Getting VA repairs done | Military Home Loans

Getting VA repairs done

Repair worker

 The door between the house and the garage isn’t self closing, nor does it have a solid core. Additionally, there’s peeling paint on the eaves and being an older house, it might have lead in it.

All total, about $400 in token repairs.

No problem, but:

  • Who pays for them?
  • Who does the work?
  • When does it need to be done by?

It’s all negotiable


Anyone can pay for the repairs. YES, the buyer can pay to have work done on a house they don’t own.

Is there a chance the deal falls through at the last second and you’ve paid to have work done on a house you aren’t going to buy. Yes. So weight your risks. If it’s $500 worth of repairs, that’s completely different from it being $50,000 worth of repairs.

Sometimes the people doing the repairs will require money directly. Other times they can bill their work as part of the overall transaction. That’s somewhat your preference, the key is just to make sure they do get paid.

Who can do the work:

It depends on what type of issue it is.

Usually the appraiser will specifically say if something requires a licensed contractor to inspect. For example, if the roof leaks, they want someone certified to not only clear the problem, but also warranty their work.

If the appraiser doesn’t specify, then it usually can be done by anyone. Yes, sweat equity is allowed.

One word of caution. It’s still the seller’s house. They will need to authorize any work. If you sneak in one weekend to paint the eaves, and end up in the hospital after falling off the ladder… You can see where that would lead to bad things.

When the work needs to be done:

Normally VA repairs need to be done – prior – to closing. Escrow holdbacks (money set aside to finish the work after you’re the homeowner) are only allowed for weather related items.

A septic issue in North Dakota in February would warrant an Escrow holdback.

If you’re in a sunny place like San Diego (we love it here) then assume all repairs have to be done before the deal closes.

The appraiser is normally the one that goes back out to confirm the repairs are complete, and their report is the last thing the lender clears before funding.


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