VA Loan checklist for inspections?

I’ve been polling agents in my area trying to get a feel for what’s most important when working with home inspectors.

I just had an agent tell me to make sure I know the difference between an VA loan vs a conventional loan, so that the inspection doesn’t kill a sale.

Wut? Inspections shouldn’t be affected by loan type at all, unless VA requires a specific list of items that MUST be there or commented on in order to approve. I’ve found no such list at this time.

Does anyone have a list of these items?

She’s supposed to be getting back to me via email to clarify, but I made sure she knew that leaving an item out to please the VA loan requirements will get me sued and her too if she’s implicated in such a deal. This is the second time this agent has mentioned something odd like this and I’m thinking I might need to leave her off my list of “to do business with” agents.


VA loans have a separate inspector come out, mostly to look for obvious safety issues like missing handrails on stairs.
What they do or don’t do has no bearing on your inspection.

Not where I’m at.
A proper comprehensive inspection usually covers all the bases for VA FHA.
There isn’t a week go by that I don’t do a VA and/or FHA inspection.
If the property is on a well then a complete water analysis has to be done.
The rest of the inspection is standard.
I’m in Florida and it may make a difference…I don’t know!

Ohio sends a VA inspector out after a home inspection is done.

The three biggest issues they look for around here are loose/missing hand rails like Thomas said and peeling paint and lack of GFCI’s within six feet of water.

These items need to be corrected before the buyer gets final approval of their loan. You would be surprised at how much outdoor painting takes place in Northeast Ohio during the winter months…although this years has been very mild so far.

I think that agent a was just busting your chops.

Thanks guys. I’ve yet to find any kind of checklist for the VA. They mention it in all their documentation, but no list. I’m still waiting on the agent to get back to me.

I also had another agent respond to my questions. I’m going to post here and get ya’lls take, just to see if it’s the same as mine.

See below…

What are the most important aspects of working with a home inspector?

  1. Reputation/knowledge
  2. Timeliness of receiving report
  3. Professional recommendations, not just “recommend a licensed roofer evaluate further”

Do these aspects change if you’re a seller vs a buyer agent?
same for me

What do you feel is the reasonable price for a home inspection?

Should the inspection vary based on size, age or conditions (foreclosure) of the home?
Should vary based on size and foundation (crawlspace, basement, or slab)

How does a home inspection/inspector positively impact your business?
I try to stay out of the home inspector’s lane. I don’t even want to see the report. It can kill a deal or help keep it together

How does a home inspection/inspector negatively impact your business?

Do you have any questions about the home inspection industry? If so, I will answer them for you to the best of my ability.

The biggest shift I’ve seen is the movement away from hiring one home inspector. Statements like “recommend licensed roofer/HVAC/plumber/etc to evaluate further” really cheapens the value of paying the home inspector. Lots of realtors are now hiring 4 separate people: a roofer, plumber, electrician, and HVAC tech to go out and check those respective items separately. They each charge $75 and we don’t get those vague statements. It pisses us off when our client pays $400 for a home inspector to tell them that they need to hire a roofer to get an opinion on the roof. If there’s an issue found, those guys can also give a very accurate estimate on repairing it while they’re there. This speeds up the process on my end when it comes to asking and/or negotiating for repairs

Wow, I don’t know any licensed electricians, HVAC techs, roofers or plumbers that would show up for 75 bucks each.
The only reason they would is to make work for themselves.
The roofer says “this roof is shot” and I’ll replace it for 12k.
Conflict of interest.

Of course I agree that some inspectors defer too much.
They should go out of business.

She’s confused. Nothing you do is going to affect the outcome of the sale more or less on VA loan, than any other.

PA is similar, though I think they actually send an appraiser out after the general inspection, not another inspector. At least that’s how my house was when I bought it via VA loan a few years ago.

The bit about peeling paint is no joke. The deal for my house got held up because there was “paint peeling” in the garage. It’s a detached garage partially below grade, had a spot about 6 sqft low on the wall with flaking paint. In the report it was just an item of note, but the VA wanted it repainted before approving the loan. Somehow a 20+ year old water heater with a rusting bottom wasn’t an issue though.

Correct. It’s a VA Appraiser, not inspector. Their appraisals are more detailed and based on HUD minimum standards.

It’s all about lead paint. Instead of someone trying to figure it there is lead based paint present, they treat every house the same. Cover it with purple paint and move on. They don’t care as long as it is not peeling.

Missing/torn window screens are another issue to the VA inspectors for some reason. A GOOD through inspection will find the stuff before the VA appraiser gets there, so that that portion of the loan process isn’t held up. If you are doing a mobile home for a VA they also require a picture of the HUD stickers/metal plates. At least that’s what I always provide and have had MANY a realtor thank me because when the VA appraiser forgets, there it is in my report. I generally ask if it’s for a VA loan because if it’s one screen that is torn (out in windmill country where I live that’s kinda rare), on a normal report I will say there is a torn screen, but may not be 100% specific, may not include a picture of it, if it’s for a VA loan, I’ll change the narrative to the south facing middle bedroom window screen is torn at the bottom left corner. I will also include a close up and a full window picture… that’s the only real difference I make between a VA and a FHA/conventional/cash sale.

Minimum Property Standards Guide:
Is That Listing Ready for a VA Buyer?
Below is a list of VA Minimum Property Requirements
for existing homes that can be used as a screening
checklist for your listings.

General: Must be free of hazards that
affect the health and safety of occupants,
structural soundness of property, or impair
the use and enjoyment of property.

Handrails required on stairs with 3 or more

Severe tripping hazards must be remedied
(i.e., major buckling of concrete).

25% maximum non-residential use.

Mechanical systems must be adequate,
safe, and protected from elements.

Conventional heating system must be
present in all homes to maintain
temperature of 50 degrees in areas with
plumbing (i.e., wood stove cannot be only
heat source).

Solar systems for water and space heating
must have reliable backup system.

Roof must have 2 years of remaining life
and no more than 3 layers of shingles.

Crawlspace must have adequate access,
be clear of debris and be properly vented.
Must have access to ductwork and

Excessive dampness or ponding of water
in crawlspace must be corrected.

Natural ventilation of attics and crawl
spaces must be provided.

Laundry and storage space may be shared
in a 2-4 unit.

Rear yard must have access. Row units
may be by means of alley, easement, or
passage through subject dwelling.

Private streets must have permanent
easement and be maintained by HOA or
maintenance agreement.

Streets must have all-weather surface.

Living unit must have its own access.

Unit utilities may not pass over, under or
through another living unit unless there is
legal and permanent access for
maintenance and repair.

Must be space between buildings for
maintenance of exterior walls.

Termite cert required. Treatment required
if necessary.

Lot must drain away from dwelling.

Exterior wood must be protected from
elements. Chipped or peeling paint must
be remedied.

Properties built prior to 1978 must have all
defective paint surfaces remedied both
interior and exterior.

Property cannot be located within a high-
pressure gas or petroleum easement. If
located within 220 yards special
certifications will be required.

Property cannot be located within a high-
voltage electric line easement.

Connection to public water/sewer disposal
systems is only required when mandated
by building, planning or health authorities.

Private water systems must be tested.

Water treatment systems are allowed only
if public water is not available and water
supply is from aquifer confirmed
uncontaminated by health department.

Shared wells must be adequate and have
maintenance and well-sharing agreements.

That’s a great list, thanks for posting it. As was said, if you’re doing a thorough inspection you should be hitting this stuff anyways.

really ? I’ve never seen that… they never sent a special inspector out when i got my VA loan…are You sure You are not thinking about an FHA appraiser ?

in an alternative universe is a factual source for compliance inspections