DOES YOUR HOME QUALIFY FOR AN APPRAISAL WAIVER?
What is an appraisal waiver?? An appraisal waiver is when the lender is not requiring an appraisal be done on your property before making a mortgage loan to you.
Benefits of an appraisal waiver: Clearly a big one is you get to save the money for the appraisal. Along with that savings (at least $495) you also get to save the time lag in obtaining that appraisal. There was a time when appraisals were running 2 weeks plus in the Kentucky market. Lead times have improved but not needing an appraisal is a great benefit when you don't need to calculate that time in your process of getting to closing.
Drawbacks of not getting an appraisal: Well, there is the fact you may be overpaying. An appraisal is the professional appraiser's view of the worth of the home. Admittedly it is not often values come in much off the offer price but it can happen. Usually if a home buyer is working with an experienced real estate agent they know the market before the write the offer. And, then some people just like to know for sure they paid the right price so they like to have an appraisal.
Appraisal waivers have been available for several months now on refinance mortgage loans where the home owner is not pulling out cash, has really good credit and a fair amount of equity. Now appraisal waivers are available on Fannie and Freddie purchase products with lower equity requirements.
Do you have to accept the appraisal waiver? No, most mortgage loans are underwritten electronically and if your qualifies for an appraisal waiver in the findings you may certainly elect to have an appraisal done. Talk to your loan officer about that if you want an appraisal anyway.