What should I expect during a home appraisal?

A home purchase is likely one of the largest and most important investments you’ll make, and the appraisal process is an essential part of obtaining a mortgage. We have insight to help you through the process and answer your questions, including what to expect during the process:

  1. Your mortgage lender will request an appraisal through an online tool.
  2. Our Appraisal and Evaluation team will assign an independent state-certified appraiser for your property.
  3. The appraiser will communicate directly with either the current property owner or the listing real estate agent to schedule the appraisal inspection.
  4. The appraiser will examine and photograph the following to create an appraisal report:
    1. The exterior of the home and other site improvements, such as detached garages, shops, decks and patios.
    2. The interior of the home, including living areas, bedrooms, bathrooms and other areas, as appropriate.
    3. The overall quality and condition of the construction or home improvements.
    4. Any necessary repairs that have been identified.
  5. Once the appraisal report is submitted, you’ll receive an email with a link to view the report electronically. If you prefer to receive a physical copy, please put in a request with your mortgage lender.
  6. The Appraisal and Evaluation and Underwriting teams will review the appraisal, and your mortgage lender will contact you with any additional information needed to complete the appraisal.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your appraisal report, please visit with your mortgage lender.

Related Questions

Here are a few important things to know about home appraisals:

  • The appraisal inspection is a step within the overall appraisal process. Much of the process happens offsite and includes research of the home, neighborhood, real estate market, construction costs and comparable property values.
  • Appraisers act independently from the mortgage lender. Appraisers would not have access to previous appraisals or mortgage details, nor would they be privy to any current home loan or application provided to your lender.
  • Market value, tax-assessed value, construction cost and replacement cost can each be different values for the same home.
    • Market value: The most probable price your home would sell for in a competitive and open market.
    • Tax-Assessed Value: The value assigned to your home to measure appropriate taxes. This is typically performed as a mass appraisal based on limited information such as only the exteriors of homes, generalized neighborhood data and an overall index.
    • Construction Cost: All costs paid to construct and complete the build or renovation of your home.
    • Replacement Cost: The cost to rebuild your home if it’s damaged or destroyed. This value is typically used for insurance purposes.

Our mortgage lending team members are available to answer any questions you have on the appraisal or general homebuying process. We look forward to working with you and providing guidance.

Great question! It’s an account used to pay for items related to your property, such as taxes and insurance, and is a calculated portion of your monthly mortgage payment.

Great news! There is no fee. Mortgage escrow accounts are maintained free of charge.

Your mortgage escrow payment is composed of three portions:

  1. The anticipated amount needed to make your tax and/or insurance payments in the coming year.
  2. A cushion to cover two months of anticipated payments.
  3. Catch-up amounts for a shortage (if applicable). A shortage occurs when the amount that was paid for taxes and/or insurance increased from what was anticipated. The anticipated amount is always the amount of the prior year’s payments.

We’re happy to help provide some clarity here! Some mortgage loans are required to have an escrow account, including the tax and/or insurance payments. Please contact us to discuss your options.

In general, any of the below conditions require you to have a mortgage escrow account:

  • If your loan-to-value (LTV) is over 80%
  • If your mortgage loan has an active private mortgage insurance (PMI) policy
  • If your mortgage loan has rural housing insurance
  • If you have a VA mortgage loan
  • If you have an FHA mortgage loan
  • If you have any late credit payments within the last 12 months
  • If your mortgage loan has required flood insurance, you must escrow for both the flood and homeowner's insurance

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