As an agent who works with a significant number of active duty military and retirees in the Northern Virginia area understanding VA loans is important.
The following information about VA loans is important reading for anyone who is wondering whether the property they are considering buying is eligible for a VA loan.
If you have VA eligibility and live in the Northern Virginia area give me a call at 703-346-2213 to talk about whether buying a home is the right thing for you in today's market. No hassle, no pressure, just straight talk about real estate in Northern Virginia.
In order to be approved for a VA home loan, a property for sale must go through a VA appraisal. But not all properties are automatically eligible to be appraised by the VA. The Department of Veterans Affairs has a list of properties that are eligible for appraisal. It may sound like a formality to declare a property “eligible for appraisal” but VA rules say the lender must “to exercise due diligence in determining appraisal eligibility”, otherwise the VA is within its rights to deny or reduce payment on any “a future claim based on the ineligibility of the property”.
Which properties are eligible for appraisal? The VA breaks down the list according to the type of property, which include:
- Existing construction
- New construction
- Proposed or under construction
- Manufactured homes classified as real estate and “other types” of manufactured homes.
Each type of property has its own requirements. For example, for existing construction homes, the rules are the shortest of the bunch. The VA requirements state that VA eligibility applies to any home that has been previously owner-occupied or has had all improvements required by the VA completed in full for 12 months or longer. The VA says this in part because there is a major difference between properties classified as new construction and those that are considered existing construction.
Just because a home is completed and ready for occupancy does not classify it as “existing construction”. That classification has requirements which can include the above—it must have a previous owner or be in full compliance with VA requirements for construction for a year or longer.
When it comes to new construction properties, the VA says an inspection is possible when the home is covered by a one-year builder’s warranty or of the home is covered by a HUD-approved ten year insurance protection plan. There is one additional way a home can qualify for a VA appraisal—when it’s been build by a veteran who acts as the general contractor and the home has been built for that veteran’s use.
We’ll cover the other properties in another blog post.
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Military Relocation Specialist serving military families relocating to and from the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir, Quantico MCB and all of the Military District of Washington installations.
Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia