A home appraisal in Virginia is an important step when applying for a mortgage loan. This process is conducted by an expert and qualified appraiser who will evaluate numerous factors to determine the fair market value of a home. This step is usually done during the final steps of the home buying process but before the final loan approval.
The appraiser will evaluate the home value based on current market trends, as well as the actual condition of the property upon inspection. They will also evaluate other factors such as the area and type of neighborhood. Their goal is to determine an unbiased price of the property that would be fair to both seller and buyer.
The Cost of Home Appraisal in Virginia
The cost of the appraisal service will vary from one state to another. This is a common question that home buyers are curious to know because it will add to the total cost of purchasing a home. Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this as every property, location, and situation is different. Some types of properties will require more work for the appraisers while others do not. For the properties that belong to the former category, you can expect the appraisal cost to be much higher.
Some of the factors that can impact the cost of the appraisal include charges for local market appraisers, property type, property size, uniqueness of the property, and if it is a rush order. In most markets in Virginia, however, you can expect to pay the appraiser anywhere from $450 to $650.
Guide to Home Appraisal Process
As mentioned above, a home appraisal is a necessary step before you can close on your mortgage loan to finance the purchase. Unless you are opting for a government refinance program, this step is absolutely necessary. Most of the time, the lender will allow you to accompany the appraiser during the evaluation of the property.
Once in the property, there are a few things that appraisers look for. It is important to know these factors as a buyer so you will be aware of how the value is determined. And most importantly, if you want to get approved by your lender for the higher amount, then you will be able to get the maximum allowable financing to make the home purchase.
- The type of neighborhood that the property belongs in
- Local housing market trends (such as prevailing home prices in the area)
- The overall condition of the home (they will look for signs of damage, leaks, etc)
- The size of the property
- The size of the lot (and the estimate value of lot per square feet in the area)
- The age and design of the home
- The cost of recently sold homes within the same neighborhood or area
- Types of materials used (interior and exterior)
- Amenities (fireplaces, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, finishing details, and home furnishings)
- The condition of the home (whether or not it has undergone renovations)
In general, a home appraisal will take about 20 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of the property. The appraiser will also take photos of the property (from the inside and outside) to document the property and to submit their appraisal report. Upon the completion of the written report, it will be submitted to the lender. The appraiser and lender will communicate in terms of the presented data so this will take some time. You can expect the appraisal result to be given in 3-5 days.
It is important to note that home appraisal is not the same as home inspection. The latter is something that lenders will also require from home buyers before getting approved for the loan. However, both processes are essential before you pursue buying a home.
Why is it Necessary?
There are two-fold benefits to getting home appraisal in Virginia and why it is required by mortgage lenders. The first and most important purpose of an appraisal is to determine the fair market value of the property. The lender is going to finance your home purchase depending on which of the two is lesser in value: the appraised value and the listed price of the home.
This creates a dilemma for home buyers: what if the appraisal is low? This is the harsh reality that buyers would have to deal with when working with appraisers. The latter uses tangible data and evidence in order to reach the appraised value of the home. As such, it is not uncommon for home buyers to get an appraisal that is much lower than the listed price of the home.
As a buyer, you must cover the price difference between the listed price of the property and its appraised market value. Therefore, it is important to conduct your own market research of the neighborhood and the property itself before pursuing to buy it. You want to make sure that it is listed at a price that is fair and reasonable, which eliminates the need for you to pay off additional cash for the purchase.
Another reason why an appraisal is necessary is that the lender wants to ensure that the property meets the minimum requirements. For instance, it has to be structurally sound and is not a health hazard for future occupants. Every lender will have a minimum property requirement that should be addressed during the appraisal report. This is also beneficial for home buyers to ensure that the property is safe and well worth the listed market value.
A home appraisal in Virginia might seem like a tedious process to go through but it is an important one. As a buyer, it also serves as your protection to ensure that you don’t end up financing an overpriced property.