VA loans require one very important step to move forward: an appraisal. When a buyer finds a home they want to purchase with a VA mortgage, they must have a VA-assigned appraiser look at the home to establish fair market value.
The appraiser comes and does the work, prepares reports and submits those reports to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The submitted information is what allows the information to issue a Notice of Value, which is essentially what the VA considers the fair market value of the property and the amount of the loan which would be guaranteed by the VA (if the borrower qualifies).
VA appraisals aren’t free — the appraisal is one of the costs the potential borrower must plan for as part of buying a new home. But how much does this appraisal cost and what can a buyer expect to pay when it’s all said and done?
So much of doing business with the Department of Veterans Affairs depends on a combination of factors — the housing market, the address of the property in question, interest rates, etc. The VA appraisal fee is no exception — there’s no single set rate. Every market has its own costs and considerations.
When it comes to VA appraisal fees, each VA regional loan center has its own set of fees, timetables and other requirements. For example, the basic VA appraisal fee for a single family house in Alaska is $700 at the time of this writing. In Texas, it’s $400. In some cases, a VA appraiser may be allowed to charge mileage as an expense, but the rules for issues like these also vary from region to region. Some areas require permission ahead of time, others don’t allow mileage to be charged in certain zones.
If you’re trying to get an idea of the costs for a VA appraisal, the best thing to do is to look at the VA’s official list and see what applies in your geographic location. The map is broken down by state, but groups of states are controlled by a specific VA regional loan center — you’ll find information on all the 50states.