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Tidewater VA Appraisal Explained

From the Tidewater process to its purpose, discover the basics of the Tidewater VA appraisal.

Published on September 12, 2023

The VA appraisal is a mandatory step in the VA homebuying process and may be frustrating for borrowers who don’t receive the results they were hoping for. The Tidewater VA appraisal may provide a solution to VA borrowers in these circumstances. It protects Veterans from overpaying for a home and guarantees sellers a fair price for their property.

Tidewater Initiative

Unlike traditional VA appraisals, the Tidewater appraisal allows communication between the appraiser and the listing agent before finalizing the appraisal report. All parties may contribute relevant information that could impact the property's value, allowing for a more accurate assessment and potentially preventing a property's value from being underestimated or overestimated.

Tidewater Appraisal Process

Whether referred to as the Tidewater Initiative, Tidewater Notice or simply the Tidewater appraisal, many homebuyers find this process to be more complex than a traditional VA appraisal.

Here is a step-by-step overview to guide you through the Tidewater appraisal process.

Step 1: Appraisal Initiation

During a mandatory VA appraisal, the appraiser attempts to estimate the property's reasonable value following VA guidelines. However, the appraiser may estimate a market value lower than the property's purchase price. This estimate is based on the costs of similar homes in the area.

Step 2: Notification to Parties

In such situations, the VA appraiser notifies the buyer and seller of the projected appraisal result. This notification serves as a warning signal, indicating that the property's value is likely below the purchase price.

Step 3: Providing Supporting Information

Parties involved now have two days to gather and submit additional information for the Tidewater appraisal. This information may include other nearby home prices and recent home sales in the area.

Step 4: Final Appraisal Result

During this final step of the Tidewater appraisal process, the borrower will receive their potential property’s final appraisal result. The next step in the homebuying journey will depend on whether the appraisal passes or not:

Our Lender
Veterans United Home Loans is a VA approved lender; Mortgage Research Center, LLC – NMLS #1907 ( Not affiliated with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs or any government agency. Not available in NV. 1400 Forum Blvd., Columbia, MO 65203. Equal Housing Lender

VA Tidewater FAQs

What does Tidewater mean on a VA appraisal?

Tidewater refers to a process where the VA appraiser anticipates that the appraised value of a home will be lower than the sale price.

What happens if the VA appraisal comes in low?

If a VA appraisal comes below the contract sale price and the Tidewater initiative fails to raise the appraised value, the transaction may need to be reviewed. The seller might have to reduce the price, or the buyer might have to cover the difference.

How long do you have to respond on a Tidewater?

Once a Tidewater notice has been issued, involved parties have two working days to provide the required data supporting the purchase price. This period allows for the collection of potentially decisive data.