In light of the Federal Housing Administration’s recent shift to allowing desktop and “drive-by” appraisals for FHA-insured mortgages during the coronavirus crisis, national appraisal management company Class Valuation is launching an app to aid both borrowers and appraisers.
The app, INvision YourHome™, is a mobile-based platform that allows homeowners to share interior photos and property data with appraisers who are completing exterior-only appraisals. Particularly for homeowners whose properties have been updated or have made interior improvements, this can help them show value that may not be not evident from an exterior inspection.
“This is especially beneficial in cases where the borrower has made significant repairs, renovations, updates, and structural changes to their home that would otherwise get missed,” says Erik Morin (Richard), chief operating officer, specialty teams, for Troy, Michigan-based Class Valuation.
The app, which uses geo-tagging to confirm all photos, may be accessed by the borrower only via a code sent by secure email. In cases where a borrower does not have access to a mobile phone with camera function, the code may be shared with someone assisting the borrower — provided it is safe to do so and there is no risk of spreading COVID-19.
The platform may be especially helpful to reverse mortgage borrowers, Morin says.
“Our seniors are among the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he says. “Providing tools for these consumers and our appraisers ensures there are no delays in the mortgage loan process, while keeping our communities safe through social distancing practices.
Additionally, the offering may provide peace of mind for appraisers who are conducting appraisals during the pandemic and who are unable to enter borrowers’ homes due to local social distance orders.
“While most appraisers are familiar with exterior products, many have never completed one,” Morin says. “Our ability to seamlessly provide interior insight on a home gives appraisers a better comfort-level in completing these assignments and more confidence their opinion of value is accurate.”