real estate VA loans

VA Rules for Property Appraisal

October 29, 2015

VA Rules for Property Appraisal

va loanIn previous posts, I have written about VA property appraisals and the requirements the VA puts in place for appraisers.

In spite of all these requirements, there are often a few exceptions to some of the guidelines. A VA appraiser looking at a proposed construction site obviously can’t view a finished product at inspection time.

If a VA-assigned appraiser requires what the Department of Veterans Affairs terms “significant professional assistance” when doing the appraisal or when preparing the final report (where permitted), the appraiser must list the professional helper by name AND list all tasks performed by the third party. This holds the appraiser accountable for the final results.

The VA goes a long way to insure appraisals are accurate and representative of the actual fair market value of a particular property. The assigned appraisers must include a location map in the report, building perimeter sketches and/or photographs of either the sale property or the lot where proposed construction is to take place.

For homebuyers, one of the most important parts of the appraisal report is the required itemized list of any observed repairs required to be completed. The list should also include “customer preference items to be installed,” as well as any corrections to the property to make it conform to VA regulations.

Corrections can include repairs to leaking roofs, fixing windows that don’t open or close properly, missing handrails for staircases with more than three steps and other important issues. Does the appraiser spot areas that require inspections? They must be mentioned in the report, plus supporting information that justifies the appraisal. For more information, contact the Department of Veteran Affairs or visit their website at

  1. Charles Rountree

    Can I get a VA loan for lake property on which I plan to build a house later? Charles Rountree

  • admin

    The Department of Veterans Affairs does not allow for the purchase of land. The VA eligibility can only be used for a single family dwelling (1-4) units. The process of purchasing land and / or building a home is a difficult one utilizing the VA process. If you are going through a builder, then they will usually want to provide the financing for you with two loans. If not, here is the process. You would have to go to an interim lender such as a bank or Credit union. They would need to give you a bridge loan for the land and / or new home construction which usually comes in stages. Once the home is built and all inspections complete, then you would get approved by a take out lender utilizing the VA program. At that time, you could utilize a VA approved lender for the take out loan. The lender pays off the bank or credit union that originally lent you the money and creates one new VA mortgage for the Veteran. Since the interim lender can originate loans and will want to make additional money on another loan, they will usually try to give you some added incentive in order for you to give them the take out loan. If this is the type of loan you want, we suggest you research what available options you have and make an informed decision.

  • Katty

    Hello, What are my chances to qualify with the VA loan for a home that was bought by an investor for 88k on 6/2010 and its now selling for 150k? The investor upgraded the whole house which includes 4 large bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, kitchen, and a pool (the lot is over 6k sq ft). I was told by a friend that I can not qualify for a full loan because the VA goes by what the property previously sold and not by what its worth now. Is this true?

    • Joe Wallace

      When you apply for the VA loan on any property, one of the requirements is for the property to get an appraisal by a VA assigned appraiser who will assign the fair market value of the home. That value is established and the loan amount is sent in for approval. The fair market value may not be the same as the asking price of the home, in which case if your VA loan application is approved you may need to have a down payment to make up the difference between the appraised value and the asking price--unless you can negotiate a lower price.

  • Deborah Gould

    Dear Sir/Madam: I was wondering if you could possibly assist me. We had a VA appraisal performed on the home that we are purchasing with a VA loan. However, the VA appraisor is not providing anyone with some corrections that need to be performed. The bank tells us that they are not permitted to talk with him. So who is the appraisor permitted to provide these corrections to? It has been two weeks and he the VA appraisor is not being compliant. How do we find out what corrections need to be done in order to move forward on the purchase of our home? Thank You Debbie Gould

  • Erin Austin

    I am wondering if there is a checklist of things the VA inspector will check and if anyone can direct me to that link. We are looking to purchase a house that clearly needs some work done. But I would first like to know the main things the inspector will look for. Anyone able to connect me with a link and a checklist, it would be greatly appreciated.

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