What's new for FHA?
Well it's come and gone. FHA went to all certified appraisers and wrote new guidelines which prohibit any AMC from not allowing the appraiser to put the amount they were paid for an appraisal directly into the report. FHA announced in a recent webinar that they are hoping to release a new updated appraiser's handbook which will incorporate the old handbook and numerous "letters" which have updated it.
What does it mean - licensed/certified? These are defined by each state requirements but the one constant - certified requires more education and more hours of experience and allows the appraiser to do complex assignments and higher value homes. Did you know that as of 1/2008 to get an appraisal license it requires a 2 year degree for a license and a 4 year degree to be certified?
There is much confusion on the "requirements" for properties and what FHA will require. A recent dialog on an appraisal forum uncovered that the different HOC's have been giving out differing information on what they require, no wonder there is so much confusion. Santa Ana HOC says all equipment must be operational - this includes all appliances, central heat and air, pool equipment etc. While central air is not required, once it is installed it must be working. The "POOL" question often comes up and per Santa Ana HOC - since all equipment must be operational the pool must have enough water to be able to test the pool equipment to ensure it is in working order.
One requirement that is universal, no question, the appraiser MUST inspect the attic and crawl space (if there is one) by at least a "head and shoulders" inspection. Making sure these areas are accessible is important.
If you want a great quick sheet on FHA requirements google "NEW FHA REPORTING REQUIREMENTS" and you will come up with a well written article that will answer many of your questions.
Need to find an appraiser for your loan which is out of your area? go to ZIPAPPRAISER.COM and find one that is close to your property. OR use mapquest - MAPQUEST? yes, put in your property address and under business name put in "appraisers".
My background in small business ownership, construction and finance made appraising just seem natural in the early 90's when licensing became law. I worked 8 years for a large major lender as a staff appraiser and then went back to the small business owner world. Many interesting changes have happened along the way. While on the staff for the major lender I worked Nevada County California (read custom homes, acreage, rural, complex) and El Dorado Counties for the most part. I also traveled for the bank appraising in Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Reno, Vegas, Napa and other areas as needed. How can we do that? As a bank employee there is the benefit of utilizing the local knowlege and oversite to obtain geographical competitence. The opportunity to appraise in such vastly different markets and conditions has been challenging and fun.
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