A VA appraisal is part of the VA home loan process and an evaluation of a home to be bought using the loan. An appraisal is not optional and may have a big impact on the buying process.
USAVA will order the VA appraisal for the prospective buyer and an appraiser will be selected random by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). Every appraiser must be VA-certified. The appraisal fee varies by state and is paid by the buyer, usually with closing costs.
The appraiser has two important tasks.
The appraiser ensures the property meets the set VA Minimum Property Requirements (MPR). The VA will not approve single-family home loans for building that are primarily for commercial use with attached living space. The property appraised must be a move-in ready, single-family home with no safety hazards. Problems that would not meet MPRs must be repaired by the seller before closing.The appraiser also determines the fair market value of the house for lenders to finance. Appraisers look at recent home sales in the area to help determine the property’s value. Properties appraised for a lower value than their selling price may ask for a reconsideration of value from the VA. The value may be lowered based on homes similar in value that were not used during the first appraisal. Other options include negotiating a lower price with the seller or paying the difference in value in cash.
The VA does issue timeliness requirements for appraisals to make sure they are done in a timely manner. Appraisals usually take about a week to complete but may differ depending on appraisal demands by state. If repairs are required, appraisers will have to return for a reinspection.
A VA appraisal is NOT a home inspection. The criteria is established by the VA and it is important to understand that the criteria may differ from local compliance codes. A good appraisal from the VA does not guarantee a good appraisal on the local level. A professional home inspector can conduct a more thorough evaluation of a house. It may be helpful and time-saving to order a home inspection to ensure the house meets local compliance codes before a VA appraisal is ordered.
Appraisals are not meant to be a dreaded process. They are set up to protect both the buyer and the VA’s investment in the property. Your experienced USAVA agent will take care of all the paperwork and notify you once the process is complete.