Two people standing outside a home and looking up towards the roof during an appraisal.

How Long Is An Appraisal Good For?

June 19, 2024 4-minute read

Author: Katie Ziraldo

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A home appraisal determines the fair market value of a home and helps ensure the sale price agreed to by the buyer and seller is reasonable. However, appraisals don’t last forever. Let’s explore how long an appraisal is typically good for.

How Long Is A Home Appraisal In Real Estate Good For?

According to the Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly known as Fannie Mae, most appraisals are good for 90 days. However, this number can vary depending on factors like the type of loan you’re taking out and the current real estate market.

Why Aren’t Appraisals Good For Longer?

The answer comes back to the way appraisers determine property value. Appraisers often use comparable sales or “comps” – similar homes in the area that have sold in the last 6 months – to help calculate a property’s value. Because comps change based on the real estate market, the value of a property can also change, leading to the need for updated appraisals.

For home buyers, a new appraisal can help ensure they aren’t paying more for a property than it’s worth. For sellers who make improvements to their homes, such as upgraded appliances or a roof replacement, the appraisal should accurately reflect the value of these changes and boost the home’s appraised value.

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How Long Appraisals Last For Different Types Of Loans

In addition to fluctuations in the real estate market, the specific type of mortgage loan will also play a role in determining how long a home appraisal is good for.

Conventional Loan

Conventional loan appraisals are typically the least restrictive, with appraisals on existing homes good for 120 days and appraisals on new homes valid for up to a year.

Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae is a corporation that funds conforming conventional mortgages and buys them from banks and lenders on the secondary mortgage market. According to Fannie Mae’s guidelines, appraisals are usually valid for 12 months but require an appraisal update after 120 days.

Freddie Mac

Like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac also purchases conforming loans on the secondary mortgage market, and its appraisals are valid for 12 months, with an update after 120 days. Freddie Mac also requires the lender to have a copy of the appraisal report.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Loan

An FHA appraisal is valid for up to a year if updated. Otherwise, it’s valid for 180 days. If the tracking number assigned to your loan (case number assignment) changes during that time, a lender may request a new appraisal no matter how many days have passed.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Loan

A USDA loan – is a mortgage tailored for home buyers in rural areas. Appraisals are valid for 120 days and have a 30-day grace period. If it’s more than 150 days old by closing, you'll need to update the appraisal or request a new one.

Rocket Mortgage® doesn’t currently offer USDA loans.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Loan

VA loans help qualified veterans, active-duty service members and surviving spouses buy homes. Appraisals are typically valid for up to 6 months. A new appraisal is required if the loan doesn’t close during that time.

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Home Appraisal Exception: Market Conditions

As we’ve mentioned, the condition of the real estate market will play a significant role in determining how long a home appraisal remains valid. In an unstable market where prices are rising and falling rapidly, appraisals will likely expire faster because a lender needs the most up-to-date value of a home.

In a stable market, the lender is more likely to rely on the original appraisal, accepting appraisals that are 6 months old if they're confident a property’s value hasn’t changed significantly.

What To Do When Your Appraisal Expires

When an appraisal expires, borrowers have a few options, including extensions and updates.

Appraisal Extension And Update

When a home appraisal expires, a borrower may be eligible for an appraisal extension if they can prove to their lender that no significant changes – upgrades or damage – have happened on the property. The borrower may also need to demonstrate that local market conditions haven’t significantly changed since the initial appraisal.

An appraisal update is another option. Appraisal updates don’t provide a new opinion of a property’s value. The appraiser reviews updated market conditions and confirms the home’s value since the date of the original appraisal.

Recertification Of Value

A recertification of value (ROV) confirms an appraiser's initial valuation. If the initial appraised value was contingent on certain repairs, the ROV will verify the completed repairs, confirming – not recalculating – the original property valuation.

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Can Your Home Appraisal Be Revoked?

Depending on the state of the property following the appraisal, certain conditions may lead to revoking the original appraisal – even if it hasn’t expired. Appraisals typically get revoked when there’s a significant change in the house’s condition, such as:

  • Need for home improvements
  • Discovery of undisclosed property issues or defects
  • Changes in local zoning or building regulations that affect the property

The Bottom Line: An Appraisal Is Only Valuable For A Short Time

Home appraisals are only valid for a certain amount of time but provide meaningful insight into property value for borrowers and lenders. Depending on the real estate market, the loan type and the lender, some appraisals may last longer than others.

If you’re considering buying a home, start the initial approval process today to ensure you can move quickly from preapproval to appraisal to closing once you find the perfect home.

Katie Ziraldo Headshot

Katie Ziraldo

Katie Ziraldo is a financial writer and data journalist focused on creating accurate, accessible and educational content for future generations of home buyers. Her portfolio of work also includes The Detroit Free Press and The Huffington Post.