Did you know Hawaii has one of the highest concentrations of VA eligible buyers in the country? Its sheer abundance makes it imperative for Hawaii real estate agents to understand the VA loan program for both their sellers and buyers. Notably, recent updates to the VA home loan program’s rules on non-permitted improvements, condo appraisal & eligibility, and VA loan time-frames make VA purchase offers super attractive!

Update #1: Non-Permitted Improvements

Previously, a VA appraiser would be hard-line about not giving value to non-permitted areas. Yet in 2017, it was decided that appraisals with permit issues that meet the VA’s Minimum Property Requirement could be issued “As Is.” Ultimately, this change means that the lack of an existing permit on an addition or improvement would not prevent the home from obtaining VA loan financing! Thus, a VA appraiser will now make a judgment call based on numerous factors on whether to give value to non-permitted improvements.

Update #2: Condo Appraisal & Eligibility

In the past, appraisers would need the budget, minutes, and financials of the condominium property to officially begin the appraisal time clock. Those documents are no longer needed to begin the process. However, delays can be avoided if they are given in a timely manner.

Reminder: go to our Condo Check Tool to find out if a condo is already VA approved for financing!

Update #3: VA Loan Timeframes

The VA sets mandatory appraisal timeframes to ensure the appraisals are done in, you guessed it, a timely manner. Now, it is just 10 business days rather than the prior standard of 15 business days. Here’s what constitutes a complete appraisal order:

  • Fully executed purchase contract, complete with all addendums and credits identified
  • Condo docs
  • Property address, Veteran’s name, property access contact, etc.

Aren’t those some handsome changes? Join our email list to receive more informative updates and news, specifically for Hawaii real estate agents. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions regarding the VA home loan program and Hawaii home buying at 808-792-4251.