There’s a mouthful. Floccinaucinihilipilification. It means, according to Dictionary.com, “the estimation of something as valueless.” It’s one of the longest words in the English language. It’s a good thing I don’t often appraise property as valueless- I’d hate to have to pronounce the word in court. I’d have to play this link instead: Dictionary.com audio. Thanks to my wife, Susan Snowdon, for her alert word-sleuthing.

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I Must Be Busy…

I must be busy if I haven’t posted in this long a time. Here’s a short video I found of Poke-O-Moonshine from Doug Millen. I’ve appraised in its shadow in recent years, so I thought it might be appropriate. (OK, I just like it.)

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Changes in Appraisal Standards for 2014

The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) has at least one major change for the 2014-2015 Edition. The changes are effective January 1, 2014. The change that is most important to appraisal consumers is the change to available report types.

We have had, in the past, three report types: the Restricted Use Report; the Summary Report; and the Self-Contained Report. The Self-Contained Report was the most detailed of the reports and was mostly used for court purposes and some lending clients. The Summary Report included summary discussions of the appraisal process and was the most used and asked for report format. The Restricted Use Report contained little explanation of the appraisal process employed and was used in cases where the intended user had detailed knowledge of the appraisal process and the subject property.

The report options in 2014 are trimmed to two report types: an Appraisal Report and the very brief Restricted Appraisal Report.

The Appraisal Report report type is used when there may be multiple intended users of the report who may not have detailed knowledge of the subject property or the appraisal process. The level of detail in the report will range from the old Summary Report standards (minimum) to that of the old Self-Contained Report and is tailored to the needs of the client by the appraiser. The Restricted Appraisal Report option is used only when the intended user(s) are knowledgeable about the subject property and the appraisal process.

One part of USPAP has not changed: no matter the report option selected, the appraiser must still perform the appraisal according to a scope-of-work decision which will result in a credible report. Therefore, the Restricted Appraisal Report option may not result in a considerably lower appraisal fee, because the appraisal process must be performed regardless of the report length and level of detail. Those appraisers using commercial appraisal software to produce the report generally allocate little of their fee to the report, because it is much easier to let the software generate the report than to produce the report separately.

Here’s an excellent video explanation of the USPAP changes from Christopher A. Rolly, MAI, with Commercial Investment Appraisers in Orlando, Florida.

I’m happy to discuss the appropriate appraisal process and appraisal report options with you. Call me at 518-227-0011 or email me at gary@rsubo.com.


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Rules, rules, rules…

USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) is the set of federal regulations that all licensed and certified appraisers must follow. They are changed on some level every two years and knowing those changes is the responsibility of the appraiser.

As a Regional Adviser for New York State’s Department of State, I review appraisals for compliance to USPAP and have seen violations ranging from subtle to flagrant. You can count on my knowledge of USPAP when I prepare your appraisal.

Here’s a video explaining the history of USPAP by Appraiser Ambush.

I wish I had such talent…but I can explain USPAP to you!

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Nano Larger

English: University at Albany College of Nanos...

English: University at Albany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Aerial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the Albany Business Review:

The nanocollege is expanding its $17 billion Albany, NY research campus, constructing a new 31,000-square-foot building that will provide more classrooms and lab space for its growing student body.Tech Valley High School in East Greenbush, NY will move into that space for the 2014-15 school year. The move is temporary until its permanent home at the college is built.The SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering announced in February that the high school would relocate into its soon-to-be-built Zero Energy Nanotechnology (ZEN) building. More on that here.The Zero Energy building won’t be finished until 2015.

Read more here.

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Thanksgiving Music

Thanks to Susan Golashovsky for the link.

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Stone Octagon Schoolhouse – Essex, NY, c.1827


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Fat Man on a Bicycle 2013

Susan and I are heading back to the canyons of New York City again on May 5 to ride in the Five Boro Bike Tour with 33,000+/- of our closest friends. The tour covers 40 miles of NYC streets and bridges and is the highlight of our bicycling season. But the real reason we do it is to raise funds for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and raise awareness of the disease that has touched our lives for the last seven years.

Last year many of you donated generously and we’re so grateful you did. MMRF team members raised over $100,000 for the 2012 tour. Won’t you help us this year? 

Please click here to donate.

As recently as the 1970s, most doctors didn’t bother treating myeloma, due to a survival rate that was nearly zero. However, over the last decade, thanks to charities like the MMRF and benefactors like you, the average survival rate for MM has doubled. Your donations have made possible five new FDA approved drugs in the last five years! And MMRF does not stop there- those new drugs are tested on many other cancers. Together we can make a huge impact.

As a patient, I can tell you first hand that your donations definitely make a difference.

So here’s my deal. Make a donation in any amount, and Susan and I will provide the sweat and muscle. 40 miles. Rain or shine. Two old people on bicycles…

We’ll be tweeting photos from the tour at twitter.com/susansnowdon and twitter.com/garysnowdon.

Please click here to donate.

You can also make a donation by check. Just write the check payable to “MMRF” and send it to me. I’ll enter your donation into the system and send it along to MMRF. Please mail it to me at: Gary Snowdon, 589 Highwood Circle, Albany, NY 12203.

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MMRF Teammates in Boston


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U.S. Land Gets More Expensive

Front page of the first issue of The Wall Stre...

From the Wall Street Journal:

Land values across the U.S. rose on average 13% in 2012, the first annual gain since 2005, according to estimates in a March report by Zelman & Associates, a housing consultancy. The increase was fueled primarily by growing demand among builders for finished lots, or ready-to-build home sites with roads, sewage lines, electrical-power hookups and other infrastructure in place.For consumers, costlier land means more-expensive houses. Land cost constitutes 21.7% of the final sale price of a new home, according to the National Association of Home Builders. As land prices rise, builders tend to pass 100% of those costs on to consumers.

This is a significant shift from the economic downturn, when builders halted development and liquidated land for pennies on the dollar. From 2006 through 2011, residential land lost a cumulative 58% of its value, Zelman says.

Read the rest of the story: U.S. Land Gets More Expensive – WSJ.com.

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