VA Home Loan Inspection Requirements

 

Veteran Inspections & Services takes pride in assisting veterans during the home buying process. The following information was obtained from the published VA Compliance Inspector Guide PDF to assist our clients and visitors in understanding VA home loan inspection requirements. 

To view the complete PDF, please visit https://www.benefits.va.gov/roanoke/rlc/forms/ci_guide_2005.pdf

For complete VA information, please visit https://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/appraiser_cv_local_req.asp

Property Constraints and Perspective

VA has no specific property constraints regarding dwelling size, room counts, quality of construction or repair of specific code violations.

MPR’s for Existing and New Construction

Property Access

  • Access to the Site: Each property must have access from a public or private street. The street must have an all-weather surface. Private streets must be protected by permanent easement and maintained by an HOA or joint maintenance agreement.
  • Access to the Unit and Rear Yard: The unit must have access without passing through another unit. Each living unit must be able to be used and maintained individually without trespass upon adjoining properties. Required easements must run with the land. Rear yard must have access without passing through any other living unit. For a row-type dwelling, the access may be by means of alley, easement, passage through the dwelling, or other acceptable means. Access for Wall Maintenance: There must be adequate space between buildings to permit maintenance of the exterior walls.
Property Characteristics
  • Entity: The property must be a single, readily marketable real estate entity.
  • Use: The use must be primarily residential. If a portion of the property has non-residential use, it must not impair the residential character of the property or exceed 25% of the total gross floor area. Provide total square feet of commercial use and total square feet of residential use.
  • Living Area and Facilities: Each unit must have sanitary facilities and enough space to assure suitable living, sleeping, cooking and dining.
  • Laundry, storage, heating and other facilities may be shared in 2-4 unit buildings.
  • Utilities: Utilities (water, sewer, gas, electricity) must be independent for each unit. Several units under one ownership may share utilities if there are separate shutoffs. Individual utilities must not cross another unit unless there is permanent legal right of access for repair and maintenance. 12 Units under separate ownership may share common utilities (such as shared well) provided that the connections are protected by easement or covenant and (that) there is an acceptable maintenance agreement.
  • Mechanical Systems: Mechanical systems must be safe to operate, be protected from destructive elements, be of adequate capacity and quality, and have reasonable future utility.
  • Heat: Heat must be adequate for healthful and comfortable living conditions. If woodburning stove is primary heat source then there must also be a conventional system that will maintain at least a 50 degree temperature in the plumbing areas. If Solar system is primary heat/hot water source then there must be a “backup” system which will provide equivalent (100%) utility.
  • Unvented space heaters or fireplace: Provide detailed comments on Unvented Space Heaters that use liquid or gaseous fuel, or any Unvented Fireplace. There are additional requirements (not part of the appraisal) that must be added to the Value Notice by VA or the LAPP Lender.
  • Electricity: Each unit must have adequate electricity for lighting and necessary equipment.
  • Water and Wells: Each unit must have a continuing supply of potable (drinkable) water along with domestic hot water. Connection to public water is required whenever feasible.
    • Water quality from an individual water supply must meet the requirements of the local health authority. If no local health authority then EPA guidelines apply. Water must be potable from the source, independent of any individual treatment system.
    • A shared well must be capable of producing adequate water for each property simultaneously. There must be a permanent easement to allow access for maintenance and repair. There must be a recorded well-sharing agreement which provides for repair and maintenance of the system.
    • A Community Well must be sufficient for the project and water quality must be approved by local or State Health Officials. Health department approved cisterns will be accepted when public water is not available and when safe, potable water cannot be obtained from drilled wells.
  • Sanitary Facilities, Sewage and Septic: Each unit must have sanitary facilities and a safe method of sewage disposal. Connection to public sewer is required whenever feasible.
    • Individual and Community sewage disposal systems must operate properly. Pit privies are permitted where they are customary and are the only feasible means of disposal. They must be installed in a manner recommended by the local health authority. If there are no local health authority requirements then U.S. Public Health Service requirements apply.
  • Roof: The roof must prevent the entrance of moisture and have at least five years remaining useful life. All old shingles must be removed if a defective roof has three or more layers. Ventilation: There must be sufficient natural ventilation in areas such as attics and crawl spaces to minimize the effects of excess heat and moisture.
  • Crawl Space: The crawl space must have adequate access, be properly vented and clear of all debris. Excessive dampness or ponding of water must be corrected. Floor joists must be high enough to allow access for maintenance and repairs of ductwork and plumbing.
  • Party Walls: A party wall constructed at the property line must extend the full height of the building (foundation to roof ridge). The wall may separate semi-detached or row units.

Defective Conditions

  • Site: The site must be properly graded to provide positive drainage (away from the dwelling), and to prevent water from ponding. Ground cover must be stabilized to prevent erosion.
  • Improvements: Any condition impairing the safety, sanitation or structural soundness of the property must be corrected so that the probability of further damage is eliminated.
    • Some of these conditions include defective construction, poor workmanship, excessive dampness, leakage, decay, evidence of continuing settlement, and termites. Specific examples of common problems include rotted exterior wood trim, peeling paint, roof leaks, broken windows, plumbing leaks and exposed electric wiring.
  • Other examples include damage caused by infestation, fungus growth or dry rot.
  • Lead-Based and Defective Paint: Defective paint (cracking, scaling, peeling, chipping or loose) on homes built prior to 1978 will be considered lead based and must be corrected. Defective paint on homes built after 1978 should be corrected only if it poses a threat to the security of the of the improvements.

Other Hazards

  • Onsite: The property must be free of hazards (such as subsidence or flood or erosion problems) which may adversely affect the health and safety of the occupants, the structural soundness of the improvements, or which may impair the customary use and enjoyment of the property by the occupants.
  • Offsite: High Voltage Electric Transmission Lines and Gas and Petroleum Pipelines: The dwelling structure must be located outside of the easement area(s). Other onsite improvements can be located in the easement area(s). If a Proposed Construction Dwelling is located outside the Pipeline easement but less than 220 yards away from the centerline, additional conditions apply.