VA loans are flexible, with $0-down payment mortgages for veterans. VA loans are offered by private lenders and partially guaranteed by the Department of Veteran Affairs. If you are eligible for a VA loan, then you can use it to purchase a primary residence or refinance your current mortgage. To qualify for a VA loan, you must meet the Department of VA appraisal criteria.
What is a VA appraisal?
While the VA backs the loan, the loan originates from private lenders. Because of this, the appraisal requirements are quite similar as those for traditional mortgages. The VA appraisal is meant to determine if the value of the property is aligned with the cost. After you choose the home you want to buy with a VA loan, the VA lender will conduct an official appraisal.
The VA appraiser will visit the prospective property and examine it along with the neighborhood. The appraiser will assess the size, location, and features of the property to determine its value. Additionally, the VA appraiser will determine if there are any urgent repairs that are needed to bring the property up to the VA’s minimum property requirements. Essentially, those repairs include anything that would be necessary to qualify the home as safe and healthy.
Uniform Residential Appraisal Report
The VA appraiser uses the same form as other appraisals, which is the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report. Additionally, they will use a sales comparison to compare the property you are looking to buy with other similar properties.
The appraiser will closely look at both the interior and exterior of your home and note aspects of the construction, such as the number of bedrooms/bathrooms, square footage, year built, materials, car storage, and more.
The VA appraiser will also review the neighborhood. They will note if it is urban, rural, or suburban, property value trends, housing shortage or surplus, and speed homes are selling.
For their report, the VA appraiser will photograph the property and include a floor plan with the home’s features.
What does a low VA appraisal mean?
If the VA appraisal is lower than the proposed sale price, then you may be denied a VA loan. The lender must ensure that if you default on your mortgage, they can get their money back by selling the property. If you feel the Va appraisal is far too, low you can dispute it by explaining why in writing and including supporting evidence. In your dispute, you must specify the value you believe the home is and why.
If you have any questions about VA loans and the guidelines, our knowledgeable team is happy to help. Contact us today for more information on all types of loans, including VA loans, HERE.
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