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  #1  
Old 04-30-2009, 08:29 PM
cardplayer cardplayer is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
State: Pennsylvania
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Unhappy VA Appraisal - Asbestos on boiler pipes

Hi,

We are looking at a home built in the early '20s. The owners have lived there over 40 years and have maintained the house in excellent condition. During my home inspection, the inspector pointed out that the boiler pipes are covered in corrugated asbestos. It seems to have some kind of white covering that is stiff. He said we should wrap it, especially the ends.

Will this wreck my VA appraisal? This, and a tiny bit of peeling paint on exterior wood (which I have a painter that can fix in one day), are the only things that worry me about this deal. The house is a brick colonial, so this paint issue is minimal on some trim and a couple of window frames.

Anyhow, is the asbestos pipe wrapping a big deal? It looks like mint condition - no flakes, tears, rips, etc.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 04-30-2009, 10:43 PM
Tom McClure Tom McClure is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Hudson, OH
State: Ohio
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardplayer View Post
Hi,

We are looking at a home built in the early '20s. The owners have lived there over 40 years and have maintained the house in excellent condition. During my home inspection, the inspector pointed out that the boiler pipes are covered in corrugated asbestos. It seems to have some kind of white covering that is stiff. He said we should wrap it, especially the ends.

Will this wreck my VA appraisal? This, and a tiny bit of peeling paint on exterior wood (which I have a painter that can fix in one day), are the only things that worry me about this deal. The house is a brick colonial, so this paint issue is minimal on some trim and a couple of window frames.

Anyhow, is the asbestos pipe wrapping a big deal? It looks like mint condition - no flakes, tears, rips, etc.

Thanks!
The VA Appraiser should require (built prior to 1978) the defective/peeling paint to be corrected and the asbestos issue should be noted in the appraisal. Most likely the appraisal will be subject to completion of needed repairs (paint) and inspections (asbestos wrap), usually prior to closing.

The VA Appraiser should always report possible environmental issues in the report and wheather the wrap appears to be asbestos, in good condition or not, would be noted. Friable asbestos is a real safty issue and should be "incapsulated or removed" if the wrap appears damaged in any way.

The appraiser may call for removal if warranted, or just inform the lender in the appraisal. I don't believe VA has a set in stone way to handle the asbestos issue. The appraiser is not expected to be an expert on environmental hazards. It requires some judgement from the appraiser and/or lender. When the appraiser notes a possibility of asbestos wrap and makes the report subject to an inspection, the lender may require removal or not.

Tom McClure, Ohio
  #3  
Old 04-30-2009, 11:55 PM
cardplayer cardplayer is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
State: Pennsylvania
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Tom,

Thank you very much for the reply. I had an inspection done today, which was very in-depth (500+ data points). The guy was all over the house, checking the foundation, roof, walls, electrical, plumbing, insulation, boiler, fireplaces, windows, fixtures, etc. It was very informative and frank.

Can this inspection be used to verify the condition of the asbestos, or will I have to pay for yet another inspection when the VA appraiser notes the asbestos?

Thanks.
  #4  
Old 05-01-2009, 08:11 AM
Mike Garrett, RAA's Avatar
Mike Garrett, RAA Mike Garrett, RAA is offline
 
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
State: Colorado
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If the VA appraiser hasn't been to the property yet I would give him a copy of the home inspection report.

So long as the wrap of the furnace ducts is intact it isn't a problem that would preclude the VA from guarantying the loan. The appraiser should note the item and it's condition on the appraisal report.

As for chipping and peeling paint...have the home owner fix it BEFORE the appraiser comes out. In that way the appraisal won't be conditioned on repairs, you won't be charged another $100 inspection fee, and the whole loan process will go smoother.

VA appraisers are not home inspectors. They are not there to "protect" the interests of third parties...they appraise the property to market value.

Best wishes,

A VA appraiser since 93
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  #5  
Old 05-01-2009, 09:44 AM
cardplayer cardplayer is offline
 
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Mike,

That is *very* reassuring about the asbestos. Thank you. I will have to figure out how to get it to him, since he is randomly assigned by the V.A. Any advice there?

Also, I am hesitant to ask the homeowners to do these repairs, because they already rock-bottomed the deal for me anyway, and also accepted V.A. financing, which, as you know, many people are not willing to do. To top it off, they went for seller assist. So, I want to be 110% sure that the house will hold 100% financing before we mess with this paint issue. I have read about 300 horror stories on the internet of V.A. appraisers coming in so low as to make the deal impossible. In our area, houses never sell in this neighborhood, and are hard to come by. Two miles away, the houses are run down and go for half as much, so I am scared about what kind of comps the appraiser will pick. Thus, I did not want to get into a situation where I lose this house over the paint. I am willing to accept a re-inspection fee and a delay in order to know 100% that the deal is going to go through based on the appraisal. I'll take an appraisal with stipulations, then fix the paint and get it re-inspected.

Does that make any sense, or should I re-evaluate my perspective? I have a feeling that these sellers will not do the paint work before-hand. Any additional advice you have is appreciated.

Thanks,
cardplayer
  #6  
Old 05-01-2009, 12:46 PM
Mike Garrett, RAA's Avatar
Mike Garrett, RAA Mike Garrett, RAA is offline
 
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You might have a conversation with the home owner and leave a copy of the home inspection with him to leave for the appraiser. If the seller wants to sell and have a buyer use VA or FHA the chipping/peeling paint will be an issue no matter what. Also, fixing this will probably improve the over-all condition of the property which probably means a better appraisal.

VA appraisers don't come in low...the offers are too high! LOL.

Best wishes,

Mike
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  #7  
Old 05-01-2009, 01:21 PM
cardplayer cardplayer is offline
 
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State: Pennsylvania
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Mike,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Garrett, RAA View Post
You might have a conversation with the home owner and leave a copy of the home inspection with him to leave for the appraiser.
Awesome idea. That's the type of thing that sounds obvious, but was hard for me to think of, being new to buying a house. Thank you!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Garrett, RAA View Post
If the seller wants to sell and have a buyer use VA or FHA the chipping/peeling paint will be an issue no matter what. Also, fixing this will probably improve the over-all condition of the property which probably means a better appraisal.
True! I guess it won't hurt to discuss it. I have a sales agreement; this is probably not a deal killer. I have a way to get the painting done for them at cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Garrett, RAA View Post
VA appraisers don't come in low...the offers are too high! LOL.
I did wonder about that when reading these "horror stories". I wondered if maybe the homes were fixer-uppers or if they were just priced/offered way too high! I don't think that is the case at my prospective house, so maybe I'll have some luck. My agent and loan officer did not have many of these stories to tell, and I am sure the agent would have told a few.

Thanks again!
cardplayer
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