Many home owners are not aware of the repair items that may be needed for an FHA appraisal. Understandably, this can be frustrating when everything appears to be full steam ahead and then repairs are needed.
The FHA has three main concerns, and for FHA appraisers they are called the three S’s. The three S’s are Safety, Soundness and Security. A property must meet these three main criteria to qualify for an FHA loan. The most common repair items encountered in the Pittsburgh and surrounding area appraisals will be pointed out later. For many of these issues, corrections can be made with both little time and money. Knowing most of these issues up front will save you time from the beginning to the end of the loan process.
1. Chipped and Peeling Paint – This is an issue on all homes built prior to 1978. The ever nagging lead paint problem still lingers and unfortunately most of the homes in the area 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. Considering the age of the Pittsburgh and surrounding areas, this is one of the largest issue’s we run across. The majority of homes are built prior to 1978 and contain Lead-Based Paint somewhere within. For more information we supplied a link to the EPA website for more information on Lead-Based Paint.
2. Roof Condition – 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.
3. Broken Windows – Many times small cracks in the windows are not big issue with FHA. However, if the crack could easily lead to the window glass falling out or if the window is broken with exposed shards of glass, it is a safety concern and FHA requires this to be fixed.
4. Utilities are to be on and operational at the time of the inspection – The appraiser has to check all the utilities and mechanicals to insure they are on and operational. That includes those homes that are vacant and were previously winterized. The utilities need to be turned on to avoid having a re-inspection and a possible delay in the closing with the added expense of the re-inspection fee. Utilities include heating and cooling systems, dishwashers, stove, lighting and plumbing items such as faucets and toilets.
5. Frayed, Exposed or otherwise hazardous Electrical Wiring — This might seem obvious, but you may be surprised by how many homes have an area with this issue. Older homes and often homes from ‘Do It Yourselfers” have frayed or exposed electrical wiring which are items that must be corrected. In addition, missing light switch and missing outlet covers must be replaced, open j-boxes must be covered and most exterior outlets require weatherproof covers. Also, many bathrooms and kitchens are missing GFCI receptacles within 4′ of a water supply and will need installed.
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 and is NOT a thorough home inspection as would be done by a home inspector. Buyers should always secure their own home inspections through qualified professionals to satisfy themselves about the overall condition of a property.
Pittsburgh FHA Loan Repairs or Repairs FHA Pittsburgh