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Pictures Of Vacant Lot-----comps?

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BlueDog007

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
South Carolina
Ok.......I guess the underwriters are slowing down and need SOMETHING to complain about. Our office does several vacant lot appraisals every month. We NEVER take photos of the comps. However, I just had an LO call that was IRATE because he can not close a loan today because our appraisal report did not include the comp photos of yes................the GRASS AND DIRT. That is absolutely RIDICULOUS in my opinion. What is your office standards and what do you think about this?
 

Wally Jones

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Our policy is ..... a comp is a comp.

We take photos of vacant lots for two reasons. One, to preclude a client calling us at closing and being irate because there are no comp photos. Two, we feel we should drive by the comps anyway to compare neighborhoods, environment, any improvements to the lot, view, etc., so it's easy to snap a photo. Sure beats wasting our time having to go back again since it's usually the one that's furthest from the office they will want!
 

TC

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
I would hazard a guess that the UW just started his/her $5.00/hour job. Just go out in your backyard, shoot 3 different angles, email them over, and charge extra for the travel expense. :D

TC
 

BlueDog007

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
South Carolina
I agree with TC.........and Claudia and Wally to an extent depending on the vacant lot. I think it's a JOKE. that's what I say. WHAT A JOKE. By the way, we DO take the subject photo, obviously. And, if we were appraising an ocean front lot, deep water, etc...that would be different. This is a PIECE........$18,000 LOT. All of the comps are the EXACT SAME. Furthermore, none of them are staked. It's in an existing neighborhood developed in the early 90's. This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever been asked. BY FAR.
 

Patrick Egger

Sophomore Member
Joined
May 29, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Nevada
We always take comp photos, whether required or not ... want them in the workfiles. Comp photos 1) evidence that you looked at the comparable, generally a requirement and 2) keeps you or your subordinates from cutting corners.

You'd be surprised how many appraisals I've reviewed over the years were the comp photos didn't match the comp when I drove by. Appraisers have used photos from the MLS (without driving by) not knowing they were wrong.

Also, they have taken selective photos (excluding something negative adjacent to the property). I once had an appraiser lean over the model home fence and take a photo so you wouldn't see the model home (which had sold with considerable upgrades and was leased back). I happened to reconize the house since the lender I was working for did the original loans. Needless to say ... that appraiser was removed.

One last note ... depending on the property, I will get out and walk the site ... you'd be suprised what's on the other sides of fences ... drainage issues, etc.

If you've been in this business as an appraiser or underwriter for some time, you will have seen most everything and as such, become a skeptic. Give the UW what they're asking for and chalk it up to good business practices. Electronic photos don't cost much.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
ricbiggers - I agree with you, but from the postings so far it's no wonder - half the time the UW gets photos the other half no photos. It reminds me of the time that some UW wanted a sketch of the finished below grade basement area (?) - since when do we provide sketches
of below grade areas not included in GLA ? Answer:
because the other appraiser does :eek:nfire:
 

Walter Kirk

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
New Jersey
The underwriters are returning to their true nature now that the big rush is over. I generally place a copy of the tax map with the lot highlighted on land appraisals. I also have several generic pictures of trees, grass, mud and asphalt for times when they are needed.
 

Restrain

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
They want photos because their UW guidelines say there must be pictures of the comps. The fact that they can't tell anything about the property from the photograph is irrelivant. It allows them to check off the box.

That's especially true around here. You take one picture of rolling plains with no trees, you've got them all.

Roger
 

Willie

Senior Member
Joined
May 30, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Shoot 4 pictures of the ground. One spring, one winter, one summer, and one fall. :p Use them over and over. :rofl:
 
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