If you’re a veteran looking to purchase a home in southeast Wisconsin using your VA benefits, you must meet certain Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs). These requirements are in place to ensure that the property you’re purchasing is safe, structurally sound, and free of health hazards.
Here’s a closer look at some of the major MPR issues you’ll need to be aware of:
- Residential properties only Only residential properties are eligible for VA financing. That means office buildings and storefronts are out of the question.
- Adequate living space The home must possess enough space for the basic functions of daily life. You should be set as long as your desired property has enough room for living, sleeping, and cooking.
- Usable and safe mechanical systems Electrical and plumbing systems must be safe and have some functional life remaining. Minor electrical glitches are no major problem, but an entire home with old knob-and-tube wiring could pose some challenges.
- Adequate heating The home’s heating system must be safe and keep a home’s temperature above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Homes with permanently installed non-electric, non-vented fireplaces or space heaters may be eligible, provided the buyer signs a “hold harmless” agreement, and the unit meets applicable codes and has an approved oxygen depletion sensor. Homes that use wood-burning stoves as a primary heating source must also have a conventional heating system to maintain an adequate temperature.
- Water availability The home must have a safe water supply, a water heater, and a safe method of sewage disposal. Connection to a public water supply is only required if mandated by local codes or health authorities. Private wells and water supplies must meet local or federal water quality standards.
- Adequate roofing The roof must be in good shape and provide “reasonable future utility.” The VA doesn’t specify precisely how long a roof needs to last, but lenders may have a hard number, such as three or five years. Missing shingles or gaping holes will present a problem.
- Problem-free basements and crawl spaces Basements and crawl spaces must be dry, clear of debris, and properly vented. Any excessive dampness or pooling of water must be corrected. Leaky basements can be a deal breaker for many VA house hunters. Foundation leaks are common among older homes and can be expensive to correct.
- Property access All properties purchased with VA financing need safe access from the street. Homes need to have either private driveways or permanent easements to allow entry. Homes on shared or private roadways often require legal use and maintenance agreements.
- No health/safety hazards Nuclear waste, asbestos, and radon are huge red flags for VA appraisers. If these hazards are present, you may be required to have them removed before you can secure financing for the property.
By familiarizing yourself with these MPRs, you can target homes likely to clear the VA appraisal and avoid any surprises during the home-buying process. Additionally, working with a VA-experienced real estate agent can be extremely helpful in navigating these requirements and finding a home that meets your needs and budget.
You may want to take a look at the following related posts:
Moving to or within Wisconsin? START WITH MILITARY RELOCATION PROFESSIONAL
When military staff and their families relocate, the services of a Military Relocation Professional who understands their needs and timetables makes the transfer easier, faster, and less stressful.