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VA Loan Square Footage Requirement

By: Grant Moon 08/25/13 07:47 am

VA Loan Square Footage Requirement

When you go home shopping and peruse various websites showing homes for sale, the listing will provide a general description of the property, how many bedrooms, baths and such. At the same time, you’ll see plenty of lovely photos, the lot, the street view and other amenities. The size of the lot as well as the square footage of the property is almost always listed as well.

But you’ll also see a disclaimer on most of these sites that says something to the effect to, “This information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed as accurate.” Sort of confusing, isn’t it? Especially when it comes to square footage. After all, isn’t that an easy way to compare the prices of different homes? By price-per-square foot?

The VA has particular guidelines as it relates to square footage. Yes, the owner or an inspector can measure the subject property being listed, but it may not be all that accurate. The square footage can’t be misleading, but there are requirements the VA has established regarding how big a house truly is.

The VA square footage requirements ask that the square footage included is habitable. That means it must have heat for the winter, running water and electricity. Bedrooms, bathrooms and all living areas are included in the square footage total. Even a mud room is included if it’s heated and has electrical.

What’s not? A common mistake is measuring the garage. A three-car garage can add a lot of square footage but often it’s not allowed by it’s not considered habitable. Another miscalculation can occur when a second structure on the lot is counted such as a shed or separate quarters. For the second structure to count, it must be considered livable with heat, running water and all the standard amenities.

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