VA appraisals

VA Minimum Property Requirements: A Reader Question About Roofs

November 29, 2018

VA Minimum Property Requirements: A Reader Question About Roofs

037-logoA reader asks, “I am looking at buying a house. It is a little older, but not very old. My realtor said it may not be approved for a VA loan because the roof already has 2 layers on it. I live in central Texas. Any advice you can give would be appreciated.”

VA loan minimum property requirements do address roof issues. Theses requirements are found in VA Pamphlet 26-7, Chapter 12. The rules under the section of Chapter 12 titled, “Roof Covering” is brief, stating only the following:

The roof covering must

• Prevent entrance of moisture, and
• 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.

So as far as the Department of Veterans Affairs standards are concerned, those are basically the total requirement. However, state and local building code may also have something to say about roof issues, and therefore it’s impossible to say whether the situation described in the reader question would or would not pass the VA appraisal.

Borrowers who need information about code compliance issues will need to consult the local authority–the Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t have a list of all the building codes that may apply. VA loan rules never override federal, state, or local law–VA minimum property requirements are just that, the minimum. The building code issues would apply above and beyond any VA mortgage loan standards that may apply.

The realtor mentioned in this reader question may or may not be correct; one thing to keep in mind is that when a property does not pass the VA appraisal process, the appraiser may recommend fixes, changes, or alterations that would make the property eligible for a VA mortgage loan. Just because a home doesn’t pass the first time does not automatically mean that property cannot be purchased.

If the home can be altered or repaired to comply, then it’s a matter of getting those changes made and having any required compliance inspections done so the loan can move forward.

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

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