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Real Estate Inheritance of a Home, requires the property to be Appraised by an Independent Appraiser to value the home as of Date of Death of a Decedent or the current Market Value to distribute a property value to the heirs. 

Sometimes heirs forget to reappraise a property after a death in the family and surviving spouse does need to have the property reappraised for local county taxation.

 As an appraiser, sometimes I have to value what a property was worth up to twenty years ago to assist homeowners and heirs that may have forgotten to update an estate when someone has passed.

 Or the property is appraised in the current market for heirs to figure out what to do with the property. Some properties are sold and the proceeds are divided among the heirs other times these inherited properties can become excellent rental income properties with positive cash flow if free and clear of a mortgage.

Local rents in many places have increased exponentially over the years, so the Highest and Best Use of the property needs to be determined to help heirs make a good decision with these properties with respect to monthly rental income or as a list sale price for the real estate market.

My appraisal reports include MLS Sales Data which is downloaded from the MLS and exported into 8-11 Statistical Charts and Scatter Graphs to show Market Conditions whether in a Retrospective Appraisal Report or in a Current Market Report.

Areas covered include Santa Cruz County, San Jose, Santa Clara and Monterey Counties.

I am available to answer the questions you may have. Just give me a call to discuss your property. 

Tom Melville , MRA, MNAA
California Certified Residential Appraiser
California Real Estate Broker Owner
AR012768, DRE 00774101
Aptos, Ca 95003

Posted by Thomas Melville, MNAA, MRA on April 3rd, 2024 8:20 PMLeave a Comment

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Hello to All

Its January 2024 Now and as previously predicted, the loan mortgage rates will continue to drop to lower levels as we get closer to the November 2024 election.

I continue the new year with new requests for appraisal assignments for Estates, Trusts, Divorce, Date of Death and Retroactive Reports. These type of Non Lender work Assignments are actually several pages longer as I include MLS Client Pages for each comparable sale in the report.

Do other appraisers do this to their reports?

No, Not many, as it is a lot more work, but I like for the reader to have a well written report for their use for a legal purposes. 

Additionally, I include in the appraisal report an MLS CMA with a radius of 1-2 miles and the actual search parameters used to create the report. Then I export an entire years of data surrounding the subject property to create a unique report to the subject property with 8-11 statistical charts and scatter graphs showing trendlines for a reader to made sense of the data in the report.

Side by side, clients have remarked "there is a huge difference" in comparing my reports with statistical data to another appraisal report without the added analysis.

I am always available by phone or email for your real estate needs.

Tom Melville California Certified Residential Appraiser / California Real Estate Broker Owner. Licensed Professional in California Real Estate since 1980 to the present. 

Resume is also located under Staff Profiles on Home Page, I am the only person on Staff.

Posted by Thomas Melville, MNAA, MRA on January 17th, 2024 4:05 PMLeave a Comment

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Ok, Today the California Association of Realtors, announced a prediction of "a 22.9 % increase in existing single family home sales totaling 327,100 units in California for 2024".

The Median Home Price in California is expected to increase by 6.2 % reaching  $860,000 in 2024.

Housing affordability is projected to remain stable and Mortgage Interest rates could reach mid 5% on 30 year fixed rate mortgages by the end of 2024 as per The California Association of Realtors Insight Forecast. 

End of 2024 year (Code) to me means during a Presidential Election Year even in the first quarter of 2024 rates should be lower with both a Refinance Market and more homes to be placed on the market when the mortgage rates drop for buyers.

Its going to be a busy market for real estate professionals and for buyers as long as the rates come down. Also consider Variable rates which stay fixed for 7 years then  adjust. All you do is refinance to another variable or fixed rate when the time comes to save money on your mortgage.

Posted by Thomas Melville, MNAA, MRA on October 6th, 2023 6:12 PMLeave a Comment

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October 1st, 2023 7:44 PM
Ok so the mortgage rate predictions were 100% wrong the week ending Sept 28th 2023 for 30 year fixed rate loans by many real estate reporters as to rates not rising further. The rate rose to the highest level since 2000 landing at an average of 7.31 % according to Freddie Mac. 

I could have told you that rates would still rise, but no one asked me. Lenders typically raise mortgage lending rates all the way through the holiday season and a probably will the first 2 weeks of January 2024.

Because it is a Presidential Election Year, politicians want to beat their chests saying how wonderful it is as they take credit for normal market conditions in a Presidential Election year.

The mortgage lenders who take off early during the holiday season for Tahiti and Bora Bora will be having huge drunken parties on the beach until after New Years Day over the profits made from mortgage lending in 2023.

After January and February of 2024 Mortgage Interest Rates will fall and there will be a Refinance Boom. Once the lenders decide that there needs to be more new loans in the pipeline is when the rates will drop.

If there is a shortage of homes for sale as is the case during 2023 then lenders will not be making many purchase mortgage loans. The only solution to increase the mortgage lending market is to drop rates and have two real estate markets side by side. One market will be Refinance Mortgages and the other will be Purchase Mortgages due to the lowering of mortgage rates to tap into Home Equity Mortgages.

As long as the Market is allowed to correct itself in 2024 and no more insane money is spent by clueless government types on Climate Change, Barking Spiders and Red Legged Frog Research, the natural law to me indicates lenders will want to take advantage of home equity refinance loans due to and over supply of homes with equity.

The present interest rates in 2023 are too high claim many who have not seen multiple real estate markets since 1970 to the present. Oh, Cry me a river. I bought my first house when i was 20 years old in 1974 and the interest rate FHA was 22.5 percent. Look it up. I made two payments each month. One payment was principal and interest and the other payment was principal only written on my mortgage check. 

A 20 or 30 Year Variable interest rate loan that is fixed for 7 years is what i have chosen for years as long as there is enough equity in your home. Why would I even  consider a fixed rate home loan which is going to cost more money.

So that is my forecast for 2024. The same real estate mortgage loan activity took place in 2020 during a Presidential Election Year. Its not Rocket Science but that is the way i see the future. 

Fifty Appraisers, both residential and commercial appraisers in my local area said I was nuts during Covid when I told them to go buy a new computer and a printer to write appraisal reports. The market was on Steroids and crazy busy for real estate professionals.

All they saw and said was Doom and Gloom while I clearly saw the lenders perspective already offering cash bonuses to mortgage loan originators to join a mortgage firm in November and December prior to the refinance boom. Later I was invited to a Zoom meeting of 50 real estate professionals to explain how I knew the forecast so clearly.

Should some other attempt at a Pandemic or attack at the Financial Business Sector then all bets are off. But i dont think thats the case. Its just business as usual and the mortgage rates go up and down based on market conditions and Presidential Election Years.


Posted by Thomas Melville, MNAA, MRA on October 1st, 2023 7:44 PMLeave a Comment

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Lately for the last number of years, I have been valuing real estate properties in the past up to 20 years ago for legal purposes, estates, lawyers, divorce and family matters.

Since I have been a Licensed California Real Estate Professional circa 1980 to the present, my experience and recall of lived past economic events helps me to do this type of work.

Recently, I watched a newer version of The Time Machine, H.G.Wells on television classics and now with the aid of computers in real estate, I travel back in time to make sense of the data I put into my reports. 

It used to seem like work, but now seems like an adventure every time doing this type of Forensic Retrospective Appraisal assignments.

Its better than doing crossword puzzles, as there are a few Ph.D. appraisers have told me why they are in the Real Estate Appraisal Field.

I have a search methodology for data that I use for all my assignments which I can explain to the reader as to how I did it with provable search methods.

This type of work is different from mortgage lending as it requires even more data in the reports for a reader to follow as to the valuation process.

As usual, I back up the data in the report with 8 MLS statistical charts and scatter graphs which is part of my signature reports.

 No report is the same as each property is unique as to the data produced in the initial MLS CMA Data which is downloaded and exported into the Retro Reports.

If you have any real estate questions or concerns or are simply looking for Real Estate Professional to talk to then give me a call.


Tom Melville 
Calif Certified Res Appraiser
Calif Real Estate Broker Owner

Posted by Thomas Melville, MNAA, MRA on May 19th, 2023 4:52 PMLeave a Comment

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February 18th, 2023 2:29 AM
Ok, its 2023 now. I have given thought again as to the current state of market conditions concerning mortgage interest rates for the present moment and into the year 2024.

Home Mortgage Rates are slowly dropping now and this should continue to the end of 2023. Other economists have expressed higher interest rate predictions to be the norm but as long as the US does not engage in a war or have another extreme market government caused condition like the past Covid Lock Down had on business and the world, I see a brighter forecast for 2023 and 2024.

The mortgage rates could, in my opinion, be in the low 5% range or lower with Variable Mortgage Rates which may be fixed for 7 years before they adjust.

There are just too many people that want to return to work force now and the Government knows they should leave business alone so that the recovery of the economy through "Trickle Down Economics" can do what it normally does when goods and services are purchased with respect to buying and improving Real Estate.

My first Mortgage in 1974 was at a rate of 22.5 FHA and there was also an oil embargo which was similar to what was seen in the past couple of years.

 Mortgage Interest rate in 2023 will continue to fall and in 2024 the interest rates will fall again. Why, well because it will be a Presidential Election Year and the Government officials will be beating their chests again as to How Great and Wonderful They Are in taking credit for the recovery, when it was Free Market Enterprise all along doing what it does to recover on its own.

I predict 2024 will have both a stronger Market for purchasing homes and a Refinance Market with even lower rates.  Homeowners and Investors will have equity saved and the lenders will be coming out of the wood work to service and create these new loans.

 Lenders have been reducing many office staff personal at this time to reduce overall office costs but will add staff when the business picks up. Even the same goes for Silicon Valley Tech which has recently made huge adjustments to labor, but I believe the Tech Industry will think its way out of this mess and create a better mouse trap, widget or technological wonder or find blue collar jobs until they can return to Tech.

Just have to take it one day at a time to get through 2023 Market Conditions which I predict will improve toward the end of 2023. Then the economy to be getting along better in 2024 of an Election Year as election officials do not want to mess up an improving economy just before an election. Interest rates will drop again further in 2024. 

Posted by Thomas Melville, MNAA, MRA on February 18th, 2023 2:29 AMLeave a Comment

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The recent movement of mortgage interest rates is still a bargain compared to the 1980's during a recession.

In 1974 FHA Mortgage Rates went from 5% to 22.5% percent. I personally had a 22.5% FHA loan on my first house.

The recent increase in mortgage rates is a small upward bump compared to these prior rates. It is still a good time to buy a home at the current low rates because home appreciation is still projected to increase this year and next based on your location.

The objective is to get the house you can afford now and if you are financing a mortgage there are two ideas to consider to offset the current mortgage interest rates. The first is to pay the new home mortgage payment each month and then to write a separate check toward the mortgage as Principal Only. By adding a second Principal Only Payment to the mortgage will save interest off the back end of your mortgage and over time will save thousands of dollars off the overall cost of a mortgage and pay off the home quicker. 

The other idea is to a a future time say when the rates drop, to refinance your home mortgage to a lower rate. The third idea is to compare Fixed Rate Mortgages to Variable Rate Mortgages. For years I always took a Variable Rate Mortgage over a Fixed Rate any day since the loan would not readjust upward until say 5 or 7 years. So as long as there was equity in the home mortgage, it should not be a problem to refinance to a lower rate when the time came verses the cost of a Fixed Rate Mortgage.

Lately, more buyers are seeing the advantage of a variable mortgage rate now verses a higher fixed rate mortgage in the current market. Its just simple math to see the cost savings when comparing fixed to adjustable mortgage.

The phone, email and websites are now picking up pace with requests for real estate appraisals and valuations. There will be an increase in real estate market activity  directly after the 4, of July 2022. I expect both real estate agents and appraisers to be busy the last two quarters of 2022 as summer usually has the most activity with buyers looking to relocate. 

Find a Professional Lender to show different ways to finance a home. 

I will close for now with my mantra which is "Plan your Work and Work Your Plan or Someone Else Has a Plan for You. 

Good luck in finding the best rates because real estate values will continue to climb into the future.

Since there is no present over supply of bank foreclosed properties and an over supply of buyers to the market. Therefore, competition for homes will continue in the current market. 

Posted by Thomas Melville, MNAA, MRA on July 2nd, 2022 3:38 PMLeave a Comment

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With the recent current events of increased inflation of goods and services, new real estate mortgages as of 6/2022 are also on the rise. National News shows a slowing of listings of homes for sale, yet home prices continue to rise.

 Location is everything as not all real estate markets react the same as others to the number of buyers or sellers in a market area.

Here is Central California, there is a shortage of homes and an over supply of buyers to the market. In looking at the current condition, I as a working Real Estate Professional can compare back to the 1970's when the same conditions existed with construction companies working 24 hours with several crews building new home communities as the need for homes was the same senario as today.

Home Interest rates were 22.5 % for an FHA Loan with a 20 Year mortgage in 1974 and a lot of interest was applied with little principal to the mortgage.

This time was after the Oil Embargo where lines of cars were stopped at gas stations and the ration of gas. Your license plate determined by odd or even numbers if you could purchase gasoline at a gas station on a particular day.

As for current real estate mortgage rates. if you can buy now, then you should go for it. Down the road in a few years mortgage interest rates will return to lower rates and you can always refinance or, do like I did in the 1970's by paying two mortgage payments at a time or more to offset mortgage interest rates. 

I have always made a mortgage payment, followed by a separate check labeled "Principal Only" to pay off as quick as possible higher interest mortgage loans. 

So essentially, by paying additional sums each month toward your mortgage you are effectively paying off sooner a loan and significantly reducing the mortgage interest.

This is not Rocket Science or Fuzzy Math. It works and many of my real estate customers over the years thanked me again and again as to suggesting this simple method to build equity in their home faster with a plan of action.

My former mentor always told me to "Plan your Work and Work your Plan, or Else Some one else has a Plan for you."

If you have any real estate questions or concerns, give me to discuss your thoughts or concerns? 

Tom Melville
Aptos, Ca

Licensed as a California Real Estate Professional since 1980 to the present.

Posted in:Real Estate Appraisal and tagged: Real Estate
Posted by Thomas Melville, MNAA, MRA on June 15th, 2022 1:25 PMLeave a Comment

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December 14th, 2021 10:14 PM
Here is my forecast for 2022 Real Estate Market.

There continues to be an oversupply of buyers to the market and a shortage of available home for purchase.

The First quarter or first month of 2022 interest mortgage interest rates will drop to continue the Purchase and Refinance Markets. 

Lenders are offering pay bonus for experienced staff support in Dec 2021 so expect another year of record sales of homes and refinance of existing loans for lower interest rate loans.

Lenders are considering Desktop Appraisal Products for home purchases which is designed to speed up the appraisal process - but I dont think a desktop is faster if it involved added scanners/inspectors into the field, while the appraiser stays in front of a computer observing the property via a cell phone video camera. But it might work to some degree to lessen the overall workload of appraisals to be completed by the current shortage of appraisers left in the field. 

My appraisal business will continue to deliver Nothing but the Rush assignments which are full inspections by the appraiser. I inspect at noon and deliver the full report in 3-4 days or less not weeks from now.

Most appraisal firms will be back logged with weeks or months of appraisal work as it has been in all of 2021 to the present. Hopefully the Desktop Appraisal Assignments will help the process in 2022.

Contact me if you have a real estate need or question that just needs to be answered.

Tom Melville
California Real Estate Broker / Certified Residential Appraiser
41 years professional licensed in California Real Estate since 1980 to the present.


Posted by Thomas Melville, MNAA, MRA on December 14th, 2021 10:14 PMLeave a Comment

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20 years ago there were 20,000 appraisers in California. Today the figure is approximately 9,500. Of this number there is approximately 4,500 Certified Residential Appraisers left in California able to appraise properties over 1 millions dollars.

The other 5,000 appraisers are trainees, licensed appraisers( 17%) and Certified General Appraiser(32%) able to complete both Commercial and Residential Properties.

A real estate appraisal today for mortgage lending purposes is 50-70 pages in length and takes about 25 office hours to just produce 1 report. Its a college term paper in my mind and no two reports are the same with MLS CMA and Statistical Charts and Scatter graphs from CMA exported data into the reports. 

Since June of 2020 to the present June 2021 most appraisers are receiving 30-40 requests a day for quotes on fees for appraisal work. 

Last year in June of 2020 I decided to only do the rush assignments and that has been my business model for the last year to the present. Most appraisal firms I know of with several appraisers are backed up 1 or 2 months worth of work. I don't work that way as all I do is the rush, where I inspect a property at noon and deliver the report in 3-4 days or less. 

Presently my rush fees are $1,800 - $3,000 for one house appraisal as all I do is the rush or the complex properties. A lot of home sales in Silicon Valley use my services and just want the report ASAP. My reports are High Quality Reports with CMA and Statistical Charts and Scatter Graphs. Home sf sizes range from 1,500 sf to 6,500 sf.

Yes I turn down about 99% of the appraisal requests per day yet I am able to complete 10-15 reports each month.

 What are my regular fees?

 I don't have any as all I do is the rush and each property is a custom quote on complexity, location and short window of time to complete the report on time.

 If I take non rush assignments then the result is my rush work would become late. It is a simple business plan which is working due to the shortage of overall appraisers in Northern California.

 I am experienced to work on high end complex properties in Silicon Valley and the local rural mountain woods locations. My work vehicle is a well used Toyota 4 Runner, 4 Wheel Drive which can get me anywhere I need to go.

So I expect this market to continue to the end of this year and on to 2023 if mortgage interest rates continue to remain low as indicated by the Fed.

If you have any needs or questions for a Real Estate Broker or an appraiser with 41 years professional experience, let me Know. Tom Melville Brea 00774101 831-883-0406 Aptos Ca. 

Posted in:Real Estate and tagged: Real Estate Appraisal
Posted by Thomas Melville, MNAA, MRA on June 26th, 2021 10:07 PMLeave a Comment

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