In the wake of the devastation caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and with Jose winding down and Maria winding up, the demand for property inspections and other appraisal services in FEMA designated disaster areas is on the rise, and so are the fees and turn times for these services. In such times of tragedy, it is easy to respond emotionally, and accuse appraisers and the appraisal community of being opportunistic in setting prices and delivery dates. But, disaster areas pose objective challenges to appraisers. Damaged, blocked and flooded roadways inhibit an appraiser’s ability to access and inspect the subject property, comparable properties and relevant neighborhoods. Closure of municipal buildings, and power and telecommunications outages, make it difficult to gather critical market data. And, then there are fuel shortages. All of these factors add time and cost to the appraisal process. The best advice to lenders is to keep open lines of communication with appraisers and appraisal management companies regarding the evolving challenges in these disaster areas, so you can set reasonable expectations for your borrowers and sales teams. Want more information on the Florida and Texas counties designated by FEMA as disaster areas requiring individual assistance? See the following links:
Need information on Disaster Inspections? Contact us at (855) 819-2828.