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Appraisals – a thing of the past?

Dec 8, 2016 Mortgage Speak

Appraisals – a thing of the past?

With the introduction of Fannie Mae’s Enhanced Property Inspection Waiver (PIW) program, whisperings have broken out over the potential for the appraisal requirement to go away.  In short, the answer to this question is no, appraisals are still a requirement for the majority of loans, and there is no evidence that this requirement will go away any time in the near future. 

The longer answer to this question is that there is some validity to these rumors.  As of December 10th, Fannie Mae will enhance their PIW program that waives the appraisal requirement on certain refinance loans with lenders that utilize Desktop Underwriter (DU).  In addition, after the 1st of January, they will also waive the $75 PIW fee that borrowers were incurring.  One unit properties, including condos are eligible for the PIW program, and LTVs will go up to 90% for limited cash out refinances.

So now you may ask yourself how are they doing this and what does it mean?  Through Fannie Mae’s program Collateral Underwriter (CU), they are able to look up past appraisals and see if it is associated with the current borrowers on the loan.  If the appraisal information is found, they will use that to determine if the file is eligible for a PIW.  This process will not only save borrowers’ money on appraisal fees, but will also help to streamline refinancing as a whole.  With interest rates on the rise, programs like this will hopefully continue to encourage homeowners to refinance when conditions are in their favor and when a cash out refinance may benefit their situation.

According to Fannie Mae experts, this program will not extend to purchase loans any time soon.  Overall the industry believes that homeowners and buyers both want to continue to know a home’s current market value.  In addition, continuing purchase appraisals keeps the data in CU current and more accurate so that the PIW program can perpetuate itself for refinances down the road.  This program is evidence of the mortgage industry continuing to evolve as greater data and technological resources come available while adjusting to market conditions and homeowners’ needs.

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Article by, Angela Bauknecht, SVP Operations Manager

Angela possesses more than 25 years of mortgage lending and operations experience. As BankSouth Mortgage’s operations manager, Angela oversees BankSouth Mortgage’s operations staff of 50+ individuals, including loan processors, underwriters and underwriting liaisons. Angela is also responsible for staffing, training, and productivity.

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