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4 min read May 23, 2023

The VA Loan Appraisal and Inspection Requirements

VA loan appraisal and inspection play crucial roles in assessing property value, meeting standards, and ensuring borrower satisfaction throughout the loan process.

What is a VA loan Appraisal and Inspection?

A VA loan appraisal is an assessment conducted by a VA-approved appraiser to determine the value of the property being considered for a VA loan. VA loan inspection refers to a comprehensive examination of the property to identify any potential safety hazards or structural issues.

Both the appraisal and inspection serve to protect the interests of the borrower and the VA by ensuring that the property’s value is accurately assessed and that it meets the necessary requirements for a VA loan.

These processes aim to provide a safe and sound housing environment for the borrower while minimizing any potential risks.

Is Home Inspection is necessary for a VA loan?

No, a VA loan does not require a home inspection. While a home inspection is not mandatory for a VA loan, it is highly recommended.

The VA encourages borrowers to obtain a thorough inspection to identify any potential issues or safety hazards with the property. This helps protect the borrower’s interests by ensuring they have a clear understanding of the property’s condition and any potential repairs or maintenance needed.

While the appraisal assesses the value of the property, a home inspection provides a more detailed examination of its overall condition. Ultimately, a VA inspection can provide peace of mind to the borrower and help them make informed decisions when purchasing a home with a VA loan.

VA Appraisal Vs. Home Inspection

VA Appraisal:

  • A VA appraisal is a valuation of a property conducted by a licensed appraiser approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • It is required for properties being financed with a VA loan, which is a type of mortgage available to eligible veterans and active-duty military members.
  • The appraisal assesses the fair market value of the property to ensure it meets the minimum property requirements set by the VA.
  • The VA appraisal primarily focuses on determining the property’s value and ensuring it is suitable for financing purposes.
  • It considers factors such as the property’s condition, location, size, and comparable sales in the area.

Home Inspection:

  • A home inspection is a comprehensive examination of a property’s condition, typically conducted by a certified home inspector.
  • It is performed to identify any potential issues or defects in the property before the purchase is finalized.
  • The inspection covers various aspects of the property, including the structural integrity, electrical systems, plumbing, HVAC, roofing, and more.
  • The inspector provides a detailed report outlining any problems or areas of concern discovered during the inspection.
  • The purpose of a VA home inspection is to provide the buyer with a thorough understanding of the property’s condition and help them make an informed decision about the purchase.

VA Minimum Property Requirements

VA Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs) are guidelines set by the Department of Veterans Affairs that outline the basic condition and safety standards a property must meet to qualify for a VA loan.

These requirements aim to ensure that the property is safe, structurally sound, and in good overall condition.

Some key MPRs include adequate heating, electrical, and plumbing systems, functioning roof and foundation, safe water supply, proper ventilation, and absence of lead-based paint hazards.

Additionally, the property should be easily accessible and have a sufficient living space. The VA MPRs are in place to protect veterans and ensure that the properties they purchase with VA loan inspection requirements meet certain quality standards.

How to Address Issues With the VA Appraisal?

To address issues with a VA appraisal, you can take the following steps:

  • Review the appraisal report thoroughly to understand the identified issues or discrepancies.
  • If you believe there are factual errors or omissions, gather supporting documentation to challenge the appraisal.
  • Contact the VA appraiser or the lender to discuss your concerns and provide any additional information or documentation.
  • Request a reconsideration of value or a review of the appraisal if you believe the property’s value was underestimated.
  • If necessary, obtain a second opinion by hiring an independent appraiser to evaluate the property and provide a separate appraisal.
  • Work closely with your lender to navigate the process and provide any requested information or documentation.
  • If all else fails, you can file a formal complaint with the VA’s Regional Loan Center or seek assistance from a professional real estate attorney or advocate.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. For a VA loan, what inspections are necessary?

Although VA loans do not mandate a home inspection, they do require a VA home appraisal, which is less detailed than an inspection but provides an assessment of whether the property meets basic standards for VA financing, ensuring it is safe, structurally sound, and in good condition.

2. How soon after applying for a VA loan should I get my property inspected?

For a VA loan, it is advisable to have the home inspection done as early as possible in the homebuying process to allow time for any necessary repairs or negotiations before finalizing the loan.

3. What's the turnaround time for a VA appraisal?

The normal time frame is 10 days, but you should allow extra time if you know when the deal will close. Sometimes, a procedure might be slowed down by high demand.

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