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VA Loan Reader Questions: VA MPRs and Building Codes


A reader asks, “I am a Real Estate Broker working with a couple that wants to use a VA loan to purchase their home—which happens to be a barn conversion; it is now a large 4 BR/2 bath home.”

“It is vinyl-sided, has 1.5 stores, a metal roof, front porch, etc. Will this pose any problems since it was not always a “traditional” style of home? There is a 4-stall barn on the property, so this structure is definitely not anything other than a single-family home. Thank you!”

While it’s impossible to say (based on the contents of a reader question) whether or not a specific property would pass a VA appraisal or not, in general we can say that as long as a property meets VA minimum standards AND federal/state/local building code guidelines, there may not be an issue.

Just because a home is older, non-traditional, or in other ways unique compared to typical suburban properties does not necessarily mean it’s a liability when it comes to VA loan approval. The resale value of the property, VA loan amount and other factors may be affected by a home’s non-traditional state, but the basics of VA minimum property standards and applicable building code are the first concerns.

VA MPRs require the home to be safe, habitable, and accessible for the duration of the VA loan. If a property cannot sustain its value for the “remaining economic life of the loan” according to the VA official site, it may have trouble passing a VA appraisal without recommended corrections. Or it may not pass at all. Each property is different.

In general, a home that meets VA MPRs and applicable code should have no trouble passing the appraisal process unless the home otherwise does not meet standards. For example, certain special flood zone areas or air port noise zones may be a factor.

For more information on this issue, contact the VA directly by calling 1-800-827-1000.

Do you have questions about VA home loans? Ask us in the comments section.

Bruce Reichstein

About Bruce Reichstein

Bruce Reichstein is an Expert on (VA) Military/Veteran Home Loan Guidelines for over 26 years — He is an experienced VA Loan Mortgage Banker who is passionate about assisting US Military Veterans utilize their Veteran Eligibility to purchase a home.

2 Responses to VA Loan Reader Questions: VA MPRs and Building Codes

  1. Kathryn Means says:

    Do you have an article that has asddressed the requirements of condition of the home? Example: Must the home have a dishwasher? If there is a space for a dishwasher, must it be in place or is it optional? Is a termite inspection required? Must the house have section 1 and section 2 clearance?
    Kathryn Means, Realtor

    • Joe Wallace says:

      Many of these questions would be affected by state/local building code which must also be observed in connection with a VA home loan. Termite inspection requirements vary from state to state, for example, and appliance requirements may vary depending on state/local code. The clearances would depend on building code requirements. VA does not keep copies of these codes so you would need to consult the local authority.

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