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There can be a lot of potential issues that arise during an FHA real estate appraisal inspection. This can be a frustrating experience for a homeowner and real estate agent, as they will typically get feedback from the lender that there are certain items that must be repaired before closing. It is a good idea to be prepared in advance by correcting any of the issues mentioned below before the real estate appraiser performs an FHA inspection. The FHA Appraiser is looking for the following items:

1. Utilities need 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. This includes homes that are vacant. Utilities include heating/cooling systems, dishwashers, stove, lighting, and plumbing items such as faucets and toilets. If the utilities are not on, the appraiser will need to put a condition in the appraisal, and this will delay the loan process. The appraiser will then have to return to the property to check that the utilities are on and operational.
2. Peeling/Chipped Paint on Pre-1978 structures. Per the FHA, the lead paint issue still exists. In homes built prior to 1978 any chipped or peeling paint must be corrected. This consists of scraping, sanding and repainting the affected area. The old paint must be cleaned up off the floor and be properly disposed of. See the link to the EPA website for more information on Lead-Based Paint
3. Missing Carbon Monoxide Detector: Per the California Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010, detectors are required to be installed in every residential dwelling unit that will be used for human occupancy. This requires properties to have a detector in dwellings that have a fossil fuel burning appliance, fireplace, heater or a garage attached to the house.
4. Earthquake Strapping on Water Heaters: water heaters must have double strapping across the lower and upper thirds of the tank. The exception being “tankless” water heaters. Additionally, overflow pipes and temperature pressure release valves (TPRV’s) must be present with the water heater.
5. Broken Windows: For the FHA, small cracks in the windows are not a big issue. However, if the window is broken or there are shards of glass, it is a safety concern and this will need to be fixed.
6. Exposed/Frayed or Uncapped Wiring: Exposed wires could cause a big jolt and/or a fire and must be fixed. This is mainly found in older homes. Missing outlet covers and light switches also must be corrected.
7. Attic and Crawl Space Access: The appraiser is required to inspect the attic with a minimum “head and shoulders” look into the space. There needs to be adequate entry to the attic and crawl space for the appraiser. It is best to make sure this area is clear prior to the inspection for easy access by the appraiser.
8. Roof Condition: The roof must not have any leaks or allow moisture to enter the home. The roof must have two years left on its remaining economic life.

As you can see there are quite a few items the appraiser must check to be compliant with FHA safety guidelines. An FHA appraisal does not guarantee that the property is free and clear of defects. We always recommend that a buyer of a home hire a certified home inspector. They are specifically trained to take a very detailed look into the condition of the home.

Pacific Appraisers specializes in estate appraisals, gift tax appraisals, partial interest appraisals, divorce appraisals, bankruptcy appraisals, date of death appraisals, and more throughout the Bay area, including San Jose, Oakland, Novato, San Mateo, Santa Rosa. Santa Cruz.

For more information contact us at (888) 887-7715, visit our website at, or email us at You can also check out our YouTube page or “LIKE” our Facebook page as well. Also, make sure to check out our video page to see our what to expect series for non lender appraisals.