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House Approves Bill to Streamline VA Home Appraisal Process for Veterans and Service Members

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may have to update its home appraisal rules following the approval of legislation by the House. The move is aimed at addressing concerns that the VA home loan program puts veterans at a disadvantage compared to those with commercial loans, partly due to the extended appraisal process.

The VA home loan program offers numerous benefits to eligible borrowers, including no down payment, lower interest rates, and limited closing costs. However, the program also requires VA appraisals and other qualifying steps that can slow down the home buying process and make sellers reluctant to accept offers from VA loan buyers.

In December, VA officials testified before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee that the average wait time for VA appraisals was roughly 15 business days, while the typical period for non-VA loans was only two days. This difference has led to a growing perception that the VA program is slower and less favorable, causing sellers to favor conventional financing.

The Improving Access to the VA Home Loan Act of 2022 would require the VA to provide guidance on the use of desktop appraisals and evaluate their potential cost savings and impact on closing delays. This bill aims to make the VA home loan program more attractive and accessible to veteran homebuyers and sellers.

The bill has already been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Dan Sullivan and is expected to receive support. To be eligible for the VA home loan program, National Guard soldiers and airmen must have served at least six years or completed 90 consecutive days of federal service.

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