Currently to access the fair market value of a memberâ€(tm)s home we use a drive-by appraisal method. The member would be approved for a home equity loan contingent on a satisfactory appraisal. The appraiser will look at a number of factors to estimate the "market value" of a house: How does the house compare to other houses in the neighborhood (number of rooms, size, type of construction etcâ€¦)? What have other houses sold for recently in the neighborhood? What is happening to the overall neighborhood? Is it declining or increasing? What is the overall appearance of the house? Has the house been kept in good repair? What is the quality of schools in the neighborhood? Is the layout of the rooms functional? What would it cost to construct this house today? Encumbrance - Anything that affects or limits the fee simple title to a property, such as mortgages, zoning ordinances, claims, liens, a pending legal action, leases, easement rights, unpaid taxes or restrictions.