If you are trying to buy a home using VA Mortgage financing, you may be wondering about the property requirements. Sadly, many Realtors make it sound like the minimum property requirements are way worse than they actually are.
Also, keep in mind that if you find a home that does not meet the requirements, it will not cause loan denial. The owner will simply need to fix the deficient items before closing.
Here is a checklist of items that the VA approved appraiser will be looking for to make sure that the minimum property requirements (MPR)s are met.
These requirements are outlined in more detail in the VA Handbook Chapter 12
General: Must be free of hazards that affect the health and safety of occupants, structural soundness of property, or impair the use and enjoyment of property.
Handrails required on stairs with 3 or more risers.
Severe tripping hazards must be remedied (i.e., major buckling of concrete).
25% maximum non-residential use.
Mechanical systems must be adequate, safe, and protected from elements.
Conventional heating system must be present in all homes to maintain temperature of 50 degrees in areas with plumbing (i.e., wood stove cannot be only heat source).
Solar systems for water and space heating must have reliable backup system.
Roof must be functional. While the VA doesn’t specify roof age, 2 years of remaining life is the standard most lenders look at. Roof must have no more than 3 layers of shingles.
Crawlspace must have adequate access, be clear of debris and be properly vented. Must have access to ductwork and plumbing.
Excessive dampness or ponding of water in crawlspace must be corrected.
Natural ventilation of attics and crawl spaces must be provided.
Laundry and storage space may be shared in a 2-4 unit.
Rear yard must have access. Row units may be by means of alley, easement, or passage through subject dwelling.
Private streets must have permanent easement and be maintained by HOA or maintenance agreement.
Living unit must have its own access.
Unit utilities may not pass over, under or through another living unit unless there is legal and permanent access for maintenance and repair.
Must be space between buildings for maintenance of exterior walls.
Termite cert required. Treatment required if necessary.
Lot must drain away from dwelling.
Exterior wood must be protected from elements. Chipped or peeling paint must be remedied.
Properties built prior to 1978 must have all defective paint surfaces remedied both interior and exterior.
Property cannot be located within a high-pressure gas or petroleum easement. If located within 220 yards’ special certifications will be required.
Property cannot be located within a high-voltage electric line easement.
Connection to public water/sewer disposal systems is only required when mandated by building, planning or health authorities.
Private water systems must be tested.
Water treatment systems are allowed only if public water is not available and water supply is from aquifer confirmed uncontaminated by health department.
Shared wells must be adequate and have maintenance and well-sharing agreements.
Manufactured homes are allowed if they meet the minimum square footage requirements, are permanently attached and were built after June 15, 1976.
As you can see, all these requirements are very reasonable. Unless you are buying a home that needs a massive amount of work, these requirements can easily be met.
Keep in mind that every rule the VA has in place is for the Veteran's benefit. This is a good thing. The VA wants to see Veterans protected!
Click here to download a PDF version of the checklist
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at 937-572-3713 or firstname.lastname@example.org.