Did you know Hawaii has one of the highest concentrations of VA eligible buyers in the country? In fact, there were 3,371 VA Purchase Loans in 2021. Its sheer abundance makes it imperative for Hawaii real estate agents to understand the VA loan program for both their sellers and buyers. So, in the spirit of helping our real estate friends, we put together a checklist called the “VA Loan Checklist for Listing Agents.” This handy guide helps agents evaluate any incoming VA purchase offers. Download it for free HERE. Notably, there are recent updates to the VA home loan program’s process and rules on non-permitted improvements, condo appraisal & eligibility, and VA loan time-frames. Overall, they 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 updates? Even more, when a seller and agent get VA purchase offers, they can enjoy a smooth process ahead. At Hawaii VA Loans, we enjoy providing education and resources to Hawaii’s real estate professionals. Also, we truly believe that choosing a local lender is best. Especially since our team lives and works in Hawaii. Thus, we have a level of expertise that is unmatched by national lenders. Join our email list to receive our monthly Hawaii Real Estate Agent Newsletter. Contact us with any questions regarding the VA home loan program and Hawaii home buying at 808-792-4251.