What does the FHA Appraiser Look for in Illinois?

As you tour a home with your Realtor, and are planning on  using  an FHA mortgage loan for your  purchase, watch out for these items. The Federal Housing Administration Appraiser that appraises  the home for your bank loan, will be looking for some of  these kind of  issues :

1.  Roofs that are at the end of their beneficial existence, or in challenging                condition. Curling and missing shingles, rain gutters that are absent, lots and lots of           moss. In our area, moss is common, but it should be very low  at best and easily            eliminated with a gentle sweeping or cleaning. Many appraisers look for roofs that have an obvious 5 years or more life left in them.

2.    Cracked or absent window panes. It’s certainly not necessary that the windows end up being newer — old, single pane windows can be just fine as long as they’re sound and in one piece. In a recent transaction, however, I did have an FHA appraiser insist that a window that had a busted seal (indicated by fogging between the panes) be replaced prior to closing.

3.  Cracking, chipped, or checked paint. Where the house is older than 1979, that paint could be lead based. Not a problem where the paint is in good shape, but where it could possibly be ingested — that can be a issue even on outbuildings. For that matter, abestos potential in a popcorn ceiling that’s dropping down could also be an issue.
4. Water issues. This is one of the biggest hot spots for an Federal housing administration evaluator, and rightly so. A quick look under a sink to see decaying floors and moldy walls will nix a loan every time. Watch for soft flooring around toilets and tubs, leaking faucets, roof leak spots in the ceiling. Water in the crawl space is a clear no-no as is substantial water standing in the backyard.
5.  Open/exposed electrical wiring … not good. Electrical wires must be correctly terminated, secured and finished in an electric box and covered with the appropriate plate. Even outlet plates need to be in place.
Missing electrical fixtures. Specifically on property foreclosure sales, the dining room light fixture can be absent. Sometimes it’s all of the kitchen lights {or|or simply} bedroom center light fixtures.
6.  Missing home appliances. A missing free-standing fridge, washing machine or clothes dryer aren’t problems. It’s the built-ins such as a missing dishwasher, range, cooktop, or oven that’ll cause a comment in the Appraiser’s report. I’ll include the missing hot water heater and furnace here as well. A home has to have heat and water!

7.  Missing or ruined carpets and rugs, drywall, or typical finishes. Yeah, occasionally that plyboard flooring is a problem as are huge holes in the drywall where the previous owner got creative and cut through the sheetrock to find who knows what. Note, however, mere aesthetic problems are generally not a problem unless the carpet is so dirty with maybe pet spots that it’s not cleanable. Remember that the goal here is to have a residence that is secure and healthy.
8.  Add-ons that were obviously not permitted. We’ve all seen them. The deck constructed on stilts that isn’t correctly attached to the residence, the garage/bedroom the conversion process with sloping floors, the leased basement apartment that doesn’t have its own gauge and is available only through the primary residence entrance.


9.   Critters in the crawl space or attic. Ugh. But facts are that four-legged and/or winged creatures like to migrate the actual crawl space and attic room if allowed. Evidence of lots of poop and open foundation or attic room vents can be an problem. Especially if the evaluator pokes his/her head up into the attic room and is welcomed by a pair of green eyes looking back at him. Not so good.
10.   Cement cracks. A small crack usually isn’t necessarily a problem, but that foundation crack stretching from top to bottom and is over, say, a 1/4″ or so can be an problem. Same thing in large cracks in garage area flooring or even walkways leading to the doors, especially where the surface is unequal or foundations have sunk.
11.  Septic or Sewer issues. A rehab bank loan or full restoration will totally be needed to purchase a home with one of these issues!

Once some of these issues are addressed, they need to be fixed by either the seller, or the buyer, before the loan closes. Usually you’ll have a couple of weeks to get the work done depending on when the loan lock date is.

I hope this answers some of your questions in regards to,“What does a FHA Appraiser look for, when applying for an FHA loan in Illinois.

If you need help with buying or selling your home, please call or e-mail me ,

Brenda Kasprzyk

Real People Realty