Day: June 2, 2017

How Was the 1950s a Period of Conformity

The decade of the 1950s brought forth another era of good feelings as America thought of themselves proudly as undefeated and a supreme country. Americans gathered together as one against Communism, a fear that they considered the enemy. This collaboration distinguished the true Americans from the rest, which eventually formed into a society of noticeable similarity. The 1950s was definitely a period of conformity, which can be proven by the conflict that arose as a result of those who rebelled against this cloned society.
Conformity grew from the rich soil of national fear, and lived on the phobia of change. The concept of Communism was one that had a huge effect on everyone. It was the American enemy and America wanted nothing but to destroy it, to keep it our of the minds of anyone who lived amongst them. In February of 1950, a man named Joseph R. McCarthy charged that there were unknown scores of communists in the State Department. He was unable to prove these accusations, but many American still feared its possibility. McCarthy then charged that Secretary of State Dean Acheson was knowingly employing 205 Communist Party Members , another accusation with no evidence. Although President Dwight D. Eisenhower privately loathed McCarthy, the majority of Americans seemed to support him, thus allowing McCarthy to thrive. His next actions included the denouncing of General George Marshall and attacking the army, in which he was finally exposed as a liar and a drunk. Unfortunately by then, American culture was convinced and became one that would conform. Communism created a mass of paranoid civilians, who decided that conforming was the only way of distinguishing an honest American from a fake.
Conformity was physical, mental, and emotional. The image of the 1950s was that of the traditional family, with a working father, mother at home, and children living in suburbia with their televisions and similar style. The fact that every family was basically doing the same, saying the same, buying the same, and living the same shows that they were conforming and living to their expectations of the average American. Physically, women wore the same kind of clothing as other women, cut their hair in the same short, curled style, and worked at home as the perfect wife and mother. Men were expected to work to provide for their family. They came home to their house that was built the same as their neighbors to use the appliances that everyone else had. Mentally, 1950s civilians shared the same morals, the same beliefs, the same state of mind. They commonly and quietly agreed in the secret of sexuality. To them, it was only right to not educate their children on sex. This belief was widespread, as television was extremely censored, nothing sexual allowed on it. This included the word pregnancy and the image of women wearing immodest bathing suits. It was a crime to have sex outside of marriage. Having sex without being married was not tolerated. Doctors could also be jailed for providing their patients with information on birth control, even to married women. Emotionally, those who did not conform were devalued, people became emotionally upset and unstable when there were anomalies who did not act how everyone else did. Inevitably, calamitous events were the result of the non-conformists. Parents protested everything that they felt went against what they so strongly believed in. They protested change.
Because non-conformity was such an issue, it only validated the fact that the majority of the 1950s society were conformists. When the Beat Generation began, “beatniks” began a new trend: non-conformity. Thus came many such as Tennessee Williams, who created A Streetcar Named Desire that openly expressed homosexuality in a time where it was illegal. Alfred Kinsey wanted sex to be talked about and did studies on sexual behavior and reproduction. His “Kinsey Reports” caused controversy, hundreds of parents announcing that he needed to stop implementing this idea into the minds of the young, but even worse, people began to agree with him. Next came a man with a big dream, Hugh Hefner. He found the beautiful Marilyn Monroe who had posed nude for Tom Kelly in order to pay her bills. She became the first sex symbol, embarrassed at first to show her true identity, but eventually embracing the attention and individuality. The new magazine created by Hefner; Playboy, devalued the tradition of modesty. Hugh Hefner then went after the radical idea of freedom from marriage, a concept that shocked society into anger or realization. Monroe and Hefner were eventually embraced for their individuality, and those with traditional values feared these people would influence the younger generations negatively. Then arose Rock and Roll, a music revolution that brought forth Elvis Presley, who performed suggestible songs that were related to sex. His image was very different from that of the average man in the 1950s, and his words impressed a huge crowd of fans, black and white alike. This situation caused more controversy then ever before, mainly because parents feared that the suggestible music would cause their white daughters to be involved with African-American boys. This segregation was not uncommon in the 1950s, and blacks desired for the inequality to end. Martin Luther King Jr. rose as an amazingly inspirational non-violent civil rights activist. Rosa Parks non-conformed by not allowing a white civilian sit in her seat on the bus. This change was condemned. Traditions were slowly deteriorating and opinions became the new fear of America. Conformists feared non-conformists because they wanted nothing to change.
Conformity can be defined as action? in? accord? with? prevailing? social? standards, attitudes, or practices. The 1950s era can be defined similarly. As a fear of change in value, conformity rose as the unconscious law. The 1950s was an era of this, with a determination to keep things the way things work, when nobody realized; if everything stays the same, improvement is impossible.

Cost Approach- Contemporary Issues

Cost Approach- Contemporary IssuesIssue:When must an appraiser do the cost approachA: The first factor is in the Scope of Work decision. This decision is a result of communication with the client. Did the client ask for it If yes, it is required since it would be part of the scope of work requested.B. Within that agreed upon scope, is it necessary to produce a credible opinion of value If yes, then it must be done even if the client agrees that they do not need it. Issue:May I or should I charge and additional fee for doing the cost approachIt depends. What was your original agreement with the client If they do want it, why do they want it Did you cover this in your assignment conditions Is this a regular client for whom you normally produce the cost approachEssentially, the answer is basically a business decision for the appraiser. It results from direct communication and negotiation with the client. Some appraisers are charging extra for it while others are not. The typical client today will not pay more for it. Therefore, charging extra for it may well cause the client to seek an alternate vendor for that assignment. However, this is a question that can truly only be answered by the individual appraisal firm. Issue:How can an appraiser determine the appropriate value for a site in an area that is nearly fully developed There are a few techniques. Many of them are covered in the basic appraisal courses. However, since so many appraisers do so few land appraisals, many have forgotten or never even learned the techniques. First, one must answer the question of whether or not the area is really totally developed. Often, this is an assumption that does not turn out to be true. Many areas, even in what we might automatically assume are fully developed neighborhoods, still have some vacant land available for sale. So, the first step is to actually check!Once you know it really is, there are two primary techniques that can be employed.The first is via the cost approach itself. Not many appraisers actually do a cost approach on the comparable sales in an area. However, a ???generalized??? cost approach can actually be done on available improved sales that might reasonably be compared to the subject property. Start with the true comps for the subject. If they are in the same condition- and you are supposed to find that out so that you can make meaningful comparisons- then you should be able to replace those comparable improvements (theoretically) on paper. Once you depreciate them, you can then deduct the depreciated cost of the improvements from the sales price. The result is an indication of the site under those improvements.This technique is called abstraction or extraction.The second technique is allocation.Where you know the ratio between land and building values in an area, you can simply apply the land percentage to the overall value and obtain the land portion. Clearly, this is the easiest method since it involves only one calculation; however, it does assume that you have, over at least some volume of work, done these calculations on a material number of properties.So, what do you do if your subject neighborhood does not yield adequate amounts of data Then, go to the nearest comparable area and use the data from that area in which the values, appeal etc. are similar to the subject??™s area. Issue:What cost data services are the bestThe answer is obvious: the best ones are those that are the most accurate and the easiest to use. Less obvious, of course, is how to make that determination, and the process is going to be an individual exercise. Two of the most popular are Marshall & Swift and Bluebook. Since both are exhibitors at this conference, I encourage all to visit their booths and discuss how they compile their data and how to use their services. Issue:What is insurable value and why should I careInsurable value, as it is commonly used in the industry, is really a possible misnomer. The word ???value??? to appraisers will almost always mean something that is the result of an opinion. However, in the industry, this term is really used to denote the cost of replacing the existing improvements on a site should they be destroyed. Of course, an estimate of replacement cost new is considered to be a fact whereas a value is an opinion.Appraisers are beginning to care more and more about this since many lending clients are using the replacement cost new found in the cost approach as the insurable value.Should you care Again, this depends upon many factors. How careful were you in developing your estimate of RCN Did you do the approach with the understanding that your client might use it for estimating adequate levels of hazard insurance.Issue:If I do the cost approach and someone uses it for insurance purposes, does that increase my liabilityYes- almost assuredly. One member of the ASB, at a recent seminar, told the group that two legal cases have already been decided on this matter. In one case, the appraiser said nothing about its use as a basis for insurance and, when the improvements were destroyed, the owner could not replace them for the cost cited in the cost approach. That appraiser apparently lost the case.In another case, the appraiser specifically stated that the data in the approach should not be used for insurance purposes and, so we are told, successfully defended the case.Some E+O firms are advising appraisers to prohibit the use of their estimated RCN for insurance purposes. Some appraisers do this while others do not. The choice is clearly up to the individual appraisal.Because many clients want the approach in case they wish to use it for those purposes, it often becomes a part of the assignment. As a fee appraiser, you should certainly know what the client will use your report for- it is called intended use and it is the appraiser??™s responsibility to know that as a result of the client/appraiser communications that lead to the scope of work decision. Within the typical assignment, the cost approach is intended to be an additional indicator of value. Therefore, developing replacement cost new for insurance purposes would be a different use, altogether.Advice on this issue is to first make sure that your scope of work conf9orms to what the client really needs. If they indicate that they may use your cost approach for insurance value, whether or not you want to charge more is a business decision that you will have to make. Obviously, if there is the possibility that such use will occur, make sure you have done the approach correctly. If there is a lack of comfort with that part of the assignment, rather than including wording that prohibits such use when you know it will or can happen, a disclaimer may be a better alternative. Wording along the lines that anyone using it for insurance purposes does so at their own risk and that the appraiser will not accept liability may be an acceptable alternative. However, each appraiser should consult with their own attorney or E+O insurance carrier for advice. Issue:Many appraisers decline to do the cost approach on older properties and state that the results are not credible using this approach due to the difficulty in estimating accrued depreciation. Is this based in sound appraisal theoryUsually, no.There certainly situations in which a cost approach will not yield a value indication that would be considered credible, but actual age is rarely one of them.Some clear situations are condominiums or PUDs where common areas are never sold. In addition an older home that has historic significance due to the architect, builder, or due to some historic occurrence within the improvements could never be reproduced in a fashion that includes the event or historic component, so the cost approach in such a case would be futile. However, most older homes can really be done.Part of the problem lies in the texts that are authored in the profession. The real problem in estimating depreciation lies in the estimate of effective age. When one refers to the texts, it becomes clear that authors direct the students to the marketplace for their data. Virtually every piece of data comes from the market. It is for that very reason that the profession no longer refers to the sales comparison approach as the ???market approach???. Everything the appraiser does is supposed to come from the market data.However, as soon as the authors get to the question of effective age we begin to see things like. ???a subjective age based upon the condition of the improvements??? or ???a subjective age determined by observation???. Why should we throw out all this good market data for this one factorThe truth of the matter is that it is not the appraiser who sets the effective age; it is the market. The market sets it directly by assigning an amount of depreciation to the subject improvements. This can be measured. It really is not difficult at all.However, there is one assumption that must be made, namely one must make an estimate of total economic life.Example:The subject is a 95 year old 3 bedroom one bath Bungalow of approximately 1000 SF situated on a city lot. The site value is $165,000.The subject has received a full renovation. Original hardwood floors throughout remain as do the moldings. Both the kitchen and single bath have been completely remodeled. 90% of the interior floors are wood, the balance is ceramic tile. All primary systems have been updated- new boiler for the baseboard heat (no A/C), new water line, upgraded electrical to 100 amp circuit breakers. The exterior is stucco. The basement is unfinished but has an extra 3 fixture bath. The living room has a wood burning fireplace. Kitchen built-in appliances are a dishwasher and disposal; other appliances are personal property. Foundation is 8??? poured concrete. The subject has a new boiler for heat and a new water heater. There is a rear open porch with steps down of 75 SF.The location is XXXX, California. (illustration only)REPLACEMENT COST NEWAverage quality 1000 SF ??“ base: $71.60 (wood frame)Roof- composition shingle (base)Seismic zone (assumed) 1.30Energy adjustment (mild climate) – 0.98Foundation (mild climate) -2.10Refinements:Wood sub-floor (base)
Floor insulation (mild climate) 0.80
Floor cover 90% hardwood (8.52x.9) 7.67
Floor cover 10% ceramic (10.02x.1) 1.00
Hot water heat, baseboard 1.49
Porch- 75 ft. w/steps, open 11.81
________Total before individual items $ 92.59Individual items:Plumbing 8 fixtures (base), no rough in -380.00
WB Fireplace- one story 3,000.00
Appliances: DW+DISP 805.00For refinements add 3.43/SFTotal RCN per SF $ 96.02Current multiplier 1.04 for western/frame 99.86
Local multiplier 1.09 $ 108.85/SF 1000 SF @ $ 108.85 = RCN of $ 108,850
Land $ 165,000

$ 273,85020% profit on improvements $ 21,770 $ 295,620If the subject sold for $ 290,000, and this is the typical price being paid for fully renovated frame bungalows in this market, how much depreciation has the market assigned to the subject property$ 295,620 less $290,000 (SP) = $ 5,620$5,20 is the amount of depreciation that is being assigned by the market and it represents 5.2% of RCN, rounded to 5%.Once we make an assumption about the total economic life of the subject, the effective age is an easy calculation.So, if the subject has a total economic life of say, 65 years, the effective age will be 3-4 yearsPoints from this illustration:1. When we assume that the effective age must be much higher on a home of 95 actual years and ignore what the market is doing, it is very likely that we will start saying that our cost service is wrong. In reality, what is happening is that we are not analyzing the market well enough to know the actions of buyers and sellers.
2. Do not use this method along with the M+S depreciation charts. While those charts are based upon the effective/age life method the methodology and assumptions are different.
3. For properties with substantial deferred maintenance, use the modified effective age/life method. LET THE MARKET TELL YOU WHAT IT IS DOINGModified Effective Age/Life MethodThis is the best way to deal with properties with substantial deferred maintenance issues. The method allows the appraiser to back out any component that is fully depreciated, then depreciate the balance of the home based upon typical market derivations. Adding back the replacement cost new of a necessary, but fully depreciated, component then provides the total amount of depreciation present.This is very useful when large important components, like a roof, needs total replacement. It is the best method for estimating depreciation in an REO property that is in poor condition.