VA Appraisal Requirements For Water Supply To The HomeOne common question we often get regarding VA appraisal requirements for homes to be purchased with a VA guaranteed mortgage loan involves the question of what types of water supply is acceptable for the home. Can a well or other system not hooked up to a city system be considered acceptable to the VA for loan approval?
Chapter 12 of the VA lender’s handbook states, “Connection to a public or community water/sewage disposal system is required whenever feasible.” However, it’s not always feasible to have a connection to the city water supply. In such cases, what does the VA Lender’s Handbook say about minimum property requirements for wells and water treatment systems?
The quality of the water supplied to the home in such cases is paramount. “Water quality for an individual water supply must meet the requirements of the health authority having jurisdiction. If the local authority does not have specific requirements, the maximum contaminant levels established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will apply.”
“If the health authority is unable to perform the water quality analysis in a timely manner, a commercial testing laboratory or a licensed sanitary engineer acceptable to the health authority may take and test the water sample.”
The VA further reinforces this idea in another part of Chapter 12, stating:
“Water treatment systems are not acceptable for wells which do not meet VA quality standards due to insufficient depth or a contamination source near the supply.” This seems fairly strict, but what about situations where the home is otherwise acceptable to the VA and public water is not available?
From Chapter 12: “…if public water is not available and individual water supplies in the area are served by an aquifer confirmed by the health department to be contaminated, the property is eligible for a VA loan if the lender provides:
- A copy of the health department letter confirming the aquifer contamination.
- Evidence that all of the requirements in HUD Mortgagee Letters 92-18 and 95-34, concerning individual water purification systems, have been met for the property.
- The veteran purchaser’s written acknowledgment that he/she understands that the well water serving the property must be continuously treated by the homeowner, as required by the local health department, to be considered safe for human consumption.”
If you aren’t sure whether the property you want to purchase meets these conditions, discuss your needs with the VA Regional Loan Center with jurisdiction over your zip code.
Do you have questions about VA home loans? Ask us in the comments section.