Do you plan to purchase a home using an FHA loan?

Before your loan can be approved, the property must first undergo an appraisal. FHA loans are unique in that a more thorough inspection is required to ensure that the home meets the minimum standards for health and safety as defined by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

 “HUD's primary concern is the health and safety of the home buyer who will actually live in the house. Thus, most of their appraisal / inspection checkpoints have to do with health and safety aspects of the property. Above all, the home must be habitable and comfortable, without any potential hazards to the occupant.”

Key inspection areas required by HUD are:

Lot grade: The lot should be sloped to allow water to drain away from the house, and be graded in a way that prevents rain and moisture from seeping into the basement and foundation. Look for the presence of, toxic chemicals, standing pools of water and soil erosion. Road surfaces bordering the property should contain a cover of all-weather material.

Crawl Spaces: Attic and crawl spaces must have clear access and at least 18 inches of clearance. Check for proper ventilation, standing water or the presence of rotting wood.

Heating: The heating system must create healthful and comfortable living conditions.

Roof: The roof should be in good condition, up-to-date with repairs and must keep moisture from entering the home. Roofs must have 3 years minimum remaining life to pass.

Foundation: The foundation should be able to withstand "all normal loads imposed" on it.

Consumer Safety:

  • All bedrooms should have an access route to the exterior of the home, to allow for escape during a fire. A window will accommodate this requirement, with the stipulation that it has a minimum opening of 24in. high and 20in. wide.
  • Lead-based paint, is considered a potential health hazard. Homes with lead-based paint will be checked for peeling and chipping. If present, conditions must be corrected before the loan will go through.
  • All steps and stairways must have a handrail.

According to HUD, the home must be free of all known hazards and adverse conditions that may affect the health and safety of the occupants.

If any element should pose a health or safety threat, it will be marked as "subject to repair."  

Click here for a complete FHA appraisal list