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Prepare Your Home For The FHA Appraisal
March 3rd, 2014 4:00 PM
Save  money and time by having your home ready for the FHA appraisal.

SUMMARY - Since its inception The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has established minimum property standards. While these standards have varied over time the recent changes have been some of the most dramatic in decades. By eliminating many of the "nuisance" repairs and mandatory inspections HUD hopes to make it easier to buy or sell a home with FHA financing.

The most recent changes are highlighted bold on this checklist.

FHA Inspection and RepairPOOR CONDITION -

A lack of maintenance that gives a "run down" look to a property is acceptable. Missing or damaged flooring or carpet, rotted or worn out countertops, poor workmanship, damaged plaster or drywall, bathroom tile, missing or damaged interior doors, debris, trash, or other cosmetic items that do not otherwise jeopardize the safety or structural integrity of the property are acceptable and will not require repair.


Projects must be at least 51% owner occupied and may not have a "right of first refusal" clause in the association documents.


Large settlement cracks, sagging floors or roofs, and significant deteriorated wood are conditions that require professional repair. Grading must be adequate to drain away from house.


HUD will no longer automatically require a termite inspection. Minor (non-structural) termite damage will not require repair. Wood/soil contact that is not due to a structural problem will no longer require repair. Visible evidence of active or past infestation, or evidence of dryrot will require termite report with clearance of Section I items.


For homes built before 1978, any peeling, chipping, or chalking paint on the house, detached garage, shed, fence, or anywhere on the property must be scraped, primed, and painted. Use tarps to collect paint chips to avoid contaminating the soil. If the home is built after 1978 HUD will no longer require painting of defective paint surfaces, in most cases.


The property must have a permanent heat source. The heating and air conditioning system (if present) must be operating properly. Space heating systems are acceptable if installed in accordance with local building codes. Combustible (oil/gas) heat requires exhaust ventilation.


Leaking and worn out roofs require repair or replacement. While a remaining life of at least two years is no longer specified a roof with a life of less then two years should be considered "worn out". HUD will no longer require automatic inspection of a flat roof system.


HUD will no longer require broken glass to be repaired. Exterior doors that are in poor condition but are otherwise functional are acceptable. Windows that stick, are loose, or are otherwise in poor but serviceable condition should be acceptable with the following exception: Inadequate access/egress from bedrooms to the exterior of the home is unacceptable. At least one window in each bedroom must open and close freely in order to allow escape in case of fire. Burglar bars on bedroom windows must have a release mechanism (at least one per bedroom).


Fuses are acceptable. 60amp electric service may be acceptable (a small house with oil or gas for heating, cooking, and hot water). Loose wiring, open splices, and other hazardous conditions will require repair. An exception is low voltage (telephone or cable TV) wiring that would not present a hazard. All utilities should be on in vacant homes in order to avoid re-inspection. All mechanical systems must be operating.


Access to both the attic and the crawl space is required. Both must have adequate ventilation. Crawl spaces must have sufficient clearance for inspection and maintenance.


Minor plumbing leaks and defects are acceptable. Major plumbing problems will require inspection and repair. Water heaters must have a pressure relief valve.


Smoke detectors are not required but if they are present they must work properly. HUD no longer requires repair of the safety device that automatically stops an obstructed electric garage door opener. Trip hazards such as uneven walkways or sidewalks will not require repair. Missing handrails on stairways are acceptable.


HUD does not require the following:

  • Appliances
  • Screens
  • Driveways
  • Lawn sprinkler systems
  • Pool repairs (unless they present a safety concern)

Posted in:General
Posted by James E. Bogris on March 3rd, 2014 4:00 PMPost a Comment

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