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Drive By vs Interior Inspection

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Mountain Man

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Lately, I have been getting a slew of orders for drive by’s. Owner occupied or owner, owned vacation homes. But they only want a drive by, paying my full fee!! They just want it quick and don't want to wait until I can set an appointment. I have been calling the client and telling them: Sorry, but unless you have a really good reason I can't get in, or other life hazard, I must have access to the property. Particularly if it is in North Carolina. NC will hold your feet to the fire if it was owner occupied, and you did not make an attempt to get into the house.

As a general rule, I don't do drive by’s. Have had some in the past that looked really cute on the outside with flower gardens, well kept yard, paint okay, good roof, but were absolutely devastated on the inside. Makes you feel :oops: :oops: when the bank calls back for an update 8 months later after foreclosure. Wooah, I didn't know it needed $30,000 to $40,000 of structural repairs. 8O It looked so nice from the road side. :? Yeah, had that happen once. Live and learn. :oops: :roll:

Am I being a little too hard nosed, :evil: or do you take a similar stance? Like I said, it isn’t about the $$. They pay full fee, just want it....like, yesterday. What say ye? Anyone, anyone, Bueller?
 

wyecoyote

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Gvmt Agency, FNMA, HUD, VA etc.
State
Washington
We get quite a few drive-by's mostly from CU's doing home equity and line of credit. With the couple of extra ones that we have taken on lately as referals from we are really busy with the drive-by's. To the point where it keeps us really busy
 

Nancy in Friday Harbor

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
Mel,
I've never done a real "drive-by", but I have done "walk-arounds". I take front, back, view from, etc photos. Of course, in my market we rarely have fenced back yards, so that isn't a problem. I also call the owner and tell them I'm coming over and will just walk around...or leave them a message to that effect. You can tell a lot from the condition of the back yard.
Then it's just a statement to the effect "per agreement with the client, the extraordinary assumption that the interior is..blah,blah..and there is no interior damage..blah,blah. If this assumption is not correct, the value could be adversely effected." I put the statement in bold somewhere on the 1st page of the 2055. I also repeat that statement in the 2002 USPAP compliance addendum and/or the narrative addendum pages.
I really guess it's a business decision. I still prefer to gain access to the interior......and try not to do "exterior only" appraisals unless I already know the house.

Cheers!
Nancy
 
K

Kevin Shannon

Guest
Remembering that this is a "service business", we will do whatever report our client orders. Unless of course conditions dictate otherwise.

Kevin
 

Dave Smith

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
Some of those condition are: USPAP, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, the workload, the fee, the competition, the client, your intuition, possible conflict of interest, etc., etc., etc... :!:
 

Lee in L.A.

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Drivebys can conform with USPAP and all that. I've done a number of them on tract houses and condos. Put in a cya disclaimer about conditions you can't see, similar to Nancy's above. Something like " based on blah blah, condition is assumed to be average, and if it is substantially superior or inferior, market value will be affected. Appraiser reserves the right to modify the estimate of value should that prove to be the case." I normally asume average unless I have something solid to rely on to the contrary, or can see problems.

I saw one place, old Victorian, looked real nice outside. When I went inside, the owner had gutted it almost completely, to the studs, and now wanted to borrow money to put in new plumbing and electric, insulation, drywall, etc. Wish that had been a driveby. :lol:

Or at least he should have applied for the loan before he ripped it all up. :oops:
 

BarbaraNJ

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Jersey
I have said this in other posts, but will repeat:

Most lenders think that a drive-by requires less work and that's why they are quicker/cheaper.

The only reason they MAY be quicker is that you don't have to "pull teeth" to set an appointment.

Especially if you are getting the full fee, you MUST make certain that you are doing all the research required as if you are doing a "full".

I get some drive by orders, and all of them are VERY conservative, taking into consideration that I am not seeing the interior. Even if you speak to the homeowner on the phone, are they going to be honest and tell you that they haven't painted the interior or cleaned the carpets in the past 20 years???

When the lender calls asking for a higher figure, I tell them that the only way that would be possible is to do an interior inspection. If the $$$$$ amount of the loan is very "close", or very important to the lender or borrower, they will order an interior.



_____________________-

The Harder I Work, The Luckier I Get
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
I charge the same for a 2055 interior as a 2055 exterior only (drive by). I won’t use the 704 form anymore. I tell the client up front that the drive-by may take longer to complete as we have trouble getting data out of townships etc. I also tell them that when I do an exterior only, I measure the house myself, not trusting the local record keepers. That being the case, I have to talk to the homeowner to let them know when I will be in the area. If I am that close, it makes sense for me to go inside for 10 minutes and get the data needed first hand. They usually agree.

We had one a couple of years back I think it was that was a real eye opener. The house looked fine on the outside but once I got inside the dirt and odors were really strong. The inside had not been taken care of and it was something you could not tell just from eyeballing it from the road.

Bottom line is, I don't like to do a drive-by.
 

Ken in Arkansas

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
I made a hard and fast rule several years ago: I will not do a "drive-by" unless I have appraised the dwelling before and I had made a complete inspection at the time of that appraisal. Sure, the physical condition of the dwelling can and many times does change from what it once was and you can make disclaimers to cover that, but if you have never entered a dwelling how can you know anything about the interior features, room arrangement, quality of finish (or lack thereof), etc. You would be doing nothing short of guessing about the interior and ultimately the value.

One of the first assignements I received was on an older frame bungalow on a raised floor structure. I was a staff appraiser for and S & L at the time, and my boss just wanted me to just drive by and see if the exterior condition of the dwelling was really what was reflected in the appraisal. Upon arriving at the property I did not see any vehicles present but noticed that the front door was standing open. I decided to stick my head in just for a quick look. Good thing I looked; just like was mentioned in a previous post, the floors had been stripped to the joists, and most of the wall studs were exposed! I guess that the Appraiser just hit the wrong key when he rated the physical condition of the improvements "Good"! I am sure am glad that I didn't do a "drive-by" on that one.
 

Jeff Horton

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
While I agree with most that I would rather do an interior inspection, why is a drive-by any different than doing a Proposed Construction? Are we making any more assumptions? Granted we have plans and specs but there is nothing to say they will actually complete it. We make the assumption that it will be built as proposed.

Seems to me with a Drive By we are just making a similar assumption. If we clearly state that and the house turns out to be gutted so what? Did we do anything wrong? I dont think so. As long as we clearly disclosed what we did and the assumptions.
 
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