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Attics and Crawl Spaces

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liznindy

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Indiana
I have received two seperate requests (from the same underwriter I think) to confirm that I have viewed the attic or crawl space.


These are the only instances in 5 years of FHA appraising that I have had an underwriter request of this nature.


Yes, the VC sheets are marked with a Yes or No answer with regards to these areas.

So, why is the underwriter asking that I "confirm" that I viewed these spaces?

I know of an appraiser who submits photos of the attic or crawl space with their FHA reports. Is this common practice? and could this be something the underwriter is used to receiving? (I do not submit photos of these areas but sometimes, not always, include photos of areas needing repair).

How would you all handle this? With a statement that these areas were referenced on the VC sheet? or a sworn statement " I, Elizabeth Clark, solemnly swear that I viewed......".

I am thinking of raising my FHA fees for this particular client if I continue to receive these types of underwriter requests.
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Liz, sweetie.....You should charge at least $100 more for an FHA since they expect you to be home inspector too! I guess that is why I don't do but a half dozen FHAs a year.

Expect underwriters to become even more picky due to pressure from HUD. Perhaps your appraisal should come with the bible you used to swear on as an attachment.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
If you did, I would say so. Since they are requesting additional statements, I would also consider raising my fee for the agravation factor. Quite often, I do take photos that are in my workfile, if there is a problem, I usually do include those pics in the report. My FHAs are already $75 higher in fee and sometimes, that is just NOT enough!
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Mornin Pammy! My fee is $100 higher for FHA. One of the things I teach in my registered appraisers class is doing attics and crawl spaces for FHA appraisals. For that part of the discussion I bring my digital camera mounted on a monopod. Set the flash and timer...poke it up into the scuttle and "POOF" instant view of whats up there without crawling thru the asbestoes insulation, dust, and spiders. Same works for the crawl space. Take a couple of photos in different directions. You can rotate those pics with your photo software.
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Hey Garrett,

You're supposed to stick your head and shoulders into the attic and crawl space openings according to HUD guidelines.....stick that camera........ :D :D :D you know where and tote the 4' ladder like the rest of us...... :lol: :lol:

Monopod...you crack me up....I'm just thinking of all those flashblinded spiders in the attic and snakes/rats in the crawl space.... :wink:


Liz,

If you were in the attic, you obviously observed the thickness of the insulation as required by FHA and noted it on the URAR form. 8O I would tell the underwriter to look at the "insulation" box as evidence that you were in the attic. Same goes for the crawl space, if you noted floor insulation or a dirt floor, etc. I always note the type of floor in the crawl space as evidence I took a look: Dirt, sand, concrete or plastic vapor barrier. That way, you can refer them to info already in the URAR report, not that they read it anyway.

Ben
 

Mike Garrett RAA

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Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
I don't do crawl spaces, attics, or windows for that matter. I am severly allergic to insect bites. I do observe the conditions and have photos to prove it! Next question.
 

Ross (CO)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Liz,......Another trick I once heard about....when you know that your acknowledgment of having viewed attic or crawlspace may come into question.....take a small thumbtack in with you, write the date of your observation on back of your business card, and tack it to a visible nearby piece of wood in either location or wedge it in a fine crack or gap. Make a note of that exact location on your sketch page......and wait. If one ever questions whether you were there, or saw what you describe, refer them to the place of where your card is ! Of course, a photo offers same or better confirmation of what you saw too. Do both, and you are really covered.
 

Larry Lyke

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
I do what Mike does. I call mine a [tripod] screw on the end of a stick. Getting too clumsy to stick my fat head up a scuttle. [Gosh, that sounds naughty.]

And I always use the auto dating system on my camera. Solves all the above problems forever.

And, like most others, I take extra photos to help me remember something tricky about Sketching or other hidden angle something. And take 3-4 interior photos if I think it's a good idea. Fills the files up quickly, but I burn the files off on a CD, eventually.

But, hey, with 40 gigs, it takes a lot to fill the system up and bog it down.
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Just for reference, monopods are available on ebay for around $25 as opposed $60 - $70 in the photo stores. The work great for what I described and also make good walking sticks. Mine is a little eloborate with a pan n tilt head but it sure gets the job done.
 

Larry Lyke

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
Mike ~

Your monopod must be like store-bought teeth.

I bought a $11.95 cheapie tripod and cannabalized the screw pan and mounted it on a 38" lg 3/4" dowl.

Does yours telescope? Mind doesn't.
 
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