VA home loans are one of the most popular mortgage options among military members in Washington State. And it’s easy to understand why. This program offers 100% financing, which means you could buy a home with no down payment whatsoever.
The home appraisal is an important step in the VA loan process in Washington State. Whether or not the loan goes through will partly depend on the appraisal. So it’s an important topic for home buyers who are considering the program.
5 Things to Know About VA Appraisals in Washington
Here are five important things every borrower should know about VA loan appraisals in Washington State.
1. Appraisal are required for all purchase loans.
If you plan to use a home loan guaranteed by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to buy a house, you’ll need to have the property appraised by an approved appraiser. Any property purchased with a VA loan is required to have an appraisal.
2. There are two purposes to the appraisal.
The primary purpose is to determine the current market value of the house you are buying. That’s the appraiser’s main objective when evaluating the home. But there’s a second objective as well. VA loan appraisals in Washington State are also used to ensure that the house meets all minimum property requirements set forth by the Department of Veterans Affairs. At the least, it must be structurally sound, and must not have any health or safety issues.
3. There’s not much for the buyer to do during this process.
The VA loan appraisal usually does not require any input or involvement from the home buyer. In Washington, it’s usually the mortgage company that orders and schedules the property appraisal. The appraiser might need to coordinate with the homeowner / seller to gain access to the property. But there’s not much for the buyer to do at this stage, other than wait for the results.
4. You might have to pay the appraisal fee up front.
Washington State VA home appraisals typically require upfront payment. As the home buyer, you’ll probably have to pay when the service is actually performed (or shortly thereafter) — as opposed to having it rolled into your closing costs. So you’ll want to plan for this. On average, VA loan appraisals in Washington tend to cost between $300 and $500. But they can exceed that amount in some cases. The size of the home will affect the cost.
5. It’s different from a regular home inspection.
A VA appraisal is not a home inspection. Yes, the appraiser will evaluate the condition of the property. But he will primarily focus on basic things like safety, structural stability, and sanitary conditions. He will not inspect the house as thoroughly as a home inspector would, nor will he provide you with a “hit list” of discrepancies. As the buyer, you might want to arrange for a separate, more comprehensive home inspection of your own. This will give you better insight into the true condition of the property.