These are issues homeowners should be aware of when taking part in an FHA, refinance or when selling their home to an FHA buyer as any of these items could delay the closing of your transaction. Therefore, whenever possible it’s a good idea to prepare in advance by correcting any of these items prior to the appraiser performing an FHA inspection of the property.
The main goal when an FHA appraiser looks at a home is to look for the three S’s- Safety, soundness and security. Everything on the appraiser’s checklist is meant to ensure the property is safe, habitable adn that the home will serve as proper security or collateral for an FHA loan.
1. Missing Carbon Monoxide detectors —As per the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010, carbon monoxide detectors are required to be installed in every dwelling unit ( typically outside the bedroom areas) that will be used for human occupancy. This means properties must have an approved device in dwellings that have a fossil fuel burning appliance, heater, fireplace or an attached garage.
2. Missing Earthquake Strapping — With the exception of “Tankless water heaters”, hot water heaters are required to have double earthquake stapping placed along the lower and upper thirds of the tank. In addiiton, temperature pressure relief valves and overflow pipes are required as well.
3. Chipped and Peeling Paint on Pre-1978 Structures — The dreaded lead paint problem still lingers and unfortunately many homes still face this issure. Any areas of chipped or peeling paint found along the interior or exterior of homes built prior to 1978 must have those areas corrected including scraping and repainting the affected area. In addition, all paint chips lying along the ground or otherwise must also be collected and completely removed from the premises.
4. Roof Condition/Leaking —Regulations state the roof must not leak or allow for any moisture to enter the home. In addition, the roof should be able to physically function properly for a minimum of two remaining years. In circumstances where this is not the case, the appraiser must note whether the roof needs repair or requires re-roofing.
5- Frayed or Exposed Electrical Wiring —This might seem as an obvious one, but you may be surprised by how many homes have an area with this issure. Older homes and often home bought as ” Do it Yourself” projects have frayed or exposed electrical wiring which are items that must be corrected. In addition, missing light switch or missing outlet covers msut be replaced.
6- Utilities Must Be Turned On — All too often and especially with vacant properties one or more of the utilities may be turned off which prevents an appraiser from completing a full inspection of the property. When this happens the appraiser must condition for the utilities to be turned on delaying the loan process as the appraiser will have to return at an additional charge to complete a full inspection once the utilities have been turned on. The utilities must be turned on in order for the appraiser to check that all related mechanical items are functioning property including the plumbing running hot water, heating units, central air, gas stove burners, lighting, outlets and more.
Although trying to complete all potential FHA repair items prior to the appraiser’s inspection may not be possible, at least now you are aware of several of the most common repairs that tend to delay the FHA loan process. Also ,remember that FHA appraisals are no guarantee a property is free from defects as the appraisal “primarily” establishes value of a property for mortgage insurance purposes. Buyers should always secure their own inspectons through qualified professionals like Lou Najera Appraisals to satisfy themselves about the overall condition of a property.
I hope you have found this information helpful and if you have any questions about FHA inspections, please to not hesitate to call. 714 867 6419