You’ve found the home of your dreams. You’re ready to take the next step and use the VA loan you deserve to purchase it. You shortly realize that buying a home can be somewhat of a pain. Let’s face it, it’s not all roses and sunshine, but the result can be beyond rewarding. But you should expect the process to have more hurdles than you might think and consume a notable amount of time, money, and energy. If you’ve made it this far, you might as well see it through because a VA loan requires a VA appraisal. But what does that mean for you?
Whether you’re an experienced homeowner in need of a refresher or a first-time home buyer learning the ropes, we’ve got you covered.
VA Appraisals Explained
When you purchase a home using a VA loan, you’ll be required to undergo a VA appraisal. Independent VA appraisers are used to inspect the home you’re looking to purchase to verify its condition and value. These, however, are a bit different than a regular home inspection, which will provide you with more information about the physical condition of the property.
The primary purpose of a VA appraisal is to make sure that the property you’re purchasing is sold to you at a fair market value. Lending institutions don’t want those taking out VA loans to overpay, and this is part of the process to make sure it doesn’t happen.
A VA appraisal is also conducted to ensure that the property being purchased falls within the VA’s Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs). Overall, there are many different MPRs, but the goal is to make sure that the home is safe and in good condition for living.
Things can pop up after having a VA appraisal, especially in older homes, but the idea is that your home, should it pass, will be deemed to be in good condition overall and safe to live in.
What Will Fail a VA Appraisal?
Failing the appraisal process for VA home loans can occur when the property does not fall within the VA’s MPRs or the value of your home is much lower than the appraised value and loan will allow. Here are some of the more common reasons that homes fail VA appraisals:
- Severe roof damage.
- Insufficient HVAC units.
- Electrical systems that aren’t up to par.
- Structural issues which include damaged windows or missing handrails.
- The lack of working appliances and/or utilities.
The goal should be to move into a home that is ready to go. If the property you are considering cannot provide this experience, it’s likely that your VA appraisal will not approve the property.
How Long Does a VA Appraisal Take?
This unfortunately will vary. A VA appraiser may complete the process in a week. They may also finish things up in three weeks. You should prepare for the process to take at least a couple of weeks, with anything under this time period considered to be a welcomed surprise.
Times will vary from region to region for different reasons. Part of why things may take longer is due to the lack of appraisers in an area. This combined with a large number of people needing a VA appraisal will add to your wait time.
VA appraisal fee schedules and timeliness requirements can also vary from region to region, but timeliness will start on the first business day after your assignment date. VA appraisal requirements and additional VA appraisal fees can vary, including the addition of late fees.
Your VA appraisal is one of the first of many steps that can help you gain the home you deserve. Working with your realtor can help you navigate this process for a smooth transition and prosperous results.
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