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VA Loan Appraisal Guidelines for Roofs

If you're looking to purchase a home using a VA loan, you should be aware of the VA's minimum property requirements (MPRs). These requirements ensure borrowers buy a safe, sound, sanitary home, including the roof.

What are Roof Requirements for a VA Loan?

To meet VA minimum property requirements (MPRs), the home's roof must prevent moisture from coming in and provide reasonable future utility, durability, and economy of maintenance.

VA appraisers will do their best to confirm that the roof protects the home and will not need to be replaced immediately, though they are not required to climb onto it while inspecting.

The VA briefly addresses these requirements in Pamphlet 26-7, Chapter 12.

What if a roof doesn't meet VA loan requirements?

If a VA appraiser finds a roof is defective, it must be fixed before the home can be approved for VA loan financing. During the VA appraisal process, the appraiser may recommend fixes or repairs that would make the property eligible for a VA loan. If a defective roof has more than two layers of shingles and must be replaced, all old shingles will need to be removed.

What if the VA appraiser can't see the roof?

If the roof is not visible during the VA appraisal, for example, if it's covered with snow, it can still pass minimum property requirements. There are two stipulations:

  1. There is no observed evidence of leaks
  2. Documentation verifying the age of the roof is given to the appraiser

Local Code and Compliance Considerations for Roofing

VA loan roof requirements are certainly not the only standards that apply, and MPRs are nowhere near an exhaustive list of all defective conditions or problems that a roof might have.

State and local building codes often have roof-related guidelines to guide homebuyers. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not have a list of all the building codes that may apply, and VA loan rules never take precedence over or above federal, state or local law.

Borrowers needing information about code compliance issues must consult the local authority.

Common VA Loan Roof Issues

After getting under contract with a seller, paying for a full home inspection is recommended. Local home inspectors will often be more familiar with common local code compliance rules and regulations and will be able to examine the roof thoroughly. Here are some common issues to look for when looking at properties:

  • Roof leaks
  • Damaged shingles/flashing
  • Standing water/draining issues
  • Shrinkage
  • Clogged gutters
  • Ventilation issues

The Bottom Line

The VA's roof requirements are put in place to protect homeowners from costly damages and unsafe living conditions. While VA appraisers will check that minimum requirements are in place, ordering a home inspection is wise. You don't want any surprises after closing.