Home appraisals and inspections sound very similar. After all, both require someone to look over a house and report on it. The truth, however, is that these services are actually very different. And if you’re shopping for a VA mortgage in Florida, you need to understand what each of these services entails.

VA appraisals

Appraisals are a very common requirement when you’re applying for a mortgage loan guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA lenders want to know that the property is safe, ready for occupancy, and what its fair market value is before approving the loan.

VA appraisers check to see if the home meets the minimum property requirements (MPRs) established by the VA. The appraiser looks for major defects that would affect the home’s market value. They’ll also look at other home values in the area, making sure that this home falls in line with those property values.

Inspections

Home inspections, on the other hand, focus specifically on the house being inspected. Inspectors are obligated to inform their clients everything about the condition of the home, from leaky faucets to major roofing or heating/air conditioning issues. Even minor issues can be costly to repair, so the home inspectors inform the buyer about the actual condition of the property, including descriptions, photos, repair estimates, and recommendations. The home buyer can then negotiate with the seller on repair costs or the purchase price, or even decide not to purchase the home.

Which do you need?

So which of these services do you need when you’re planning to buy a home here in Florida with a VA mortgage? The short answer is both. VA lenders will typically require a VA appraisal, or they won’t issue a mortgage. Home inspections aren’t required for VA mortgages, but they’re still an excellent idea if you’re buying a home. Remember, your appraisal isn’t as detailed and in-depth as a home inspection. And the home inspector is obligated to tell you about any defects he or she finds, which helps protect you from hidden issues, like mold, dry rot, outdated plumbing, or any other issues.

If you’re planning to buy a home using your VA mortgage benefit, Embrace Home Loans is an approved VA lender that can work with you to make sure your new home is exactly what you need. Contact our experienced VA lenders at 407-733-6425.

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