In order to obtain FHA financing, you have to have an inspection completed. This inspection is not something you can order on your own, either. You must have a licensed inspector administer the inspection in order to meet the FHA home inspection requirements.
The Reason for the Inspection
Not every loan program requires an inspection, even though they are always highly recommended. Why does the FHA require one before the loan can be processed then? Simply put, the FHA began in order to provide safe and sanitary housing for families with lower income. In order to follow through on their mission, the FHA had to require an inspection by an FHA licensed inspector. This way the FHA and the FHA lenders knew that the house was safe and sanitary.
The Points Inspected
Now that you know that every FHA loan must have an inspection done first, let’s look at what they inspect. Generally speaking, the entire house gets inspected. Every room has a checklist that the inspector must go through to determine the state of the house. This includes the following rooms:
- Living room
- Any other living areas
- Secondary rooms (those not used for living)
- The inspection also looks at:
- The exterior of the home
- General health and safety of the home
The Structural Components
The structure of the home is a main focus of the FHA home inspection requirements. The inspector will look closely at the foundation as well as the interior/exterior walls, floors, and the roof. The things the inspector looks for include any type of holes or damage and water issues (mold or presence of water damage). The inspector will get onto the roof and look for issues with any shingles, such as those that are missing or damaged beyond repair.
Aside from the structure of the home, the inspector will look at the interior workings of the home. This means the heating, plumbing, and electrical systems. He will make sure that all systems are working properly and that no systems are damaged or improperly working. There must be proper, working plumbing as well as working heat; air conditioning is optional. Careful inspection will be done to the plumbing to ensure that there are not any leaks and/or water damage as a result of any leaks. All necessary components of every bathroom must be present, including a sink, shower (if it is a full bathroom) and toilet.
In each room of the home, the inspector will need to determine that everything operates safely and as it should. The inspector will look at the ceiling, walls, and floor as well as any electricity or appliances in the room. In living rooms, the inspector will look at the lighting and ceiling fans, for example. In the kitchen, he will inspect the stove, refrigerator, and sink along with the floor, ceiling, and walls. The windows in every room will also go through an inspection to ensure that they are not leaking or damaged in any way. The inspector will look for proper smoke detectors and test for the presence of lead-based paint.
The inspector will also look for things like:
- Fire exits
- Any pest infestation
- Issues with garbage
- The quality of the indoor air
- The overall condition of the neighborhood
The FHA Home Inspection Requirements are for your Own Good
It might seem rather tedious to have so many areas of the home inspected, but it is to protect you, the buyer. You would want to know if there was water damage and resulting mold growing in a home before you purchased it, right? What if there was pest infestation or the electric system’s cords were frayed? These are the things the inspector looks for and that could get overlooked by an appraiser who is focused on the value of the property, rather than paying as much detail to the inner workings of the home.
The FHA home inspection is another cost to you when you purchase the home, but there are ways around that if you cannot add another expense to your closing costs. You can always negotiate the cost into the contract, asking the seller to pay it. You could also negotiate your closing costs with the lender, offering to take a slightly higher interest rate in exchange for the lender paying your closing costs.
No matter how you get it done, the FHA inspection is a great way to protect your interest in a home, allowing you the peace of mind that you are purchasing a safe and sound home.