'The above photos are from condos that were involved in a mortgage fraud. The appraisal described “recently renovated condominiums” to include Brazilian hardwood, granite countertops, and a value of $275,000.'
According to Tanta at http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/2008/05/fbi-2007-mortgage-fraud-report.html:
Back when Tanta was young and dinosaurs ruled the earth, if you wanted to refi based on "as improved" value of the property, you coughed up contractor invoices, materials receipts, etc., and you let the appraiser in to photograph all the claimed "improvements." It was, of course, a big "hassle." And we're so committed to fantastic customer service that we of course eliminated such unnecessary "hassle."Thanks to http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/ for the pointer.
It does make you wonder whether some of these reports of pre-foreclosure "trash outs" don't involve a few properties that were trashed from the get-go.