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Summary: FHA home appraisals and inspections are the source of some confusion among home buyers. That’s because the process is slightly different than it is with a “regular” conventional mortgage loan. This article explains the FHA home appraisal and inspection process in Washington State, and what makes it unique. It will also clear up some common points of confusion.
Are you curious about FHA loans? More specifically, what about inspections and appraisals associated with these mortgages? There are some important things to know about them before you apply for an FHA loan.
If you use an FHA-insured home loan to buy a house in Washington State, the property you are purchasing will have to be appraised and inspected by a HUD-approved home appraiser.
Those are the two primary objectives for an FHA home appraisal in Washington State. Now let’s look at what makes the process unique from conventional mortgage loans.
Related: FHA limits for Washington
Home buyers are sometimes surprised to learn that the FHA-approved home appraiser also inspects the condition of the property. This makes it different from a standard home appraisal, where the appraiser mainly wants to know the property’s value.
Related: FHA mortgage requirements explained
So, what does an FHA home appraiser actually look at during his or her appraisal and inspection? He’s primarily concerned with the condition of the house as it relates to the health and safety of the home buyer.
Section II-D of HUD ‘s Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook states the following:
“The Appraiser must limit required repairs to those repairs necessary to: maintain the safety, security and soundness of the Property; preserve the continued marketability of the Property; and protect the health and safety of the occupants.”
In fact, the words “health and safety” appear numerous times throughout this section of the HUD handbook. That is the primary focus of the inspection portion of the FHA home appraisal.
Additionally, the handbook states that repairs are generally not required if they “do not affect the health and safety of the occupants or the security and soundness of the Property.” There’s that health-and-safety phrase again.
Listing all of the property requirements and standards for a Washington State FHA appraisal is beyond the scope of this article. There are pages and pages of them, and they are very detailed in nature. If you’d like to learn more about minimum property requirements for FHA loans in Washington State, refer to section II-D of the Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook (also known as HUD Handbook 4000.1).
Do you have questions about FHA home loans or other mortgage programs available to borrowers across Washington, Idaho, Colorado, and Oregon? Sammamish Mortgage can help. We are a local, family-owned company based in Bellevue, Washington. We serve the entire state, as well as the broader Pacific Northwest region and have been doing so since 1992. Please contact us if you have mortgage-related questions.
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