Real Estate and Mortgage Institute of Canada Inc.
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Real estate property appraisals for mortgage financing

A mortgage lender is interested in knowing what the market will pay for a property under normal circumstances.  A real estate appraiser will produce a document called an appraisal that calculates the market value of a property being used as security for a mortgage.  Market value can be defined as:

The amount, in Canadian funds, for which a property should exchange on the date of valuation between a willing buyer and a willing seller in an arms-length transaction after proper marketing, where the buyer and seller have each acted knowledgeably, prudently, and without pressure.

There are three basic types of appraisal reports, ranging in scope from basic to highly detailed. 

real estate appraisalDesktop appraisal for mortgage financing (also referred to as a Sales Data Report)

The desktop appraisal is typically used when an AVM is unavailable and the property is located in a marketable area.  This report relies on MLS reports, including data on recent sales and data on recent listings.  It does not provide detailed information on the property nor is there a physical inspection of the property, which raises the same issues as are applicable to AVMs.

Drive-by appraisal for mortgage financing

This type of appraisal is based on the same information as the desktop appraisal; however it also includes an inspection of the exterior of the property.  While AVMs and desktop appraisals cannot provide details on whether the property is actually in a physical condition normal for the neighbourhood, a drive-by appraisal can at least indicate that the property’s exterior is typical or conforms to the neighbourhood.  In addition the drive-by appraisal allows the appraiser to view and provide details on the neighbourhood, which is a key element in assessing the marketability of the subject property.  The report typically contains exterior photographs of the property as well as the immediate neighbourhood.

If the drive-by appraisal results in the determination that the property appears to be in a condition that is not typical of the neighbourhood, a full appraisal should be completed. 

Mortgage brokering in Ontario is regulated by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and requires a license.  To obtain a license you must first pass an accredited course.  The Real Estate and Mortgage Institute of Canada Inc. (REMIC) is accredited by FSCO to provide the course.  For more information please visit us at or call us at 877-447-3642.

Full Appraisal for mortgage financing

A full appraisal expands on the information and techniques used in the sales data appraisal and the drive-by appraisal by having a full inspection of the subject property completed.  This inspection allows the appraiser to document the characteristics of the subject property, including any upgrades or defects in the home.  The report typically contains interior and exterior photographs of the property as well as the immediate neighbourhood.  Considered to offer the most information and therefore the highest level of protection for the lender, the full appraisal is the appraisal of choice for lenders who rely heavily on the property as security and less on the personal covenant of the borrower.  Virtually every sub-prime and private lender will insist on a full appraisal. 

Joe White
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Joe White

President at REMIC
Joseph J. White has been involved in the mortgage industry since 1988. He began his career as a mortgage agent, and in the mortgage lending sector of the industry he has held positions as National Sales Manager and VP of Sales with two national mortgage lenders.

In the industry’s mortgage brokering sector he is a licensed mortgage broker and has been a partner at a successful mortgage brokerage, manager at two national brokerages, principal broker at a commercial brokerage, founder of a mortgage investment corporation, and is owner and principal broker of his own boutique brokerage.

As an educator, Mr. White has been educating the mortgage industry since 1996.During his 14 years at Seneca College he was a professor and program coordinator and is currently President of the Real Estate and Mortgage Institute of Canada Inc. (REMIC).Mr. White has developed several courses for Seneca College, including the first mortgage broker education program in Ontario,as well as the mortgage agent course.He has written two textbooks used in the mortgage industry and by over 20 Ontario colleges with over twenty thousand copies in print, in addition to several business focused books and e-books. He has instructed over fifteen thousand students and in 2003 won the Excellence Award for teaching and leadership excellence at Seneca College.He can be contacted at
Joe White
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