If you are a veteran located in Southeast Wisconsin and planning to purchase a home using a VA loan, once you’re under contract to purchase a home, the real work starts for your lending team. One of the first steps for your lender is ordering a VA appraisal on the property.
What is a VA Appraisal?
The VA appraisal is an independent VA appraiser’s assessment of the property’s value and condition. VA appraisals are required for every VA purchase loan. But don’t mistake the appraisal for a home inspection, which provides a more in-depth review of the home’s physical condition.
What is a Home Inspection?
It’s important to know that these are two different things, and unlike the appraisal, a home inspection isn’t required when buying a home. But many buyers choose to invest in one. In Southeast Wisconsin, your Military Relocation Professional (MRP) will be able to suggest qualified inspectors and help guide you through the inspection process.
The VA Appraisal Process
If you’re satisfied with the inspection and still want to move forward with the purchase, then you’ll move on to having the lender order the VA appraisal. At that point, your loan team will send a request to the VA, and they’ll assign one of their independent appraisers to your area. It’s worth noting that the VA appraisal serves two purposes. The first is to ensure that the home is worth at least what you’ve offered to pay for it. The second is ensuring the property meets VA and lender guidelines.
Finding Comparable Homes
VA appraisers look for at least three homes similar in size, age, and location to the one you hope to buy. Finding good comps for unique properties like log cabins, A-frames, and homes on large acreage can be tricky. Lenders usually need at least one good recent comparable home sale to move forward on a loan.
The VA appraisal also aims to ensure that homes meet value and are safe, structurally sound, and free of health hazards. In Southeast Wisconsin, VA appraisers will look at the property’s interior and exterior and assess the overall condition. They’ll also recommend any obvious repairs needed to make the home meet the Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs). Remember, this isn’t a home inspection, and the VA doesn’t guarantee that the house is free of defects.
VA appraisers will assess the following issues during the MPR inspection process: residential properties only; property must have adequate living space; mechanical systems must be usable and safe; heating must be sufficient; water availability; roofing must be adequate; basements and crawl spaces must be problem-free; property access; and no health/safety hazards. If you’re looking to purchase a home with VA financing in Southeast Wisconsin, it’s crucial to understand the MPRs before you start your house hunt. By knowing some of the red flags and working with a VA-experienced real estate agent, military buyers can target homes likely to clear the VA appraisal.
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