U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) today introduced the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Appraiser Eligibility Expansion Act (S. 1722), bipartisan legislation that would update the law to once again give licensed residential appraisers the ability to conduct appraisals on FHA properties. Under current law, unlike their certified appraiser counterparts, licensed residential appraisers are prohibited from performing otherwise permitted appraisals on FHA properties. While this bill would increase the pool of appraisers who are eligible to conduct appraisals on FHA properties, it would not place additional education, training, or competency requirements on any appraiser that is currently conducting FHA appraisals, nor would it place additional requirements on appraisers not wishing to conduct FHA appraisals.
“Timely appraisals can be hard to come by in highly populated areas, but they can take even longer to obtain in rural areas, which could adversely affect families who depend on them,” said Thune. “By allowing licensed residential appraisers – professionals who are already performing appraisals on non-FHA properties – to conduct appraisals on FHA properties, we can reduce the amount of time it takes to obtain an appraisal on FHA properties across South Dakota, especially in rural areas.”
“Folks looking to buy a home in rural areas too often find themselves waiting far longer than necessary for a home appraisal,” said Tester. “This bill will help ensure Montana home buyers, realtors, and lenders can access more timely appraisals—speeding up the process for everyone involved, and helping spur our housing market as a result. It also allows qualified appraisers who have sat on the sideline for too long to get back to work on FHA appraisals.”
“MBA applauds Senators Thune and Tester for introducing this legislation which addresses the shortage of appraisers participating in the FHA program,” said Bill Killmer, senior vice president of legislative and political affairs at the Mortgage Bankers Association. “Specifically, this bill will help to reduce consumer costs and also shorten appraisal delays that have occurred in many markets. MBA will continue to advocate on behalf of policies that both ensure a healthy real estate market and provide consumers with affordable, sustainable housing choices.”
“The National Association of Realtors commends Senator Thune for taking action to improve the process by which the FHA helps get Americans into their new homes,” said John Smaby, president of the National Association of Realtors. “This legislation will alleviate appraiser shortage concerns for borrowers pursing FHA financing options, reform that will be particularly beneficial to prospective homebuyers in small communities across rural America. NAR, which represents roughly 25,000 state-licensed and certified appraisers, looks forward to working with Congress to advance this commonsense legislation into law.”
“Senator Thune’s bill to again allow state-licensed appraisers to perform FHA appraisals is just what we need in South Dakota to increase the number of eligible appraisers,” said Sherry Bren, executive director of the South Dakota Appraiser Certification Program. “This is especially important in states with rural areas. The senator’s bill does not place onerous requirements on appraisers who want to begin performing FHA assignments. It makes sense for the bill to require new appraisers to demonstrate competency in FHA appraisal requirements, while not making existing FHA appraisers take additional education requirements.”In addition to Thune and Tester, S. 1722 is also cosponsored by Sens. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Angus King (I-Maine), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Tina Smith (D-Minn).