7 CFR § 3560.753 - Agency appraisal standards and requirements.

§ 3560.753 Agency appraisal standards and requirements.

(a) General. The Agency recognizes USPAP as the basic standards for appraisals. Appraisals used by the Agency must comply with USPAP and this subpart.

(b) Appraisers. MFH appraisals prepared for the Agency will be written by Agency appraisers or independent fee appraisers who are state certified general appraisers, certified in the state where the property is located. Technical review reports will be written by Agency state certified general appraisers.

(c) Appraisal report. The appraisal report format may be a form appraisal or a narrative appraisal. The Agency will specify the appraisal format that is most appropriate for the scope of work involved when the appraisal is requested.

(1) Form appraisal reports. The Agency will accept appraisal report forms that meet generally accepted industry standards, comply with USPAP, and have been approved by the Agency.

(2) Narrative appraisal reports. Narrative appraisal reports must, at a minimum, contain the following items:

(i) Transmittal letter;

(ii) Factual information about the property;

(iii) Regional and neighborhood data;

(iv) Description of the subject property;

(v) Description of existing and planned improvements;

(vi) A highest and best use analysis;

(vii) A statement regarding any environmental issues, such as potential contamination of the property from hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, or petroleum products;

(viii) A cost approach analysis (if applicable);

(ix) A sales comparison approach analysis (if applicable);

(x) An income approach analysis (if applicable);

(xi) A reconciliation of the value indications derived from the included approaches to value; and

(xii) A signed and dated certification of value.

(3) At the time an appraisal is requested, the Agency will specify either a complete or a limited appraisal and one of the following types of appraisal reports, based upon the complexity of the appraisal assignment.

(i) A self-contained report that comprehensively describes all information significant to the solution of the appraisal problem;

(ii) A summary report that summarizes all information significant to the solution of the appraisal problem; or

(iii) A restricted use report, intended for Agency use only, that briefly states all information significant to the solution of the appraisal problem.

(d) Highest and best use statement and analysis. The highest and best use is to be concluded for the subject site as though it was vacant, and for the subject property as improved, if improvements have been made. If the highest and best use of a subject property is for something other than MFH, the appraisal report must provide this information to the Agency for consideration in the loan process. In addition to being reasonably probable and appropriately supported, the highest and best use of both the land as though vacant and the property as improved must meet four implicit criteria. The highest and best use must be:

(1) Physically possible;

(2) Legally permissible;

(3) Financially feasible; and

(4) Maximally productive.

(e) Valuation methods and variances. The final opinion of value presented in an appraisal report must have considered a cost approach, a sales comparison approach, and an income approach. If one of these standard approaches is not used, the reconciliation narrative will provide a full and complete explanation of the reasons the approach was excluded. The reconciliation will fully discuss and reconcile variances in the value indications concluded by each approach.

(f) Real estate history. Appraisals must contain a 5-year ownership and sales history for the housing project being appraised.

(g) Reserve accounts. Funds in the housing project's reserve account will not be considered in the valuation of the housing project.

(h) Escrow accounts. Short-term prepaid escrow accounts for general operating expenses, such as taxes and insurance, shall not be considered in the valuation of the housing project.

(i) Rental rates comparison. The appraisal report must document whether the housing project's basic rents are less than, equal to, or greater than market rents for comparable conventional, or non-subsidized, units in the area where the housing is located.

(j) Description of housing and property rights. The appraisal report must identify and describe both the real estate, which is the land and improvements, and the real property, or property rights, being appraised.

(k) Exclusion of rental units from valuation. The Agency will provide appraisers with instructions and supporting information on any rental units that do not produce rental income at the time of the appraisal.

(l) Non-contiguous sites. When a housing project has real property located on non-contiguous sites, a separate appraisal must be developed for each site.