VA Appraisals

When people are getting VA home loans, having VA appraisals performed on the homes they want to purchase is standard procedure. As a future homeowner, you should understand the VA appraisal process and how it may affect your home loan as well as the closing date of the mortgage. 

Who Will Perform the Appraisal?

The lender will contact the VA and request to have an appraisal performed on your new home. The VA randomly chooses the appraiser from a list of qualified pre-approved appraisers. This is to guarantee that you will receive an accurate valuation of the home and to avoid any conflicts of interest with the property. The appraisal fees for VA home loans are controlled by each state, and the lender usually requires payment for the appraisal fee before the closing. 

What Does an Appraiser do?

The VA appraiser will inspect the home, looking for specific safety- and health-related problems that may need to be resolved before the loan can be finalized. He will disregard all cosmetic problems that he sees. He is looking to see if the home is in good repair and habitable. He will also determine the value of the property. A comparison will be made between your property and similar properties in the area that have recently sold. The value that he places on your home may have a negative effect on your home loan.

What if the Appraiser Has a List of Repairs?

The appraiser will provide a complete list of all the repairs that must be completed. Safety items that might be noted during the appraisal include broken steps, unstable deck boards, exposed wiring, a leaky roof or windows that do not operate properly. Take a close look at the list to determine if the planned closing date needs to be delayed. It may take a few days or a few weeks to get all of the repairs completed.

The VA Appraiser Is Not a Home Inspector

It is important to remember that the VA appraiser is not a home inspector. The appraiser performs a quick walk around and through the home looking for obvious deficiencies. A home inspector will do a thorough assessment of the property’s structure and mechanical components. It is always advisable to have a professional home inspection performed before making a purchase. 

What Happens if the VA Appraisal Comes in Too Low?

The VA home loan program will approve only the lowest price. In this case, the appraisal value is lower than the selling price. You may want to request that a second appraisal be performed by the VA. If there were other comparable homes in the area that the appraiser did not take into consideration, a second appraisal would be warranted. You may ask the seller to lower the price of the home, or your lender may be willing to provide you with the extra funds needed at a higher interest rate.