A family of four sits on the porch of their home purchased with a VA home loan VA home loans are one of the most common mortgage options among military members in California. The VA loan program offers 100% financing, which means you could buy a home with no down payment. This is a very popular option throughout all of California as we have such a large number of military personal.

One of the largest factors when obtaining a VA home loan is getting a home appraisal.

Here are four crucial things every borrower should know about VA home loan appraisals in California.

1. All purchase loans require an appraisal.

If you plan on using a home loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to purchase a home, you’ll need to have an authorized appraiser assess the property.

2. The appraisal has two purposes.

When evaluating the home, the appraiser’s primary objective is to determine the current market value of the property. But there’s a second objective as well. In California, VA loan appraisals are also used to check that the house meets minimum property standards set in place by the Department of Veterans Affairs. At a minimum, it must be structurally stable and must not have any health or safety issues. VA appraisal guidelines tend to be a little stricter than appraisals for conventional loans.

3. A homebuyer can’t do much during this process.

A VA loan appraisal does not receive any input or involvement from the homebuyer. In California, the lender typically schedules the property appraisal. The appraiser may need to coordinate with the homeowner to obtain access to the home. However, there’s not much for the buyer to do at this stage rather than wait for the results.

4. These appraisals are different from a regular home inspection.

A VA appraisal is not the same as a home inspection. The appraiser will assess the condition of the property; however, they will primarily focus on standard things like safety, structural stability, and sanitary conditions. They will not inspect the house as thoroughly as a home inspector would, nor will they provide you with a list of discrepancies. As the buyer, you may want to schedule a separate, more comprehensive home inspection. This will give you better insight into the actual condition of the property.

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