There are plenty of advantages of having a VA home loan compared to a conventional mortgage, including a minimal down payment requirement, no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), and competitive interest rates. Most military members, veterans, National Guard members, and spouses of military members who died on active duty can apply for a VA loan and reap the rewards that come with some mortgages.
However, not only do you have to be eligible for this specialized type of home loan, so does your property. The reasons for this is to protect you against any unexpected and unpleasant surprises that can end up being very costly.
In order for a home to qualify for a VA home loan, it needs to meet Minimum Property Requirements (MRPs) to help ensure that military personnel and veterans have a safe place to live.
The property you’re trying to obtain a VA mortgage to pay for must be accessible all year long, no matter how your next-door neighbor’s property is being used. There also needs to be adequate space between your home and the one next door to allow for sufficient maintenance of each building.
VA appraisers will look at a number of things about the property before it is considered eligible for a VA home loan: it needs to have a space for living, sleeping, cooking and eating, as well as a bathroom.
Water, Sewer, and Mechanical Systems
Not only does the home have to provide an actual residential living space for the occupants, it also must pass certain requirements as far as its mechanical, sewer, and water systems are concerned. The property must have:
▪ Safe waste flow into a sewer or septic tank
▪ An adequate water supply that is continuous and safe to drink, and is sufficient for all its occupants if it is shared
▪ No more than four units that share a utility room, storage space, and laundry facilities
▪ A separate shut-off for gas, power, water and sewer
▪ An adequate and safe mechanical system
▪ Proper drainage away from the building with stable ground cover
The roof of the home can’t have any leaks, and if any repairs were done in the past, at least three layers of shingles had to have been removed before replacing the roof with new shingles.
Attic and Crawl Space
These spaces need to have natural ventilation that is void of any dirt or dust, and have plenty of room for any ductwork, plumbing, and electrical repair.
The actual building itself needs to be in good shape. That means no termite damage, mold, rotting wood, broken windows, bad construction, moisture, or exposed electrical wires should be present.
The Bottom Line
Basically, the MPRs associated with VA home loans require that a home should be safe, sanitary, and structurally sound for those who live in it. A VA appraiser will need to assess the home and the lot it sits on to ensure that it meets these requirements before a VA home loan can be approved.