Do FHA loans require a home inspection?
Saturday, March 7, 2020
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) does not require a home buyer that is applying for an FHA-insured loan to have a home inspection, however they do expect a buyer to sign a document certifying that they were advised that a home inspection is recommended. See our blog post Is a home inspection required? for more on this.
But before FHA guarantees a home loan they want to be sure that the property is structurally sound, safe, and meets their minimum property standards for livability. So they train and certify local independent real estate appraisers to do a basic inspection of the property while they are doing their primary work of determining the fair market value of the home.
An “FHA inspection” is actually a misnomer. It is correctly referred to in the industry as an “FHA appraisal”—which indicates that the appraiser includes a report on whether the home meets the FHA minimum property standards. The FHA appraiser does not do as thorough or detailed an inspection as a home inspector, but does look for things like:
- A roof that is leaking or at the end of its lifespan.
- Structural problems caused by settlement or damage.
- Deteriorated exterior paint that is not adequately protecting the exterior surfaces.
- Unsafe electrical or plumbing.
- Inadequate emergency egress from the bedrooms.
While the FHA provides guidelines, it allows for the appraiser’s discretion in what constitutes an unsafe condition, and any defects that the appraiser lists will have to corrected before FHA will approve the loan.
We occasionally get a phone call from someone that wants to know if we are “FHA certified” home inspectors. But there is no requirement that a home inspector be FHA-approved to do a home inspection for a homebuyer applying for an FHA loan.
Also, see our blog post Do I need a termite inspection for an FHA loan?
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To learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:
To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:
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