(661) 699-9444
One Stop Shop!
One Phone Call Takes Care of All Your Inspection Needs

FHA Minimum Standards

Specific FHA Standards

FHA-insured properties must be safe, sanitary and structurally sound to meet minimum property standards set out in FHA guidelines. If a home does not meet FHA minimum property standards, the FHA will not supply mortgage insurance for the loan. Since the loan is contingent on the FHA supplying insurance, the lender will not approve the mortgage until the seller brings the home up to FHA standards, the it is reinspected and it passes. Unless a home has a major issue that makes it unsafe, unsound or unsanitary, the FHA is unconcerned with the condition of the house.

In December 2005 FHA made a number of changes to their requirements, allowing for “As Is” appraisals, even if minor defects to the property condition exist. FHA appraisals occurring on or after January 1, 2006 now only require repairs for conditions that rise above cosmetic defects, minor defects, or normal wear and tear. Appraisers must report ALL deficiencies but lenders can use professional judgment and prudent underwriting practices to determine when a property’s condition is a threat to safety or jeopardizes structural integrity.

This is a list of examples that no longer require automatic repair to existing properties, but are not limited to:

  • Missing handrails
  • Cracked or damaged exit doors that are otherwise operable
  • Cracked window glass
  • Defective paint surfaces in homes built after 1978
  • Minor plumbing leaks such as faucets
  • Worn or soiled floor coverings or finish
  • Rotten or worn out counter tops
  • Damaged plaster or sheet rock or other wall and ceiling material on homes constructed after 1978
  • Poor workmanship
  • Trip hazards such as sidewalks or badly installed carpet
  • Lack of all-weather driveway surface

Examples of conditions that may be of risk to health and safety of occupants or soundness of property that continues to require automatic repair, but are not limited to:

  • Inadequate access/egress from bedrooms to exterior of home
  • Leaking or worn out roofs
  • Structural problems such as foundation damage caused by settlement
  • Defective paint surfaces in homes built before 1978
  • Defective exterior paint on homes built after 1978 where finish is unprotected

FHA also no longer mandates automatic inspections for the following items and or conditions in existing properties:

  • Wood Destroying insects: only required if there is evidence of active infestation or appraiser states a need for one, mandated by state or local jurisdiction, or at lenders discretion
  • Well (individual water system): It is required if mandated by state/local jurisdiction, if suspect of contamination or requires purification system, or when there is evidence of: pipe corrosion, intensive agriculture, coal mining/gas drilling, dump, junk yard, land fill, gas station or dry cleaning operation within 1/4 mile, or if there is a bad smell, taste, or appearance
  • Septic: only required if evidence of failure, mandate, or lenders discretion
  • Flat or unobservable roof

Examples of conditions that still require automatic inspection, but not limited to:

  • Standing water against foundation, or excessively wet basement
  • Hazardous materials on site
  • Faulty mechanical systems: electrical, plumbing, or heating
  • Structural failure: settlement or bulging foundation walls