For as long as I can remember (I became a loan officer in 1993), there was no conventional, mainstream, loan available for log homes, geodesic domes or earth homes. Well my friends, times they are a changing. Fannie Mae came out with a Lender Letter, LL-2014-02, on March 25, 2014 that blew some of these old cobwebs right out the window. See an excerpt below and let’s do some loans on “unique” housing types!
“Unique housing types such as log homes, geodesic homes, or earth homes are acceptable to FNMA, provided the appraiser has adequate information to develop a reliable opinion of market value. It is not necessary for one of the comparable sales to be the same design and appeal as the property that is being appraised. The appraisal accuracy, however, is enhanced by using comparable sales that are as similar to the subject property as possible.”
“On a case-by-case basis, both the appraiser and the underwriter must independently determine whether there is sufficient information available to develop a reliable opinion of market value. This will depend on the extent of the difference between the special or unique property and the more traditional types of houses in the market and the number of such properties that have already been sold in the neighborhood.”