Meeting the VA Minimum Property Requirements


You can be a veteran that qualifies for a VA loan and still not get approved. It comes down to the property and whether it meets the VA minimum property requirements. Not all properties meet them. It’s not that the requirements are strict; some properties just aren’t in a condition that the VA allows.

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Read on to learn what your property needs in order to secure VA financing.

The VA Minimum Property Requirements

The VA minimum property requirements are straightforward. To sum it up, they want a home that is safe and sanitary. More specifically, they require the following:

  • Easy access to the home from the street year round
  • Easy access to the home from all sides and without encroaching on a neighbor’s property
  • There is adequate space for all members to eat, sleep, and dine
  • There must be independent shutoffs for the water, gas, and electricity
  • The mechanical system must be in good working condition
  • The water supply must be safe for drinking
  • The water must flow well into the sewer
  • There must be adequate heating in all rooms of the home

Now we will cover specific areas of the home. The VA requires careful inspection of each of these areas:

  • Roof – It must be in good condition. This means no leaks or damage. There also must not be more than 3 layers of shingles on the roof.
  • Site – There must be adequate drainage from all areas of the site. The site must not be located near any transmitters or petroleum lines.

The home itself must be in good condition. The inspector will look for things like:

  • Broken windows
  • Rotting walls
  • Termite damage
  • Mold/mildew
  • Exposed wires

The inspector will also look at the craftsmanship of the home. The VA wants the home to be easily lived in for the near future. If there are issues that come up with the structure, the VA is unlikely to approve the home. They want a home that veterans can live in with peace of mind. They don’t want to guarantee a loan on a home that will require extensive work in the near future.

What Happens if a Home Doesn’t Meet the MPRs?

So what happens if the home you want doesn’t meet the MPRs? Are you out of luck? You might be, but there are options.

  • You can ask the seller to complete the repairs before closing. This might not be the easiest solution, but some sellers are willing. Talk to your seller before you decide to just give up. He might surprise you. Some sellers are motivated to leave, so they just go ahead and make the changes. Others know that they are getting a good deal with your offer and are willing to make the changes.
  • If you think the appraisal doesn’t adequately report the state of the property, you can ask for a review. The appraiser can then take your concerns into consideration. He can review it and decide how to proceed. Some appraisers will change the report with enough proof that they were incorrect.
  • Secure a second appraisal from another appraiser. This option costs you more money, but if you are right, it could save your mortgage. Your lender will have to approve you to secure another appraisal, though. Don’t just go ahead and do it without their permission.

The final option is to just walk away from the home. It doesn’t sound like the ideal option, but consider it a blessing in disguise. If the home is in bad condition, you might be better off getting a different home. While it’s a headache to look for another home, it could save you money down the road.

The VA minimum property requirements aren’t meant to keep you from purchasing a home. In fact, they are there to protect you. The VA wants to protect their investment, meaning they don’t want to have to pay up on a defaulted loan. But, they also have the best interest of our country’s veterans in mind. The MPRs are there to protect everyone involved in the real estate investment.

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