VA Loan Inspection Requirements
To offer a guarantee on the VA home loan, the Veterans department wants to take every step possible to make sure that the home is worth the asking price and that the property is suitable for living. The inspection is the actual visit of a qualified VA appraiser who then makes a report about the property. The property must meet VA minimum property requirements (MPRS) which are guidelines for the condition of the property.
Checking the Property for Problems
While reviewing the property, the VA appraiser is looking out for problems that could make the home uncomfortable or unlivable for the veteran. Here are some of the top areas that the VA appraiser is considering.
- Windows – Any broken window will need to be repaired before the VA loan can be closed. A broken window can cause higher utility costs and possibly invite crime through a negative image.
- Electrical system – The VA appraiser will review the home’s electrical system to make sure there is proper lighting and working outlets for necessary appliances.
- Heat/Air – Depending on the part of the country where the home is located, having proper heat or proper air conditioning can be a necessity. For example, in the upper northern states where temperatures can drop well below freezing at night during the winter, having a proper source of heat can literally save lives. On the other hand, in the deep south where temperatures can get up to 100 or above during the summer, a good working air conditioner can prevent health problems.
- Proper roof – The VA appraiser will thoroughly check the condition of the roof to see if there are any holes or leaks. A small leak can turn in to a major problem if left unattended and lead to thousands of dollars of damage.
The VA rules require that if there is evidence of any of these problems discovered during the VA appraisal (not the home inspection), the seller will need to make the necessary repairs before the VA loan can be closed.
Safety for Buyer and Lender
The purpose of the home appraisal and these VA property requirements is to ensure that the home is safe for living. Considering that the VA mortgage was originally designed to provide easy access to homes for veterans returning from World War II, it makes sense that lenders would want the home to be safe for these soldiers.
Having a safe home that is in good working condition also provides a sense of security for the VA lender and their investment in the property.
VA Minimum Property Requirements
When it comes to a home that is under consideration for a VA mortgage loan, there are no set rules about things such as the square footage of the home, a minimum number of rooms, or the style of the home. The rules for the VA Minimum Property Requirements, referred to as MPR’s, deal with other aspects of the home.
Access – VA Property Requirements
- Access to the home – the veteran must be able to access the home from a public road. The road will need to have all weather surface. If there is a private road that allows access to the home, there must be a legal easement in place.
- Wall access – There should be enough space between the veteran’s home and the neighboring homes that allow for access to the walls in order to handle any normal maintenance issues.
- Access to unit and yard – The veteran must be able to gain access to the unit without the need for first going through a different unit. If the unit has a rear yard, the veteran must be able to access it without illegally trespassing through another yard or unit.
Characteristics of Property – VA Property Requirements
- Residential – first and foremost the property must be a single, residential in nature that can be marketed as a real estate property.
- Utilities – The common utilities such as electricity, natural gas, running water and sewer system must be independent from other surrounding units.
- Sewage and septic – the unit must have a proper sewage disposal system along with sanitary facilities.
- Intended Use – The unit must be the veteran’s main residence. Rental property not allowed for VA mortgage loans.
- Heat – The unit must have a source of heat that provides for a safe and comfortable environment. If the main source of heat is a wood burning stove, the unit will also need to have a secondary system that can provide minimum of 50 degrees air to circulate among the plumbing.
- Water – The unit needs to have a reliable water supply that is fresh, sanitized, and includes hot water.
- Ventilation – To prevent problems that can occur from excess heat buildup or too much moisture, areas above the house such as an attic, as well as areas under the home like basements and crawl spaces, must have necessary vents.
- Living area – The unit needs to have adequate room for cooking, living, dining and sleeping.
Along with these characteristics and the aforementioned major areas, there are also a few potential problem areas that need to be noted.
- Lead paint – All properties that have paint from before the year 1978 will be automatically deemed to be lead-based paint. If the paint is damaged in any way, such as peeling, cracking, or chipping, then it is required that the paint has to be corrected.
- Property impairment – An existing condition that affects the safety, soundness of the structure, or the sanitation condition of the home must be repaired. Examples could be rotten wood on the exterior of the home, leaks in the plumbing system, growth of fungus, or poor workmanship.
- Adequate draining – The yard, walkways and driveways must be correctly graded in order to allow rainwater to drain and prevent standing water.
The Veterans Administration wants to take all precautions to make sure the properties that they insure do not present any dangers to the homeowner.
Summing Up VA Property Requirements
All of these VA property requirements are above and beyond the normal scope of a home appraisal. The typical appraisal is designed to determine the home’s value in comparison to the surrounding area. The VA minimum property requirements are meant to do everything possible to assess the home’s condition and level of livability before the veteran moving in and taking up residence.
Additional VA Mortgage Resources for Veterans:
Loan Guide For VA Home Loans via Bill Gassett
Even More VA Mortgage Information via Jeff Nelson
VA No-No Mortgage Information via Brad Yzermans
Pros/Cons Of VA Mortgages via Kyle Hiscock
About the author: This article on “VA Property Requirements” was written by Luke Skar of MadisonMortgageGuys.com. As the Social Media Strategist, his role is to provide original content for all of their social media profiles as well as generate new leads from his website.
We provide award-winning customer service to clients who need to purchase a home or refinance an existing mortgage. Our branch currently serves Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Florida. On our website, you will find state-specific mortgage information for all states including information on VA loans. For example, take a look at our VA page for Minnesota.
- Important Disclosure
VA loans are only available to eligible veterans and/or their spouses.
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