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V.A. Appraisal on New Construction & Escrows

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Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
I'm just wondering how all you V.A. appraisers cope with builders of new construction who expect us all to jump through hoops at the last minute to meet their settlement deadlines. I was up until 2 a.m. today getting this one out for a Wednesday settlement. Two weeks ago when they told me to rush this appraisal the house was a shell and they threw it together so I could do the appraisal yesterday at 95% and they could go to settlement.

I guess we all have our own definition of 95% complete, but mine is that all systems must be up and running and house should be done except for only minor items. Grade/Seed and driveway are seasonal items which can be noted as escrow items. But what about a 20' x 20' patio? The house has been under construction since August. In my opinion, some of these builders push it to the limit and have very poor planning. They automatically assume all these things can be escrow items.

Final comment here.....
After visiting the site 2 weeks ago and finding a shell, after visiting the site yesterday and finding 15 items not complete, after working until 2 a.m. this morning to get the job out.......the lender called and said I could do the final after 5 p.m. today. (no thank you for your trouble, no nothing). Then she said: "The builder will have the door open and take extra precaution to lock it behind you :roll: Daaahhh....And, please take your shoes off before entering" :x

I'm sure they really appreciated all I did though..... :?: :evil:

Edited & Added: I just finished telling this story to my daughter, the Trainee. And, I indicated to her that I was so frustrated I had to turn to the Forum. She said she's glad I have the Forum to turn to, and not the bottle! :lol:
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
I feel your pain! Just received a VA appraisal assignment for new construction (NPO - Not previously occupied) and they want to close Friday. It sucks. I could take the typical approach of "Ain't my problem, we have 8 working days to get the appraisal done" but I will attempt to accomodate the client.

NPO, not previously occupied means 95% complete except for buyer preference items such as floor coverings, appliances, etc. A patio is not a requirement. Don't let their problem become your problem. Unless we all start to object to these terribly short turn times the next one will be in 3 days and only be 75% completed.
 

Don Clark

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
8)

Charlotte:

I was told by VA that there is no such thing as 95% complete. What VA allows us to do without plans and specs is appraise a hous that is complete except for buyer preferrence items such as:

1. Carpet
2.Vinyl
3. Appliances

Everything else should be complete when we first visit the property. My experience is that there will always be a few items that are not complete such as painting, electrical, plumbing fixtures, landscaping, and seeding. With the exception of landscaping and seeding, I will consider a property not ready for a final inspection. Period. Then they can pay me $75.00(my area) every time I come out and do a "final". My estimation for landscaping and seeding is usually $500 - $1,500 to be escrowed, and another final and $75.00 when that is complete.

BTW, just did a conventional where I was asked to do a final...."we wnat to close at noon tomorrow". Busted my butt to get there in the AM. Site had not been graded due to heavy rain. No landscaping. No seeding. No electric meter. M&S suggest $.22 per sq ft of site area for grading. Then I also suggested an additional $3,500 for landscaping and other site improvements. The builder had to escrow over $5,000. So, VA is not the only new construction where this is a problem. I sent the lender photos to show no grading, landscaping, and no electric meter.

Don
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Lender called and ordered a final inspection. I said, $75.00. She calls back to say I can only charge $65.00. Then she calls back again to inform me she shouldn't have called in the first place because the order specifies a VA inspector for the final. They are the ones who only charge $65. I am sooooo glad I didn't have to go out in the snow for $65.
 

Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
Lender called and ordered a final inspection. I said, $75.00. She calls back to say I can only charge $65.00. Then she calls back again to inform me she shouldn't have called in the first place because the order specifies a VA inspector for the final. They are the ones who only charge $65. I am sooooo glad I didn't have to go out in the snow for $65.

On V.A.'s, both appraisals and compliance inspections, there are different fees we are allowed to charge. :oops: My area = $65 for a final.
 
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