Do the lawn sprinklers on the home being bought have to be in working order for an FHA appraisal?

Asked by Cmphototrish, Valencia, CA Thu Sep 8, 2011

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Caleb Hart, Renter, Orem, UT
Wed Feb 25, 2015
If they're not in working order, the appraiser will notice that. He will lump that cost in the value of the home. Obviously, a nonworking sprinkler system is not very valuable. You could get it fixed if you want to increase the value of the home.
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I agree with Caleb: if you want your home's value to raise, then you should have a working sprinkler system. No one wants to buy a house that they would have to repair the sprinkler system on. It would be too much work, and they would look for something else.
Flag Mon Apr 6, 2015
Kelsey Compa…, Home Buyer, Provo, UT
Fri Feb 13, 2015
I would assume that they would have to be in working order. If they are not working then the value of your home might just be brought down a little. I would recommend looking into having your system repaired or having a new one installed.
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Jennie Miller…, Agent, Phoenix, AZ
Mon Sep 29, 2014
Excellent question! Did you ask your mortgage broker this?
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I also agree that this is a great question. Unfortunately, I'm not sure about this one! I would have to agree with Jennie and say that you should ask your mortgage broker. I think that will be your best way to find out everything that you need. Good luck and I hope you find everything you need!
Flag Mon Oct 27, 2014
Tim Johnson, Home Buyer, Provo, UT
Fri Aug 22, 2014
I don't think so, it will just take it into account during the appraisal. You'd be better of to get a working sprinkler system beforehand. It will increase the value of your property for sure. Besides that, it will be nice to more easily maintain a more green lawn.
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I agree with Tim as well. You have to make sure that you tell them that the lawn sprinklers aren't functioning at the time during the appraisal. They'll be able to take the cost out of the price for the house. It's better to have a sprinkler system installed and have to repair it, than to have to put in a completely new system.
Flag Sat Jan 24, 2015
Tim, I agree that it seems a working sprinkler system would be good for the appraisal value of your home. If you are advertising that your house has sprinkler system it seems like a buyer would expect it to be in working order. A working sprinkler system will also help to keep the lawn maintained while it is up for sale.
Flag Thu Jan 8, 2015
I think it would be wise to have the sprinkling system in working condition. A faulty system will decrease the value of your home. When it comes to selling a home, people feel the appearance is very important; nothing looks better than lush green grass. I would consider having some repairs done if the sprinkling system is not in working condition.
Flag Fri Nov 21, 2014
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Wed Aug 20, 2014
The appraiser will not check them. The bank only cares about items that affect the homes value. FHA cares greatly about missing handrails, peeling paint, and broken windows just fyi.

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Interesting. I think it's still a good idea to get the sprinklers fixed, though. The appraiser might not care, but the buyer certainly will. It will lower your value to not have sprinklers installed. Those are considered necessities by most homeowners. |
Flag Fri Jan 30, 2015
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Wed Aug 20, 2014
Is the home being marketed as having a home irrigation?
If this feature appears on the MLS sheet, it should be assumed to work.
If present but not marketed, it is not warranted or implied to work.
The FHA appraiser will not check.
You home inspector will not check unless instructed and paid to do so.
And all it takes is one mowing to change the status from working to 'not so good."
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Brad Bergami…, Agent, Prescott, AZ
Mon Jul 23, 2012
No, they are not considered in the appraisal process. That is why you need to get a home inspection, appraisers are not home inspectors
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Thank you so much for the information. I wasn't really sure how this worked, but I'm glad to know that the appraiser really has not right to inspect your home. We had some problems with our sprinkler system as well, and we weren't sure if we could get them appraised as part of the home. This will save us a lot of money in the long run.
Flag Thu Feb 5, 2015
James Ryan, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Leesburg, VA
Fri Sep 9, 2011
hi Cmphototrish,

No, the lawn sprinklers will not be considered part of the structure or functionality of the home, and therefore not be tested by the appraiser. However, a good home inspector will hopefully test and make note of the condition of the sprinkler system.Jim, American Bank, 703 615 4675
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Leslie Byrne, Agent, Millsboro, DE
Thu Sep 8, 2011
Is it a warranted item? Was it listed in the contract specifically or vaguely as material to the buyer? Were any verbal representations made about the exterior, the landscaping maintenance requirements or drainage? Could broken sprinklers cause a water issue?
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Matt Puzz, , Mesa, AZ
Thu Sep 8, 2011
The FHA inspection conducted by the appraiser will look for 3 major items that focus on structural integrity of the home, functionality, and safety. Just like a leaking hotter heater or pool pump/filter will keep those items from functioning properly they are also potential utility expense losses; I believe an agent can make the case for a sprinkler system not properly functioning creating a greater financial burden on the buyer. Landscaping is a part of the value of the home and the ability to water or maintain the "value" of that part of the home's overall value is important. I would like to hear an appraisers point of view on this. I do not think it is a deal killer but perhaps a bargaining chip. Good Luck!!

Matt Puzz
Amerifirst Financial, Inc.
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Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Thu Sep 8, 2011
FHA is concerned with HEALTH and SAFETY,
I would hope that Sprinklers never came between a Buyer and a Deal.
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Bill Parker,…, , Scottsdale, AZ
Thu Sep 8, 2011
Hello Cmphototrish:

Now there is a question I have never heard before...

I have never seen this addressed on any appraisal, so I have to say NO. An appraisal's primary purpose is, of course, to determine the fair market value of a property. FHA has added the purpose of assuring the home has no defects which would threaten the safety of the occupants or reveal structural defects in the construction. They are concerned with swimming pools, for instance, as an empty pool or a contaminated pool could be a health hazard. I can think of no such threat by not having the lawn sprinklers work.

The appraisers are charged with checking the utilities, to assure the home has electricity, running water, etc.; all for the purpose of determing livability. No such purpose would be served by requiring the sprinklers to work.
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Andrew Texid…, Agent, Litchfield Park, AZ
Thu Sep 8, 2011
An FHA appraisal will note that there is a stove and a dishwasher and flooring. Those are the only items that FHA will make sure are in an operational. The sprinklers should have been checked in a home inspection where a licensed home inspector could evaluate everything from plumbing, electrical, roof leaks, missing roof tiles, faulty switches and many other items which may be inoperable or broken over time. After your inspection period is up and you have delivered the BINSR (buyer inspection notice and seller response) and chosen that the premises are acceptable, cancel the contract because of items disapproved or request items to be repaired. Once this is done, your due diligence period is over.

Andrew Texidor
Solutions Real Estate
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