appraisers. He compared similar sized homes in predominantly white and black areas using computer made valuation models. He determined that real estate appraisers are intentionally reducing the value of the homes owned by black people by $48,000. The valuations were made by computer software and not appraisers. They were based on location, size, bed/bath count, age... 

Did Perry even stop and consider when these people buy these homes in different areas they are paying different prices because they are worth different amounts because they're in different locations? How did the Brookings Institute let this paper get out? I no longer respect the Brookings Institute if they can release this garbage report. The valuations were not made by people, by real estate appraisers but software programs. The software is not biased against people of color, women, elderly, LGBTQ... because it doesn't see the people. It doesn't even see the home. That is not a real valuation. This does not prove bias by real estate appraisers. 

(Turns out Andre Perry has a book coming out about blacks and value. He's hitting up all the shows and meetings gearing up for his book release.)

In the meeting only one person agreed with Mr. Perry. That person was POC Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13). She is a new politician elected in 2019. She needs some education. Why was she put on this Committee when she knows nothing about the subject matter? They should know the basics of an issue before they are put on a Committee.

She said, "Homes look identical but homes in white areas are worth more? Doesn't make sense. You are working in a broken system. You should be able to change the value based on other things. It's not right that someone with no money can't buy a home. I want to take you home to my district (to Mr. Perry because what he said agrees with her thinking)."

How is Rashida Tlaib on this committee when she knows nothing about property value, buying homes and owning a home? A similar size home in Detroit, Michigan is worth less than a similar size home in California because people would prefer to live in California. That does make sense. 

If you were to give a poor person money for a down payment and put them in a home they can't afford, they will lose the home when they can't afford to make mortgage payments. They would be worse off. I've seen it happen. Not everyone in the US needs to own a home especially now that the real estate recession started Q4 2018.

Mary Cummins
645 W 9th St #110-140
Los Angeles, CA 90015

June 20, 2019

Amy Liu, Mark Muro, Alan Berube
Brookings Institute
Metropolitan Policy Program
Via email: MetroMediaRelations@brookings.edu
Members of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services
Via email: FSCDems@mail.house.gov
RE: "Know Your Price: The Devaluation of Residential Property in Black Neighborhoods," authors Andre Perry and David Rubenstein

June 20, 2019 Andre Perry sat before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services. He presented the above paper to the Committee linked here https://financialservices.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hhrg-116-ba04-wstate-perrya-20190620.pdf.

Andre Perry stated in his paper, "We sought to understand how much money majority-black  communities are losing in the housing market stemming from racial bias, finding that owner-occupied homes in black neighborhoods are undervalued by $48,000 per home on average, amounting to $156 billion in cumulative losses."

Andre Perry does not understand the basics of home valuation or even value. He inferred in the meeting that real estate appraisers intentionally reduce the value of a home owned by a black family. Mr. Perry said he could see no other reason why the similar homes in different locations were valued differently. Everyone knows real estate is valued by location, location, location. When the audience was asked by a Committee member if they thought appraisers discriminate against black people in arriving at the value Mr. Perry was the only person who raised his hand in a room of real estate valuation experts.

I've been a real estate appraiser, broker, expert witness over 35 years in Los Angeles, California. I will give a brief explanation of the concept of value and how appraisers arrive at the value of a home. There is no adjustment for skin color.

The value of a home is what a willing buyer is willing to pay to a willing seller in an open market. Most of a home's value is location. A 1,500 sf 50 year old home in Detroit will be valued differently than a 1,500 sf 50 year old home in Beverly Hills. Facts are facts. Numbers are numbers. The value is what it is.

All real estate appraisers must comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). To appraise an average home the appraiser searches for other similar homes which have sold recently, are currently listed or under contract in the same area. The mathematical formula is to search +/- 15% difference in gross living area, within the last six months and within a half a mile radius of the subject property.  The appraiser then selects the comparables which are most similar to the subject property in terms of age, amenities, modifications... We widen or tighten the search parameters as needed to find proper comps. We must bracket for size, bed/bath count and age. We then generally use the three most similar sold comps, one comp under contract and one current listing.

After we have our comps we make adjustments for the differences among the comps and the subject property. One might be slightly larger, have an extra bedroom, bath, garage, be fully remodeled or a fixer. We adjust for all factors which are different. In a perfect world we will find comps exactly like the subject and never have to adjust.

We don't and can't search for the color of skin of the owner of the comp properties. We don't even know the color of skin of the owner of the subject property unless we see them at the property. We generally meet the agent or the home is vacant and we meet no one. If a person or a portrait of a person is in our photos, we must Photoshop the people out of the photos.

Homes in areas that are predominantly black, Latino are generally though not always valued less than homes in primarily white neighborhoods. There are a few areas in Los Angeles where it's reversed. The correlation is between what the buyers can afford to buy and the price at which the homes are selling. No one is steering certain races to certain areas. People buy homes which they like and can afford.

Racism most certainly exists. Blacks, Latinos make less than whites. Women make less than men. That said real estate appraisers do not value homes owned by black people less than homes owned by whites. We value homes based on size, age, amenities and location.

Sincerely,

Mary Cummins
Se habla Español!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/15g-0CdRhvY9WA0-5p2KQoi7dzbMMjK0P/view?usp=sharing

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the
Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.


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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Here is the real cause of increase in homelessness in Los Angeles 2019 - by Mary Cummins

cause of homeless increase in los angeles california is the recovery from the real estate recession, mary cummins, real estate appraiser, appraisal, mayor eric garcetti,
There has been a significant increase in the number of homeless people in Los Angeles and the entire state of California. One of the biggest causes besides stagnant wages and 30 years of not building enough units is the recovery from the real estate recession that began in late 2007. If you look at the chart there is a direct correlation between the rising price of homes, 2-4 units and apartment buildings and homelessness.

I've been a real estate broker, appraiser in Los Angeles since 1983. My specialty is apartment buildings. I have gone through three boom and bust real estate cycles in Los Angeles as a broker, appraiser. While I've always been concerned about the homeless I've never lived in an area with homeless people previously. I'd only see them doing appraisals in South LA or downtown. I now live in an area with homeless people.

The great recession started in the fall of 2007. By 2009 some properties had dropped 35%. Some new DTLA lofts dropped by 50%. HOA were going bankrupt. Entire loft buildings were in foreclosure. During this time people who could afford to hold their property held and rented it out. By 2010 prices started to rise a little. By 2014, 2015 some values were almost close to what they were fall 2007. Some people started to sell in the bull market while prices continued to rise. Prices continued to rise until fall 2018. We are now in the beginning of a real estate recession though apartment buildings are still doing well because of lack of sufficient units.

By 2016, 2017, 2018 people started selling their properties. They sold homes and 2-4 units, apartment buildings. Most of the homeless came from 2-4 units and apartment buildings though some may have come from homes which were group rented. As these properties sold the tenants were evicted for many legal reasons. You can pass through major renovations to tenants. As most landlords were not properly maintaining their units during the recession these properties needed work. They were class C buildings. Class A buildings are luxury new. Class B buildings are renovated and rented for market. The tenants were not able to pay the increase in rents. They became homeless. They couldn't afford to move or store their possessions so they left most of them. Landlords, contractors dumped the items on the street or maybe dumped it a few blocks away. This is where a lot of the trash comes from. You can tell it's eviction trash when it includes mattress, clothing, household items... Construction trash and business trash looks very different.

The best way to make money as a real estate investor in Los Angeles is to buy run down units with below market rents. Get rid of the tenants, renovate the building and re-rent for market rent. This provides the best return on investment. It's just a business deal like buying a car for $5,000, fixing it up for $1,000 and selling it for $7,500. Investors aren't trying to make people homeless. Homelessness is just collateral damage.

I will now focus on an area of which I'm very familiar, the area around USC. Rents around colleges and universities are generally higher than the rest of the city. From 2015 to today I'd say at least four run down apartment buildings per block have been sold, renovated and re-rented for market rent. The rate of sale of these buildings increased drastically since 2013 and mainly 2015. Some of these properties were old large homes converted to units with and without permits back in the 1980's when the area was very run down.

The poor tenants and their poor friends who stayed with them were all evicted. With some of these properties people were living in garages, carports and patios. In some apartments every room was turned into a bedroom including the living room, dining room, pantry. Some rooms were divided with a hanging sheet into two bedrooms. The tenants appeared to be Latino, some black, a few white day laborers, maids, restaurant workers, construction workers... low wage people. They were not Section 8 tenants.

The rebound of the real estate market happened in Los Angeles alongside the revitalization cycle of real estate of some poorer parts of the city. Some call it gentrification. This causes an increase in renovation and new developments which bring money, tax income, jobs, businesses which help the community, city and state at the cost of an increase in number of homeless. Here is one property which I watched as poor tenants were evicted, their possessions were dumped on the street, property was renovated and they're now trying to rent it. I can give you many more addresses where the same exact thing happened. Most were just poor working people who were evicted.

http://mary--cummins.blogspot.com/2019/06/flop-houses-in-shitty-areas-sold.html

The other causes of the rise in homeless is stagnant wages. Even if you made $15/hr, you still couldn't rent a one bedroom in Los Angeles with your take home pay. You need two people making $15/hr to rent a cheap one bedroom.

The most significant cause of homelessness and the housing crisis in LA is lack of development of housing units over the last 30 years. The cause is/was rise in cost of land, cost of construction, development red tape and NIMBYs. Here are a few ideas from others and some of my own about how to deal with the housing crisis.

http://mary--cummins.blogspot.com/2019/04/ideas-to-help-solve-housing-crisis-here.html

FTR Mayor Eric Garcetti did not cause this problem. He inherited this problem. The rise in homelessness is caused by the rebound from the housing recession, developer red tape, stagnant wages, insufficient development of new units and NIMBYs. Garcetti is doing what he can to try to fix the problem. Instead of trying to house the homeless as a way out of this mess we need to look at the causes. In domestic animal rescue we state you can't adopt your way out of pet over population. You have to work on the causes of pet over population. The same applies here. LA can't afford to build housing for all the homeless. We need to keep people from becoming homeless in the first place. We need to get the homeless back into productive jobs so they can pay for housing on their own.

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the
Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.


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