Needless to say, we are entering uncharted waters concerning not only the health of our community but the health of our economy.
First and foremost, I hope all of our members and their families are well.
As COVID-19 makes its way across the globe and through the San Diego area, we need to make sure that we are supporting our communities. This is especially concerning to the appraisal community, as we are traditionally tasked with entering into other people’s homes and businesses to inspect properties. As we are all aware, it is older adults who are more likely to suffer serious complications and, according to the most recent California BREA newsletter, nearly 40% of California appraisers are over 60. This means many of our members of our community are most at risk of COVID-19 infection. For this reason, I encourage all of our members to talk to their clients about their current inspection requirements. Some lenders and clients are reporting that they are permitting appraisers to rely on exterior inspections, prior interior inspections, interior photos taken by occupants, and discussions with property managers. My understanding is that there are currently discussions with GSEs on review requirements for interior property inspections to ensure the safety of appraisers and property owners and occupants.
Over the past few years, banks have requested appraisal waivers from the ASC for a variety of reasons. Therefore, it is important to remember that real estate appraisers are an integral part of the economy and must be a voice in how the upcoming industry challenges are solved. As communicated by the AI President Jeff Sherman’s in his recent letter to all members, “in addition to your role as an Appraisal Institute professional, you are a leading expert in real estate valuation and analysis. Accordingly, you will be asked to analyze real estate market reactions in the midst and wake of the coronavirus pandemic…. An important part of any appraisal assignment is analysis of market conditions. The coronavirus threat may be impacting market conditions. However, in most markets it is not yet clear to what extent, if any, market conditions are affected. Related, complicating factors include fluctuations in the stock market and changes in mortgage interest rates.” Additionally, the Appraisal Institute has published Guide Note 10, Appraising in the Aftermath of a Disaster, which highlights some of the challenges that will face the real estate market.
As we continue to move forward with or as we return to our daily profession, please keep in mind this guidance for the Appraisal Institute’s Professional Practice staff: “appraisers should take care not to put themselves in harm’s way while completing their assignments. Appraisers are advised to consult with their medical practitioners if they have concerns about exposure to the virus, and they should decline assignments if they feel their own health would be put at risk.”
Please note that in response to the current COVID 19 crisis our Chapter’s April offering of Condemnation Appraising has been postponed to July 22-24. Additionally, the Spotlight Series on April 20th has been canceled. We will continue to monitor the situation and its impacts on the upcoming educational offerings.
For updates please check our website and follow the San Diego Chapter on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Jeremy Darner, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS
2020 Chapter President