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What is the VA Appraisal Process?

Photo of a beautiful home amongst flowers

The VA appraisal process is actually very streamline and efficient. Because of the mortgage fall back in 2008, no lender on any loan program is allowed to pick the appraiser for a particular property. Even if you have no control over the exact appraiser, an appraisal is required for any veteran wanting a VA home loan.

What is an appraisal?

An appraisal is set up to determine the market value of the your desired home. The appraisal process is required by the VA, and you cannot be approved for a VA home loan until is it completed. An appraisal may sound like a typical inspection, but its actually a completely independent process that requires a special appraiser set up by the VA.

Because these two processes are separate, setting up a home inspection in addition to your appraisal is valuable. A home inspection will more vigorously cover all the aspects of your home and uncover any issues that may need to be attended to before moving in.

Minimum Property Requirements

The VA sets Minimum Property Requirements, or MPRs, and your desired home must meet all of these MPRs in order to qualify for a VA loan. The MPRs cover issues that will need an immediate or near-immediate solution, and they cover the basics “S’s.” That is safety, sanitation and structural integrity, and these three factors are looked at during the VA’s appraisal process. Some of the specifics covered during an appraisal are:
Heating and Cooling Systems

  • Roofing
  • Ventilation
  • Termites
  • Water Supply
  • Sewage Disposal Systems
  • Handrails on Staircases
  • Exterior Paint

Borrowers who have want a home that does not meet the MPRs will have a difficult time securing any type of VA financing. Exemptions do exist, but the problems must be resolved before the home loan closes. It is important to remember that the process is set up to protect the veteran home owners from finding any unexpected and costly fixes after moving in.

VA Appraisal Process

Again, the VA appraisal process is pretty set, yet simple to understand. Here is a basic timeline of the appraisal process:
  1. Ordering the appraisal: Your lender is going to order the appraiser from the VA Portal. There is no way for the lender, you as the client, the seller or the builders to pick exactly who the appraiser is going to be. The borrowers are in charge of paying for the appraisal up-front.
  2. Appraiser is notified: The VA will then pick and notify a local appraiser to go out and appraise your property. At this point, you are able to contact the appraiser to figure out the exact time frame for the appraisal.
  3. Appraisal deadline determined: According to the VA guidelines, an appraiser has 10 days to get the appraisal back. This also depends on the area in which the home stands. If the area is a little more rural, the deadline can be extended.
  4. Appraiser determines home value: The appraiser will look at three or so comparable homes, or “comps” in order to determine your desired home’s value. He/she will need to find at least one accurate comparable in order to move forward in the process.
  5. Appraiser checks MPRs: The appraiser will then check the safety, sanitation and structural integrity of the home. It will have to meet the VA’s MPR requirements before the loan will be approved.
  6. Appraiser sends in report: The appraisal report will have an estimated value for the property and list any repairs needed to bring it up to VA guidelines.
  7. Repairs on report are fixed: Repairs stated in the appraisal report must often be completed and reinspected before the loan can close. It is beneficial to choose a home that requires few repairs because this process will ultimately take less time.
  8. Talk with your lender: Sometimes the appraiser will value the home lower than the purchase price and include a huge list of required repairs. If this happens and you are unsure of your next step, speak with your real estate agent and your loan officer. Sellers may be willing to lower their asking price to fit the home’s value, or it may be best to continue in the home search.

The appraisal process is a basic two-fold process that determines both the value of your desired home and whether or not it follows the VA’s MPRs. Having a real estate agent and lender who completely understands the VA appraisal and approval process can make a real difference. Trust the knowledgable home loan experts at VA Loan Spot to get you into your dream home. Give us a call today.

Bobby Atkisson

Bobby Atkisson

Bobby Atkisson is a seasoned mortgage professional who provides high quality financial services to military members and veterans. With over 14 years experience in the lending and financial industry, his mission is to provide high quality mortgage programs with the most competitive interest rates. For expert advice and guidance on VA Home Loans and Refinance, contact Bobby today at 800-537-2050.