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Interior Photos

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Larry Fuller

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Joined
Oct 31, 2006
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Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
:blink: :blink: I don't think it’s a bother to take interior photos or include them on in the report. BUT as an appraiser you are not suppose to indicate religion, race, ethic origin background etc. of the owner of a property, neighborhood.. With some lenders now asking for interior photos, could you be committing a fair housing violation as well as indicting, race, region etc?

Hers the problem:
While reviewing a report I was about to send to a lender I noticed the words" GOD BLESS THIS HOUSE" in big bold wooden letters on the wall in the kitchen. A picture speaks a thousand words. I decided to eliminate the interior pictures. I let the lender know my concern and they have yet to get back to me. Does this requirement possibly violate fair housing and some parts of USPAP? I think I need to be more selective in the photos and angle of the photos I take.
Your opinion is welcome.
Before you ask check my website http://www.fourpillarsappraisal.com
 

TC

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Uh oh, we had this debate a few months ago. Stand back!

TC
 

Mike Garrett RAA

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Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
I don't think so!
 

Elliott

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Oregon
Did you ask 'which' God or god they were referring to?
Would it be just as likely to conclude that a house
that doesn't have 'religious' symbols that the owners
must be athetis?

I'd just point my camera to avoid what is inappropriate,
like the posters of hot nude girls in teenagers bedrooms.
 

Tom Woolford

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I just use MS Paint to "spray paint" over potentially offensive or discriminatory items in the photos. Occasionally I have to eliminate a photo due to overwhelming item or condition (like the HUGE 10 person bed where the whole family slept).
 

Chris Colston

Elite Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Why take them ALL out of the report? If you think something might be considered a fair lending "problem" just remove that photo, leave the rest.
 

Kevin A. Spellman

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Massachusetts
I applied a cost to cure for the decor on this one.
 

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David Wimpelberg

Moderator
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Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New York
BUT as an appraiser you are not suppose to indicate religion, race, ethic origin background etc. of the owner of a property, neighborhood..With some lenders now asking for interior photos, could you be committing a fair housing violation as well as indicting, race, region etc?

As far as I know, there is no such requirement to avoid taking pictures of areas of the home that may include those quoted indications. However, certain lenders may have their own specific requirements.
 

CCAAMO

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2007
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
other than maybe Carl Sagen or Karl Marx, there are not that many people who would be offended by that. Keep the photo in the appraisal.
 

Mztk1

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I've appraised a house where there was a built-in podium on the staircase and the words etched on it read "In the beginning was the word and the..." most of us know the rest. But the sentence was in latin. I showed it in the picture and I translated it under the photo (showing off my language skills a little). When I look back, I suppose I shouldn't have.

When I take interior photos, I do my best to keep family pictures from view. I'll even turn some photos down on the counter. When posting my photos in the report, I will block out the pictures of people. I had an LO call and ask me what was behind the edit (I placed the word "censored" over the photo). I told him they were family photos and he laughed at me saying I was nuts and every other appraiser just leaves them in.

I still keep them out, but I no longer use "censored". It makes is sound "x" rated I realized later.

In terms of "God, Bless This House", I don't think that needs to be censored. For all I know it is a patriotic overture to a Deist god. It could mean anything. To some I know "God" is "Love" but if it said "Love, Bless This House" I wouldn't censor it. The big one by me that I see is "As for me and this house, we serve the Lord". I don't ask if that is Krishna, Jesus, Prince Charles or their landlord. I think that type of stuff is ambiguous enough. And besides, I think fair housing laws are in place to protect the minority, not the majority. I suppose if I appraised an atheist's house who was outspoken about his beliefs on wall plaques and the like, I'd omit them from the photo, but I think the "God Bless This House sign is benign.
 
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