va appraisal

Words That Will Make or Break a VA Appraisal

One of the largest parts of a VA home loan is the VA appraisal. Homes that don’t meet the criteria of the three “S” words must be repaired before a VA loan can move to escrow. Let’s take a closer look at each of the three “S” words that will make or break a VA appraisal.

Words That Will Make or Break a VA Appraisal


Homes purchased with a VA home loan must be safe. No questions asked. Similar to a conventional loan inspection and appraisal, a VA appraiser will examine each part of the home for potential safety hazards. These hazards include but aren’t limited to unsafe mechanical systems, unstable porches, stairways with a handrail, decks without guardrails, exposed electrical wiring, and peeling paint that may be lead-based. This safety check is to benefit the home buyer to confirm they are moving into a safe home.

Structurally Sound

Looking even bigger picture than a staircase without a handrail, VA appraisers are looking to seeing the home’s structural integrity. Major structural repairs can turn into heavy financial burdens for a new home owner, so the appraiser is looking to let the buyer know before moving in. To evaluate the home’s structural integrity, the appraiser will examine the foundation to see if it’s cracked or crumbling, they will look for large holes in floors and dry rot, they will check on roof damage and wet basements, and poor ventilation and lot drainage. Knowing the status of the structure of the home should give the home buyer some peace of mind, since any large defects will be noted on the VA appraisal. In the case of an issue with the structure of the home, the home buyer will be given a chance to renegotiate the price of the home to include cost of repairs, or can push the close date further back so the seller can repair before the home buyer moves in.


Sanitation is another key word that will make or break a VA appraisal. The VA appraiser is examining to make sure the home is question is sanitary. They will be searching for unsafe methods of sewage disposal, termite or pest infestation, mold, and water supply that’s non-potable. These are all good things to take note of before moving in, since buyers don’t want to put their health at risk when moving into a new home. If the buyer finds an issue with sanitation, they can ask the seller to complete the repair. With any luck, the deficiency will be addressed and the purchase will be back on track. If the seller is refusing to compromise on the fix, it may be time to get back on the house hunt.

As long as the home in question meets all three of these “S” words, the home buying process should continue along seamlessly.

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