One of the chief complaints about FHA home mortgages in Mesa and Gilbert AZ over the years has been tough property condition requirements that the property must pass in order to get a loan approved. This has been the case up until this past year in 2010. The property condition guidelines changed.
FHA has eased up repair of minor property problems, and now only requires repairs to the property that affect the safety of the property or occupants. As a result it is much easier to get an home that has been neglected by an owner who has not kept with fixing wear and tear type maintenance issues.
So, you don’t necessarily need to repair:
- Handrails that missing
- Exit doors that are cracked or damaged but otherwise operable
- Cracked window glass (if it is missing pieces be ready to fix it)
- Chipped paint on surfaces in homes constructed after 1978 (prior to this there is a potential health hazard due to possible lead based paint)
- Minor plumbing leaks (e.g. as leaky faucets)
- Defective floor finish/covering
- Evidence of “non-active” or previous Wood Destroying Insect/Organism damage
- Rotten or worn-out counter tops – Damaged plaster, sheetrock or other wall and ceiling materials
- Tripping hazards
- Crawl spaces with debris
While I just covered repairs that you won’t be required to fix to get your FHA mortgage, you will be required to repair:
- Inadequate access/egress from bedrooms to exterior of homes
- Leaky or worn out roofs
- Structural problems evidenced by major cracks in a wall for example
- Chipped, damaged or exposed interior paint surfaces in homes built prior to 1978
- Exterior defective paint surfaces in homes built after 1978 where the finish is not unprotected
If you are looking to buy a home that has any of these deficiencies just listed or others that an appraiser may note on their appraisal inspection that may pose a threat to the safety of the occupants or the security and soundness of the property, your lender will likely require an seperate inspection of the condition to determine whether repairs are necessary to resolve the problem.
Once repaired, these conditions will continue to need inspections:
- Standing water against the foundation and/or excessively damp basements
- Hazardous materials on the site or within the improvements
- Faulty or defective mechanical systems (electrical, plumbing or heating)
- Evidence of possible structural failure (e.g. settlement or bulging foundation wall)
If you have any questions about buying a home using an FHA mortgage please contact me and I’ll get you in touch with some of the lenders I have worked with in the past. FHA home loans are great for first time home buyers who need down payment assistance. There are some great down payment assistance programs here in Arizona. Again, if you want to investigate what lending options and down payment assistance programs are available for you please let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction.