So you’ve got your pre-approval and your all ready to get out there and find the perfect home for you and/or your family. You’re pretty excited, because you were able to get financing using the FHA program, allowing you to only have to put between 3%-3.5% down.
So, what does it take for a property to meet minimum FHA requirements?
For a home to meet FHA minimum requirements everything must work as it was designed to. For example, windows should open & close. Built-in appliances should operate properly. If you have a sliding glass door with a lock on the handle, the lock should work. A good way to understand this is to ask yourself, if a potential homeowner were to go in the house and try to operate the different components, would they work? If not, then it should be fixed.
Here is a breakdown:
- Appliances must be in functional use. If there is a hood, it must work. If there is a dishwasher it must work.
- The HVAC unit must be in working order, no odd noises.
- Paint must not be chipping, peeling, or flaking on homes built before 1978. There must be no defective paint or exposed wood for properties built before 1978. If there is an issue with paint, it needs to be cured properly by actually scraping the paint instead of just painting over with new paint. The removed paint must then be removed from the premises.
- The water heater must be in working order.
- The attic must be inspected to make sure that there are vents, no evidence of a previous fire, no exposed or frayed wires, and that sunlight is not beaming through.
- The water pressure must be adequate for the house. Appraisers flush toilets, turn on all faucets, and ensure that both hot and cold water are working.
- Attic crawl spaces are to be viewed at least with head and shoulders into them ( if present)
- The crawl space must be inspected to make sure there is no excessive debris or signs of standing water or any other foundation support issues.
- Electrical outlets must be work.
- Toilets must flush
- There should be no leaks in the roof. It cannot have more than 3 layers of shingles.
- The carpet does not have to be perfect ( stains or minor tears ok). If there is a health or safety issue with the flooring, then that is a red flag.
- A house does not need new interior paint.
- Windows cannot be broken. Cracks can be okay as long as there is not an issue with safety, soundness and security.
- No dangling wires from missing fixtures.
- Water heaters must work and be properly installed.
- Stoves are not required unless they are drop in stoves.
- Vapor barrier in the crawl space is no longer required as long as there is no moisture issues.
FHA is primary concerned that everything in the house functions properly, and that there is no health and safety issue.
This his same formula would be used for a VA loan as well.As long as you, and your agent are aware of the requirements, finding the perfect home for you makes it a little easier to find.