VA appraisals

VA Minimum Property Requirements Update: Water and Sewage

January 22, 2019

VA Minimum Property Requirements Update: Water and Sewage

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The Department of Veterans Affairs has a VA minimum property requirements update for water and sewage. In VA Circular 26-13-24, we find an update that includes the following:

“Historically, for properties on individual water and/or sewer (septic) systems, connection to public water and/or public sewer was required when connection was immediately available and ‘feasible.’ Regional Loan Centers have applied various definitions and interpretations of when connection to public water and/or sewer was ‘feasible.’ To provide clear and concise direction, connection to public water and/or sewer systems will only be mandatory if required by the local building, planning, or health authorities.”

That is an important change from the previous VA loan policy. The VA Circular elaborates on the new policy, stating, “Effective immediately, for properties served by individual water and/or sewer systems, connection to public water and/or public sewer will only be mandatory when such connection is required by the local building, planning, or health authorities.”

That puts borrowers in a better position in some cases, but in situations where local or state law requires such connections, the VA appraiser will note any condition that does not comply with those state or local requirements. It’s important to remember that VA loan rules never override or overrule state or local ordinances.

The VA Circular also addresses septic tests and other water testing that may be required in these cases. “For properties on individual water and/or sewer (septic) systems where well water or septic tests or certifications were required, the validity of those tests or certifications is 90 days unless the local health authority indicates otherwise.”

How does all this affect pending VA appraisals? “Effective immediately, all Notices of Value (NOVs) issued on properties served by individual water and/or sewer systems will require NOV Item #6 to be checked for connection to public water or public sewer only if the local building, planning, or health authority requires such connection.”

For more information, contact the Department of Veterans Affairs directly.

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

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