5 Things To Know About A VA Appraisal -

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5 Things To Know About A VA Appraisal

05-16-2022 • MHS Lending

VA loans are home loans backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These unique mortgages allow eligible servicemen or women, veterans, and some military spouses the opportunity to buy a home using benefits reserved exclusively for military members. These benefits include a $0 down payment, no PMI (private mortgage insurance), and lower interest rates. Even with these attractive benefits, VA loans do require a VA funding fee at closing, homeowners insurance, and a VA appraisal. Although most home purchases require an appraisal, VA appraisals are a little more involved. VA-approved appraisers must take extra steps to ensure a home is safe, habitable, and is a sound financial investment. Here are the top five things you need to know about a VA appraisal. 

What To Know About A VA Appraisal 

Who Performs A VA Appraisal? 

Only VA-approved appraisers can complete a VA appraisal. VA home appraisals are ordered through the VA and include a detailed review to ensure a home meets the VA’s standards for safety and financial feasibility. 

VA Appraisal Vs. A Home Inspection

Although the terms “appraisal” and “inspection” are often used interchangeably, they actually represent very different processes and purposes. The VA appraisal process exists to estimate a home’s value. An appraiser will look at the house, its features, and the comparable homes in the area to assess the home's worth. 

A VA home inspection goes deeper into the condition of the home. Inspectors look for things like leaky roofs, water damage, radon levels, and foundation buckling. Inspectors will draft detailed reports about things that should be repaired before move-in day. 

How Much Are VA Appraisal Fees?

VA appraisal fees are usually more expensive than traditional or FHA appraisal fees. VA appraisal fees can range from $500 to as much as $1,200, depending on where you live and the type of property you’re buying. You can review the VA appraisal fees for your area and property here. 

If you can’t afford the VA appraisal fee, you can request a no-cost loan from your lender. Most lenders offer a no-cost mortgage option that allows them to wrap closing costs and appraisal fees into your mortgage.

How Long Does A VA Appraisal Take?

The time it takes to complete an appraisal varies by location, the number of available appraisers, and their workloads. COVID-19 created a backlog for appraisers, so the process takes longer than it used to. On average, it can take 7-21 business days to complete. The VA sets timeliness guidelines for VA appraisers with set turnaround times based on where you live. 

VA Minimum Property Requirements

Properties must meet specific requirements to be financeable with a VA loan. Here are some of the conditions set forth by the VA:

  • Proof that each unit has enough space for living, sleeping, cooking, and sanitary facilities

  • A drainage system that directs water away from the home

  • Proof the home has access to safe drinking water from a local health authority

  • Working electric, heating, and cooling systems

  • Adequate roofing that will last the foreseeable future

  • Clean, continuous water supply with sanitary facilities

  • Free of lead-based paint

  • Free of wood-destroying insects, fungus, and dry rot

  • Safe and sanitary sewage disposal

  • Accessible from an all-weather public or private street

  • Attics and crawl spaces must be accessible and adequately vented

VA Loans In A Nutshell

Va loans are a great mortgage option available to Veterans, Service Members, and select military spouses. VA loans are issued by private lenders, like Military Homespot Lending (MHS), to ensure access and support for qualified borrowers. 

The VA home loan was created to help returning service members purchase homes without needing a down payment or excellent credit. In 2022, this program is critical for military families to get their piece of the American dream, despite inflation and rising interest rates. 

VA loans are a specialized loan product, but they do have unique rules and may take longer or be more expensive than other types of appraisals. Ultimately, the VA requires extra steps to ensure a home is safe, habitable, and a wise financial investment.

If you're ready to start your VA loan, check your eligibility with MHS here today.