VA helps Servicemembers, Veterans, and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. As part of our mission to serve you, we provide a home loan guaranty benefit and other housing-related programs to help you buy, build, repair, retain, or adapt a home for your own personal occupancy.

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The VA Property Guidelines in Colorado

The VA appraisal includes what they call Minimum Property Requirements. It sounds scary, but the requirements ensure the home is safe, sound, and stable – something we all want. Consider it the VA looking out for your best interests.

Who Performs VA Appraisals?

An independent VA appraiser will determine the home’s condition and value, reporting to the lender with an official appraisal report. The appraisal is what lenders use to determine your eligibility for the loan.

The VA MPRs aren’t a guarantee that the home is free of defects. I encourage you to pay for a professional inspection too if you’re worried about the home’s condition. The appraiser’s concern is the home’s value and the overall condition of the home, ensuring it meets the Minimum Property Requirements. Anything beyond the scope of the appraisal is the responsibility of the inspector.

What do VA Appraisers Look for in a VA Home?
  • Is there adequate living space? The appraiser determines the square footage, number of bedrooms, and overall living space so the lender can determine if there’s adequate room for your family size. The VA requires that the home is suitable for the size of your family.
  • Is the home residential? The VA guarantees loans for residential use, not business use or even partial business use. The home or area shouldn’t be zoned for anything but residential use.
  • Is the water safe? Appraisers look at the drinking water quality. They also ensure the home has a hot water heater and adequate sewage system. If the home has a well, there must be evidence of safe drinking water. If there is concern, a separate water quality report may be necessary.
  • Is there heat? All homes must have a heating system that brings the home up to at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If the home has a solar system, it counts, but the VA requires a backup system too.
  • Are all mechanics in good working order? The appraiser will test all electric, heating, cooling, and plumbing systems to ensure their proper operation.
  • Is the roof in good condition? It doesn’t have to be perfect, but most lenders require it in decent condition with at least a few years left.
  • Are the crawl spaces and basement in good condition? Appraisers look for water damage and proper ventilation to reduce the risk of mold growth.
  • Is there year-round access to the home? There must be a driveway or easement with adequate access even during the winter months.
  • Are there pests? Appraisers will notice obvious pest infestation and will report it. They don’t do a full pest inspection, and buyers can’t pay for a pest inspection, but sellers can if they want to prove the home is pest-free.

If you find a home with property issues, talk with the seller. Many sellers will fix the issues and/or provide a credit for you to make the repairs. An MPR violation isn’t a deal-breaker; it’s just an invitation to find solutions to the problem. Work with the seller or your realtor if problems come out of the appraisal to determine a workable solution.

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