Are you a veteran or actively serve in the US military? Your military service has earned you benefits.

One of these is the opportunity to buy a home with a VA home loan. The VA home loan has a low closing cost and no down payment. However, the property you decide to buy must meet the VA’s Minimum Property Requirements.

VA Home Loan Interesting Fact

Did you know that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doesn’t actually issue loans? It serves as a guarantor for a portion of each loan issued by VA-approved lenders. The VA loan process helps veterans and active duty service personnel to afford a home using their VA eligibility for benefits. As the guarantor, the VA mandates that there be minimum property standards for the property.

Because of this, it is important to work with a real estate agent who is familiar with VA loans and the VA MPR requirements. An experienced agent will be able to call attention to issues with properties before you make an offer.

What are Minimum Property Requirements for a VA Home Loan?

When you find the right home, your lender will schedule an appraisal as part of the loan application process. All VA approved appraisers will include the use of the VA MPR in their appraisal report. See the following list of some of the most common property requirements appraisers are looking for:

  • A residential property that has sufficient space to live, sleep, cook, and have a full bathroom.
  • Mechanical systems that are safe and in reliable working order; all appliances appear to have been properly maintained.
  • Sufficient electricity; no exposed wiring.
  • Heating system and cooling system are safe and working effectively.
  • Adequate roofing with no leaks or potential for leaks. For example, dry rot or damaged shingles.
  • Structure is free from wood destroying insects such as termites and other pests. If there are visible termites or pests further inspection may be needed by a pest control specialist.
  • Water and sanitation: safe drinking water, hot water supply, and adequate water supply to use the sink, tub/shower and toilets. There should also be a suitable and safe method for sewage systems.
  • No visible mold anywhere in the home. Mold can damage the property and make it unsafe for living
  • Proper drainage and free from water damage.
  • Accessible property: driveways and sidewalks that allow safe access.
  • No lead-based paint can be present in the home. Paint that is lead-based can be a serious health threat to individuals living in the home.
  • Accessible attic and crawl spaces: at a minimum there must be some small door or opening to allow an inspection of these areas.
  • Property location: limited proximity to underground gas lines, petroleum pipelines, and high-voltage electric lines.

Why are Minimum Property Requirements Necessary?

The purpose of the VA home loan program, including the VA minimum property requirements, is to help veterans and military service members acquire the home they deserve. A home free of costly repairs or unsafe components, both in the now and in the future.

What if the home you find will not meet the VA’s MPRs? You have the option of asking your real estate agent to see if the seller will make repairs to the home. If they will not, you have no choice but to continue the search for the home you deserve.

What are Some of the More Common Issues with Minimum Property Requirements and VA loans?

If you think the home you are considering is lacking in some of the minimum property requirements, it is best to be prepared that it may not meet VA approval for your home loan. Here are some of the most common issues with MPRs and VA loans:

“As-Is” Properties

Although as-is properties often list for a much lower price point, they can require major repairs or have issues that make the house not fit for living. The seller uses the words “as-is” to communicate they are not willing to make any repairs. Naturally, these properties will not meet the VA’s minimum property requirements.

While your realtor could attempt to inquire about repairs, the term “as-is” gives you a solid indicator that they will not be willing to work with you.

Foundation Issues

Cracks in foundations can be the root cause of structural damage to a property. As such they are a huge factor in the VA appraisal report.

Heating and AC Problems

Current heating and air conditioning equipment needs to work well and must have a reasonably long life expectancy. The older the unit the more potential for issue with VA MPRs.

Roof Issues

According to the VA roof requirements, the home does not need to have a new roof. However, it cannot be in need of repair. A damaged roof is a common cause of leaks leading to significant home damage.

Do VA Home Loans Require a Home Inspection?

Even though a home inspection is not required, it is still a very good idea to have one. A home appraisal is purchased by the mortgage lender and expensed to you in the closing costs for your home loan. The purpose of the appraisal is to determine the market value of the home.

A home inspection is purchased by you, the potential home buyer. The inspection report will come directly to you and will provide added protection that the home you are buying is a good investment for you.

Unlike the VA appraisal, a home inspection will have no impact on the VA home loan. There are several things a home inspector will check for that were not included in the appraisal. Taking this extra measure can give you greater confidence that you are making a good decision to buy the home and that you will not run into major issues or repairs after you move in.

Work with a Team of Specialists for Your VA Home Loan Journey

The purpose of the VA minimum property requirements is to make sure veterans and military service members purchase a home that they and their family will enjoy for many years. At VA Loans for Vets, our team is ready to advise you on any questions you may have about the MPRs or the home loan journey. We can also help you find a realtor who is experienced with VA home loans if you do not already have one.

Give us a call at 602-908-5849 to start your VA home loan journey today!