Doing it by the book. You hear that phrase all the time, but have you ever asked yourself ‘What book? And how do I get my hands on it?’ Well in the world of FHA appraisals, your questions have been answered in the form of the recently released Single Family Housing Policy Handbook.
It’s all new and (according to FHA) improved, drastically redesigned to make things clearer and easier for appraisers and other single-family participants to decipher. At National Appraisal Network (NAN), we’re ready to go!
“Our staff has been hard at work reviewing all the new regulations; deciphering, interpreting, questioning and doing everything necessary to start the revised FHA appraisal process from day one…AND without a hitch,” says NAN Co-Founder Joni Pilgrim. “Back in the summer of 2014, we received a draft of the new handbook and sent back our feedback to the FHA. Things have changed a great deal since that first draft. We sincerely hope this new version serves to end some of the miscommunication within the industry as a whole, but I can say with confidence that NAN is ready to enact all the new guidelines nationwide right away.”
According to FHA Deputy Director of Home Valuation Policy Division Robert Frazier, the two main goals of the handbook have been realized in that 1) all information is in one place, with clear sections delineated for all aspects of the appraisal process, and 2) everyone’s assigned duties are interlinked. For example, if an appraiser is required to provide paperwork that relies on the lender’s input, then the lender’s concurrent responsibilities are also laid out inside the book. Appraiser News recently listed some of the main changes that appraisers need to pay attention to:
- Properties with a legal non-conforming use: Requiring the appraiser to comment if improvements can be rebuilt by right.
- Accessory dwelling units: Emphasizing highest and best use to determine property type of classification.
- Attic and crawl space inspection requirements: Clarifying that FHA requires an inspection.
- General acceptance criteria, property eligibility, and non-residential use of property: Ensuring that mixed-use properties comply with zoning.
- Cost and income approach for value: All appropriate approaches must be utilized when applicable.
- Sales history of comps: Requiring three years or more, instead of one year, and requiring due diligence by the appraiser for analyzing prior sales of comparable properties.
- Energy-efficient building components, solar systems, etc.: Requiring that contributory value of building components that enhance efficiency or energy savings must be analyzed and reported.
NAN Co-Founder Cari Burris is optimistic about the new direction. “The FHA process has always had its quirks as far as consistency and compliance,” she said. “I think this new uniform handbook, along with the EAD portal submissions that are required next year, will make the process more efficient. That’s better for the appraiser AND the end customer. It should streamline the approval process, optimize efficiency for all parties and get people into their new homes faster.” If you want to know more about Nationwide Appraisal Network and discover what makes us one of the top appraisal providers in the country, give us a call or shoot us an email. We’d love to hear from you.
ABOUT NATIONWIDE APPRAISAL NETWORK– NAN is an industry leader in valuations, providing a unique approach to appraisal management through customization, innovation, and quality. To find out more, call 888.760.8899 or email JPilgrim@Nationwide-Appraisal.com