8 min read Apr 03, 2024

How Much is a Home Appraisal in Virginia in 2024?

The average cost of a home appraisal in the Old Dominion State is around $600. While that may seem like a lot, don’t skimp out on a home appraisal. You may save a few hundred dollars, but you might lose thousands in the bargain.

A whopping 74% of real estate transactions nationwide face challenges due to appraised values. And if that wasn’t enough, a staggering 1 in 10 mortgage applications are rejected because of a low appraisal.

Mortgage lenders rely on appraisals to determine your loan amount. So, to get the home of your dreams, ensure that you choose the right home appraiser who can help you secure a favorable mortgage.

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What Is the Cost of Home Appraisal in Virginia?

A home appraisal fee in the Old Dominion State is around $600, with the national average being $350. However, this price changes drastically based on your type of property. For single-family homes, you could spend nearly $600. But for multifamily homes, appraisal costs can shoot up to $775.

Virginia Home Appraisal Cost By Type

Understanding the types of home appraisals can help you choose the right one for your situation. Here are some kinds of appraisal services you get in Virginia:

  • Traditional Appraisal— $350 to $600: The appraiser personally visits your house to assess it. After they review the real estate comps in your area, you get an appraisal report that provides the most accurate appraised value.
  • Desktop Appraisal $75 to $200: The appraiser only looks at publically available data related to your property. Although this is a cheaper alternative, most lenders do not accept its evaluation.
  • Drive-By Appraisal $100 to $150: This service involves a visual assessment of your property, but the appraiser does not enter the house. Like desktop appraisals, mortgage lenders do not accept this appraisal as it’s not comprehensive.
  • Hybrid Appraisal $250 to $375: This process involves two appraisers— one conducts a comprehensive visual assessment of the property while the other analyzes the data. Some lenders have started to accept such appraisals.

Can You Get a Home Appraisal Done for Free in VA?

No! A free home appraisal, in reality, is a myth.

Licensed appraisers are professionals who invest in training, follow regulations, and deliver detailed reports justifying the appraised value. Therefore, this valuable service comes with a price tag, usually ranging from $350 to $600.

While appraisals aren’t free, there are alternative options you can consider to reduce your costs. These include:

  • Online Estimators: Websites like Zillow offer free estimates based on algorithms and public data. Remember that these are approximate values and shouldn’t be relied on for crucial decisions.
  • Comparative Market Analysis: A real estate agent can compare your desired property to similar recent sales, giving you a more informed estimate. However, CMA is still not a substitute for a professional appraisal.

Factors That Affect Virginia Home Appraisal Costs

Before you budget your expenses for a home appraisal, understand these factors that affect its cost:

  • Property’s Size: Appraisal costs change significantly if a property is large or spreads across multiple acres of land. A single-family home appraisal typically costs around $325 – $425, while for a multifamily home, it can be $600 – $1,500.
  • Type of Loan: Government-backed loans require a thorough appraisal process to ensure the property meets safety and structural requirements. Property appraisal costs in Virginia for FHA loans or VA loans range from around $400 to $900.
  • Property’s Condition: The home appraiser documents any visible defects in the home appraisal report. As this requires extra time and effort, the appraiser charges more for it.
  • Time of the Year: Some areas may become inaccessible due to seasonal conditions like flooding and increase the appraisal cost.
  • Special Features: Amenities like swimming pool, deck, or koi pond require extra assessment, incurring additional costs.

» What Hurts a Home Appraisal: 7 things you must avoid

Who Pays for the Appraisal in Virginia?

Generally, a buyer pays the home appraisal fee before purchasing a house. These fees are considered a part of the buyer’s closing costs in Virginia. A seller who gets an appraisal before listing the property pays the appraisal costs.

If you are a borrower refinancing your loan to reduce your interest rate, you’ll pay the cost of a house appraisal.

» Refinance Appraisal Checklist: Prepare your house for a home appraisal

Why Do You Need a Home Appraisal in Virginia?

Here are some reasons why you should get a home appraised before buying a house:

  • Determine Property Value: A home appraiser objectively estimates the property’s appraised value.
  • Secure a Mortgage: Lenders require an appraisal to confirm that the property’s value is sufficient collateral. In some cases, buyers may need to make a larger down payment if the appraisal exceeds the purchase price.
  • Check Insurance Coverage: Many home insurance policies follow the 80% rule. It stipulates that homeowners should insure their property for at least 80% of its replacement cost. Appraisals assist homeowners in complying with this rule and avoiding penalties for underinsurance.
  • Get HELOC Or Refinance: Homeowners who want to get a home equity loan or refinance an existing mortgage need a home appraisal to determine the property’s value.

How Does a Home Appraisal Work in Virginia?

Buyers and sellers can hire a Virginia home appraiser to assess the property’s appraised value. Usually conducted after a contract, the appraisal helps mortgage lenders determine whether the loan aligns with the property’s value.

Real estate appraisers consider the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report, location and other factors to appraise a property’s condition. They will also look at properties sold recently in the area.

» How to Prepare Your Home for an Appraisal: Highlight your home’s strengths for a positive appraisal

Can You Skip the Home Appraisal Process?

The previous no-appraisal limit was set at $250,000. The new rule by NCUA, FDIC, and OCC has raised the no-appraisal limit for home sales from $250,000 to $400,000. This potentially impacts 72% of mortgage transactions.

However, mainstream mortgage lenders still require an appraisal. This includes homes under $400,000. Hence, automatic exemptions cannot be guaranteed. Lenders often require appraisals, and without one, you might get stuck with:

  • Financing Roadblocks: No loan if the value doesn’t match the price.
  • Overpaying / Underselling: Risking money on both the buying and selling sides.
  • Negotiation Challenges: Difficulty getting a fair price without an objective value.
  • Delays and Deal Failures: Appraisal mismatch later can derail the entire process.

» How to Prepare Your Home for an Appraisal: Here’s how you can highlight your home’s strengths for a positive appraisal

Dos and Don’ts for a Successful Appraisal

A successful real estate deal hinges on a positive home appraisal. The following dos and don’ts will guide you through the process:


  • Prepare Your Home: Enhance your curb appeal with landscaping, minor repairs, and a fresh coat of paint. Declutter the interior for a positive first impression.
  • Gather Documentation: Have readily available copies of property tax records, warranty deeds, and any major improvements made to the home. This helps the appraiser understand the property’s history and value additions.
  • Be Upfront About Repairs: Don’t try to hide any major repairs. Mention them to the appraiser and provide any documentation of repairs you plan to undertake.


  • Make Major Renovations: Don’t go overboard with upgrades that might not be typical for your neighborhood. Appraisers consider comparable properties in the area, and excessive upgrades might not translate to a higher appraised value.
  • Leave the House a Mess: First impressions matter. Ensure the appraiser can easily access all rooms and complete their inspection efficiently.
  • Argue With the Appraiser: The appraiser is a professional with expertise in valuing homes. If you disagree with the appraised value, discuss your concerns politely and provide any additional documentation that might support your perspective.

How to Find a Home Appraiser in Virginia?

Here are a few things you should consider when looking for a Virginia home appraiser:

  • Check Certification: Make sure they are licensed or certified.
  • Look for Reviews: Look at online reviews to ensure they are unbiased and won’t favor any party.
  • Check Local BBB: Check with the local Better Business Bureau to determine how trustworthy the private appraiser is.
  • Get a Specialized Appraiser: If you are applying for a government-backed loan, you’ll need an appraiser who specializes in these assessments.

» Looking for a home appraiser? Check out Virginia home appraisers near you.

Bottom Line

The cost of an appraisal in Virginia can go up from $325 to $425. The Old Dominion State’s house appraisal fees vary based on factors like location, type of house, property condition, and the loan you’re getting. House appraisals cannot be skipped, especially when getting a mortgage.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is home appraisal cost for refinance in Virginia?

The cost of a home appraisal for refinancing in Virginia is between $350 and $600 on average, depending on the size, location, and loan type.

Should I skip a home appraisal in Virginia?

No. You can't skip a home appraisal in Virginia if you're getting a mortgage on your house. But if you are buying a house with cash, you can skip a home appraisal.

Why is my appraisal fee so high?

Home appraisal fees depend on multiple factors like the property's size, property type, the type of loan you're getting, etc. If you are appraising a huge property or opting for a government-backed mortgage, your average appraisal fees can be higher.

What is home appraisal?

A home appraisal is a complete assessment of a property to determine its value. An unbiased home appraiser will examine the property according to the lender's requirements and prepare a home appraisal report.

Does appraisal have to match purchase price or loan amount?

The appraisal does not have to match the loan amount exactly. However, it is a crucial factor considered by lenders to determine the loan-to-value ratio and assess the risk associated with the loan.

» Appraised Amount vs. Loan Amount: Understand the difference


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