VA Loan Articles
Can a VA Appraisal Hold Up My Loan Application?When you get pre-approved for a VA home loan and go house hunting, or if you find a home you want and then apply for a VA mortgage, there's one step that must happen before the loan can be given final approval. A VA appraisal to value the home must be conducted and finalized before you can move forward on the VA loan. The purpose of the inspection includes setting a value for the property and identifying things that must be corrected to make the property inhabitable. Those corrections must be done prior to the loan being closed.
What kinds of things does a VA appraiser look for that could stop the loan process until repairs or corrections are made?
According to the VA, the home must be livable. While cosmetic problems won't be addressed, there are some things about a home that may seem cosmetic on first inspection but are actually quite important. Does the home have a back door with no steps or a porch area? This is considered a safety issue and must be corrected. Any situation that could cause a hazard must be corrected. That includes stairways without railings or deck areas that don't have proper stability. Are exposed wires a cosmetic problem or a safety issue? Your VA appraiser will likely come down on the safety side and require a fix.
Is there a more complex issue that could cause a safety hazard? Is your laundry room properly equipped with the right circuit breakers and GFI circuits to handle the load a washer and dryer puts on the electrical system? These are the kinds of answers your appraiser may be able to answer. Remember that a trained appraiser is not necessarily an electrical expert or a custom builder professional. If you see problems of this kind, don't assume the appraiser will spot them automatically.
The VA requires the home to be inhabitable and in good repair. A leaking roof may not be considered "in good repair" but if the VA appraiser misses such a defect, it may go undetected until your VA home loan is final. That's one reason it's so important to do your own inspection first.
Purely cosmetic problems won't cause the VA appraiser to raise an eyebrow, but you might not be happy with those problems. It's not the appraiser's job to call attention to those cosmetic problems--if you have an issue with loose siding, a discolored wall or a leaky faucet, it's up to you to negotiate with the seller to have such problems fixed before you close on the VA mortgage loan and home purchase. Don't close on the home if you have problems still unrepaired. In the case of the items the VA appraiser says must be fixed, you are not allowed to close. In the case of cosmetic issues, if you close before the repairs are done, you could be stuck with them. Don't close until you're sure the home is in the condition you want it to be.