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Prospective VA Borrowers May Need to Meet Local Property Requirements

We've talked about the VA's Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs) multiple times at VA Loans Insider. These health, safety and structure standards represent the second piece of the VA appraisal process. The minimum property requirements cover everything from termites and roofs to heating systems and water quality and much more.

Homes must meet the MPRs in order to secure a financial guaranty from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

And it's that financial promise that makes VA home loans the most powerful lending program on the market.

But there are also state and even city-specific requirements that some military homebuyers must also contend with. The VA calls these "local requirements," even though some are actually statewide mandates.

Meeting Requirements

At present, 28 states have their own local requirements. For example, in Alabama every manufactured home must be installed by a professional licensed by the state. In Florida, 10 counties in the southern reaches of the state don't need to have a heating system because of the climate.

One of the more common local requirements is a termite inspection.

But there are also some unique ones. On our Facebook page, a Hawaii veteran recently shared his frustration with his state's local requirements regarding water catchment systems. These harvest rainwater and serve as an important source of drinking water at homes throughout the state. But the VA does not currently recognize these systems as potable water, which means a home with this feature cannot be eligible for a VA appraisal.

Don't Waste Time

The issue of local property requirements is one more area where it's important to have a VA-savvy real estate agent who knows the home loan program. There's little use in spending time on a property that won't ultimately meet either VA or local standards.

Check out the VA website to get a full look at the local requirements. You can also contact your nearest Regional Loan Center.