The VA appraisal process and the report itself get a bad rap, and they are often misunderstood. A topic we want to clarify is the misunderstanding that the Veterans Administration requested appraisal is a VA home inspection when it is not.
First, there’s no such thing as a VA home inspection, and the VA does not even require a home inspection. Foremost, a VA appraisal is a report to determine value, but there are other key points addressed in a report including:
- Property condition
- Home amenities
- Neighborhood characteristics
- Dimensions of the home
- Photos of exterior and interior
Is a VA Appraisal Similar to a Home Inspection?
The VA appraiser will crawl around the home, looking at its condition to confirm that the home meets the VA MPRs. While the appraiser is looking for condition or safety issues, their appraisal report will not be as detailed as a home inspection.
VA does not require, order, and rarely even sees a home inspection. So, VA nor the VA lender is involved in the home inspection process. Although, we highly recommend completing a separate home inspection.
For Your Protection, Get a Home Inspection
Believe it or not, almost no loan transaction requires a home inspection. VA is not different as it does not require a home inspection. To borrow a phrase from FHA, “For your protection, get a home inspection.” That’s right; buyers should hire a professional, licensed, and insured home inspector to comb through the home thoroughly.
Do I have to hire a home inspector? Again, a home inspection is normally not required. A buyer may have whomever they choose to look at the home. For instance, it could be a contractor, friend, the buyer, or even none at all. The answer is, whatever makes the buyer confident in the home’s condition. The important thing is that buyer understands the current condition and the potential upcoming issues. Usually, the best way to do this is with a qualified inspection professional.
Additionally, a buyer should never forego an inspection because of the cost. The cost of an inspection is well worth knowing if there are serious issues or not. If a buyer cannot afford a home inspection, then it is probably not a good idea to buy.
Top 12 VA Appraisal Issues
Another of our articles related to VA appraisals provides the top 12 common appraisal issues. Buyers, sellers, or real estate agents can check out this list that breaks down the most common issues and how to avoid them.
Another unique feature of VA appraisals is the Tidewater Initiative Process. This is when the appraiser needs more information to complete the VA appraisal and usually has to do with a potentially low value.
VA Appraisal Issues
What if the appraisal has some issues like the ones mentioned in our VA appraisal checklist? What’s even worse is if the seller won’t fix them. Traditional VA loans require an appraisal free from condition or safety issues. So, if the issues are not fixed, then a VA loan is not possible.
Our VA Renovation Loan will finance these repairs or home improvements.
Hopefully, this has provided a better understanding of the VA appraisal and home inspection. An appraisal is required on VA loans, and a home inspection is not required, but it is highly recommended.
GET OUR FREE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO VA LOANS
Discover the benefits of a VA Loan, what documents are needed, the VA Loan process, and more