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VA Minimum Property Requirements for Electrical Systems

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If you're interested in buying a particular home with a VA-insured loan, that property must meet a set of minimum standards, called VA Minimum Property Requirements, or MPRs for short. A home is graded based off the MPRs during the VA-appraisal.

A VA appraiser is responsible for reviewing the property to ensure it lives up to the MPRs and assign it a fair market value. While the appraiser does not completely inspect the home from rooftop to sump pump, he or she is responsible for examining the home for defects or conditions that might affect the value of the home, safety, or suitability for the loan.

For some sellers and VA borrowers, there are worries that an older home might not live up to the VA's minimum property requirements, specifically regarding electrical systems in older homes. What are the rules and regulations when it comes to an old-fashioned fuse box as opposed to a more modern breaker system?

The VA official site states, “VA requires that electrical systems be safe, adequate and acceptable to the local authority. The local authority, usually the building department, is responsible for enactment and enforcement of electrical codes. If a fused electrical system is acceptable to the local authority it is acceptable to VA."

The VA simply defers to the local building code with jurisdiction. That phrase, "acceptable to the local authority" means there are no specific VA requirements for electrical systems other than safety. For all other issues related to the electricity, check with the local codes. If a home is not in compliance with local ordinances or building codes, it won't be approved for a VA home loan unless those issues can be fixed.

Do you need to check on the local building codes? Try looking in your local phone listings for a reference to the local building code compliance officials, or make a phone call your local building contractor and ask where you can look up and review building codes. The closest VA Regional Loan Center may also be able to provide some for help.