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Gray shingles on the roof of a house

VA Appraisals and the Condition of the Roof

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Here is a variation on a commonly asked question about VA loan appraisal rules:

“I am looking at buying a house. My realtor said it may not be approved for a VA loan because the roof already has two layers on it. I live in central Texas. Any advice you can give would be appreciated.”

VA loan minimum property requirements (MPRs) include guidance about the condition of the roof in general terms. The MPRs for the roof can be found in VA Pamphlet 26-7, Chapter 12.

Rules under the section of Chapter 12 titled, “Roof Covering” are very brief, stating:

“The roof covering must prevent entrance of moisture, and provide reasonable future utility, durability, and economy of maintenance. When a defective roof with three or more layers of shingles must be replaced, all old shingles must first be removed.”

Where Department of Veterans Affairs standards are concerned, those are the requirements, but certainly not the only standards that apply. MPRs do not attempt to create an exhaustive list of all defective conditions or problems that the roof covering might have.

Instead, state and local building code usually has a great deal to say about roof issues. While it is impossible to say whether the situation described in the frequently asked question above would or would not pass the VA appraisal, state/local building code would determine that.

Borrowers who need information about code compliance issues will need to consult the local authority. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not have a list of all the building codes that may apply. Additionally, borrowers should know that VA loan rules never take precedence over or above federal, state, or local law. VA minimum property requirements are just that, the minimum. The building code issues would apply above and beyond any VA mortgage loan standards that may apply.

Furthermore, if the property does not pass the VA appraisal process because of the roof issue, the appraiser may recommend fixes or repairs that would make the property eligible for a VA mortgage loan.