When researching VA home loans, the terms VA home inspection and VA home appraisal get thrown around a lot, and can sometimes become muddled. Let’s clear the confusion. Here are the main differences between a VA home inspection and VA home appraisal.
The Differences Between a VA Home Inspection and VA Home Appraisal
One of the main differences between a VA home inspection and VA home appraisal is the unique purpose for each during the VA home buying process. The VA appraisal primarily serves the interest of a lender. The VA appraisal will establish a reasonable market value for a property as well as ensure that the property meets the VA’s minimum property requirements. The VA home inspection is designed to help buyers as it assesses a homes’ overall condition and gives the buyer’s a chance to renegotiate a purchase.
Mandatory Vs. Optional
Another one of the most common differences between a VA home inspection and VA home appraisal is the fact that the appraisal is mandatory while the home inspection is optional. Before a VA home loan can move through the pipeline to closing, the home’s appraisal must meet or exceed the loan amount. Similar to a conventional home inspection, a VA home inspection is a good idea, but is not mandatory. A VA home inspection can point out major issues with your home that you had no idea about and can save you thousands of dollars as it gives you a chance to renegotiate your loan.
Narrow Vs. Comprehensive
The VA home appraisal has a very narrow focus compared to the VA home inspection. Home inspectors will check everything from your air conditioner, to your roofing, to your garage door openers. The VA home appraisal assigns a fair market value to a home and compares the property against the minimum property requirements checklist. It isn’t the job of a VA home appraiser to check every nook and cranny of your home – they leave that up to the home inspector.
Two Separate Fees
The cost of a VA home appraisal is set by the VA, and varies by state. The general cost of an appraisal can run anywhere from $350-700. Home inspection fees vary widely as every home inspector sets their own price based on location and property in question. A general home inspection can range anywhere from $300-$600. These fees are almost always paid by the buyer, so make sure to budget for these expenses. And even though you may be shelling out $1,000 for both of these services, it could save you thousands of dollars down the road.
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