VA loans

VA Loan Appraisal Questions: High Voltage Power Lines

December 6, 2018

VA Loan Appraisal Questions: High Voltage Power Lines

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A reader asks, “Are there restrictions on proximity to power/transmission lines?”

This question is asked in relation to the Department of Veterans Affairs minimum property requirements or MPRs that govern safety issues connected with the home. When a property is being appraised for a VA mortgage, the VA MPRs must either be adhered to or the property must be modified to bring it into compliance.

VA loan appraisal requirements are found in Chapter 12 of VA Pamphlet 26-7, which states the following about power lines in proximity to a home intended to be purchased with a VA mortgage:

“No part of any residential structure may be located within a high voltage electric transmission line easement. Any detached improvements even partially in a transmission line easement will not receive value for VA purposes.”

If the appraiser notes such a condition it will likely render the home ineligible for a VA loan. The same rules are true for any property located within a gas pipeline easement. According to Chapter 12, “No part of any residential structure may be located within a high pressure gas or liquid petroleum pipeline easement. Any detached improvements even partially in the pipeline easement will not receive value for VA purposes.”

Additionally, “If a proposed residential structure will be located outside the pipeline easement, but within an area that extends 220 yards on either side of the center-line of the pipeline itself, the VA notice of value will be conditioned for the following, as applicable:

  • High Pressure Gas Pipelines – A statement from an authorized official of the pipeline company certifying compliance with 49 CFR 192.607, 192.609, 192.611 and 192.613.
  • Liquid Petroleum Pipelines – A statement from an authorized official of the pipeline company certifying compliance with 49 CFR 195 and amendments thereto.”

VA loan rules in this area aren’t the only ones which may apply–your state or local building codes must also be observed in addition to the VA MPRs. VA minimum property requirements do NOT overrule or override state or local building codes. For more information, contact the VA directly about your specific circumstances.

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

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