My New Blog

October 1st, 2013 11:54 AM

Welcome to!

Looking for a private appraisal for an estate or divorce/dissolution? You've come to the right place! I have been a full time real estate appraiser for over 24 years now and just passed 12,000 appraisals through my office. I've been covering three counties for all of that time with my primary area being San Diego County, however I know Orange County and west Riverside County areas very well as you can imagine with over 12,000 appraisals completed!

You're property valuation is very critical and usually is the largest single investment most people have. You want the most experienced appraiser you can employ with your hard earned money! We are very competitive with our prices and fees, but you can find cheaper appraisers...but you will get what you pay for. The question is do you want to save $50 or $100 when the cheaper appraisers appraised value is too low or too high by $10,000, $50,000, even $100,000?  I've seen worse! Is that worth a $50 or $100 savings? I think you agree, NO WAY! You want the best most experienced appraiser you can find who you can trust to perform the appraisal the RIGHT WAY!

Read my testimonials on my web site and then you will call me. I think you will agree that the way I go about my business, you have the best possible chance of having the most ACCURATE, thorough, well documented and professionally prepared appraisal your money can buy!

As I state on my web site, I am only as good as my most recent appraisal report. You're property valuation is MY BUSINESS and I take it very seriously!

Order your private appraisal for your estate or dissolution from me, Craig A. Nordal at Nordal & Associates!

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Posted by Craig Nordal on October 1st, 2013 11:54 AMLeave a Comment

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Welcome to the Nordal blog!

My name is Craig A. Nordal and I have been a full time professional Real Estate Appraiser since 1989. I have been serving CPA's and accountants for estate and tax appraisal purposes as well as lawyers for divorce and property disputes for 22 years now!

If you are looking for a seasoned real estate expert and qualified and highly articulate expert witness you have come to the right place! As noted in my web site at I now have completed and reviewed over 11,000 appraisals since August 1989. I am a California State Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser.

Over the course of 22 years I have appraised almost every imaginable residential property including ocean front and ocean close estates (a specialty), Rancho Santa Fe sprawling Estate Homes, vacant land, horse properties, citrus and avocado groves, nurseries, and small income properties (1-4 units). I have also appraised the largest estate in Del Mar (close to the "snake wall property") for an estate valuation.

My court experience is now extensive having appeared in court dozens of times in various capacities for depositions and expert witness testimony for divorce and dissolutions, and a variety of expert witness experiences including property built on or over a lot line, square footage discrepancies, lender and appraisal fraud, and landscaping disputes involving views. I've represented my share of celebrities, once appearing as an expert witness in a case in a dispute of a sale of a large thoroughbred racing horse ranch in the Temecula area where proper disclosure was the issue. I have appeared in lender fraud cases involving illegal appraisal influence, and the list goes on.

If you are a CPA, accountant, or lawyer searching for an experienced and highly qualified real estate appraiser for estate or tax valuations, divorce and dissolution disputes and valuations,  look no further than here, and hire Craig A. Nordal of


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Posted by Craig Nordal on February 2nd, 2011 12:29 PMLeave a Comment

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Read it and weep! Below is the HVCC.

As of now no appraiser can be directly contacted after May 1, 2009 except by a third party or employee of a lender who has no relation to loan production or any influence from loan production staff.

 Home Valuation Code of Conduct 


No employee, director, officer, or agent of the lender, or any other third party acting as joint venture partner, independent contractor, appraisal management company, or partner on behalf of the lender, shall influence or attempt to influence the development, reporting, result, or review of an appraisal through coercion, extortion, collusion, compensation, instruction, inducement, intimidation, bribery, or in any other manner including but not limited to:


  1. withholding or threatening to withhold timely payment for an appraisal report;
  2. withholding or threatening to withhold future business for an appraiser, or demoting or terminating or threatening to demote or terminate an appraiser1;
  3. expressly or impliedly promising future business, promotions, or increased compensation for an appraiser;
  4. conditioning the ordering of an appraisal report or the payment of an appraisal fee or salary or bonus on the opinion, conclusion, or valuation to be reached, or on a preliminary estimate requested from an appraiser;
  5. requesting that an appraiser provide an estimated, predetermined, or desired valuation in an appraisal report, or provide estimated values or comparable sales at any time prior to the appraiser’s completion of an appraisal report;
  6. providing to an appraiser an anticipated, estimated, encouraged, or desired value for a subject property or a proposed or target amount to be loaned to the borrower, except that a copy of the sales contract for purchase transactions may be provided;
  7. providing to an appraiser, appraisal management company, or any entity or person related to the appraiser or appraisal management company, stock or other financial or non-financial benefits;
  8. allowing the removal of an appraiser from a list of qualified appraisers used by any entity, without prior written notice to such appraiser, which notice shall include written evidence of the appraiser’s illegal conduct, a violation of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) or state licensing standards, substandard performance, or otherwise improper or unprofessional behavior;
  9. ordering, obtaining, using, or paying for a second or subsequent appraisal or automated valuation model in connection with a mortgage financing transaction unless there is a reasonable basis to believe that the initial appraisal was flawed or tainted and such basis is clearly and appropriately noted in the loan file, or unless such appraisal or automated valuation model is done pursuant to a bona fide pre- or post-funding appraisal review or quality control process; or
  10. any other act or practice that impairs or attempts to impair an appraiser’s independence, objectivity, or impartiality.

Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the lender (or any third party acting on behalf of the lender) from requesting that an appraiser (i) provide additional information or explanation about the basis for a valuation, or (ii) correct objective factual errors in an appraisal report.


The lender shall ensure that the borrower is provided, free of charge, a copy of any appraisal report concerning the borrower’s subject property immediately upon completion, and in any event no less than three days prior to the closing of the loan. The borrower may waive this three-day requirement. The lender may require the borrower to reimburse the lender for the cost of the appraisal.


The lender or any third-party specifically authorized by the lender (including, but not limited to, appraisal management companies and correspondent lenders) shall be responsible for selecting, retaining, and providing for payment of all compensation to the appraiser. The lender will not accept any appraisal report completed by an appraiser selected, retained, or compensated in any manner by any other third-party (including mortgage brokers and real estate agents).


All members of the lender’s loan production staff, as well as any person (i) who is compensated on a commission basis upon the successful completion of a loan or (ii) who reports, ultimately, to any officer of the lender other than either the Chief Compliance Officer, General Counsel, or any officer who is not independent of the loan production staff and process, shall be forbidden from: (1) selecting, retaining, recommending, or influencing the selection of any appraiser for a particular appraisal assignment or for inclusion on a list or panel of appraisers approved to perform appraisals for the lender; (2) any communications with an appraiser, including ordering or managing an appraisal assignment; and (3) working together in the same organizational unit, or being directly supervised by the same manager, as any person who is involved in the selection, retention, recommendation of, or communication with any appraiser. If absolute lines of independence cannot be achieved as a result of the originator’s small size and limited staff, the lender must be able to clearly demonstrate that it has prudent safeguards to isolate its collateral evaluation process from influence or interference from its loan production process.


Any employee of the lender (or if the lender retains an appraisal management company, any employee of that company) tasked with selecting appraisers for an approved panel or substantive appraisal review must be (1) appropriately trained and qualified in the area of real estate and appraisals, and (2) in the case of an employee of the lender, wholly independent of the loan production staff and process.


In underwriting a loan, the lender shall not utilize any appraisal report prepared by an appraiser employed by: (1) the lender;
(2) an affiliate of the lender;
(3) an entity that is owned, in whole or in part, by the lender;
(4) an entity that owns, in whole or in part, the lender
(5) a real estate “settlement services” provider, as that term is defined in the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, 12 U.S.C.§ 2601 et seq.;
(6)an entity that is owned, in whole or in part, by a “settlement services” provider.

The lender also shall not use any appraisal report obtained by or through an appraisal management company that is owned by the lender or an affiliate of the lender, provided that the foregoing prohibitions do not apply where the lender has an ownership interest in the appraisal management company of 20% or less and where (i) the lender has no involvement in the day-to-day business operations of the appraisal management company, (ii) the appraisal management company is operated independently, and (iii) the lender plays no role in the selection of individual appraisers or any panel of approved appraisers used by the appraisal management company.

Notwithstanding these prohibitions, the lender may use in-house staff appraisers to (i) order appraisals, (ii) conduct appraisal reviews or other quality control, whether pre-funding or post-funding, (iii) develop, deploy, or use internal automated valuation models, or (iv) prepare appraisals in connection with transactions other than mortgage origination transactions (e.g. loan workouts).


The lender will establish a telephone hotline and an email address to receive any complaints from appraisers, individuals, or any other entities concerning the improper influencing or attempted improper influencing of appraisers or the appraisal process, which hotline and email address shall be attended only by a member of the office of the General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer or other independent officer. In addition: (1) each appraiser now or hereafter on any list of approved appraisers, or, upon retention by the lender, will be notified, in a separate document, of the hotline and email address and their purpose; and (2) each borrower, as part of a cover letter accompanying the provided appraisal, will be notified of the hotline and email address and their purpose. Within 72 hours of receiving any complaint, the lender will begin a preliminary investigation of the complaint and upon completing the inquiry (or, after a period not to exceed 60 days, whichever shall come first) shall notify the Independent Valuation Protection Institute and any relevant regulatory bodies of any indication of improper conduct. The name and any identifying information of the person or entity that has filed such a complaint shall be kept in strictest confidence by the office of the General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer or other independent officer, except as required by law. The lender shall not retaliate, in any manner or method, against the person or entity which makes such a complaint.


The lender agrees that it shall quality control test, by use of retroactive or additional appraisal reports or other appropriate method, of a randomly-selected 10 percent (or other bona fide statistically significant percentage) of the appraisals or valuations which are used by the lender, including the results of automated valuation models, broker’s price opinions or “desktop” evaluations. The lender shall report the results of such quality control testing to the Independent Valuation Protection Institute and any relevant regulatory bodies.


Any lender who has a reasonable basis to believe an appraiser is violating applicable laws, or is otherwise engaging in unethical conduct, shall promptly refer the matter to the Independent Valuation Protection Institute and to the applicable State appraiser certifying and licensing agency.


The lender shall certify, warrant and represent that the appraisal report was obtained in a manner consistent with this Code of Conduct.


Nothing in this Code shall be construed to establish new requirements or obligations that (1) require a lender to obtain a property valuation, or to use any particular method for property valuation (such as an appraisal or automated valuation model) in connection with any mortgage loan or mortgage financing transaction, or (2) affect the acceptable scope of work for an appraiser in connection with a particular assignment.


  1. An “Appraiser” must be licensed or certified by the state in which the property to be appraised is located.


Posted in:General
Posted by Craig Nordal on February 9th, 2009 1:40 PMLeave a Comment

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Hello Bloggers!

In an effort to keep abreast of the quickly changing real estate business world I have created my own blog. It's all about business and things that will effect your business, and mine! Read on. There is also a change for appraisal regulation regarding new home construction. 

These changes become effective April 1, 2009!


Freddie announces market conditions addendum
Following a similar move by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac announced that effective April 1, 2009, a new form -- 71, Market Conditions Addendum – will be required for all mortgages it buys. Other updates to the GSE’s appraisal rules include tweaks to its appraisal requirements for newly constructed homes.

Freddie Mac has issued several appraisal-related updates. (See for the full announcement.)

First, effective April 1, 2009, a new form -- 71, Market Conditions Addendum – will be required for all mortgages sold to Freddie Mac with appraisals that have effective dates on or after this date.

The form will be required regardless of property type and inspection type. It is not required for Mortgages with inspection reports, such as mortgages originated with Form 2070, Loan Prospector Condition and Marketability Report, Fannie Mae Form 2075, Desktop Underwriter Property Inspection Report or a Property Inspection Alternative (PIA).

“This new addendum gives direction to appraisers concerning our expected scope of work for appraisals, and provides the Seller with additional details to support the appraiser’s determination of market trends and a clear and accurate understanding of the market trends and conditions prevalent in the subject neighborhood.”

Fannie Mae announced similar updates to its rules recently.

Freddie has also spelled out updates to its appraisal rules for mortgages involving newly constructed homes.

In its Oct. 17 bulletin, Freddie announced that, effective for mortgages for newly constructed homes with settlement dates on or after Jan. 2, 2009, if the effective date of the appraisal was more than 60 days before the delivery date or settlement date, the seller would have to obtain an appraisal update with an effective date no more than 60 days before the settlement or delivery date.

The GSE said it is revising Chapter K33 to require that for mortgages with settlement dates on or after Jan. 2, 2009, if the effective date of the appraisal is more than 120 days before the effective date of the permanent financing, the seller must provide an appraisal update that meets the requirements of Chapter 44 with an effective date no more than 120 days before the effective date of the permanent financing.

Chapter 44 permits sellers to comply with this appraisal update requirement by having an appraiser complete Form 442, Appraisal Update and/or Completion Report. However, Freddie reminded sellers that the Form 442 may only be used if the market value of the property has not declined since the effective date of the appraisal:

“In today’s unstable property value market, the Form 442 may not be applicable in many instances. If there are changes in the market property values since the effective date of the appraisal or the appraiser determines that one or more different comparable sales are more appropriate, the appraiser must report the results of the appraisal update on the Freddie Mac appraisal report form appropriate for the property type and inspection type and may not use Form 442 as described in Chapter 44.”


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Posted by Craig Nordal on November 25th, 2008 8:52 AMLeave a Comment

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Heres the latest on FHA appraisers! If you're using ONLY a state licensed FHA appraiser, think twice! FHA believes they do not have the experience necessary to be on the FHA roster any longer!

As a State Certified FHA Appraiser, who has been on the FHA Roster longer than most appraisers have been in business, you're taking a risk that's not necessary. Use the best, call me!

Craig A. Nordal @760-612-4154 or order that FHA appraisal or estate or divorce appraisal on line at!

FHA Appraisers

 Information by State
 Esta página en español
 Print version

What's New

Effective October 1, 2008, FHA will accept new applications only from state-certified appraisers.

No new applications will be accepted from state-licensed appraisers as a result of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, signed July 30, 2008.

FHA will issue a mortgagee letter in the next couple of weeks that will address additional requirements mandated by the new law.


Reference Materials

 -   Handbook HUD-4150.2
 -   Revised Appendix D
 -   Revised Appendix C
 -   Revised Appendix A
 -   Revised Table of Contents
 -   HOC Reference Guide

Mortgagee Letters

These policy letters update handbook HUD-4150.2:
 -   08-09 Second appraisals are required; Limits on cash-out
 -   07-11 FHASecure guidance and appraiser responsibilities
 -   06-26 FHA exam (obsolete)
 -   06-24 New HUD-92564-CN "For Your Protection: Get Home Inspection"
 -   06-09 Revised Appendices A&C
 -   05-48; Repair & inspections; Revised Appendix D
 -   05-34 Use of FNMA forms; VC & HS obsolete & other guidance; Revised Appendix D

All HUD policy documents and forms are available in HUDclips. The shortcut is

Helpful Tools
 -   Appraisers by lender affiliation
 -   Appraisers by location, name, license status
 -   FHA approved lenders
 -   FHA-approved condominiums
 -   FHA mortgage limits
 -   Minimum Property Standards
 -   Uniform Residential Appraisal Report
 -   Geological, flood and disaster maps
 -   Subcontracting Opportunities


Effective immediately, licensed appraisers who were approved for placement on the FHA appraiser roster, but who have not kept their roster status current due to the failure to renew an appraisal license, sanctioning or other constraints, and who are now requesting reinstatement to the roster will be treated like new applicants (see "What's New") and, therefore, are NOT ELIGIBLE for reinstatement. Only certified appraisers may request and receive reinstatement on the FHA appraiser roster.

Getting started

 -   Eligibility requirements
 -   New applicant instructions - Effective October 1, you must be state-certified residential or state-certified general.
 -   Check your roster status
 -   Your responsibilities
 -   Establish a user ID
 -   Update your information
 -   Renew your credentials - Action required or your renewal may not automatically update. Read more.
 -   Request reinstatement - Effective Oct. 1, FHA will not reinstate licensed appraisers who allowed their roster status to lapse.

Posted in:General
Posted by Craig Nordal on November 14th, 2008 7:09 PMLeave a Comment

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 Hi Friends,

Important new FHA changes, now are permanent! Check it out below!

Craig A. Nordal, 760-612-4154 

HUD Announces New, Permanent FHA Mortgage Loan Limits

RISMEDIA, Nov. 12, 2008-U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Steve Preston announced the new Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage loan limits for single-family homes as prescribed by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.

Beginning January 1, 2009, FHA will insure single-family home mortgages up to $271,050 in low cost areas and up to a maximum of $625,500 in high cost areas. The February 2008 Stimulus Package temporarily raised the FHA maximum to $729,750 through December 31, 2008. The new $625,500 maximum, however, represents a significant increase over the $362,790 limit that was in effect prior to the Stimulus Package.

“In today’s environment where access to credit is being restricted, we need to make mortgage loans readily available to households throughout the country, and especially in high-cost areas,” said Preston. “These new loan limits will ensure FHA can to continue help struggling homeowners refinance into safe, affordable government-insured loans, and allow many first-time buyers take advantage of today’s buyers market”

For several years, FHA’s loan levels were below the cost of the average home in communities across the nation. As a result, families who needed FHA mortgage insurance to qualify to buy a home were effectively locked out of the process. In some cases, borrowers turned to exotic subprime loans.

FHA mortgage insurance makes home financing more available to low-income and first time homebuyers. This is because the mortgage is backed by the full faith and credit of the government, freeing lenders from assuming the risk of default.

Higher FHA loan limits do not cost the government any money because the FHA Insurance Fund is fully supported by premiums paid by borrowers who receive FHA-insured mortgage loans.

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act pegs the national conforming mortgage loan limit to a house price index chosen by the new Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). For 2009, the national conforming limit will remain at the current level of $417,000.

The Act says that the new FHA loan limits will be set at 115% of the median house price in a given area, as determined by HUD, but can not be lower than 65% of the conforming loan limit (the national floor). Also, the FHA mortgage limit cannot exceed 150% of the national conforming loan limit (the national ceiling).

Home Equity Conversion Mortgages

The Act also pegs the national mortgage limit for FHA-insured reverse mortgages to the national conforming loan limit. The FHA product known as the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) will therefore have a national mortgage limit of $417,000. Unlike the new forward mortgage loan limits, the new HECM loans limits are effective on loans insured or after November 6, 2008. This is the first time that a single limit applies to these mortgages nationwide. As in previous years, the special exception areas of Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the Virgin Islands may have higher loan limits. Starting in January 2009 counties in those areas may have loan limits of 115% of area median prices, where that amount is above $417,000, up to a ceiling of $625,500.

Reverse mortgages allow homeowners age 62 and older to borrow against the value of their homes without selling them. Homeowners can select a lump-sum payment, monthly payments or tap into a line of credit. No repayment is required as long as a homeowner lives in a home with a reverse mortgage. The reverse mortgage is repaid, with interest, when a homeowner sells the home or dies.

HUD will inform mortgage lenders and brokers of the new limits through a mortgagee letter posted on and

HUD is making available comprehensive listings of the new loan limits in all counties throughout country. Downloadable files are available for FHA Forward Loans, FHA HECM loans, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchases on the HUD website. The limits are determined by the county in which the property is located, except that for properties located in metropolitan statistical areas the limit is determined by the county with the highest median home price within the metropolitan area.

For more information, visit

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Posted by Craig Nordal on November 11th, 2008 5:57 PMLeave a Comment

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April 18th, 2008 10:42 AM

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to Craig A. Nordal's blog! You can read more at!

The article below is very informational for those thinking of getting an FHA loan, offering FHA loans, and appraising for the FHA.

FHA requires second appraisal for some properties in declining markets
The Federal Housing Authority will now require a second appraisal for properties in declining markets in which the mortgage exceeds $417,000.

The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) will now require a second appraisal for properties in declining markets in which the mortgage exceeds $417,000.

The move comes on the heels of the FHA’s oversight agency raising to $793,750 the amount on loans the agency will guarantee in some areas.

“Now, with FHA in position to insure mortgage amounts greatly in excess of what has been its experience as a mortgage insurer, we believe it prudent to set forth additional underwriting and collateral assessment practices for “high-balance” loans,” the FHA wrote in a three-page letter to approved mortgagers and appraisers on the agency’s roster.

According to the letter, the second appraisal will be required when:

  • The loan amount exceeds $417,000, and;
  • The loan-to-value ratio equals or exceeds 95 percent, and;
  • The property is located in a declining market.

“The second independent appraisal must be completed by a FHA roster appraiser selected by the Direct Endorsement lender that is underwriting the mortgage,” the letter states. “The lender independently engages the appraiser and is not to request a second case number through FHA Connection. The fee for the appraisal may be passed onto the borrower as any other closing cost.”

If the property is a one-unit detached house, the second appraisal may be an exterior-only appraisal using Fannie or Freddie’s 2055 form, according to the letter.

The letter was signed by Brian Montgomery, the assistant secretary for housing with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Posted by Craig Nordal on April 18th, 2008 10:42 AMLeave a Comment

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Welcome to my new blog! Since I have never blogged before this will be a learning experience for those of you reading and for me posting! With over 9,000 residential real estate appraisals under my belt, it's about time I made that experience available to you, and for you to start using my expert advise!

I think 9,000 appraisals qualifies me as an expert! The real estate market in San Diego County and Southern CA has changed drastically in 2 years. Who would have guessed in 2005 that we would now be looking at the largest foreclosure disaster since the great depression and that we would be looking at ongoing depreciation with some areas experiencing 16% drops in 2007? Amazing isn't it. The upside, it now allows many who thought they were priced out of owning any real estate in San Diego County in the market NOW, when prices are at "bottom feeding" levels and with the Fed making DRASTIC INTEREST RATE CUTS further making real estate purchases possible for thousands who thought they would be renting for life!!!

So now is the time to find those properties that are at near term lows and hiring a professional real estate appraisers services have never been more important to make sure you are NOT OVERPAYING in this market!!!! Nordal & Associates can help you find the property you are looking for and prepare an UNBIASED professional appraisal report, and even help you find a lender to find the best loan for your needs! Being FHA approved, I am also the best source you could imagine for FHA LOANS!!! Now that the FHA has come out with the best loan product available NOW for many borrowers, you need an FHA expert to guide you!! Call me now or e-mail me now at and get involved in real estate. It is still the best way for an individual to become financially independent. Don't waste another minute!!

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Posted by Craig Nordal on April 14th, 2008 10:54 AMLeave a Comment

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