Disaster Inspections 101

I hope that everyone is well and safe after our brush with Hurricane Sandy.  I know that as of the writing of this post many of you are still without power (my own house included).

In the next few days and weeks as things get back to normal, some of you will become familiar with the term “Disaster Inspection”.  If you recently refinanced, purchased a home or applied for a Home Equity Line of Credit where an appraisal was completed on your property, you will almost certainly come to know what a “Disaster Inspection” is.

Whenever there is a significant natural disaster or catastrophic event (such as Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Irene and, yes, even 9/11), many lenders will require that Disaster Inspections be completed on loans that are in process, have recently settled and some that may have already been moved to the secondary market.  This is done so the lender is able to better assess the risk a particular disaster has on their loan and portfolio.  It also, in many cases, lets the lender know if the property is still standing or if it has been heavily damaged.  From there the lender can take the appropriate actions.

Having a Disaster Inspection done at your home is a painless process.  It involves a inspector (sometimes an appraiser) visiting your property.  Depending on the needs of the lender, an Exterior or Interior inspection will be necessary.

An Exterior inspection is just that, a visual inspection of the exterior of the property.  Photos are taken of the front, back and street.  If there is apparent damage, pictures will be taken of that, too.  Oftentimes, there is no need for an appointment to complete an Exterior inspection.

Interior inspections are just as painless as an exterior, with the exception that the inspector is required to view and photograph the interior of the property, as well.  The inspector will usually call to schedule an appointment to see the property.  The actual visit will take no more than 5-10 minutes, or as long as it takes the inspector to get the necessary photos of the property and any damage.

If you or one of your clients recently went through the refinance/lending process, chances are you will have a Disaster Inspection completed of your property.  So, if you see someone taking pictures of your home, it may just be a Disaster Inspection.

If you are in need of Disaster Inspections in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware, Chester, Berks, Lehigh and NorthamptonCounties, please feel free to call The Coyle Group at 215.836.5500 or email us at appraisals@coyleappraisals.com