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Jorge D Acuna…, Real Estate Pro in South Gate, CA

Alittle help,every single FHA appraiser has a different defintion on What is FHA approved. Any one have any tips or basics of what to really look for?

Asked by Jorge D Acuna, Realtor, South Gate, CA Fri Dec 2, 2011

in a Single family Home, or units that want to get qualified through a FHA? Example; garage door open and closes...etc etc.. Maybe we could share best practices.. Thanks

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What Does a FHA Appraisal Check?
As you can already see the FHA Appraisal Guidelines are strict and made for the best interest of the borrower and for the lender. Here you can get some insights what are the FHA appraiser and inspectors are going to look for in your property working under the 2011 FHA appraisal guidelines:
1. FHA Appraisal Property Inspection - Appliances, the appraiser will want to see that the home is livable, this means that there are minimum house appliances such as a stove in the kitchen, a dishwasher or air ventilation/cooler (at warm weather) – and if there are they must be in proper working condition. Water pressure, proper flushing toilets, sight and temperature check by turning of faucets checking to see if the hot and cold water is working properly.
2. Crawl Space or Attic Space FHA Inspection - When people buy a home, there are places outside the living areas that can not be un-attended, such as crawling space or attics. The appraiser is guided to check for evidence of excessive dampness or water pooling. The same is expected for a check the attic for proper ventilation.
3. FHA Appraiser Will Inspect Propertys’ Roof - The FHA appraiser must determine if the property roof has at least two years of same condition left without need for renovation. This is to secure the lender that the place being sold will hold at least two winters. A leaking roof which cause moisture leakage into the house will force the new buyer to undergo expensive renovations which may endanger their ability to continue the proper monthly payments. If the FHA loan for is a condominium, there is no roofing inspection.
4. FHA Inspection Of Electric and Heating- One parameter check the appraiser is going to do, is to find out that each of the habitable rooms in the house have adequate heating (at cold areas) or cooling (in hot areas). This FHA appraisal inspection is meant to make sure summer heat, or winter cold protection are present as each can cause death. Conventional heating systems would be checked to see they maintain a temperature of at least 50 degrees F.
5. Property Inspection of electric wiring in the house. As poor wiring has a higher risk for fire, presence of smoke detectors can be requested too.
6. Appraisal Check Hot Water Heater- In many places the hot water heater is as dangerous as a domestic bomb… the combination of either gas tubes, electric wiring, open flame components needs to be in perfect safety condition. If the domestic water heater is oil heated, then the outside oil tank unit needs to be a safe distance away.
7. FHA Appraisal Check Lead-based Paint - The appraiser will check when the house was built, in cases that the property was built before 1978 and there is potential that the property paint coat used was lead based paint, the FHA appraiser will search for any peelings, flakes or chipping. In case of peels and paint cracks a cover up paint coat is not enough, and the lead paint needs to be scratched off entirely. In the same matter any environmental problems like asbestos would need to be removed.
8. FHA Appraisal Validate Windows- Expect the appraisal evaluation to inspect the windows and doors, the check is to determine the risk the hold for the new home buyers in case of fire and evacuation. No windows can be left broken, windows should be able to be opened, if burglar bars are placed they should have opening option from the inside in case of a fire.
More things that FHA appraisal guidelineswill inspect while visiting for the home property check: Sewer systems, wells, and water quality; conformity of property to the neighborhood (The property maybe entirely appropriate at another location, but not in its actual location); off site improvements (street surface, curbs, sidewalks, curb cuts, driveways); potential for termite infestation; energy efficiency; basements; flooring and carpets; and more..
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 3, 2011
Generally the FHA appraisers are looking for health & safety issues they will call out...broken windows, unfilled pools, exposed wiring, need for smoke dectors/Co detectors, peeling paint, mold, major obvious leaks. They will call out holes in the foor, missing floor coverings, etc... They are OK with cosmetic issues (worn carpet, worn flooring, old kitchens, etc.). So a house can be a cosmetic fixer and still pass the FHA appraiser, but it can't have health and safety issues.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 3, 2011
Hi Jorge,

Had the same questions as you and good rule of thumb in FHA or VA loans is everything has to be in working order. Nothing has to look good. The facets, showers, bathtubs, windows, doors, garage plumbing and doors, furnace and water heater all need to work. If there is a connection problem or something is leaking or does not turn on all these are "Lender required repairs" under FHA. If the window looks horrible but still functions and is not broken it does not have to be replaced.
Basic rules if it works its OK if not it will be a "Lender required repair" under FHA guidelines.
Hope this helps...
Heidi
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 3, 2011
You would think such a guideline would be available on the FHA website. NOT!
Clearly transparency is not the prime objective of this organization. Occasionally, a talkative and usually frustrated, appraiser will share the documents from which they are working. That, however, is not the best approach to understanding how a vital government home buying organization works.

It is no fun to play a game when the only time you know of the rules are when they bite you.
How often has your buyer confused the FHA appraiser activity for a home inspection? These folks are way over the line regarding appraisal activity, and they operate from a set of 'secret' rules.

I would recommend convening a focus group of agents from your office or the area in which you work and share what you know and whom (appraisers) these agents have worked with reasonably. Your title company will have a lot of light and resources to share on this subject.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 3, 2011
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