A VA appraisal is a home assessment carried out by an independent home appraiser approved and certified by the VA. VA appraisers are looking to make sure the home is safe, sound and secure for the Veteran borrower living in it.
You may be wondering how long these appraisals are valid, and if you’ll need to order a new one at any time in the homebuying process, so let’s get into it.
VA loan appraisals for purchase loans are typically good until the loan closes or the file is terminated. The expiration for refinance loans is typically six months. Also, understand that you can't reuse a VA home appraisal once your loan closes. If you need another appraisal your VA loan lender can order a new one.
Because the VA is backing your mortgage, they want to be confident that your potential home is in good condition and represents a sound investment. As such, your home must meet certain requirements to pass the VA appraisal.
VA appraisals generally take about 10 to 15 days to complete, but timelines can vary depending on where you’re buying and more. It's typically a good idea to give yourself extra time so you aren't working on a tight deadline.
Housing markets can change significantly in a short period. This is because appraisals consider more than just the property's age, construction and overall condition when determining its value — they also look at comparable properties in that specific housing market.
Unfortunately, you cannot extend a VA appraisal. A VA appraisal is only valid for a maximum of 180 days from the date the appraisal is completed. The appraisal might list repairs or upgrades that need to be taken care of before your VA-approved lender will approve your mortgage loan.
Doing repairs can take weeks or even months to complete. Not being able to extend the VA appraisal isn’t necessarily bad news. For example, if repairs or upgrades were the reason for the delay in your loan closing, your new appraisal could come back with a higher value than the initial one.
The process of having a future home appraised can be stressful, and appraisals can be challenging to predict. However, having a thorough understanding of what's involved in the VA appraisal process and VA appraisal expiration can help you be a better-prepared homebuyer. Learn more about the VA appraisal here.