VA appraisals

VA Loan Reader Questions: Roof Replacement

November 16, 2018

VA Loan Reader Questions: Roof Replacement

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A reader asks, “Is there a requirement for the roof to be a certain number of years for the VA. I have a home I am looking at that has the original roof on it from 1987. Does the VA require that roof be replaced?”

The VA minimum property requirements for homes to be purchased with a VA guaranteed mortgage loan are found in VA Pamphlet 26-7, Chapter 12, which includes a section called “Roof Covering”. It says:

“The roof covering must

  • Prevent entrance of moisture.
  • Provide reasonable future utility, durability, and economy of maintenance.

When a defective roof with three or more layers of shingles must be replaced, all old shingles must first be removed.”

This is listed under “Basic Guidelines” and does not specify an age, only what’s mentioned above. If the roof is in bad repair, defective, leaky, or otherwise does not meet VA requirements, an appraiser may require corrections or repairs as a condition of loan approval. Consider the general guidelines for appraisers when it comes to defective conditions in the home, as stated in Chapter 12:

“Conditions which impair the safety, sanitation, or structural soundness of the dwelling will cause the property to be unacceptable until the defects or conditions have been remedied and the probability of further damage eliminated.  Such conditions include but are not limited to:

  • Defective construction
  • Poor workmanship
  • Evidence of continuing settlement
  • Excessive dampness
  • Leakage
  • Decay
  • Termites.”

Any of this that might apply to the roof could require corrections before the VA home loan can be approved.

However, VA minimum property requirements are not the only ones to consider–state or local building code must also be satisfied in such cases. The VA minimum property requirements are not the final word–if state or local laws require something above and beyond the VA guidelines, the appraiser will take that into consideration when reviewing the property.

Borrowers should check with the local authority to see what laws or building code might be applicable in such cases above and beyond the VA minimums.

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

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