Don’t Leave Sticky Note for VA Appraiser

Safety requirements on a VA appraiser

Today I received and reviewed a VA appraisal that is one of the most creative and interesting reports I have read in quite a while.  As you may know an appraiser’s job is to determine the market value of a home and to determine if the subject property meets specific mortgage property condition requirements.  VA appraisers tend to dig a little deeper than other appraisers based on the property related guidelines set forth by VA.  In addition, VA appraisers fall under the watchful eye of the VA and are NOT managed or selected by a veteran’s chosen mortgage company which doesn’t help.

The appraiser that authored the Arizona VA appraisal I received today put the following condition on the report… and I quote:

“There is a great deal of personal property on site.  Unless the old tow truck belongs to the buyer, which is unlikely, it must be removed from the property.  Also the washer and dryer, which are older units, are included.  While it is not uncommon for these appliances to be included there is a note on the washer stating the lid tends to fall and won’t stay open, so could bruise or cut the person using it.  The appliance may only be left there if it is repaired prior to close of escrow, otherwise it must be removed.”

One thing to keep in mind is that VA appraisers are required to evaluate the safety of the property given its current condition.  That is the guideline however it gets interesting when you consider that a VA appraiser is to measure what is safe and what is not according to their interpretation of VA’s appraisal regulations.  I have no issue with this appraiser evaluating safety.  In fact, if he neglected such an evaluation I would take issue with his approach to appraising for VA.

What makes this report interesting is the way he views the washer and dryer as a man-eating machine (and that a yellow sticky note was the defining clue)!  In all fairness, I have not viewed the property so who am I to say that these old rundown appliances are not monsters waiting to strike!   I can tell you that the agent representing these buyer’s is one I know very well, have known for years and can tell you is an 11 out of 10 when it comes to being thorough and almost skeptical in the buyer’s favor when it comes to picking a property apart.  Deadly washer and dryers would have been spotted.

The point of this article is not to complain as complaining possesses zero value.  In fact this appraiser (all kidding aside) may be 100% right that these appliances are a safety violation and I want to be fair to his assessment.  Instead, I am writing this in an effort to share a real life/current story about the sate of the appraisal industry.  What makes this particular scenario more entertaining is that this is a VA appraisal and my company has absolutely no control over the VA appraiser that was assigned to the job.   VA controls appraiser assignment on all VA transactions.

When it comes to fixing these repairs, the VA appraiser will require they are corrected prior to our closing.  The fix is simple – drag the rundown washer and dryer out of the home (of course without cutting an arm off on their razor-sharp edges or being injured by the bruise inspiring lids).  After-all, the appliances do not contribute any value to the home and removing them will make the appraiser feel the house is safe.   Now about that old truck in the garage the appraiser mentioned…that is an entirely separate blog!

If you have any questions regarding how VA views a property and what standards a property must meet in order to pass please call or email me.

By Jeremy House

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  1. […] box is not quite enough.  Arizona lenders should read the ENTIRE report.  Often, appraisers may not think a property needed repairs and submit an “as-is” report.  However, the property […]

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