VA Loan Minimum Property Requirements: Some BasicsOne of the most important steps towards getting a VA loan comes after you find the home you want to buy with your VA loan benefit, make an offer, and approach the lender.
In order to get your VA loan approved, the home for sale must be appraised by a VA fee appraiser who will look at the property to determine its fair market value and insure that it meets VA minimum property requirements.
Those requirements, also known as VA MPRs, are listed in VA Pamphlet 26-7, Chapter 12. The MPRs don’t try to specifically list every type of problem, situation, or correction required. Instead, it offers a set of general guidelines in some cases, more specific rules in others, and also relies on compliance with state or local building code.
The property that does not meet state or local building code can’t be approved for a VA loan until corrections listed by the appraiser are made and reviewed. The same goes for properties that don’t conform to the VA MPRs listed in Chapter 12.
What are some of those MPRs? The basics are pretty simple. Chapter 12 requires all properties to be approved for a VA home loan to be “safe, structurally sound and sanitary”. Chapter 12 also requires the home to meet, “the standards considered acceptable in a permanent home in its locality.”
Some of the more specific MPRs could, depending on the circumstances, be waived. Chapter 12 states, “An MPR for existing construction can be waived by the VA field office if
- A veteran is under contract to purchase the property, and
- The veteran and lender request the exemption in writing, and
- The property is habitable from the standpoint of safety, structural soundness and sanitation, and VA is satisfied that the nonconformity has been fully taken into account by way of depreciation in the VA valuation.”
VA MPR requirements in Chapter 12 also say, “Each living unit must have the space necessary to assure suitable
- Cooking and dining accommodations
- Sanitary facilities.”
Some borrowers want to know if there are specific guidelines for the above, but in many cases state or local building code would have more detail that’s applicable. VA refers questions on such building code issues to the local authority and does not keep reference copies of state or local code.
Do you have a question about VA home loans? Ask us in the comments section.