You’ve decided to buy a home and are nearing the end of the journey. Real Estate Agent. Check. VA Loan pre-approved. Check. Found the perfect home. Check. Put in an accepted offer. Check. You’re almost there, but before your lender goes ahead with the final approval, a VA Appraisal is required.

 A VA Appraisal is a requirement by the lender to ensure this purchase is a sensible transaction for the bank. You cannot follow through with a VA Loan without a successful appraisal coming in at the home’s asking price. A Home Inspection is an optional inspection paid for by the buyer, to uncover any hidden problems. The buyer goes to the seller with contingency requirements to pay for these issues or lower the home price to account for needed repairs. Unless you’re a professional home inspector, you will not want to skip this step.

VA Appraisal and Home Inspection

VA Home Inspection

Home Inspections are scheduled before the appraisal – there is no sense in paying for the appraisal if you’re going to walk away from the house based on the inspection findings.

The buyer is responsible for an inspection and appraisal – so they are upfront costs to prepare for when  purchasing a house. Home Inspections are not required but are always HIGHLY recommended. Unexpected and costly home repairs right after closing aren’t ideal, especially if it’s something that would have been a dealbreaker to move forward with the purchase.  Home Inspections are solely for the buyer’s benefit. 

Make sure you find a reputable inspection company, speak to your agent for referrals, or ask around in the community. With the cost of buying a house, you may feel like you can forgo the extra $500, but it’s worth it. The trained eye of an inspector is important to look for potential problems and hazards even for a new build.

Home Inspections are a comprehensive look at the house at one moment in time.  The inspector is uncovering things that may need repair that are not obvious to the buyer.  The inspector generally checks electrical, plumbing, HVAC, the attic, the roof, the basement, looks for signs of water damage/leaks, makes sure the doors close properly etc.  Schedule a Home Inspection during your due diligence period. This allows you to negotiate repairs or walk away from the contract (without penalty) if the results of the inspection are unsettling.

What Is the Lender Looking for in a VA Appraisal?

  • Does the home meet the MPR (Minimum Property Requirements) ? Here’s a comprehensive list of the Minimum Property Requirements for your VA Loan. For example, some reports will come back with repairs needed to railings or inspections on things like fireplaces etc. Understanding Minimum Property Requirements for a VA Loan (vamortgagecenter.com)
  • What is the market value of the home under contract? Your lender will not grant your VA Loan for more than the property is valued, even if the original price is over the appraisal value. You CAN pay over the appraised value but that difference must be in cash (more on that later). Here is a list of steps and conditions if your VA Appraisal comes in under the home’s listed price. What To Do If A VA Appraisal Comes In Low (veteran.com)

People mistakenly think the VA appraisal takes the place of the home inspection, and it most definitely does not! Knowing the ins and outs of how VA Loans and VA Appraisals work, sets any buyer up for a less stressful and more successful home buying experience. Buying a home can be a very emotional process, and the more facts you know upfront, the better you will be able to handle the process. Another thing to consider is that at VA appraisal is not the same as a conventional appraisal. They both require Minimum Property Requirements, but VA Appraisals also require Minimum Property Standards which is slightly more stringent.

Click HERE for an additional source to reference for VA appraisals.

Looking for a military-friendly real estate agent in your area to buy or sell a home? Click here to fill out our Military Real Estate Questionnaire and we will help find you an agent that is a great fit or send a us a message.

Looking for a military-friendly real estate agent in your area to buy or sell a home? Click here to fill out our Military Real Estate Questionnaire and we will help find you an agent that is a great fit or send a us a message.