VA loan minimum property requirements (or MPRs as they are often known) are specific guidelines issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs covering specific aspects of a home necessary for the home to be eligible to be purchased with a VA backed mortgage. The general basis for the VA loan minimum property requirements is that the property should be free of any hazards that might hurt the occupants or prevent them from normal enjoyment and use of the property. If the home does not meet these minimum property requirements, the VA will not guarantee the loan and the home will either need to be brought up to speed to meet these requirements or the VA will not guarantee the loan, effectively ending the purchase.
An Overview of VA Loan Minimum Requirements
The following list of VA loan minimum requirements is a general overview and is not meant to replace the guidelines issued by the VA. Contact your lender or the VA for a list of current guidelines and requirements.
Space Requirements – The home must have suitable space for living, sleeping, cooking/dining, and sanitary facilities (bathrooms).
Mechanical Systems – Mechanical systems must be safe to use, protected from any potential destructive elements, fit the needs of the home for capacity and quality, and have reasonable future usage.
Heating Systems – The home’s heating system must be adequate for health and comfort of the occupants. Special rules apply to wood burning stoves.
Water and Sanitation – Home must have available hot water and safe drinking water. This VA also requires a safe method of sewage disposal.
Roofing – Roofing must be free of leaks and possess a reasonable future life span.
Crawl Spaces – Crawl spaces must be accessible, free of debris, and properly vented. Moisture or pooling of water must be corrected.
Electricity – Home must have electricity for lighting and necessary equipment such as heating and cooling systems.
Access – Home must be accessible from a public or private street and the living spaces must be independent of any others (no shared/common living spaces). General access rules require that the home’s various spaces should be accessible without entrance through another’s living spaces. Homes must have access to exterior walls for the purpose of maintenance.
Health and Safety Hazards – Probably the broadest of the VA loan minimum property requirements, this section covers the health and safety of the occupants. Homes should be free and clear of anything that could be seen to adversely affect the health and safety of the occupants, the structural integrity of the home, or keep the owners from use and enjoyment of their property. These requirements cover everything from defective conditions of the property and drainage to wood destroying insects and lead based paint.
Manufactured Homes – Manufactured homes must be attached to a permanent foundation.
The overall goal of the VA loan minimum property requirements (MPRs) is to ensure the general safety of the veteran while using their property and that the basic needs of housing are met. Most of the requirements are basic human needs and are common with any government backed loan or assistance programs. If a home does not meet these minimum requirements, the buyer can negotiate with the seller to try and cure the defects and the lender will require evidence that they have been taken care of before fully approving and moving forward with the loan. This can be a bit of a paperwork and document nightmare for those involved, but with a bit of determination, it can be done.
Have questions about real estate specific to your needs as a veteran? We have many agents that specialize in helping veterans with their housing needs, both for lease and for sale – whether temporary housing during training or more permanent housing after being stationed in the area.
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