Home Buying in Sparks>Question Details

Thecatdidit, Home Buyer in Sparks, NV

FHA & appliances?? We are trying to close on a foreclosure. When we decided that this house was 'the one' we started the process.?

Asked by Thecatdidit, Sparks, NV Mon Oct 5, 2009

We offered 220K, when the asking was 208K. We are putting down 120K and taking out a 100K FHA loan for the remainder. Weeks after the process had been going on, they send out an FHA appraiser that says that the house needs ALL appliances before it can close. First, I have to say that we are putting new flooring and painting this house before putting the appliances in, the appliances are going to cost a lil over 8K and will take 2 weeks to deliver. Now we are down to the wire, waiting to close and are getting told that we may need to put our appliances in the house and have them approved by the appraiser BEFORE we close. So they want us to put 8K worth of appliances in a home that we can't insure and can not guarantee that the appliances won't get stolen or damaged on top of the inconvenience factor of having to remove the appliances by ourselves so that we can do the other work on the house and then have to move them back in! Negates the point of delivery. What can we do?

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There shouldn't have been any reason you would have had to inform them that you are putting in new flooring and paint. FHA appraisers are only supose to ensure that the property is habitable and safe. Torn carpets and smudges on the walls do not make a home unsafe or uninhabitable. However, I have seen some of these appraisers note things that are beyond their level of expertise. They are not building inspectors, and in many cases are putting their butts on the line and becoming liable for things outside of their field of expertise.

However, in order for a property to be habitable, it must have a working kitchen, and all working systems and major appliances. If you do not want to put up a lot of money before clossing, you may wish to take Ricky's advise and buy some cheap appliances on craigslist. Just make sure they are in complete working order. If there is even one burner that doesn't work, it may be a reason for the appraiser to not allow the home to pass his inspection.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 8, 2010
FHA will require working utilities, bathroom, and stove. If possible buy cheap(working) craigslist appliances and sell them after you buy the ones you want. You may also want to check with your lender as major purchases($8,000 of appliances) can stop you from getting through underwriting.
Web Reference: http://www.renownhomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 5, 2009
I'd agree with John- get out of this loan.

Somehow, these FHA appraisers have gotten far more authority over these loans than I understand. HIstorically, it's been no water in the crawl space, working stove, no peeling lead based paint, earth to wood contact, but now appraisers are dictators over every aspect of a home- with no appeal possible- even in matters where they have no training or expertise!. I have poured over the FHA guidelines and I have no idea what gives them the authority to make these proclamations but as you and the other correspondents have already discovered, it makes no difference.

It's absurd, and alarming.

As far as I know, you can't call for a second appraiser on an FHA property- I think it goes into a database for a year. So, you are stuck with this.

You have tons of down- go get into a conventional loan, and this "problem" will be behind you. Forget about negotiating with this appraiser- his word is law, and unless you do exactly as he states, you will not close. I do think it's worth consideration whether you want to install your new appliances into a house you don't own, I wouldn't do it, and I woudn't recommend my clients do it either. Going out and buying even more appliances just to close to me would be a last resort, but if for some reason you don't want or can't go conventional, I think it makes the most sense.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 6, 2009
Sorry to hear about your dilemna. A few things:

1. Usually the FHA appraiser wants to make the house is "habitable." This usually means has a stove/oven. I haven't seen them stop a deal for a refrigerator, microwave, or dishwasher. What did they really mean when they said "all appliances?" I'd reconfirm with your lender and ask if they can reappraise and see #5 below.

2. More importantly, why are you doing an FHA loan when you are putting so much money down? I believe you have to pay upfront and annual mortgage insurance premiums irregardless of how much you put down. If for some reason there is some advantage to using FHA for you, then consider #3.

3. If you have to use an FHA product, ask your lender about switching your loan to an FHA 203k streamline. This allows you to buy and close on a home that needs rehab (such as flooring and appliances as you stated and even more severe repairs). However, you must actually borrow some additional money within the same loan to repair the home. When the repairs are complete (again, AFTER you've closed), the FHA appraiser signs off that all is good. There are more details behind this loan--talk to your lender.

4. Switch to a conventional loan. Your paperwork is already on file with the lender. Shouldn't take too long to switch you over.

5. Lastly and most expedient, with the seller's permission, buy some well beaten, cheap but working, used appliances from Craigslist, Reno Gazette, etc and install those as "placeholders."

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 5, 2009
Unfortunately, yes. This is a more and more common situation among vacant properties. I just closed one last week where the same thing happened. The final approval was contingent upon the appraiser's statement that the appliances are installed. In my case, the buyer fronted the money to do this as they had waited so long for this home and knew it was a great opportunity for them. They were "forced" to take the risk as no other party to transaction would consider it. Luckily and fortunate for them, they successfully closed and the transaction is closed.

I had already committed to paying a portion of their closing costs for them so I had no remaining funds to front the money for these appliances too. It was like being put between a rock and hard place. But you do what you need to do for the right home however unconventional it is.

Good luck to you! Diane Wheatley, Broker
(909) 981-5400
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 5, 2009
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