VA appraisals

VA Appraisal Requirements

May 1, 2012

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VA Appraisal Requirements

We get many questions about VA appraisals. Some of the most common include specific queries about conditions such as peeling paint, houses equipped with fuse boxes, homes with septic tanks or well water systems, and many other topics.

VA appraisals are governed by a set of rules established by the Department of Veterans Affairs, but they are also guided by state and local building codes and other requirements, too.

The VA doesn’t publish or maintain the rules for each individual state, county, or township; instead it simply requires the appraiser to apply the state and local requirements as needed with the understanding that if a home’s condition is acceptable by local or state building codes or other laws, it is acceptable to the VA.

Except in cases where such conditions contradict VA requirements, naturally.

That said, the VA does have a few requirements based on by-state regulations specific to the VA appraisal system. For example, according to the VA official site, appraisers working in Alaska must be aware of the following:

“Property located in either a Red or Blue avalanche zone is not eligible to be the security for a VA-guaranteed loan.”

In Massachusetts, VA appraisers are informed, “Every Massachusetts property with an individual sewage disposal system requires evidence from the local health authority (or other source authorized by VA) that the system meets the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Title 5 standards.”

These specific requirements are listed for a variety of reasons, but apply to most or all of the VA home loans in such areas. For borrowers (and VA fee appraisers) who want to know what specific conditions the VA may have targeted in their housing market, a full list broken down by state is available at the VA official site. Not every state has such specific or unique requirements, but many do.

Do you have a question about VA home loans or refinancing? Ask us in our comments section.

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6 Comments
  1. tammie rotz

    we have been trying to sell our home to a veteran through a va loan since july 2011 when first inspected we were told there were things to be done. we did all that was told to us at that time.Put new siding new windows and so on. Than came the second appraiser and he added alot more. Nothing to do with the house but the small concrete barn and of all things 2 clothesline post needed to be painted. I hear from others its just a money making sceme All we are trying to do is give a vet a chance of owning his first home and not going broke trying to get it.We have paid for all the repairs but he has had to pay for inspections and other costs.We cannot afford anymore of these idiotic request from the appraiser who buy the why was late and rude to the buyer who fought for his country and has 2 children to raise after being away for 2 years while serving.

  2. Damon Mastrobattisto

    I have had an appraisal done and there are a few repairs that need to be done - nothing too bad - but do I need to pay another $475.00 when the appraiser returns to see if the repairs were done?

    • Joe Wallace

      Hi Damon, thanks for your question. You may be required to pay an additional fee if the VA has required another look on the NOV. According to the Cleveland VA Regional Loan Center, the fee is only required if the second look is required in writing by the VA appraiser. If you are not required to pay a lender's flat fee the rules may be different--see http://www.vba.va.gov/ro/cleveland/Allowable%20Closing%20Costs.pdf for details.

  3. Cal Sloan

    I have spent hundred if not thousands of dollars for a VA appraisers' each year to come to my home, thinking that the bottom has finished going down and a upswing in this market has begun. Each time I have had an appraiser out to my home, I get the same damn answer, your home is still under water. I am a 100% service connected veteran that stands to make a windfall in refinancing my home if my home would appraise higher than I purchased it for, or what I owe on it. I would have a lessor monthly mortgage payment. Which is a significant amount for me to refinance using my VA loan of which I over qualify for. One year I will ask a VA appraiser to come out to my home and he will give me a great answer that my home qualifies to refinance through VA.

  4. Peter Gordon

    Is a title V inspection required to refinance my home with a VA loan? If not, where would I find documentation stating this to forward to the VA? thanks

    • Joe Wallace

      It may or may not be depending on state or local law--you would need to check with the local authority.

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