Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

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raixx017
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:41 pm

Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by raixx017 »

Hello All,

Trying to get refi done on my house. One of the lenders decided that an appraisal is necessary for my loan application (the other two that I'm in talks with waived this). Even with home appraisal fee coming from my pocket, this one will end up costing me the lowest.

Today, an appraisal person contacted me via email informing that this will entail house inspection both inside and out. I really don't want "outsiders" in my house right now as I'm worried about the spread (esp because I have at-risk people at home). Is there a way that this in "in-house" part of the inspection can be avoided ? Has anyone tried this ? Any suggestions ?

Thank you.
Last edited by raixx017 on Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
runner3081
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by runner3081 »

Not sure how that would be possible. If you want to sell your house, get the appraisal.
ChiKid24
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by ChiKid24 »

We had an in house appraisal done. We opened all doors and windows in the house and turned on all the lights. I asked the guy to text when he got here and wear a mask the entire time. I opened the front door when he arrived to let him in then I went straight to the back yard while he did his work. Mostly he just walked all rooms and took pictures. He texted when he left 20 minutes later and I came back in and shut the door. Felt fine to me.
jjhk121
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by jjhk121 »

Not much you can do as the appraiser has to come inside to do the job correctly. He/she will wear a mask, have everyone in the house wear a mask, open doors/windows, offer the appraiser hand sanitizer.
carolinaman
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by carolinaman »

No way around it. Be sure to wipe everything down after he leaves: door knobs, counter tops, appliances, light switches, etc
armeliusc
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by armeliusc »

We had to have appraisal too for our refi which just closed last week. Here's what I did:
  • made sure the appraiser knows I expected them to wear a mask. I sent a text saying we had at-risk family member and would like to make sure he wore a mask for appraisal.
  • scheduled the appraisal early in the morning before the day gets too hot. I had mined schedule at 8.15am
  • opened as many windows as possible
  • set the HVAC to keep "fan" on for both upstairs and downstairs before and few hours after the appraisal, with windows open, just to make sure air circulates. So basically just try to air out your home
  • turned on all the lights
  • I kicked the rest of my family out so I was the only one at home. They either took a ~20 minute drive just driving around town in the car, and/or found a relatively empty outdoor park and walked around there until the appraiser left.
The whole thing took less than 1 hour with only 20-25 minutes inside. We kept our distances. He didn't touch anything other than walking around and took pictures. So I felt it was relatively safe.
Topic Author
raixx017
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by raixx017 »

Thanks all ! This is all very reassuring. Keeping doors/windows open and stepping out of the house seems like a great idea.
Thanks again.
Mudpuppy
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by Mudpuppy »

Your options are to allow the appraiser inside or to go with one of the other two companies that are willing to waive the appraisal. Personally, I'd pay a little bit more for one of the companies willing to waive the appraisal, but I have a very high-risk family member in a wheelchair, so we're not taking any unnecessary risks even if there's a financial cost to doing so.
afan
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by afan »

The last time we refinanced, pre-COVID, they waived the appraisal because they were having trouble finding someone to do it. We had a low loan to value, so there was not much risk for the lender.

If I had no high risk people, I would try the air out approach but probably leave it like that for hours before coming back inside. As a normal risk person, I would probably stay in the house and follow the appraiser around to make sure they kept the mask on. I would also be able to wipe down anything they might touch.

It I had high risk people, I would go with a lender that did not require an appraisal.

Asking them to wear a mask and leaving the windows open are better than not doing that. But no one knows how well these precautions work to reduce risk.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama
finite_difference
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by finite_difference »

runner3081 wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:55 pm Not sure how that would be possible. If you want to sell your house, get the appraisal.
OP wants to refi, not sell.

My lender waived the appraisal. Try to find one that will?

Otherwise, I’d open all windows, insist the appraiser wears a mask and gloves, and don’t enter the house for a good 4-8 hours after the appraiser leaves. Don’t forget to be unflappably polite, and to leave them a nice review online after your appraisal is completed.

You can hang out in your car or the backyard.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh
afan
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by afan »

Not sure the gloves matter. Hand sanitizing works. You are not concerned about the virus coming through their skin. If the outside of the gloves becomes contaminated, say from a sneeze, they are just as infectious as bare hands would be.

You might greet them outside and "offer" a dollop of sanitizer before they come in the door.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama
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Kenkat
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by Kenkat »

ChiKid24 wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:07 pm We had an in house appraisal done. We opened all doors and windows in the house and turned on all the lights. I asked the guy to text when he got here and wear a mask the entire time. I opened the front door when he arrived to let him in then I went straight to the back yard while he did his work. Mostly he just walked all rooms and took pictures. He texted when he left 20 minutes later and I came back in and shut the door. Felt fine to me.
My neighbor is a real estate appraiser and this is how he is doing appraisals in the current environment. Her wears a mask and gloves and asks that all doors be opened to the extent possible so that the appraisal is as no touch as possible.
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anon_investor
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by anon_investor »

Mudpuppy wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:35 pm Your options are to allow the appraiser inside or to go with one of the other two companies that are willing to waive the appraisal. Personally, I'd pay a little bit more for one of the companies willing to waive the appraisal, but I have a very high-risk family member in a wheelchair, so we're not taking any unnecessary risks even if there's a financial cost to doing so.
+1.
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anon_investor
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by anon_investor »

Mudpuppy wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:35 pm Your options are to allow the appraiser inside or to go with one of the other two companies that are willing to waive the appraisal. Personally, I'd pay a little bit more for one of the companies willing to waive the appraisal, but I have a very high-risk family member in a wheelchair, so we're not taking any unnecessary risks even if there's a financial cost to doing so.
+1.
slyfox1357
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by slyfox1357 »

Mudpuppy wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:35 pm Your options are to allow the appraiser inside or to go with one of the other two companies that are willing to waive the appraisal. Personally, I'd pay a little bit more for one of the companies willing to waive the appraisal, but I have a very high-risk family member in a wheelchair, so we're not taking any unnecessary risks even if there's a financial cost to doing so.
+1
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jfn111
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by jfn111 »

I do the appraisal in home photo's and measurements for local banks and Fannie Mae. (I do this thru a 3rd party company). I usually run into the opposite of your concerns. The homeowner and family don't wear masks and want to follow me around asking questions. :shock:
If you turn on all the lights and open all the doors I can be in and out in about 20 minutes. I have a serious of questions I have to ask the homeowner and I'm more than happy to ask those outside.
When I call to make the appointment I ask the home owner to make a list of recent improvements with the month and year they were done. (About 50% of the people actually do this).
goldenboy
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by goldenboy »

It's worth checking in with the lender again. I asked if an appraisal waiver would be possible for the mortgage on a lease to own property and was denied the first time. It took a week and a half from the time the appraisal was ordered to when they got around scheduling me because of the backlog due to everyone refinancing. I was worried about missing our closing date and asked my broker to check again--sure enough, they waived it.
Topic Author
raixx017
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by raixx017 »

goldenboy wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:54 pm It's worth checking in with the lender again. I asked if an appraisal waiver would be possible for the mortgage on a lease to own property and was denied the first time. It took a week and a half from the time the appraisal was ordered to when they got around scheduling me because of the backlog due to everyone refinancing. I was worried about missing our closing date and asked my broker to check again--sure enough, they waived it.
Thanks for the advice ! I did try my luck again, and the lender try but a desktop or outside only appraisal was denied for my case.
jfn111 wrote: Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:10 pm I do the appraisal in home photo's and measurements for local banks and Fannie Mae. (I do this thru a 3rd party company). I usually run into the opposite of your concerns. The homeowner and family don't wear masks and want to follow me around asking questions. :shock:
If you turn on all the lights and open all the doors I can be in and out in about 20 minutes. I have a serious of questions I have to ask the homeowner and I'm more than happy to ask those outside.
When I call to make the appointment I ask the home owner to make a list of recent improvements with the month and year they were done. (About 50% of the people actually do this).
Thank you! I'm planning to leave my house a few minuted before he arrives (with all the doors open, AC/fan running). I'm also planning to leave a face mask, a bottle of hand-sanitizer, and some drinking water , on a chair outside the main door. I'm hoping my presence is not actually required and if he has any questions about the house he can always call me. I'll send an email, a day prior to convey my expectation of face covering, etc.

Will let you guys know how it went.

Thanks again for all the suggestions.
bayview
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by bayview »

For what it’s worth, we’ve had 6-8 tradespeople in our house since COVID got going. All but one showed up wearing masks, and the one put his on without eye-rolling when requested. Several said that there was no way that they’d come into someone’s house without a mask.

We stayed out of their way except when we needed to converse. When that happened, we wore masks as well and maintained the six feet.

After they left, I did a wipe-down of door knobs and other “touchable” surfaces, and we’ve been fine (presumably they have as well.)

Good luck with your appraisal!

Edit to add: we are very careful, minimizing our grocery trips, etc. I’m 65 and my husband is 70, so we do know how to act like grown-ups. :D We won’t go into a crowded restaurant to pick up a carry-out order, but we’re comfortable with the very limited contact with one person in our house, wearing a mask.
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri
nolesrule
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by nolesrule »

raixx017 wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:14 pm I'm planning to leave my house a few minuted before he arrives (with all the doors open, AC/fan running).
I would think you would want it off. That will keep it airborn longer and spread it around in rooms with A/C vents that might not have been otherwise fully entered.
Call_Me_Op
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Re: Home Appraisal in the times of COVID

Post by Call_Me_Op »

I recently had a refrigerator technician over. He wore a surgical mask. I gave him fresh gloves that he wore the entire time. The only thing he touched w/o the gloves was the door through which he entered. I sanitized the door knobs after he left. Very low risk - but it's never zero. Then again - I need my refrigerator.

The other factor is the COVID rate in my state is less than 5 per 100,000 - so the probability that he had COVID is not huge.

I really think that as long as the visitor is wearing a mask, the risk is very low.

Other things to do are stay several feet away if you can, ventilate if you can, and/or run HEPA filters.

Terrible that we need to live this way.
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein
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