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VA Loans – How does the Home Appraisal Process Work?

By: Grant Moon 08/19/12 12:54 pm

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VA Loans – How does the Home Appraisal Process Work?

Home appraisal is a process that is included when you purchase any new home or refinance an existing property. This is required in the case of VA loans, as a way to verify the amount of the loan. The basic reason for this is so that the lender doesn’t issue a loan that is greater than the value of the property. Because this is an integral part of the loan process, it’s important to learn a little bit more about this requirement and how it works before applying for any type of VA loan. Although many people may be qualified to go through this appraisal process, only a VA-approved appraiser will be accepted for loan verification purposes.

The appraisal usually takes place fairly early in the approval process for VA loans. This is to help make sure that if there are any problems, there is enough time to fix them or address them before closing. It’s possible to request an appraisal through the US Department of Veteran Affairs website, which has a feature known as The Appraisal System. Realtors, lenders, buyers, or sellers can request this appraisal using the portal on the website. A benefit of using VA-approved appraisers is that they will be unbiased with their assessment of the property.

The fees for a home appraisal will vary depending on the state that you reside in. In most cases, it will cost anywhere from $300 to $500 dollars, which will be required either up front or rolled into the loan. For this fee, you are helping guarantee that the loan appraiser will have the right training to make an accurate appraisal before obtaining VA loans. An appraiser is not the same thing as an inspector, so if you want an extra inspection of the property to search for code violations, this will be a separate fee. VA-approved appraisers will search for health and safety issues, however, such as unstable areas or broken stairs.

The VA-approved appraiser needs to certify that the home is livable before VA loans can be issued, because of the occupancy requirement. If they notice any safety problems during their appraisal, these will usually need to be fixed before the deal can be closed. The main goal of the appraisal is to determine the value of the home for the purposes of issuing a suitable loan amount. With this appraisal taken care of, the borrower can proceed with the next steps towards obtaining the benefits of a VA loan.


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