• Jesse Ledbetter

Weird Houses = Weird Appraisals

Its July 2021 as I write this blog, and I've a few odd properties come across my desk. Homes that are bigger than everything else, in worse condition, unusual numbers of bathrooms, etc. This has lead to lenders asking "Please include 2 more properties with the same X." Well, if there were two more, I would have added them in the first place. Odd properties lead to odd appraisals - with higher Collateral Underwriter scores. Just because I can put a value on a property doesn't mean that the lender can/should write a loan on that property. They are completely different questions at the core. My job is an analysis of value - the lender's job is an analysis of risk.

I can't have a scope of work that is defined as "Write a report that helps the client close the loan," because that would be fraud. My job rather is to write the most credible report possible so that the lender can make an informed risk decision. Sometimes that decision means they won't write the loan, sometimes they may have to hold on to the loan for the 30 years, and not be able to sell it - but that's not my concern. The second that becomes my concern is the moment I cease to be an impartial third party.


So, appraisers, yes, if a report can be credibly written with a low CU vs a high CU score, the former is preferable. However, the question is credibility first and foremost.


Lenders, not all homes can be liened in a way that you accept nearly 0 risk. Its that kind of thinking that bought us 2008, and I see a lot of it creeping up in revision requests. Put on your big pants and make the risk decision.

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