Buying A Home
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Can anyone tell me about the VA appraisal process?

We have a contract on a house, have had the inspection, and our agent is setting up the VA appraisal.  I've been reading horror stories online and things like "never use a VA loan to buy a house older than 5-10 years."  This house was built in the late 1970s and needs some love.  We negotiated the sellers down $35,000 and are planning to do a lot of renovations ourselves.  There are some things we are planning on doing immediately after closing like replacing a leaking sliding glass door and replacing the cracked linoleum kitchen floor with tile.  I'm just so afraid that the appraiser is going to say that these things make the house "unlivable" which will mean we can't close. 

Has anyone had a VA appraisal?  Was it as awful as I've been reading about?  I think it's along the same lines as the FHA appraisal if anyone has dealt with that.  TIA!

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Re: Can anyone tell me about the VA appraisal process?

  • We had one.  Our house was built in 1989.  It was no big deal.  The appraiser was local but someone approved by the VA.  Our house appraised for 13K more than what we paid.

    Your realtor should be able to give you an idea of whether or not s/he thinks it will appraise for the purchase price.

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • imagemrszee2b:

    We had one.  Our house was built in 1989.  It was no big deal.  The appraiser was local but someone approved by the VA.  Our house appraised for 13K more than what we paid.

    Your realtor should be able to give you an idea of whether or not s/he thinks it will appraise for the purchase price.

    Thanks!

    So there wasn't anything that was required to be fixed before closing?  That's the thing we're worried about.  I would honestly pass out if the appraisal came in lower than what we paid.

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
  • imageflip_flops:
    imagemrszee2b:

    We had one.  Our house was built in 1989.  It was no big deal.  The appraiser was local but someone approved by the VA.  Our house appraised for 13K more than what we paid.

    Your realtor should be able to give you an idea of whether or not s/he thinks it will appraise for the purchase price.

    Thanks!

    So there wasn't anything that was required to be fixed before closing?  That's the thing we're worried about.  I would honestly pass out if the appraisal came in lower than what we paid.

    There was nothing that the appraiser required us to fix.  Most of the issues were minor plumbing things (water pressure too high, leaky toilets).  The seller had to fix that stuff.  Old flooring in the kitchen would not be something that the appraiser would require you to fix.  It would affect the appraisal amount because they factor in things like updates and appliances, but I think it's only an issue if some major system in the house isn't working.  The VA isn't going to give you a loan on a house without a working furnace--that would be something they'd want you to fix.  Old floors and other cosmetic things...not such a big deal.

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • imagemrszee2b:
    imageflip_flops:
    imagemrszee2b:

    We had one.  Our house was built in 1989.  It was no big deal.  The appraiser was local but someone approved by the VA.  Our house appraised for 13K more than what we paid.

    Your realtor should be able to give you an idea of whether or not s/he thinks it will appraise for the purchase price.

    Thanks!

    So there wasn't anything that was required to be fixed before closing?  That's the thing we're worried about.  I would honestly pass out if the appraisal came in lower than what we paid.

    There was nothing that the appraiser required us to fix.  Most of the issues were minor plumbing things (water pressure too high, leaky toilets).  The seller had to fix that stuff.  Old flooring in the kitchen would not be something that the appraiser would require you to fix.  It would affect the appraisal amount because they factor in things like updates and appliances, but I think it's only an issue if some major system in the house isn't working.  The VA isn't going to give you a loan on a house without a working furnace--that would be something they'd want you to fix.  Old floors and other cosmetic things...not such a big deal.

    Ok, thanks!  Lights, heat, etc. all work in the home.  Most of what it needs is new paint, carpet, kitchen floor, updated appliances (they do work though), etc.

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
  • I can't decide what it is: whether there's just lots of misinformation out there about VA appraisals, whether people have confused them with FHAs (which are notoriously hard), whether the VA changed their standard at some point, or whether there are just some hard-a$$ appraisers out there. 

    What I do know for certain is that we've never had a problem, but we've never tried to buy a falling down wreck, either.

    1993 house in 2005

    2003 house in 2007

    1989 house in 2009

    These houses all had the regular, routine issues of their age.  Heck, the 2003 house had improperly installed roof that we had to pay $2,500 to fix.  The 1989 house had multiple original appliances/systems on their last legs.  In our experience, the VA appraisal has been like any other bank appraisal: is the house, in general terms, worth the contract price?

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