Albany Business Review: Region sees big jump in multi-family building permits 

According to the Business Review, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that multi-family building permits in the Albany MSA (Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schoharie, and Schenectady Counties) significantly exceed single-family permits by 1,400 to 597 in the first six months of 2015, suggesting that “millennials” prefer to rent rather than buy.

However, this data is based on only six months of activity and single-family could catch-up and exceed multi-family in the last six months of this year, as it did last year. Other studies show that just as many millennials want to buy a home as want to rent an apartment.

Regardless of the balance between multi- and single-family permits, the Capital District Regional Planning Commission says that multi-family is growing significantly with an average of 939 multi-family permits issued annually from 2011 to 2014, compared to 590 from 2007 to 2010 (Schoharie County excluded).

Read the rest of the article here:  Albany, New York, region sees big jump in multi-family building permits – Albany Business Review

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There’s a mouthful. Floccinaucinihilipilification. It means, according to, “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: 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


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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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