Death of a Dream: VA Appraisals Re-Visited

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Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams West Sound Realty

 Okay, I really hate to beat a dead horse, but I'm just getting so sick and tired of the whole VA appraisal process. I had posted another article on this issue previously and my trusty sidekick, Buckwheat, had written along similar lines as well.

Yet another one of my transactions died an unwarranted premature death due to conditions imposed by the VA appraiser.

Dreams of Home Ownership came to an abrupt and painful halt. To read more about the deadly russian roulette of VA Appraisals, go to the full article on SOUNDBITEBLOG (opens up in a seperate window).

Update: Just so everyone knows, I am not against Buyer's using VA Loans, per se, to purchase their home. In some instances, VA Loan products can be an excellent choice for financing. Ultimately, it's not about what "I" do or don't like, but more importantly what is going to help my clients achieve their goals. I simply feel that it's important for Buyers and Sellers to understand clearly all aspects of VA transactions, so they can make sound, intelligent decisions.

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Rich Jacobson
Keller Williams West Sound Realty - Poulsbo, WA
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David:   Your lender should be able to help you lodge a complaint and pursue recovering damages you have incurred due to the delays. Are you using a local mortgage lender? Has your lender been calling VA to find out the status of the appraiser?

Dec 01, 2009 03:44 PM #46
Anonymous
Karina

This whole V.A appraisal process has been a painful nightmare!

The appraisal was ordered 4/1/10 it is now 4/23/10 my contract ends on 4/27/10 and still no appraisal. My family is going to loose this remarkable dream house because someone isnt doing their job. To top it off our Realtor continues to harrass us about the appraisal needing to get done. "Duh, Lady! we want the house more than you want your comission" I thought this was her job to get on the ball, i feel we have been doing everything.

THANKS V.A FOR SHATTERING MY DREAMS!

I wish my saying "i hope you can sleep at night" would make you feel any form of remorse

But im almost positive you guys sleep just fine...

Apr 23, 2010 05:18 AM #47
Anonymous
Let down
Thank you VA for disappointing again. The appraiser decided to use smaller homes in the area because no other home similar to ours in our subdivision had been sold in the last year. Homes like ours had been sold in our surrounding area, but I guess that was to much work to compare the different property values.
Jun 22, 2010 09:11 AM #48
Anonymous
Kay

Haha...on the other side of things...our VA inspector said everything looked fan-friggin-tastic.  Appraised for the same amount we were purchasing for.  Lived in the house for 3 weeks, now the roof failed and ruined the interior, and the house flooded from a possible cracked slab.  No disclosures.  Unbelievable.  I thought the whole idea of the VA inspection is to ensure a vet gets a move-in-ready home. 

Jan 05, 2011 04:19 AM #49
Anonymous
Mary

All these stories are YIKES.  This is our first home that we are buying using VA loan.  Suppose to closing April 11.  It sounds like the VA inspections have lessons in Tricare/military medical/EFMP care/reffral program.  I take it none of you guys have had that pleasure.  What are the benefits again.  Oh yeah-embrace the suck.  Maybe the Va will come through for us after all the hassels I have had w/ Tricare/EFMP stuff-in the last 12 years of the 24 years.

Mar 20, 2011 01:12 AM #50
Anonymous
Jason

Wow.  Such horror stories.  Ours was ordered last week 4/14/11 and it was apparently done on the 17th.   We haven't heard yet (we had an inspection done previously on the 13th).  There are a couple minor things like the valves under the sink failed and need replacing.  I hope this appraisal comes back higher.  We will eat the cost in the loan if we have to up our offer.  Its a Fannie Mae owned home.  If not we have to walk, I have no money for repairs right now for it.  The realtor sounds confident, she by chance happens to know the appraiser.  But the comparables in the area are smaller homes.  This one has an additional room added on making it larger (hopefully worth more).  We are hoping but sounds like this is a nightmare.  Is there any positive to the VA appraisal process?

Apr 19, 2011 02:05 PM #51
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Rich Jacobson
Keller Williams West Sound Realty - Poulsbo, WA
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Jason:  Absolutely! It's good to have another set of eyes to ensure that the home you're buying is worth the money you're paying. Unfortunately, all too many times, those eyes tend to be somewhat 'subjective' and not influenced/guided by a clear consistent standard. Hopefully, your home will come in at value, with very few, if any, conditions being called out. Keep me posted and let me know how things turn out for you!

Apr 19, 2011 02:23 PM #52
Anonymous
Jason
We got the appraisal back today (4/20/11). It came back at 108K, our offer was 107K. The distressing part is that the appraiser appeared to have taken the deficiencies in the Home Inspection Report and perpetuated them to a T in her report. With that said, our next concern is First Preston (on behalf of Fannie Mae) apparently is slow to react to this stuff. We would like to close latest mid May. Over all, things have gone quick and smooth, our offer was accepted the next day when we put it in. Inspections and Appraisal within a week have been done. We haven't received the excuted contract on their end even though we signed and did our part two weeks ago. We hope they don't dilly dally too much, they (being First Preston) expects us to jump when they say but don't want to budge too quickly on their end. I think the appraisal was good over all and I disagree with using my home inspection and calling out the conditions some of which I know she wouldn't have seen without that report. But it appraised higher so for me that was good. We will have some room now to offer up to 108k to get those fixes made if need be. We have our fingers crossed and for the overall VA process, until we close, all is fair game.
Apr 20, 2011 01:20 PM #53
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Rich Jacobson
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First Preston? Ugh...Are you able to make the repairs yourself at your expense? Otherwise, in my experience, First Preston typically sells Fannie Mae properties 'As-Is' and doesn't allow any concessions for repairs. Hopefully they'll move things along quickly and everyone will be happy. Best of Luck to you. Let me know how things turn out!

Apr 20, 2011 01:55 PM #54
Anonymous
Jason

Well the realtor just had one done with them and they did do some repairs.  This home has been on and off the market for almost a year, they maybe willing to do the repairs, they won't have a choice or we have to walk.  That is why we may have to increase our offer up to the max price, they make the repairs (won't let us do it, liabilities or something like that) and we get the house.  The realtor is confident they will do it or something but will be willing to budge but are just slow to do it.  Yeah I have heard First Preston isn't really fun to deal with.  This is our first home but they accept VA financing and they should know that will come with the territory. 

Apr 20, 2011 02:15 PM #55
Anonymous
Sean Dockery

WOW- The VA appraisal process just TODAY cost my wife and I our dream house in Boise, Idaho.  First, we waited 15 days to get the appraisal on a brand new home we were having built.  The appraisal finally gets done and they say we are good to go.  Today.....just a day before we are about to break ground they tell us that the appraisal came in a 22k below the cost of the new home.  What the heck?  Other homes in that area have even been built for 30 to 40k more based upon the aquare footage.....but they were conventional bank appraisals. 

 

THANKS VA for costing my wife and I our dream house.  2 months of custom home design and a lot of emotional ties down the drain.

Apr 21, 2011 08:32 PM #56
Anonymous
Sean Dockery

That is how the VA treates its disabled veterans?  I am so disapointed that no words can convey it properly now.  Thanks VA for making my wife cry.

Apr 21, 2011 08:36 PM #57
Anonymous
Jason

That is lousy.  I can not understand this.  Fortunately mine went through fine but everybody seems to have issues.  I know you would feel.  We still dread things.  My wife and I have put all our emotions in this one house.  There has to be recourse, on a new house I can't believe it would appraise so much lower.  You have to remember one thing those, these people are NOT VA, they are appraisers (with the training to appraise for the VA).  They represent the VA but are not employed by them and are giving the VA a bad name.  These same appraisers will come back and apprise a home at 20k over for a conventional loan (not that it is always required).

Apr 22, 2011 10:05 AM #58
Anonymous
Mike

I'm trying to find an avenue to make a formal complaint about a VA appraisal. Sure, he used lousy comps, the largest one being 25% smaller than the subject property (I was a conventional appraiser for 13 years, and an active Realtor for the last 15), while ignoring the ones that were similar in size, yet inferior in room count (2 BR, 1 BA vs. 3/2s), but hey! It's an opinion of value. However, there was an error made, as he adjusted downward for seller paying closing cost while ignoring the fact that my seller paid more of the buyer's closing costs than any of the comps!! Anyhow, the difference would have put us close enough to possibly negotiate and get the veteran into his home, and everyone else paid (so far, the only one paid is the appraiser). Emailed the staff appraiser the VA appraiser suggested, who said he'd "look into it." Over 2 weeks ago. Now I have a VA appraisal that is low in large part to an error of omission, that is hanging over the seller's head, and I don't know how to stop this incompetence! Anyone have a connection for a complaint?

Jun 01, 2011 02:32 AM #59
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Rich Jacobson
Keller Williams West Sound Realty - Poulsbo, WA
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Mike:  Did you formally challenge the NOV (Notice of Value) through your Buyer's Lender? Did you provide your own comps (formal CMA)? Is the price valuation variance greater than 10%?

Jun 01, 2011 02:50 AM #60
Anonymous
Nate

I am a veteran and put in an offer on our dream home down here in Phoenix...Home is in an exclusive part of N Phx and the home was originally built for close to 500,000. Plus previous homeonwers kept the place immaculate and did some serious upgrades like granite in kitchen and both baths. Hardwood flooring to include the staircase. Made a good offer on the home that was accepted only to have the VA appraisal come back 50,000 dollars less!!! Two homes just sold in the same subdivision with higher prices per sqft and without the upgrades. VA appraiser even had the audacity to tell the selling agent that is was a beautiful home!! This is how my VA admin takes care of me for serving my country...unbelievable.

Jun 23, 2011 02:51 PM #61
Anonymous
Anonymous

Just got screwed by a VA appraiser.  Trying to buy the house as a fixer upper and once again the Govt. decides to step in to tell me whats best for me.  I guess we're all just so incompetent!  So glad the VA is here for us!!!

Sep 08, 2011 08:38 PM #62
Anonymous
Christina Gaffney
My VA Appraisal came back $113,500 under the Assessed Value & $13,500 under my buying price. I was (was) getting a beautiful home for a song and a dance. Now I will be homeless 100% disabled veteran on Thursday. Scary. I've never been out on the streets before.
Oct 04, 2011 10:27 AM #63
Anonymous
Mike

I have to admit that I was concernced when reading all of the horror stories on using my VA loan.   We put in an offer on a newly built house.  Appraisal was ordered on Jan 26th.  It did take the full 10 days, but the appraisal came in $20,000 higher than selling price.   The builder is paying our closing costs and we have a closing date of Feb. 29th.   Couldn't be happier with the VA.

Feb 12, 2012 09:04 PM #64
Anonymous
Lucy

From the opposite side of the coin, I'm a seller dealing with a buyer who's trying to get a VA loan. We live off a private dirt road, about 200 feet from the main paved road. We've just learned that because its a dirt road and there is no HOA that the loan will probably not go through. After doing some research found that it's neccessary for those getting these loans to make themselves more informed about the process. Think about it, no money down and if the government is going to cover a defaulted loan, then of course they're going to make the proccess stringent. They're trying to cover themselves. Frankly, if you have no money down and can't afford a better loan product, maybe you shouldn't be buying a home. I'm all for helping our soldiers but these VA loans aren't helping them financially or otherwise.

Aug 05, 2014 02:28 PM #65
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