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Time Behind Fee Hike

October 24, 1999

The Oct. 3 article headlined "FHA Tightens the Rules, Causing Shortage of Appraisers" by Lew Sichelman is misleading. I have been an appraiser for more than 20 years and have been performing FHA appraisals for more than 13 years.

Before the recent changes for FHA appraisals, most appraisers were charging $300 for both FHA and conventional appraisals. At the time the changes went into effect, there was no shortage of appraisers, at least in Southern California.

Sichelman stated, "Because of the shortage [of appraisers], many estimators have raised their fees."

Wrong. The primary reason for the higher fees is the increased time involved in doing an FHA appraisal.

Most appraisers that I know merely raised their fee from $300 to $350 or $375. Fees for conventional appraisals are still, for the most part, $300.

There is a need for improving appraisal inspections, since so many appraisers were either overlooking obvious defects or were not qualified to detect them. Even without the new FHA regulations, standard appraisal practice dictates that a thorough inspection be made.

KEVIN HOLLINGSWORTH

San Dimas

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