Now that I have covered what exactly a VA loan is, and what the uses and eligibility requirements are, I am going to tackle the last in my series of VA blogs. What about the appraisal and closing costs?
Every loan that is guaranteed by the VA must be appraised by a VA-assigned appraiser. The appraisal is traditionally requested by your lender using the online portal of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Once their request has been submitted the VA will select an approved appraiser, at random, to perform your appraisal.
A VA appraisal is only an estimate of the value of the property, and makes no representation or guarantee as to the condition of the property. However, there are certain issues that could affect it. To pass a VA appraisal, the home cannot be in disrepair. There cannot be any safety issues, and it must be livable and in decent condition. If an appraiser notes that certain repairs need to be completed in order for the home to be considered in decent condition, the seller can arrange to have the repairs done and have the appraiser come back out after completion to re-inspect. Like most appraisals, the cost can run anywhere from $300 to $400.
There are many costs paid at the closing table, including title search and recording fees, insurance premiums, prepaid taxes, etc. When you go to pay these closing costs, the payment must be made in certified funds.
In addition to the traditional costs, all veterans, with the exception of those receiving disability from the VA and unmarried widows of veterans who died in service, are charged a VA funding fee. The fee is a percentage of the purchase price and is traditionally rolled into the loan amount.
If closing costs are a concern for you and your family, do remember that you always have the option of requesting that the seller pay some, or all, of your closing costs. The seller's willingness to do so may depend on many different factors, so it would be best to consult with your real estate agent once you find a home that you like.
I hope that you have found this blog series to be helpful and informative, and I hope that you will come by again to check out my future blogs. Happy home hunting!