VA Loan Reader Questions: VA Appraisal Requirements For Crawlspaces and Attics
A reader asks, “I had a VA appraisal done two weeks ago. The appraiser told me he had been an appraiser for 15 years. He seemed to know what he was doing but when I asked him if he wanted me to climb the ladder and remove the attic vent so he could look in the attic he told me that he did not have to do that.”
“He also did not look in the crawl space. Are these area’s of the house that should have been inspected according to VA rules and regulations?”
The VA appraisal process is designed to insure the property meets minimum VA standards and to establish the fair market value of the home. However, the VA appraisal is not intended to be a complete review of the property or as a VA stamp of approval that the home is free from defects. However, certain parts of the home are covered in detail in the VA loan rules.
These rules, as found in VA pamphlet 26-7, Chapter 12, state the following about crawlspaces:
“The crawl space must:
• Have adequate access
• Be clear of all debris, and
• Be properly vented.
The floor joists must be sufficiently above the highest level of the ground to provide access for maintenance and repair of ductwork and plumbing. Any excessive dampness or ponding of water in the crawl space must be corrected.”
In the case of this reader question, there may be a difference of opinion between the rules and those interpreting those rules as to whether this requires the appraiser to look in the crawlspace.
The most important thing for the reader to do in this case? Contact the Department of Veterans Affairs directly for assistance. If the valuation of the property is affected by a potential missed step in the appraisal process, getting that matter some attention would be a top priority. That is not to say that we know who is right or wrong in this particular case. All we provide is a simple reading of the rules as they currently stand and the contact information to address a potential issue.
Contact the VA directly at 1-800 827-1000 for more information.
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