North Carolina is known for a couple of things – we have many homes that have termite problems.. and we have plenty of homes that have a moisture problem. Sometimes you can tell that there’s been a moisture problem when you open up the crawl space door and see a thick plastic barrier covering the floor. Actually – that’s probably the BEST thing you can see!
But not all moisture problems are in the crawl space under a home, sometimes there’s moisture trapped in the roof. This can be slightly more complicated when you are applying for a VA Home Loan, because the Veteran’s Administration guidelines to the VA Appraiser are very specific.
Unlike Conventional Loans, VA’s Minimum Property Requirements specifically require that the appraiser do their best to identify the roof for “wear,” for dry rot, leaks, poor ventilation or a roof that might not be built to code.
The Appraiser is required to report on what is “observable and apparent.” If there’s no sign of leaking, but there are areas that are worn – the appraiser would not necessarily request an inspection to determine if the Roof is nearing the end of it’s Economic Life, and should be replaced.
VA Home Loan Appraisers are generally asked to determine that the roof has at least five or six years of viability remaining before it would need to be replaced.
In considering how long the economic life is of a roof, any apparent moisture issues could be a determining factor – as it could affect the structural soundness of the roof. The Veteran’s Administration doesn’t ask the VA Appraiser to crawl on a roof, the way an Inspector might.
The VA Appraiser is required to make notations on the appraisal about what was “apparent” – and any noticeable moisture conditions must be written up as comments on the appraisal report.
If you read the VA Appraiser forums, you’ll note that the Appraisers tell consumers over and over that the Appraisal is not a guarantee of the soundness of the home. Just what a reasonable value is. Because of that – we always recommend that Vetearn’s have a Home Inspection done. When you get that back, if you’ve written your contract correctly, you should be able to negotiate corrective measures from the Seller.
We know re-negotiations can be especially difficult if you are trying to purchase a home that is currently a short sale, or a previous foreclosure. However, if the VA Appraisal notes that an inspection is required, and IF the Inspection report agrees that corrective measures are required… then the Seller must make those corrections before closing. We can’t escrow money for a new roof to be done after closing, or for it to be fixed. They can not just issue a credit for it. If the Appraisal and the Inspection show that the roof has a problem – it’s got to be resolved prior to closing. We can not request a reconsideration.
The same thing is true, frankly with any other item you might see – like wood rot, or pooling water in a crawl space or Basement. We’ve had a pretty wet summer – but that’s not going to make a huge difference. The VA Appraiser is required to note ANY “excessive dampness’ in a home.
Are you a Veteran looking for a VA home loan in North Carolina? We’d love to help! Call Steve and Eleanor Thorne 919 649 5058. We love to help Veterans buy their dream home! Find us on Google Plus or Facebook!