Tucson AZ Home Loan Info


Does Your Listing Show "VA" In The Financing Options? Read This!

Mike In Tucson: VA Financing

Does your listing show "VA" in the financing options?

In Arizona, most do, and it often comes as a surprise to the listing agent and the selling agent that VA appraisers won't allow the property to have trash - junk - stuff just laying around.

Most of the stuff you see in the photo on the right is useful.  There's nothing wrong with that telescopic ladder on the right.  The refrigerator sitting under the porch roof works just fine.

All of it must be removed, per the VA appraiser, and he's going to charge another $100. to come back and take new photos for the appraisal.

The Price Is Right

All the buyer saw when he (you know this buyer is male and single, don't you?) made the offer on this house was the price of the home.  It really is a GREAT deal.  We have him locked at 4.250, and he had planned on having a yard sale once he purchased the home.

The trouble is, the stuff is not his, and we have an out-of-state seller and a novice listing agent.

The problem will get solved, but we'll lose a week in the process of bickering back and forth between the listing agent, the selling agent and the seller.  The VA buyer will lose $100. as an unnecessary fee to the appraiser.

If you're going to show VA as an option for financing, you'll want to get together with your lender first to find out what's going to be required.

If I'm your lender, I'll visit the home with you at the outset, and you won't have any surprises.


I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson Mortgage Lender.

NMLS #223495

SUNSTREET MORTGAGE llc ~ Correspondent Mortgage Bank
Offices (AZ) Mesa, Tucson, Nogales, and Albuquerque, NM.

Comment balloon 43 commentsMike Jones • October 07 2010 08:13AM



Good points to consider.  And, yes, my listings show a VA option.

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) about 10 years ago

Mike-I just learned something new.  Though one man's trash may be another's treasure in this case it is all just trash to a VA appraiser.  I've only been tripped up once by a VA appraiser this year with a lead based paint issue on a 1940's house (exterior).  Wouldn't have been a problem but it was discovered two days before the first of our series of storms that dumped 50 inches on the area.  A bit hard to fix and re-inspect for closing :-)

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) about 10 years ago

Mike, excellent point!! Anytime appraiser in Virginia has to reinspect the home they will charge a fee.

Posted by Ritu Desai, Virginia Realtor-Fairfax/Loudoun/PW-703-625-4949 (Samson Properties) about 10 years ago

We don't do that much VA here... I have over the years and was not aware of this.  I met with a veteran over the weekend and talked a little about the appraisal but I thought "not a buyer"  and I was right.  Loan officer called to say "not able to  buy now." 

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) about 10 years ago


Great point, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) about 10 years ago

Every now and then I have a buyer that will be having a VA loan. Good points to bring up.

Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick, Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes (Lizette Realty - Richmond KY) about 10 years ago

We are getting more and more VA.

You come out and look at the house? Wow! I have never had a lender do that. Never even crossed my mind.

Posted by Dawn Maloney, 330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio (RE/MAX Trinity Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist) about 10 years ago

Interesting Mike. I'm so over this. ;-) Burn all the !@#$% things down and put the builders back to work.

Posted by Susie Blackmon, Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing about 10 years ago

No doubt that if your showing any payment terms like fha or va you want to make sure they are actually eligible.

Posted by Bruce Swedal, Denver Real Estate about 10 years ago

I rarely include VA as a financing option unless it's a home that I think nobody wants to buy and the only way to sell it is with VA financing. And I don't list very many homes that nobody wants to buy. Which is really sad when you think about how few options veterans really have in some areas. I'm not any different than any other listing agent in Sacramento.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) about 10 years ago

I have learned something new too.  I've never had a VA appraiser call out "too much stuff" before.  Unless its a safety concern I really think he is being nitpicky here and I would be furious to have to pay $100 to have him come back out and certify that a home met his tidy standards.  Unfortunately this is why people will pass over VA offers -- because they don't know what the particular appraiser will throw at them.

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) about 10 years ago

All I do is VA buyers and it amazes me how many agents lack the knowledge of how the VA views the home. I have adapted what I call my "VA Goggles" when I look at all properties. They focus on saftey over anything else and of course since they guarantee the loan, they can make the guidlines for the appraisers  very tight.

Usually trash isn't a concern for them. But I've had a few that just love to throw predacations at you so they can get that extra $100 to come back out. But it's just likely another person trying to manipulate the system and take advantage of the economy. THE LENDER can stop a lot of the BS a VA appraiser will throw at you and it's really what the lender will allow. I had a security screen door with no knob that they wanted fixed. I told the lender I'd fix it by removing it!! It's a screen door and not a required feature to the home and that stopped the appriaser from going back aout and charging.

In this case I see things that the lender can remove the predications by saying that the buyer wants the items. If a fridge works and its conveying along with other personal property, that's nothing that an appraiser can force someone to get rid of. I'd personally speak to the lender and if they didn't want to step in I'd report him to the VA.

Posted by Dean Watkins (Douglas Reatly - Associate Broker, CDPE, HRC, ePro) about 10 years ago

Mike, we are now seeing many more VA loans in Denver, due to Buckley Air Base.    This is great advice, and did not know.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) about 10 years ago

We have a lot of VA buyers in Colorado Springs. Another thing to watch out for is chipped paint anywhere on the home and things like loose handrails, etc...

Posted by Kristi DeFazio, Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468 (RE/MAX Advantage) about 10 years ago

The cost of inexperience on both sides of the transaction. Time is of the essence when closing deals. Great shot-are you going into the Fix and Flip business with me?

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia III, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) about 10 years ago


You've illustrated your point so well!

You're a great loan officer to go out there with the agent and buyer.


Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) about 10 years ago

I love VA and FHA financing, and we have lots of both in my area.  I probably did more conventional during the bubble years than 35 other years combined, and I don't miss it at all.  The conditions appraisers put on some of the properties are rarely anything the buyer wouldn't want, anyway, alothough the situation you describe seems to be an exception.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) about 10 years ago

My last VA appraisal had "exposed wiring" listed as a problem.  It took me 20 minutes of walking room to room before I figured it out!  The ceiling light in the garage, next to the opener had been removed.  The romex had two wire nuts on the ends.  But the wiring was "exposed" and before we could close, it had to be unexposed.  The listing agent was from out of area (over 50 miles away!) and unable to make corrections.  It took me longer to drive to Home Depot to buy a cover than to screw it over the wires! 

At least the lender didn't require the inspector to go back out to verify the $0.89 cover was installed.  They wanted me to take before and after photos from the same angle showing the repair.  Done and closed!

Posted by Bea Lueck (Coldwell Banker Rox Realty) about 10 years ago

I took a client who was prequal with a VA loan, went to the home and WOW, now we know why there were just a few pics and mostly of the backyard!


My 14 yr old daughter was with me that day and she saw the bare floors, missing faucets, water damage from room, etc. and said something like "Does the listing agent just list all financing in the drop down box because it's there?"


Since select photos of the damaged home were not included we couldn't figure it out before we drove to see the home.


Very disappointing when this happens.

Posted by Billie Hillier, Savvy Home Realty Solutions (http://702IsHome.com) about 10 years ago

Great Information!  I have walked into several homes that had VA/FHA on them here and knew from the minute we stepped onto the property that they would not pass for either one. 



Cathy Worrilow, Realtor(Farm&Home Real Estate, Fayetteville, Tn)

Posted by Cathy Worrilow (Farm & Home Real Estate & Auction) about 10 years ago

Great post!  All properties should be in show shape.  I must say it is the first time ever I have heard of the lender going out to the property with the buyer. 

Posted by Lynne Ruffin, Web Styles (Lynne RUFFIN) about 10 years ago


Thanks for commenting!  I had no inkling when I wrote this during the night (I'm a night owl) that it would be featured.  :)

@Dean W,

I AM the lender.  LOL

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 10 years ago

You know, I have done several VA's but I guess they were all neat and clean now that I read this. I don't remember having these problems, but it makes sense. How can the VA appraiser state the property is in good condition when he can't really see it?

Posted by Christianne O'Malley, Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno! (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) about 10 years ago

Great time saving tips...I love it when people are able to see potential in places and look beyond the junk. Most are not able to do that!

Posted by Anonymous about 10 years ago

Opps forgot to login...Great time saving tips...I love it when people are able to see potential in places and look beyond the junk. Most are not able to do that!

Posted by Keven Tomlinson AZ Real Estate GRI CNE CSSN (Firebird Realty) about 10 years ago

Wow!  Never had this come up before with a VA appraisal, and we have a lot of VA loans here in the Norfolk area.  I can't imagine not allowing a VA offer in an area like ours where we have such a large percentage of military buyers.  And I have never had an issue with a VA loan over any other type of loan.  (But a loan officer who makes house calls?  Now that IS service!)

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) about 10 years ago

This is a great point for VA loans but it is also just a good point in general. I would never let my seller leave stuff like this sitting around outside even if this were a cash deal.

I love the idea of the lender coming out to the home before the appraiser comes. That is very smart. Thanks for the post.

Posted by Reginald D. Reglus (Keller Williams Real Estate) about 10 years ago


Thank you for bringing this up.  Though we do a great number of VA loans - being so close to Joint Base Lewis McChord here in Tacoma - we have not run into this issue before.  Maybe our sellers are a little bit neater in their house keeping. ;-)

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 10 years ago

Mike, this is important information for a seller to know in many states.  And it's not just VA.  FHA applys as well.  If you advertise your listing as accepting VA, FHA or other particular financing, then you are saying that it either a) qualifies for that financing or b) that you, the seller, will do whatever is necessary for it to qualify for that financing.

Posted by Roger Johnson, Realtor - Hickory NC Real Estate (Hickory Real Estate Group) about 10 years ago

Hard lesson learned.  I hope the listing agent handles this project as they should have prior to going on the market.

Posted by Jo Olson, Retired - HOMEFRONT Realty @ LAKE Roosevelt (HOMEFRONT Realty) about 10 years ago

Hi Mike. I love FHAs and VAs and have worked with some. Fortunately none of them looked like the one in your picture. 

Posted by Lana Robbins Realtor ® Licensed Real Estate Broker, Licensed in Florida, Washington, and Hawai'i (Aloha Kai Real Estate) about 10 years ago

I had a borrower that had to put a railing on his deck and stairs and the appraiser agreed to let me take the pictures and send to him and there would be no charge for signing off on it.  That saved us at least 3 days in the closing process.

Posted by Carey Valentine (Medallion Mortgage Company) about 10 years ago

I am always greatful when I read articles like this that provide the important details that we should all be aware of. This is why we earn our commissions, because this is a complicated business. Thank you.

Posted by Austin Lawrence, Realtor - Riverside County, CA (Century 21) about 10 years ago

I did postabout this and many agents are unaware that VA FHA and USDA have seperate sets of requirements for lending

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros (AllMountainRealty.com) about 10 years ago

Right on Mike -- some of the VA listings have junk piled up higher than ones head.

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) about 10 years ago

You'd really think brokerages would make sure their agents understand this. Especially where VA is relatively common.

Posted by Darrin Carey, Real Estate Lender for Investors (Dayton Capital Partners LLC) about 10 years ago


Sorry I'm late. People must consider VA and FHA today if they seriously want to sell!


Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) about 10 years ago

Mike, ridiculous but true. I often think that the appraiser does this so he gets another 'trip charge' onto his fee.  Just too many reinspections going on lately.  Granted the 'trash' should be removed but really what does it have to do with the price of the home? It's habitability?

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 10 years ago

Hi Mike -- I just went through a VA transaction with a buyer but luckily it didn't have this issue.  I had no idea.  I've also never heard of a loan officer willing to visit a home like that -- that is way cool customer service, let alone even knowing this constraint applies.  Your post here illustrates so well why it's critical for a buyer to surround himself/herself with very capable real estate professionals.

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) about 10 years ago

Something else to remember. I suppose the valuables on the porch were just a little too excessive. By the way, is that green blob a cactus in a pot?

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Didn't know this.  I learn something new everyday.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 10 years ago

I love VA loans, USDA and FHA BUT all those appraisers are very strict when it comes to things like this !! Irregardless of the type of loan, I would have had my Seller clean that up in the first place ! Donate it or something but it makes a home look uncared for.

Posted by Sherilyn M. Whistler, Need a Referral, Call Me ! (ERA Herman Group Real Estate-NoCo) about 10 years ago

Does this mean there are not many VA buyers for bank owned homes??  Or will the bank spring for the clean up fix up to get it sold.  Them's some serious cacti there.  

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) about 10 years ago

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