Your status as a military veteran gives you access to benefits that make buying a home easier. Yet your VA loan does come with a few requirements. A VA loan appraisal must be completed before a lender can approve the loan.
At first glance, these appraisals are intimidating. You may have even heard that the ones that are required by the VA are tougher than those used for conventional loans. The truth is that these appraisals are designed to be stringent, but they serve an honorable purpose.
Appraisals are meant to accomplish two important goals. First, the lender and the federal government need to be sure that the loan you take out represents the property’s fair market value. Second, the appraisal is meant to ensure that veterans have a safe and comfortable place to live.
Remembering that the appraisal process is meant to help you select a home that is a wise investment is the best way to get through this phase of buying a house. You can also do things that make the process easier. For instance, choosing a house that is in good repair makes it less likely that the appraiser will find something wrong.
These appraisals go one step beyond the ones that are used for conventional loans by having the appraiser check to make sure that the property meets the VA’s Minimum Property Requirements.
Some of these requirements are fairly easy to meet, such as making sure that your house is designed to be a residence with adequate living space. Others may be tougher, but they are meant to make sure that your house is safe and structurally sound. For instance, basements must be dry and properly vented.
If the requirements are not met, then you have the option of fixing them. You can also ask the seller to cover the cost of any repairs. For example, the seller may decide that fixing a bad roof is worth doing since most buyers will request it. Once you correct the issues, you can then have the house reinspected to get your loan approved.
There are times when a home’s value comes back low. When this happens, you have several options besides just walking away. You can work with your real estate agent to request that the seller lower their asking price for the property. While they may not always agree to do so, this is often the fastest and easiest way to move forward with the sale.
If you are determined to buy the property, you can also put up your own cash to make up the difference between the asking price and the amount you can get approved for the loan.
If you feel the appraisal was faulty, then you may also be able to seek a Reconsideration of Value. The VA is aware that an appraisal may sometimes be incorrect, and a loan specialist can help you work through the process of having it reviewed.
The appraisal process may leave you feeling anxious about your home purchase, but they tend to go fast. We can also work with you each step of the way to make sure that you know your options if the appraisal reveals that you need to take further action.
Jimmy Vercellino is an experienced Phoenix mortgage lender. He and his team work hard to provide a timely, efficient and excellent home loan process for buyers. As a loan specialist, Jimmy manages the entire process for his clients, making the home buying experience a pleasure instead of filled with stress.