Yes, with a VA loan the house must be in good functional condition. With most short sales and bank owned properties the Seller will NOT make any REQUIRED repairs. With a regular sale, you may be able to get the seller to replace the roof or any other "required" repair items. Not always but some sellers do have the money to replace a roof before closing.
So if you want to pursue a Short Sale or REO, you don't want to spend money on an appraisal if the roof wasn't put on in the past 10-12 years. Most roofs in Tampa Bay do not last much longer than 15 years, even with a 30 year guarantee because of our weather. Some VA Appraisers are less strict than others but I can assure you that even with a roof certification for 4 years, if a VA Appraiser says the roof must be replaced then you cannot buy it unless a new roof goes on. I've been down this road with the VA.
We have a bond program in Florida that can give you up to $7,500 towards your closing costs and downpayment. You MUST work with one of the APPROVED lenders and your income cannot be too high to get the money. You can check here to see if your household size and income will qualify you for Hillsborough County and it will list the approved lenders:
Westchase is my area of expertise and my family and I have lived here for 16 years. If you're not yet working with a Realtor, you're welcome to search "like a Realtor" by signing up for a free Listingbook account on my website: http://www.SoldOnTampa.com
Also if you're part of a relocation package or USAA or other lender incentive program, I can probably assist you and pay the fee to the relocation or lending company. You may not be required to work with a specific Realtor that they select for you, fyi.
All the best,
Alma Rose Kee, PA
Future Home Realty
13029 W Linebaugh Ave
Tampa, FL 33626