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VA Loan Roof Requirements: Common Problems and Importance of Inspections

When it comes to securing a VA loan, there are certain property requirements that must be met to ensure the safety and soundness of the home you intend to purchase. One critical aspect of these requirements is the condition of the property's roof.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has established guidelines to evaluate the condition of the roof during the VA appraisal process. Let’s break them down.

What are the VA roof requirements?

The VA's primary objective in setting Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs) for a home's roof is to guarantee that it does not compromise the safety or soundness of the property.

The roof must:

  1. Effectively prevent moisture from entering the home and
  2. Provide reasonable future utility, durability and economy of maintenance

Here's a closer look at these requirements:

Moisture Prevention

Moisture prevention is a top priority for VA appraisers, as a leaky roof can lead to severe structural damage and potential health hazards. To meet the VA’s standards, the roof must effectively prevent moisture from entering the home.

The roof must be free from any current leaks and issues that may lead to leaks in the future. A sound roof should provide reliable protection against rain, snow and other environmental elements to ensure a dry and habitable living space.

Future Utility, Durability and Economy of Maintenance

The roof should provide reasonable future utility, durability and economy of maintenance. This means that it should have a considerable remaining lifespan without the need for costly repairs or replacements in the near future.

VA Loan Roof Age Requirements

There is no set age requirement for roofs under VA loan guidelines. Your VA appraiser will assess the remaining lifespan of the roof on a case-by-case basis to determine if it meets the VA’s reasonable future utility requirement. Appraisers will consider the current age and condition of the roof when estimating the reasonable remaining lifespan.

Common Roof Problems During the VA Appraisal

There are several common roof issues that may impact your VA appraisal, including:

  • Current or potential leaks: Any existing leaks or issues that could lead to leaks in the future will be flagged.
  • Damaged shingles: Shingles that are cracked, missing or otherwise damaged can compromise the roof's integrity. If your appraiser determines that your roof has three or more layers of shingles that need to be replaced, you will be required to remove all old shingles before replacing them.
  • Inadequate drainage or clogged gutters: Proper drainage is essential to prevent water from pooling on the roof.
  • Roof shrinkage: Certain materials can shrink over time, causing the roof to have cracks or gaps.
  • Ventilation issues: Proper attic ventilation is crucial in preventing moisture buildup and prolonging the life of the roof.

In some cases, such as snowy or other adverse weather conditions, your roof may not be visible during the VA appraisal. However, this shouldn't prevent you from proceeding with the appraisal process. In such instances, the appraiser must explain why the roof isn't visible and find an alternative method of evaluating its condition. This might include searching the interior for signs of leaks and requesting documentation to verify the roof's age.

Importance of Roof Inspections

While a roof inspection is not mandatory to secure a VA loan, it is highly recommended for any VA homebuyer. The VA appraisal and MPRs aim to ensure the safety of your potential home's roof but are not as comprehensive as a professional roof inspection.

While your VA appraiser is not expected to climb onto the roof during the evaluation, a home inspector will generally walk the roof for a closer look at every component. Inspectors are also typically well-versed in state and local roofing guidelines to ensure your property complies with any location-specific requirements.

Roof Inspection Checklist

Roof inspectors are trained to examine roofs thoroughly and identify any potential issues or signs of damage, including:

  • Loose, broken or missing roofing material
  • Blistered, curled or split shingles or tiles
  • Shingle granules in rain gutters
  • Improper air conditioning or swamp cooler installation
  • Sagging between rafters or near ridges
  • Broken or loose shingles near ridges and hip lines
  • Rusty metal where the house meets the roof
  • Loose, missing or corroded flashing
  • Depressions near vent pipes, clogged drains or separations in flashing that cause water pooling

While the VA appraisal process covers the VA minimum property requirements, a roof inspection is strongly recommended to identify any issues that may not be apparent during the appraisal. Consider investing in a professional roof inspection to address these issues and avoid unexpected repair expenses in the future.

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Veterans United is recognized as the leading VA lender in the nation, unmatched in our specialization and expertise in VA loans. Our strict adherence to accuracy and the highest editorial standards guarantees our information is based on thoroughly vetted, unbiased research. Committed to excellence, we offer guidance to our nation's Veterans, ensuring their homebuying experience is informed, seamless and secured with integrity.

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