38 CFR § 36.4354 - Estate of veteran in real property.
(a) The title of the estate in the realty acquired by the veteran, wholly or partly with the proceeds of a guaranteed or insured loan, or owned by him and on which construction, or repairs, or alterations or improvements are to be made, shall be such as is acceptable to informed buyers, title companies, and attorneys, generally, in the community in which the property is situated, except as modified by paragraph (b) of this section. Such estate shall be not less than:
(1) A fee simple estate therein, legal or equitable; or
(2) A leasehold estate running or renewable at the option of the lessee for a period of not less than 14 years from the maturity of the loan, or to any earlier date at which the fee simple title will vest in the lessee, which is assignable or transferable, if the same be subjected to the lien; however, a leasehold estate which is not freely assignable and transferable will be considered an acceptable estate if it is determined by the Under Secretary for Benefits, or the Director, Loan Guaranty Service:
(i) That such type of leasehold is customary in the area where the property is located,
(ii) That a veteran or veterans will be prejudiced if the requirement for free assignability is adhered to; and
(iii) That the assignability and other provisions applicable to the leasehold estate are sufficient to protect the interests of the veteran and the Government and are otherwise acceptable; or
(3) A life estate, provided that the remainder and reversionary interests are subjected to the lien; or
(4) A beneficial interest in a revocable Family Living Trust that ensures that the veteran, or veteran and spouse, have an equitable life estate, provided the lien attaches to any remainder interest and the trust arrangement is valid under State law.
(b) Any such property or estate will not fail to comply with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section by reason of the following:
(4) Reservations for water, timber, or subsurface rights; or
(5) Sale and lease restrictions:
(i) Except as to condominiums, the right in any grantor or cotenant in the chain of title, or a successor of either, to purchase for cash, which right was established by an instrument recorded prior to December 1, 1976, and by the terms thereof is exercisable only if:
(A) An owner elects to sell;
(B) The option price is not less than the price at which the then owner is willing to sell to another; and
(C) Exercised within 30 days after notice is mailed by registered mail to the address of optionee last known to the then owner of the then owner's election to sell, stating the price and the identity of the proposed vendee;
(ii) A condominium estate established by the filing for record of the Master Deed, or other enabling document before December 1, 1976 will not fail to comply with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section by reason of:
(A) Prohibition against leasing a unit for a period of less than 6 months.
(B) The existence of a right of first option to purchase or right to provide a substitute buyer reserved to the condominium association provided such option or right is exercisable only if:
(1) An owner elects to sell;
(2) The option price is not less than the price at which the then owner is willing to sell to another;
(3) The terms and conditions under which the option price is to be paid are identical to or are not less favorable to the owner than the terms and conditions under which the owner was willing to sell to the owner's prospective buyer; and
(4) Notice of the association's decision to exercise the option must be mailed to the owner by registered or certified mail within 30 days after notice is mailed by registered or certified mail to the address of the association last known to the owner of the owner's election to sell, stating the price, terms of sale, and the identity of the proposed vendee.
(iii) Any property subject to a restriction on the owner's right to convey to any party of the owner's choice, which restriction is established by a document recorded on or after December 1, 1976, will not qualify as security for a guaranteed or insured loan. A prohibition or restriction on leasing an individual unit in a condominium will not cause the condominium estate to fail to qualify as security for such loan, provided the restriction is in accordance with § 36.4362(c).
(iv) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (b)(5)(i), (ii), and (iii) of this section, a property shall not be considered ineligible pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section if:
(A) The veteran obtained the property under a State or local political subdivision program designed to assist low-or moderate-income purchasers, and as a condition the purchaser must agree to one or more of the following restrictions:
(1) If the property is resold within a time period as established by local law or ordinance, after the purchaser acquires title, the purchaser must first offer the property to the government housing agency, or a low-or moderate-income purchaser designated by such agency, provided the option to purchase is exercised within 90 days after notice by the purchaser to the agency of intention to sell.
(2) If the property is resold within a time period as established by local law or ordinance after the purchaser acquires title, a governmental agency may specify a maximum price which the veteran may receive for the property upon resale; or
(3) Such other restriction approved by the Secretary designed to insure either that a property acquired under such program again be made available to low-or moderate-income purchasers, or to prevent a private purchaser from obtaining a windfall profit on the resale of such property, while assuring that the purchaser has a reasonable opportunity to dispose of the property without undue difficulty at a reasonable price.
(4) The sale price of a property under any of the restrictions of paragraph (b)(5)(iv)(A) of this section shall not be less than the lowest of the following: The price designated by the owner as the asking price; the appraised value of the property; or the original purchase price of the property, increased by a factor reflecting all or a reasonable portion of the increased costs of housing or the percentage increase in median income in the area between the date of original purchase and resale, plus the reasonable value or actual costs of any capital improvements made by the owner plus a reasonable real estate commission less the cost of necessary repairs required to place the property in saleable condition; or other reasonable formula approved by the Secretary. The veteran must be fully informed and consent in writing to the housing restrictions. A copy of the veteran's consent statement must be forwarded with the application for home loan guaranty or the report of a home loan processed on the automatic basis.
(B) A recorded restriction on title designed to provide housing for older persons, provided that the restriction is acceptable under the provisions of the Fair Housing Act, title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq. The veteran must be fully informed and consent in writing to the restrictions. A copy of the veteran's consent statement must be forwarded with the application for home loan guaranty or the report of a home loan processed on the automatic basis.
(6) Building and use restrictions whether or not enforceable by a reverter clause if there has been no breach of the conditions affording a right to an exercise of the reverter;
(7) Any other covenant, condition, restriction, or limitation approved by the Secretary in the particular case. Such approval shall be a condition precedent to the guaranty or insurance of the loan; Provided, That the limitations on the quantum or quality of the estate or property that are indicated in this paragraph, insofar as they may materially affect the value of the property for the purpose for which it is used, are taken into account in the appraisal of reasonable value required by 38 U.S.C. chapter 37.
(c) The following limitations on the quantum or quality of the estate or property shall be deemed for the purposes of paragraph (b) of this section to have been taken into account in the appraisal of residential property and determined by the Secretary as not materially affecting the reasonable value of such property:
(1) Building or use restrictions. Provided:
(i) No violation exists,
(ii) The proposed use by a veteran does not presage a violation of a condition affording a right of reverter, and
(2) Violations of racial and creed restrictions. Violations of a restriction based on race, color, creed, or national origin, whether or not such restriction provides for reversion or forfeiture of title or a lien for liquidated damages in the event of a breach.
(3) Violations of building or use restrictions of record. Violations of building or use restrictions of record which have existed for more than 1 year, are not the subject of pending or threatened litigation, and which do not provide for a reversion or termination of title, or condemnation by municipal authorities, or, a lien for liquidated damages which may be superior to the lien of the guaranteed or insured mortgage.
(i) Easements for public utilities along one or more of the property lines and easements for drainage or irrigation ditches, provided the exercise of the rights thereof do not interfere with the use of any of the buildings or improvements located on the subject property.
(ii) Mutual easements for joint driveways located partly on the subject property and partly on adjoining property, provided the agreement is recorded in the public records.
(iii) Easements for underground conduits which are in place and which do not extend under any buildings in the subject property.
(i) On the subject property by improvements on the adjoining property where such encroachments do not exceed 1 foot within the subject boundaries, provided such encroachments do not touch any buildings or interfere with the use or enjoyment of any building or improvement on the subject property.
(ii) By hedges or removable fences belonging to subject or adjoining property.
(iii) Not exceeding 1 foot on adjoining property by driveways belonging to subject property, provided there exists a clearance of at least 8 feet between the buildings on the subject property and the property line affected by the encroachment.
(6) Variations of lot lines. Variations between the length of the subject property lines as shown on the plot plan or other exhibits submitted to Department of Veterans Affairs and as shown by the record or possession lines, provided such variations do not interfere with the current use of any of the improvements on the subject property and do not involve a deficiency of more than 2 percent with respect to the length of the front line or more than 5 percent with respect to the length of any other line.