VA Rules For Appraisers: Interior Photographs Now Required
VA Circular 26-17-05, among the last of the 2017 VA loan regulatory updates recently published at VA.gov, mentions a requirement for VA appraisers to get interior photographs of the property being appraised.
According to the circular, the new requirement is in keeping with today’s industry practices. “In order to bring VA valuation policy into alignment with current practices in the appraisal industry, appraisers must include interior photographs of the subject property”.
Appraisers must get photos that show all bathrooms, the kitchen area, main living space, plus any recent changes to the property including remodeling work, restoration, or renovation. The new rule also requires VA fee appraisers to document with photographs, “Examples of physical deterioration, if present.”
These new photo rules are in addition to those which require “clear, illustrative, original photographs showing the front, rear view (preferably including a different side view in each photograph), and a street scene of the subject property and the front of each comparable sale.”
Part of the reason for these photo requirements is to back up the appraiser’s value estimation. A clue to this is listed in the newly updated requirements which states, “Include photographs of any improvement, site feature, or view affecting value.”
Naturally the new photographic requirements will add some additional time to the VA fee appraiser’s work. Those selling homes to buyers with VA insured loans should consider these new photographic requirements when blocking out time to let the appraiser in to do his or her work.
The full text of VA Circular 26-11-21, which includes the updated rules for appraisers and photographs can be reviewed at http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/new.asp