June 4, 2020
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Real Estate & Business

Scott Sheldon
Fannie & Freddie change home mortgage appraisals
April 10, 2020

The coronavirus has just changed the way in which mortgage lenders are now appraising homes. Due to market volatility and changing market conditions, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac just recently announced that they’re going to be loosening appraisal standards. Here’s how these new appraisal standards apply to you…

On purchase transactions for a primary residence mortgage, lenders now only want an exterior appraisal only a drive-by. This is up to 97 percent loan to value for primary residence transactions.

On rate and term refinance for a primary home, second home, or a rental property, the same applies—exterior appraisal inspection only.

On a full interior and exterior appraisal report, no matter what the occupancy, a full interior and exterior inspection appraisal are going to be required. Additionally, these are changes to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans only; not government loans such as FHA, VA and USDA. This also does not cover Jumbo loans, which are any loan size greater than the maximum conforming high balance loan limit in the area in which the property is located. So, for example, in Sonoma County, Ca. the loan limit is $704,950. Anything for a loan bigger than $704,950 on a case-by-case investor basis only may not require a full inspection report.

Mortgage tip: that home improvement project you’ve been working on, redoing the bathroom etc., will no longer cause your rate and term payment reduction loan to be on hiatus.


Scott Sheldon is a local mortgage lender, with a decade of experience helping consumers purchase and refinance primary homes second homes and investment properties. Learn more at