House hunters who find a home they want to buy with a VA mortgage must have the home appraised by a VA-assigned professional before the loan can be approved.
Each home appraised must meet the VA’s Minimum Property Requirements, which ensures the home is built according to local building codes, federal law and VA standards for safety and inhabitability.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, "In existing and new construction cases, the MPRs provide a basis for determining that the property is safe, structurally sound and sanitary, and meets the standards considered acceptable in a permanent home in its locality."
It's obvious from statements like those found in the VA rule book that a degree of flexibility is built into VA minimum property standards. Sometimes a home that does not technically meet MPR standards may be eligible for a waiver.
These waivers are only issued on a case-by-case basis. There is no "template" or boilerplate for determining whether a property qualifies for an MPR waiver. According to the VA official site, the Department of Veterans Affairs may agree to waive some requirements where justified by "conditions common to a particular geographic area or occurring on the site, or where such conditions make compliance impractical or impossible."
A VA field office may choose to waive certain requirements for existing construction properties if the veteran is "under contract to purchase the property, and the veteran and lender request the exemption in writing."
Borrowers and lenders must agree on these issues. No one is permitted to act alone in requesting the waiver or MPR exemption.
The VA does not offer such flexibility when it comes to basic safety. MPR exceptions are only permitted if "the property is habitable from the standpoint of safety, structural soundness and sanitation."
The Department of Veterans Affairs has the final say in all MPR waivers or exceptions. Decisions are often made by the nearest VA field office or Regional Loan Center with jurisdiction. MPR waivers usually do not require centralized review or processing.