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

Mary Cummins, Real Estate Appraiser, Animal Advocates, Los Angeles, California
WEBSITE       RESUME       CONTACT       FACEBOOK        LINKEDIN       

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Pasadena Forms Task Force to Determine Fair Market Value of Land Purchased for 710 Freeway Extension, by Mary Cummins appraiser

710 freeway, hardship acquisition, eminent domain,mary cummins, real estate appraiser, pasadena,market value, freeway, historical valuation

Pasadena set up a task force to research whether or not landowners were paid market value for land purchased for the 710 freeway extension. Some of the land was purchased via "hardship acquisition" which differs from eminent domain. Hardship acquisition allows property owners to request that the government buy their land in advance of a planned project, often due to economic circumstances. It differs from eminent domain, in which the government forces the sale of private property for public use.

A few problems they have is they don't have sales data for the property. The deeds would still have to be recorded with the county. They would show the prices and names. Another issue they state is they don't have census records during that time because records are only available to the public 1950 and earlier. They are still available to the government if they request them. Government uses those census records all the time. A third issue is determining market value as of the date of transfer. If they hired a real estate appraiser, all three issues would be solved quickly.

I appraised the Bruce's Beach property. Here's an article I wrote about that. https://mary--cummins.blogspot.com/2021/10/bruces-beach-willa-charles-bruce-beach.html I was able to figure out fair market value from newspaper sales and offerings. Maybe the author of the article just isn't familiar with historical property valuations. It's something I and other appraisers do all the time. It's just research. 

The only complex issue I see is the effect of the proposed freeway extension on the property values at that time. Many could fear costly eminent domain proceedings and sell for less than then market value. The homes would be devalued if a buyer knew they were going to take the homes. If you didn't like the price the government offered you back then, you have to file a legal suit to contest eminent domain. Generally government settles those suits for over market value like Bruce's Beach, Chavez Ravine...because of legal costs. Today the agency will give you money to hire your own appraiser. That appraisal is submitted and the government agency works out a fair market value with the seller. 

If they wanted to be more than fair, they could figure out median home price of nearby homes that wouldn't be affected by a proposed freeway extension so 1/4 mile away. Even better they could figure out market value of the purchased homes before the extension was public then time adjust relative to other nearby homes not affected by the freeway. It's all just a math formula once you have the data. I'm not going to waste my time researching the newspaper sales or old MLS for this one. Last time I did that for Bruce's Beach my free work was used in the final analysis.

From the original article.

"Efforts play out to determine the future of a 50-acre tract once envisioned as the path of an extension of the 710 Freeway, City officials are grappling with a lack of detailed records about how the state acquired hundreds of properties decades ago, often through a process known as “hardship acquisition.”

The missing historical data presents a challenge for a city-appointed task force charged with assessing the fairness of compensation provided to property owners displaced by the aborted freeway project and developing recommendations for how to utilize the land, which has sat largely vacant since the 1970s.

“There are no records kept by the state about the properties purchased via hardship acquisition,” Elysha Palusek, a consultant with the historical resources firm ARG, told the task force at a recent meeting. “We are obtaining that information as much as possible via other means.”"

https://www.pasadenanow.com/main/pasadena-confronts-murky-history-of-710-freeway-displacements


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

DISCLAIMER: https://mary--cummins.blogspot.com/p/disclaimer-privacy-policy-for-blogs-by.html

California Bill ACA 10 - "Housing is a Human Right" - Depends on who is Paying for it , by Mary Cummins


Bill Assembly Constitutional Amendment ACA 10 has been proposed to state that housing is a human right in California. Below is from the bill.

"Article  XXV Right to Housing

SECTION 1. The state hereby recognizes the fundamental human right to adequate housing for everyone in California. It is the shared obligation of state and local jurisdictions to respect, protect, and fulfill this right, on a non-discriminatory and equitable basis, with a view to progressively achieve the full realization of the right, by all appropriate means, including the adoption and amendment of legislative measures, to the maximum of available resources."

Below is from supporters of the bill.

"California, a safe, affordable home is currently a privilege reserved for those who can afford the state’s skyrocketing housing costs. Our state is home to a quarter of all unhoused people in the nation, and more than half of all unsheltered people. Due to generations of racist housing policy, these burdens of housing insecurity fall hardest on Black Californians.

Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 10 will recognize that every Californian has the fundamental human right to adequate housing. Here is what this would mean in our state:

An obligation on the part of the local and state governments to ensure that all Californians have access to adequate housing;

A commitment to ensuring equitable access to housing that is not subject to any form of discrimination; and

A recognition that the right to housing is not merely a roof over one’s head, but rather adequate housing is permanent, habitable, affordable, and close to employment, healthcare, and schools."

My issue with this bill is who will be paying for it? Are they talking about government housing? We all know the government got away from public housing because they turned into slums in some areas. They are more expensive to run than regular apartments because of government administrative fees of at least 15%. They were rife with corruption because of the government bidding system. They concentrated lower income, disabled, elderly people, POC into specific high density areas which ended up becoming high crime with limited services. Some even said it was segregation and discrimination which it was indirectly because blacks, Latinos, elderly, disabled make less money than whites, younger people and able bodied.

If they are talking about forcing private landlords to subsidize public housing, I'm totally against this. Rent control has harmed the economy. If we didn't have rent control in Los Angeles, the city would have billions in property, income, transfer tax which they could use to subsidize housing for homeless. I fully support fair and legal eviction control. I support all rental housing to be safe and legal. I don't support forcing private individuals paying most of the rent of anyone who happens to score a rent control unit. I've seen people paying $216/month for a two bedroom in Santa Monica. The renters aren't even low income but high income. They don't give rent control units to low income so the program doesn't even serve a purpose. Generally people would move to a cheaper area when they can't afford the rent. That's what commercial and regular tenants have done for years. I'm sure if private homeowners were forced to allow homeless people to live in their homes, they would also oppose the forced taking of private real estate for public use without proper compensation.

What the government needs to do is allow developers to build housing. This means not allowing NIMBYs to stop projects that benefit the community. If the government hadn't stopped housing development for the last 50 years, we'd have enough affordable housing today. Any housing we build today costs too much because of today's high cost of land and construction. If they were built 50 years ago, they'd be affordable today because they'd be a B, C class building.

Government decided to force developers to build expensive units then forced them to rent some or all to low income earners. This makes no sense. It's not sustainable because there is no profit or incentive to build those units. It's unconstitutional for the government to force only one industry to subsidize lower income people. You don't see the government forcing grocery stores, water vendors, doctors, dentists, car dealers, clothing retailers to sell for a loss. We all fundamentally need food, water, medical care, cars sometimes and clothes.

If the bill passes, I believe it'd probably just be lip service. I see no way they can figure out a fair way to build affordable or free housing today in California. All the ways they've tried so far haven't worked. You can't have rent control, NIMBY power, forced private low income housing and affordable housing for all. Something has to give.

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

DISCLAIMER: https://mary--cummins.blogspot.com/p/disclaimer-privacy-policy-for-blogs-by.html

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Rent Control Causes Rent Increases, Loss of Housing and Costs Cities Billions by Mary Cummins

rent control, rent increase,homeless, mary cummins,real estate appraiser,real estate appraisal, los angeles, california,eviction, decontrol, affordability


rent control, rent increase,homeless, mary cummins,real estate appraiser,real estate appraisal, los angeles, california,eviction, decontrol, affordability


Rent control causes rent increases, loss of housing and neighborhood degradation. It also causes the public and cities to lose billions of dollars every year for the sake of a select few who would normally have just moved to a less expensive area. I'm writing an in depth article about the problems with rent control but in the mean time here's a very good article on the subject. Rent control harms the people it's supposed to help. It also hurts everyone else.

"Rent control appears to help affordability in the short run for current tenants, but in the long-run decreases affordability, fuels gentrification, and creates negative externalities on the surrounding neighborhood. These results highlight that forcing landlords to provide insurance to tenants against rent increases can ultimately be counterproductive. If society desires to provide social insurance against rent increases, it may be less distortionary to offer this subsidy in the form of a government subsidy or tax credit. This would remove landlords’ incentives to decrease the housing supply and could provide households with the insurance they desire." 

https://www.brookings.edu/articles/what-does-economic-evidence-tell-us-about-the-effects-of-rent-control

#housing #rentcontrol #marycummins #realestateappraiser #affordablehousing #rent 


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

DISCLAIMER: https://mary--cummins.blogspot.com/p/disclaimer-privacy-policy-for-blogs-by.html

Friday, April 12, 2024

Bias Against Real Estate Appraisers by Mary Cummins

appraisal bias, cindy chance, ceo appraisal institute, mary cummins, real estate appraiser, real estate appraisal, confirmation bias, loss aversion, anchoring bias,

Interesting letter from Cindy Chance CEO of the Appraisal Institute. Basically people who automatically claim appraiser bias are they themselves biased. This is why the false narrative of the "racist white male appraiser" has gained so much traction in the media and with the public. It's gotten to the point that the government made up a fake solution to the fake appraisal bias problem to satisfy the public and garner votes for the upcoming election i.e.  PAVE report. What we appraisers actually do is unbiased. We rely on data, numbers and facts only. Appraising is a math formula. 

When I see some lay people claim appraiser bias I feel that they believe this 100% even though AEI's research based on government data proved this is not true. Racism and bias definitely exist. Sadly blacks, Latinos and others have been and continue to be discriminated against in our country. It appears to be human nature or confirmation bias to assume that past biased behavior will always be repeated. They will assume anything they don't like MUST BE the result of racism, discrimination and bias. They will falsely assume any phrase must be code for a discriminating term like "Marin City" in the Marin case. It was just the name of the subject's city.

I've seen this in many areas besides appraisals. A black woman said a white man told her to smile. She claimed he was racist wanting her to smile like old black minstrels to entertain him. I told her that all men tell all women to smile. I've been told the same in the past and my skin is white. It's not about racism but control, harassment, flirting...  Because the woman was black she automatically assumed it was only because she was black.

Now that we know that the public is biased against real estate appraisers what do we do about it? Hopefully the next parts of this letter will answer those questions. We know Automated Valuation Methods AVMs are not the answer. They are more biased than human appraisers because they don't have all the information needed to do a full valuation. They don't know condition, upgrades, lot type, view, specific location in a neighborhood or if the home even exists. Zillow doesn't even use nearby comps if there are no recent ones of a similar size. They'll go two miles away into a neighborhood worth twice as much to find recent, similar sized homes. I have my own suggestions that may help a little. 

Write your appraisal report knowing biased lay people will be reading and sharing it publicly. Don't use abbreviations or subjective terms. Explain everything in clear simple language at a fifth grade reading level like most newspapers. Show your math. Include your regression charts if necessary. This is especially important if the subject doesn't conform to the median home in the area. I've noticed most of the big media cases of alleged appraiser bias were nonconforming homes with major issues on the edge of two very different neighborhoods. Of course they wanted their home to be worth as much as the larger, upgraded homes with views in a different neighborhood that sells for twice as much even though they initially bought it at a huge discount.

If you are given comps and they are not comparable, mention all of them in your report. They'll end up in a Reconsideration of Value ROV anyway. Specifically state why they are not comparable. State why they are worth more than subject, i.e. larger, fully remodeled, full ocean view, cul-de-sac, different neighborhood... 

If anyone has any suggestions on how to counter bias against appraisers and their reports, please, leave a comment. This is a huge problem that affects us all.

"From Cindy's Desk

I’ve heard from many appraisers, particularly residential appraisers, that the Appraisal Institute should have done better at standing up for them by making the public aware of their skills and professional discipline. I agree. Sweeping, sensationalized claims of “bias” about our profession ignore appraisers’ core skills, ethical standards and professional disciplines. The valuer is the only party to a real estate transaction without a financial interest in its outcome; moreover, the appraiser’s duty is to uphold the public trust, by providing an unbiased, impartial opinion of value based on a rigorous process that is continually refined and improved by the profession. Appraisers are heavily regulated to ensure quality standards, held to a rigorous ethical professional code of conduct, and our SRA and MAI designations reflect the profession’s highest standards. Why then has it been difficult for appraisers to respond effectively as a profession to unfair accusations of bias?

One reason is that claims of bias are antithetical to what appraisers do. (In case you’re interested, philosophers and linguists call this a “failure of presupposition,” and it is hard to address because it assumes something that is not actually the case.) As of now, the public is hearing from the media and politicians about a certain terrible kind of bias. What they need to know is that professional real estate appraisal has long been built on eliminating all kinds of irrational bias. Appraisers, ironically, have been ahead of the curve in working continuously to identify and eliminate every kind of bias from their professional analysis.

Thanks to Daniel Kahneman, who died recently at the age of 90, and his partner Amos Tversky, the scientific community has recognized for over half a century that there is a normal human tendency toward bias, which they termed “cognitive bias.” Their research showed that cognitive bias is part of the way all our brains work normally. In fact, our survival depends upon it.

These Nobel Prize winners (followed by several more in the following decades) demonstrated that our rationality is a myth and bias is the norm, and it has been a good thing for humans, evolutionarily speaking, because bias allows us to not have to think too much in cases where a quick judgment increases our odds of survival. Roughly defined as “any predictable error that inclines your judgment in a particular direction,” bias is a natural feature of the way humans think.

It’s easy to recognize some of our most common biases that reflect what is “normal.” We are naturally more averse (two times more!) to negative consequences than we are attracted to positive consequences. This is called “loss aversion,” which helps explain why we don’t like to change, even when things are going poorly. Being twice as likely to avoid downside as to pursue upside helped kept us away from poison plants and cliff edges, but it also often keeps us from pursuing the best courses of action. There are many, many such examples of normal (not good, but normal and understandable) cognitive bias, including “anchoring bias,” the tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information one receives, “availability heuristic,” our tendency to overestimate the importance of information we remember easily, and “confirmation bias,” the tendency to focus on information that confirms our pre-existing hypothesis.

Cognitive bias is powerful and can only be managed through the application of methodologies and procedures that require disciplined analysis of data and information (sound familiar, appraisers?). In fact, cognitive bias is why we depend on professionals trained to be unbiased specifically where our proneness to irrationality could create serious problems, such as science, finance, and economics. Appraisers’ impartial analysis protects the public from our hard-wired, everyday biases that would undermine the healthy function of the real estate industry.

Appraisers are essential to a healthy economy because there are all kinds of opportunities for cognitive bias to infect real property valuation; real estate is a context ripe for “loss aversion,” “anchoring bias,” ”availability bias,” “conformity bias” or “conflict avoidance,” to name a few. Appraisers are trained not to fall into these irrationality traps. Appraisers are continually trained to adjust their opinions of value based on data and professional discipline, precisely to avoid cognitive biases to which homeowners, loan officers, and all of us are susceptible. And in case you think machine learning and AI will save us, it is worth noting that AVMs and AI-generated results are not more rational; on the contrary, machines proliferate biases reliably, that is, unless there are educated appraisers who are regularly producing inputs to correct them.

In reality, appraisers have a great story to tell, but we have a long way to go to refocus the terribly flawed “appraiser bias” narrative onto facts and science. With facts, fairness and science all on our side, and with your help, my team and I have committed to advocacy and communications built on each member’s commitment to doing the right thing, the right way.

There’s more to say about bias. That’s why this is part 1 of a 3-part series on bias…next up…the normal biases of homeowners and loan officers, “noise” and bias, cultural bias, the GSEs, and “banned words”…

Cindy Chance, CEO of the Appraisal Institute"


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

DISCLAIMER: https://mary--cummins.blogspot.com/p/disclaimer-privacy-policy-for-blogs-by.html