VA appraisal requirements, 2021 checklist (US veterans affairs)

VA appraisal

VA Appraisers determine the fair market value for a property on a VA home purchase or refinance. The VA appraisal should determine the overall condition of the property and assess the value based on comparable sales of properties nearby in the last six months.

VA appraisal eligibility

An applicant must represent that his or her character, background, and employment type with a minimum of 5 years of experience, qualifies them to execute a fair assessment within a chosen area skilfully.


  • Submit expert counsel from fellow appraisers.
  • There must be no potential discords between an applicant’s employment and conduct as a fee appraiser with Veteran Affairs.
  • Staff members of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC), or the Postal Service are unsuitable candidates.
  • Regional and State government members may be nominated to participate under careful supervision. Their assignments cannot result in a potential conflict of interest or create an appearance of one.
  • Field stations will carry out a thorough search through the Credit Alert Interactive Voice Response System (CAIVRS) to establish whether the applicant has any unresolved delinquent debts to the Federal Government. When a potential candidate owes money to the Federal Government, evidence of full payment of the outstanding debt or a reasonable repayment plan is required. A confirmation is also mandatory to showcase that the applicant executed a promissory note for his arrears.
Trusted. Experienced. Secure.

VA Minimum Property Requirements

Marketable real estate
The residence is required to be a single dwelling (which can include a multi-family home with up to four units) that’s determined to be residential real estate and in a livable condition.

Space and construction requirements
The property is suitable for you and other residents to perform daily necessities such as live, sleep, cook, and eat. Sanitary facilities are also required.

The home must be always accessible with a vehicle or by pedestrians. Access is granted by either a public or private road.

Examples of encroachments are fences, garages, or other structures that cross over the property line.

Drainage and topography
Drainage guidelines are precisely what you’d expect. Sewage and surface water must streamline off your property quickly and efficiently. Water can’t accumulate and form ponds on your land.

Geological or soil instability, subsidence, and sinkholes
These apprehensions are geological risks imposed by your site. The only thing that’s worse than your inspector discovering them is missing them altogether.

Special flood hazard area
If you are considering a home or land that floods regularly, you won’t get approved for a VA loan. Even in high-risk areas, some restrictions apply.

Non-residential use
Veteran’s affairs minimum ownership requirements don’t restrict you from purchasing a property that has other non-residential structures on the property. However, certain conditions apply and the property must remain primarily purchased for residential purposes.

VA appraisal checklist

The following is a checklist of frequent issues seen on VA Appraisals and other assessments. Become proactive by addressing them to attract potential buyers and to facilitate the appraisal process. Would you like a print-out of this checklist? Contact us today!

  1. Unattainable areas of the property such as the attic or crawlspace
  2. Unprotected wiring
  3. Unsafe outbuilding
  4. Broken or obstructed windows
  5. Non-functional Garage door opener
  6. Safety features for the garage door aren’t working
  7. Discolored ceiling caused by a water leak
  8. Rotten wood surrounding fascia, door openings and garage doors
  9. Unsecured or missing baluster near steps or staircase
  10. Stove, HVAC, water heater, or other necessities are missing
  11. Hot water and electricity are turned off
  12. Flaking paint in homes older than 1978

VA appraisal timeline

Typically, VA appraisals are concluded within 10days; however, turnover times may vary from one State to another.

Veterans’ affairs warrant timeliness standards for each region, but they act more as guidelines than legitimate requirements. In addition, when repairs are needed, the Appraiser must come back to re-inspect the property. Make sure the Appraisal is ordered enough in advance to prepare for unforeseen circumstances and delays.

How to order a VA appraisal

Visit VA Appraisal Fee Schedules and Timeliness Requirements for prevailing fees and turnover times.

A legal purchase contract and executed VA Amendatory/Escape Clause are fundamental to provide when ordering a VA Appraisal for home purchase loans. Keep in mind, if your property is a Condo, the Condo project must be on the VA Approval List or the Condo Project must get approved.

  • Builders of any new construction sites must be on the VA Approved Builder List.
  • Builder’s Certification (HUD 92541) is expected for any new constructions or proposed properties.
  • A new evaluation cannot be requested if there’s already a valid assessment from Veteran’s affairs on the property

Contact the Cain Mortgage Team today to get started with the right mortgage at the best rate!

 Photo: frank mckenna