Slow VA Appraisal Turnaround Times Is Overblown
On September 14, 2022, US House passed HR 7735, “the Improving Access to the VA Home Loan Benefit Act of 2022“, legislation that proposes to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs’ appraisal requirements, including when an appraisal is required, how an appraisal is to be conducted, and who is eligible to conduct an appraisal.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) has long been vocal about its support for the bill. “The bill will encourage important reforms to the agency’s requirements regarding when an appraisal is necessary, how appraisals are conducted, and who is eligible to conduct an appraisal,” said Bob Broeksmit, President and CEO of MBA. “This legislation is an important first step towards broad modernization of VA appraisal processes and could make veterans’ home purchase offers more viable in today’s competitive housing market. We thank Representative Mike Bost, ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, for introducing H.R. 7735, committee chairman Mark Takano, and House leadership for ensuring the bill received appropriate consideration in committee and on the House floor.”
The Appraisal Institute opposes this legislation and its Senate counterpart, S 4208, the Improving Access to the VA Home Loan Act of 2022, and believes that concerns about slow VA appraisal turnaround times is overblown. In a May 13 letter to the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, AI noted, “We believe the VA appraisal process is sound and deserves broad support by the mortgage and housing sectors. We believe there are ways in which the program can be enhanced – education and awareness on the AAPP program, being one.”
The legislation also allows for desktop appraisals in some circumstances, but the VA has already made that policy change in late July. VA said that its “willingness to accept appraisal reports completed via Exterior-only Appraisals and Desktop Appraisals is not a substitute for an assessment by a VA fee panel appraiser as to the appropriate Scope of Work and whether a credible report may be delivered for the subject property.