The What and Why of A Drive-By Appraisal

The What and Why of A Drive-By Appraisal

A property appraisal is the most significant document in the submission of the loan application which is reviewed by the lender. After the loan application is submitted it needs to be approved for the property and the applicant who wants to buy the property. These documents include title insurance, appraisal, and other third-party documents. Borrower’s provided documents are also included in the application. You can say that the drive-by appraisal is a descriptive type of home appraisal.

An appraiser will most likely perform his own research based on the property sales contract recently in the area, where the sales price is only the starting point. This is the first thing an appraiser does when he receives an appraisal order by listing down the multiple recent sales. After identifying the recent sales in the area appraiser will physically visit the site and assess the other aspects of the property and area. A home appraisal will conduct an interior and exterior valuation of the home. It is not the buyer-paid valuation. The visual inspection helps the appraiser to determine the worth of the property by its condition. An appraiser may take pictures of the interior and exterior to keep the record and provide the final valuation after a complete inspection

In a drive-by appraisal, the appraisers will need to perform recent sales research, physically visit the site but just by driving by the home, no thorough inspection and photography will take place, and no general conditions of the home are taken into account. AUS findings do not indicate the importance of pictures, but usually, a full appraisal includes a thorough inspection with the photos of the interior and exterior. The AUS may find photos unnecessary and complete the valuation with any pictures. Therefore, an appraiser will pass on the general comments on the property’s condition by literally driving by the home.

A secondary approval requirement can be made by the underwriter of the lender. Because the lender can request for the upgrade from a drive-by appraisal. But the lender cannot downgrade to a drive-by appraisal if there is a requirement for a full appraisal. Thus, an appraiser can refuse the request for an upgrade but cannot downgrade the existing request. AUS findings contain the level of appraisal requested.

A bank may request only an exterior or drive-by appraisal if you want to refinance your mortgage, your credit for home equity is small, you are borrowing only little as compared to your house worth, etc. Sometimes the bank will only recommend drive-by appraisal if there is very low risk, although much accurate and better options are available. If you are in the foreclosure process, a drive-by appraisal will help the bank in estimating the worth of the home. Usually, homeowners are not called in these cases. So, an appraiser is likely to perform a complete home appraisal (including interior) when the house is sold in foreclosure. A bank or mortgage company may require a drive-by appraisal, but borrowers might have their concerns. Sometimes lenders and appraisers may talk about the appraisal and most of the complaints of the borrowers are heard.

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