How Long is an Appraisal Good For?

Jan 8, 2024

Today, we delve into a critical question many of our clients face: “How long is an appraisal good for?” Knowing how long a property appraisal is valid and reliable is crucial for making smart choices in real estate.

At TAG, we have the knowledge and skills to help you with property valuation and market analysis. Homeowners, buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals should know how long an appraisal remains valuable. This knowledge helps them plan and complete successful transactions.

In this post, we will discuss the factors that influence the duration of an appraisal. We will also cover the typical time frames involved and explore how market conditions can impact these timelines. Our goal is to empower you with knowledge and confidence as you navigate your real estate journey. Below are some key takeaways from our team:

  • Appraisals usually last 3 to 6 months, but it can change depending on market changes.
  • In a fast-changing market, property values can fluctuate, making appraisals less valid for a shorter period.
  • Lender Preferences: Some lenders may require a more recent appraisal, especially in unstable economic conditions.
  • Purpose of the Appraisal: The intended use of the appraisal (e.g., home purchase, refinancing) can impact its shelf life.
  • Different loan types (FHA, VA, conventional) can impact how long an appraisal is valid, as they have different requirements.

How Long is a Home Appraisal Good For? 3 Important Outside Factors You Should Know

At TAG, we understand that a home appraisal remains valid for 3 to 6 months. External factors influence the shelf life of the appraisal. We’ll unpack these key elements, revealing through TAG’s personal experience how each significantly influences the appraisal process.

This real-world perspective adds depth and understanding to the complexities of property valuation. Let’s dive in:

Comparable Sales

At Triangle Appraisal Group (TAG), we understand the critical role of recent comparable sales, or ‘comps’, in home appraisals. These are the prices of similar properties sold recently, vital in assessing a home’s current value. The property market changes quickly, so we focus on using recent sales data from the past three to six months. Older comps may not accurately reflect the latest market conditions, potentially compromising the appraisal’s reliability.

Our extensive experience at TAG has shown that accurate, timely comps are essential for a valid appraisal. They ensure that our assessments accurately represent the current market value of a property. This provides our clients with reliable and useful information for their real estate decisions. In the world of property appraisal, up-to-date information is key to accuracy.

Market Conditions

Market conditions play a crucial role in determining the shelf life of a home appraisal. We’ve learned that in stable markets, an appraisal can remain valid for its full typical duration of 3 to 6 months.

Unstable markets greatly reduce the validity of an appraisal. This reduction can happen in just a few weeks. Quick economic shifts or changes in interest rates cause it.

At TAG, we closely watch market trends to make sure our appraisals reflect the latest market conditions.

Being adaptable is important for giving accurate property valuations. Market conditions affect how long an appraisal is valid in the ever-changing real estate industry.

Property Conditions 

We’ve also observed that the condition of a property significantly affects the shelf life of its appraisal. If a property undergoes substantial changes, like renovations or damage, the original appraisal quickly becomes outdated.

A well-maintained property can uphold the appraisal’s validity for the usual 3 to 6 months. However, significant improvements or deterioration can necessitate a re-evaluation to accurately reflect the property’s current value. This shows how important it is to think about a property’s condition during appraisal and how it might change.

How Long is a House Appraisal Good For? It Depends on the Loan

Understanding home appraisals can lead to considering how the loan type affects the appraisal’s duration.

The rules and guidelines of different types of loans determine how lenders evaluate a home appraisal. Understanding this relationship is crucial for anyone in the realm of home buying, selling, or financing.

An appraisal is required for most mortgage loans. What differs is their shelf life, or, how long they are valid for. Discover how various loan types impact the duration of a house appraisal, aiding in smarter property financing choices.

As a reminder these are general guidelines. Appraisal validity is dependent on individual lenders. It is best to consult your lender for further information.

FHA Loan

A common question regarding Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans is: “How Long does an FHA appraisal stay with the property?” The answer is 120 days, a shorter period compared to many conventional loan appraisals.

The FHA wants to ensure that the appraisal accurately reflects the current value and condition of the property. This is because they have strict safety standards.

First-time home buyers using FHA loans must be aware that an FHA appraisal is only valid for a short time. This knowledge is crucial for them. 

Conventional Loan

Conventional loans typically offer a longer shelf life for appraisals compared to government-backed options like FHA loans. In this context, a crucial aspect to consider is the duration for which an appraisal remains valid.

So, when addressing the question, “How long is a conventional appraisal good for?” it’s generally up to 6 months. This extended timeframe reflects the more relaxed guidelines of private lenders and their perception of a stable market.

However, keep in mind that this duration does not have a fixed value. Market volatility can lead lenders to request more recent appraisals, whereas in stable markets, there might be more leniency. This flexibility is a key difference from the stricter, shorter timelines associated with loans like FHA.

VA Loan 

For those using VA (Veterans Affairs) loans, a common consideration is “how long is a VA appraisal good for?” The answer, which accommodates the unique aspects of the VA loan process, is six months (180 days). This duration ensures the VA appraisal process remains valid throughout the often-lengthy approval process for veterans.

VA loan appraisals are valid for six months, which is the same as conventional loans but longer than FHA loans. This time frame provides necessary flexibility for veterans. This balances the need for an up-to-date property valuation with the VA’s supportive approach to home buying.

So, How Long Do Appraisals Last? Debunked by TAG

Understanding the details of “how long is an appraisal good for?” is important in real estate transactions. Whether you’re dealing with FHA, VA, or conventional loans, each has its own set of rules that dictate the shelf life of an appraisal.

Market conditions, property changes, and loan types affect how long an appraisal stays valid.

Homeowners, buyers, mortgage lenders, and real estate professionals who are armed with this knowledge can make more informed decisions, ensuring their appraisals align with their transaction timelines and requirements.

Getting advice from experts like Triangle Appraisal Group (TAG) is important for effectively dealing with these challenges. Contact us today to debunk your appraisal shelf life- TAG us in!