VA appraisals

VA Loan Minimum Property Requirements For Electrical Systems

December 29, 2011

VA Loan Minimum Property Requirements For Electrical Systems

When buying a home with a VA insured mortgage loan, the property must meet a set of minimum property requirements as spelled out by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This raises many questions for home buyers and potential VA loan applicants. After all, nobody wants to find a home they really want to buy only to discover it doesn’t meet the minimum standards–borrowers want to know what to expect when it comes to the rules in this area with good reason.

In some areas where older homes are available, the question of electrical systems and VA minimum property standards comes up quite often. What does the VA require when it comes to an older electrical system? Can a borrower purchase a home with an old-fashioned fuse box as opposed to a more modern breaker system?

According to the VA official site, there is no specific standard in such cases–the VA does not make a blanket declaration stating that “all homes with fuse boxes are ineligible for VA insured loans” or that “all homes with modern electrical systems meet VA minimum property requirements”.

Instead, the VA defers to the local regulatory agencies and building codes. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs official site, “For acceptability of an electrical system you must contact the local authority. The VA requirement is for safe, adequate and acceptable to the local authority. The local authority is responsible for enactment of electrical codes and enforcement.”

When it comes to homes with older fuse-box systems, the VA states clearly, “If a fused electrical system is acceptable to the local authority it is acceptable to VA.” Check with your local building codes to determine what is acceptable in the local market.

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2 Comments
  1. James Pennington

    I have an offer on a home that got accepted through a VA home loan, but I am wondering if it's worth it to get an inspection on the house if it's just going to get denied by VA. It's a 55 year old house that is in good condition, but it has an old fuse box in instead of the more current circuit breaker boxes, bulb type. Is this acceptable with VA? How do I find out, before I pa the inspector $500, just to tell me that the house doesn't meet VA standards because of this?

    • Joe Wallace

      The building code in your area would play a large part in determining the answer to that question--you would need to check with your local code authority to see if your fuse box situation meets code standards or not. VA does not override local or state building code, so generally speaking, if it won't pass inspection based on your area building codes, it won't pass the VA appraisal.

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