Some of the answers here may lead you to think that the Veterans Administration goes around our market area with a big rubber stamp marking some houses for sale "APPROVED", which is NOT the case.
When you and your agent look at foreclosed homes, or for that matter ANY home that may not be in tip top shape, you two will be looking for signs that MAY disqualify it from passing a VA appraisal. An appraiser most frequently will not REJECT a house, but rather may come in and say the house looks OK to him for VA loan purposes, EXCEPT for some item or another he wants correcting, like flaking paint on the walls, or broken handrail, etc. (In real estate parlance, "appraisal required" or "lender required" repairs.) At that point, since the bank wants to sell 'as is' it would be a big question mark whether the bank would cave and do the repair.
So...it is easier to eyeball the home and make the best guess possible whether it will pass a VA appraisal, because you don't want to be stuck paying for a home inspection (step 1 after winning a contract), AND then go to step 2 for the appraisal and it doesn't meet VA appraisal standards, and then you have just spent $750 or more, with no house in hand.
Hope that helps and please feel free to contact me if you need individual answers to your concerns about buying a house in Hampton Roads.
KK German, Wainwright Real Estate, 757-714-2335