Understanding VA Home Loan Inspection Requirements

Learn about the required inspections for a VA home loan.

Veteran with his family standing in front of their new homeFamiliarize yourself with the VA home loan inspection requirements if you are a veteran looking to purchase a home using your VA loan. Inspections help lenders provide veterans with safe and secure financing for their home purchases. To better prepare for buying your dream home, understand the VA's requirements for inspections, such as a termite inspection and an appraisal, that must be completed before closing on a VA loan.

Does A VA Loan Require A Home Inspection?

Home inspection graphicThe short answer is no. VA loans do not require a home inspection.
However, the Department of Veteran Affairs recommends that all borrowers get one anyway. A home inspection is a professional assessment of a home's condition. It can identify potential problems the borrower may need to be aware of and give them negotiating power with the seller to get the repairs before closing on the loan. The home inspector will check for structural soundness, electrical safety, and plumbing condition. Home inspectors also look for signs of pests or other damage.

Benefits of Home Inspections

A home inspection is essential because it can help you avoid buying a home with significant problems. The inspector will look for structural issues, mold, pests, and other potential problems. If any critical issues are found, you can negotiate with the seller to fix them before you close the loan.

A home inspection can also give you peace of mind knowing that your new home is in good condition. Once you move in, you'll be able to relax and enjoy your new home without worrying about expensive repairs.

What Does a Home Inspector Look For?

The VA requires that homes they finance meet their strict standards and VA Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs).

The VA home loan inspection requires the inspector to look for evidence of water damage and structural and fire safety issues. The VA will finance the home if the home passes the inspection with a score of 80% or above. The home inspector will check for water damage, structural issues, and fire safety issues.

They will also look for mold, mildew, water stains, and cracks in walls or ceilings and ensure that working smoke detectors and all electrical outlets are covered. If any of these issues exist, the home must be repaired before it can pass inspection. If the home meets the VA's standards and passes the examination with a score of 80% or above, the VA will finance the home.

Questions to Ask Your VA Home Loan Inspector

You should have a qualified professional conduct a comprehensive inspection of your potential home to ensure it is in satisfactory condition when you are in the market to purchase one. For you to be eligible for a VA home loan, specific requirements need to be met by your home inspector. Ask the inspector handling your VA home loan the following questions:

Here is a list of questions to ask your VA home inspector:

  1. What is your experience and qualifications as a home inspector?
  2. How long have you been inspecting homes?
  3. What type of inspections do you specialize in?
  4. Can you provide references from previous clients?
  5. How long will the inspection take and what areas of the home will you be inspecting?
  6. Will you provide a written report of your findings and recommendations?
  7. Can you explain the inspection process and what it will cover?
  8. Do you have liability insurance in case any damage occurs during the inspection?
  9. Will you be able to answer any questions I have during the inspection?
  10. Do you offer any follow-up services or consultation after the inspection is complete?

How Much Does a VA Home Inspection Cost?

You may be eligible for a VA home loan if you are a veteran or active duty service member. Before you can close on your loan, the property must pass a VA home inspection.

Generally, buyers can expect to pay between $200 and $400 for the review, depending on the size and location of the property, as well as the inspector's fees.

Although this may seem like an additional expense, it is an investment in your future, as a thorough examination can help identify any potential problems with the property that could end up costing you more money down the road.

When applying for a VA home loan, remember to factor in the home inspection cost for peace of mind.

VA Appraisal Report

Buyers can make an informed decision on whether to purchase the property using an appraisal report, inspection report, and VA inspection report. The appraisal and inspection report provides an estimate of the property's value and information about its condition. These documents can also help buyers anticipate any potential repairs needed before the purchase; the VA inspection report includes information about the property's condition and whether it meets the standards set by the Veterans Administration.

What are the VA Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs)?

The VA requires that the prospective property meets all the MPRs before insuring the loan through the VA appraisal process.

As a veteran or service member looking to buy a home with a VA loan, it is essential to be aware of these MPRs, which are minimum standards that must be met for the house to qualify for a VA loan.

The MPRs cover a range of topics, such as the condition of the home's foundation, framing, and roofing, the state of the home's windows, doors, and stairs, and the shape of the home's plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems.

The MPRs also require the house to have adequate heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, to be free of pests, and to have running water and electricity.

The buyer (and their home inspector) must identify any additional repairs that may need to be made beyond the MPRs.

Keep in mind that while meeting the MPRs is a crucial step in qualifying for a VA loan, other requirements, such as credit and income requirements, must also be met.

Who Pays for the VA Appraisal?

The buyer of the property typically covers the cost of the assessment, which varies based on the location and size of the residence. The Veteran's Administration requires an appraisal, and the fee is paid upon application. The buyer should set aside $500 for the appraisal. If the seller covers the veteran's closing fees, the deposit will be refunded at settlement.

What Is the Difference Between a Home Inspection and a VA Appraisal?

Home buyers must understand the difference between a home inspection and a VA appraisal. A qualified home inspector will conduct an unbiased assessment to examine the property and look for potential issues.

A home inspection is not required for a VA loan but is highly recommended. On the other hand, the Department of Veterans Affairs requires a VA appraisal to determine the property's value for loan purposes.

The VA appraiser will check if the property meets the VA guidelines for safety, habitability, and fair market value and report any problems to the VA lender. The primary goal of MPRs is to ensure that the home buyer obtains a residence that is "safe, structurally sound, and hygienic."

What Causes a House to Fail a VA Loan Home Inspection?

Your inspector will ensure that your home has:

  • adequate heating systems,
  • up-to-code electrical systems,
  • undamaged windows,
  • no pest problems,
  • no rotting wood,
  • no water stains, and
  • proper ventilation in the attic and crawl spaces when you buy a property with a VA loan.

If these issues are present, your inspection will not be approved.

What happens if the home doesn't meet the VA minimum property requirements?

If the home doesn't meet the minimum property requirements for a VA loan, you or the seller may have to make some repairs or improvements before the loan can be approved. In some cases, the lender may require a 2nd appraisal to verify that the property has been updated to meet the VA minimum property requirements.

Apply for a loan from the FHA 203k program to cover both the purchase and improvements to the house if the seller is unwilling to renovate. This loan program benefits buyers hoping to purchase a home that needs renovations, as it can provide the necessary funds to make the improvements.

FAQs About VA Inspection Requirements

Q. Are well inspections required for VA loans?

A. Many veterans and active duty military members are unaware of the requirements when financing a home with a VA loan. One question that often arises is: are well inspections required for VA loans?

The short answer is yes. It is important to note that while some lenders may waive this requirement, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) generally requires an inspection on wells regardless of condition or age. This ensures that the water provided by the well meets all quality standards set by both local and federal regulations. The inspector will also check to make sure the pump system works appropriately and verify whether any repairs are needed.

In addition to an overall inspection, other factors such as water flow rate, safety measures for access points, and bacterial content must also be evaluated to determine if a well meets VA loan requirements.

Q. Are septic inspections required for VA loans?

A. If you are considering a VA loan to finance the purchase of a home with a septic system, it's essential to understand that specific requirement need to be met for the loan to be approved. One of those requirements is an inspection of the septic system. By having this inspection done, lenders can ensure that the property has an appropriately functioning septic system and can determine how much life is left in it before needing repairs or replacement.

VA regulations require that all dwellings financed through their mortgage program have adequate sanitary facilities, including proper wastewater disposal systems such as on-site sewage treatment systems.

The lender must also get written confirmation from an independent 3rd party inspector verifying that these systems meet local health department rules and regulations. This includes existing homes purchased with a VA loan and newly constructed homes.

Q. Are pest inspections required for VA loans?

A. A VA loan termite inspection is obligatory if you want to use a VA loan to fund your new home purchase. The inspection standards change depending on the state and the county in which you reside. The Department of Veterans Affairs uses the Termite Infestation Probability Map, which can be found on the Council of American Building Officials website, to identify which states and localities need to have termite inspections performed (CABO). This map illustrates the locations of typical termite infestations. Heavy or moderate infestation levels will determine whether a zone must be inspected.

It is essential to remember that purchasing a house using this sort of financing could not need a pest inspection in certain states and counties.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the VA Home Loan Inspection Requirements are not as strict as some may think. As long as the home is in good condition and meets the minimum standards, it should be fine. There are a few things to keep in mind, but overall, the process is not too difficult.

Read more questions and answers about VA home loans.

Conclusion

In conclusion, VA home loan inspection requirements provide applicants with an additional layer of security in the financing process. It is essential to have a thorough understanding of these requirements when preparing to purchase a new home. Home buyers should contact their local VA office or lender to get more information on the types of inspections accepted by the VA. Additionally, they can hire an experienced home inspector knowledgeable of VA guidelines.

SOURCE: Chapter 12 Minimum Property Requirement

Recommended Reading

  1. How to Get Your Certificate of Eligibility for a VA Loan
  2. How to Get Approved for a VA Loan with a Cosigner
  3. What is a Good Debt to Income Ratio for a VA Loan?