Exterior only appraisals

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
scout1
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:26 pm

Exterior only appraisals

Post by scout1 »

My wife and I are interested in refinancing our current mortgage but due to coronavirus and underlying health issues we are reluctant to have an appraiser walk through our home. We would be fine with them walking around the exterior of the home though. We have reached out to 3 different lenders and they all said appraisals are getting waived or exterior only are common because of the coronavirus. Once we submitted paperwork though they all ended up telling us that they needed a full appraisal. It sounds like because our loan was not sold to fannie or freddie we can't get the appraisal waived or do an exterior only one. Current balance on the mortgage is $450k, current home value is $900k.

Is there any way for us to get an exterior only appraisal or are all lenders going to tell us the same thing?
User avatar
jfn111
Posts: 1226
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:42 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Exterior only appraisals

Post by jfn111 »

Wells Fargo was one that was doing "drive by" appraisals but that can change at any time. Whether or not we think it's wise the country is getting back to work. I did an interior appraisal measurements and photographs today. The client today was wearing a mask which has been rare.
User avatar
willthrill81
Posts: 22672
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Location: USA

Re: Exterior only appraisals

Post by willthrill81 »

scout1 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:10 pm My wife and I are interested in refinancing our current mortgage but due to coronavirus and underlying health issues we are reluctant to have an appraiser walk through our home.
Just ask the appraiser to wear a mask and gloves while walking through your home, and leave the home yourself during the appraisal. The risk at that point is minute, almost certainly lower than the myriad risks that you deal with on a daily basis already.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
jarjarM
Posts: 431
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:21 pm

Re: Exterior only appraisals

Post by jarjarM »

We recently refi as well and LTV was lower than 40%. They (quicken loan via Schwab) still demanded a full house appraisal. They putted on gloves/booty/mask and we felt safe enough for the appraiser to walk through. We did make the notary sit outside of the house to wait for us finish with signing all the documents though.
User avatar
Nate79
Posts: 6741
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: Exterior only appraisals

Post by Nate79 »

We have purchased multiple homes and done multiple refi's and we have never had an appraisal where they had to come inside the house.
Katietsu
Posts: 4334
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:48 am

Re: Exterior only appraisals

Post by Katietsu »

willthrill81 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:25 pm
scout1 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:10 pm My wife and I are interested in refinancing our current mortgage but due to coronavirus and underlying health issues we are reluctant to have an appraiser walk through our home.
Just ask the appraiser to wear a mask and gloves while walking through your home, and leave the home yourself during the appraisal. The risk at that point is minute, almost certainly lower than the myriad risks that you deal with on a daily basis already.
If you go this route, you could add a couple more steps to reduce the risk. Open all the windows. Turn on ceiling fans if available. Add booties to the gloves and mask requirement. Make sure appraiser knows your concerns and that you want them to wear the mask even though they are alone in the house. Then, I would stay out of the house for an hour or two after the appraiser leaves.

I am surprised though that you are being required to have a full appraisal with such a low LTV ratio.
gtaylor
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:22 pm

Re: Exterior only appraisals

Post by gtaylor »

scout1 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:10 pm My wife and I are interested in refinancing our current mortgage but due to coronavirus and underlying health issues we are reluctant to have an appraiser walk through our home. We would be fine with them walking around the exterior of the home though. We have reached out to 3 different lenders and they all said appraisals are getting waived or exterior only are common because of the coronavirus. Once we submitted paperwork though they all ended up telling us that they needed a full appraisal. It sounds like because our loan was not sold to fannie or freddie we can't get the appraisal waived or do an exterior only one. Current balance on the mortgage is $450k, current home value is $900k.

Is there any way for us to get an exterior only appraisal or are all lenders going to tell us the same thing?
It does seem possible. Fannie will allow drive-by appraisals for non-cash-out refinances for covid reasons in the event they already hold the mortgage being refinanced (presumably the assumption is that the house was more fully appraised the first time).

https://singlefamily.fanniemae.com/orig ... g-promo%20
https://singlefamily.fanniemae.com/media/22321/display

Since your loan is not held by fannie, the question becomes, are you talking to the bank which currently holds your note? If so you would seem to have a reasonable argument for underwriting flexibility there, since this exact exception is what fannie is doing. The trick will be getting them to escalate to underwriting management early on and get that all sorted up front. However, be prepared to hear that they only want to refinance you if the result will be a mortgage note suitable for sale to fannie. The trend with these low-rate mortgages is for fannie to be left holding the bag. On the flip side, if they're intending to hold the note they can in theory be all sorts of flexible.

FWIW, last time I had a full appraisal, the lady was in each room for all of 15 seconds. She took pictures, made a few notes, and on to the next room. So the posters suggesting opening the windows and muddling through aren't off base at all.
Post Reply