There can be a lot of different issues that come up during an FHA appraisal inspection. Some, however, seem to appear more frequently than others. These are issues Temecula 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 and that the home will serve as proper security or collateral for an FHA loan.
- Missing Carbon Monoxide Detectors — As per The Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010, 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. For more information on this item click here.
- Missing Earthquake Strapping, TPRV’s and Overflow Pipes on Water Heaters – With the exception of ‘tankless’ water heaters, water heaters are required to have double earthquake strapping placed along the lower and upper thirds of the tank. In addition, temperature pressure relief valves and overflow pipes are required as well.
- Chipped and Peeling Paint on Pre-1978 Structures – The dreaded lead paint problem still lingers and unfortunately many homes still face this issue. 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 areas. In addition, all paint chips lying along the ground or otherwise must also be collected and completely removed from the premises.
- 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.
- 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 issue. Older homes and often homes 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 must be replaced, open j-boxes must be covered and most exterior outlets require weatherproof covers.
- 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 all been turned on. The utilities must be turned on in order for the appraiser to check that all related mechanical items are functioning properly 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’re 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 home inspections through qualified professionals to satisfy themselves about the overall condition of a property.
I hope you found this helpful and if you have any additional questions please don’t hesitate to call.
The ‘Temecula Appraisal Group’ specializes in divorce appraisals, bankruptcy appraisals, date of death appraisals, estate appraisals, pre-listing appraisals and more throughout the Temecula area.
For more information contact us at (951) 252-2363, visit our website at TemeculaAppraiser.com, or email us at info@TemeculaAppraiser.com. You can also follow us on Twitter, YouTube, or “LIKE” our Facebook page as well. Also, make sure to check out our ‘Praise’ page and see what others are saying about Roy Meyer and the ‘Temecula Appraisal Group.’