According to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), FHA requires that financed properties meet the following standards
- Safety. The home should protect the health and safety of the occupants
- Security. The home should protect the security of the property
- Soundness. The property should not have physical deficiencies or conditions affecting its structural integrity
FHA does not require the repair of cosmetic or minor defects, deferred maintenance and normal wear if they do not affect the safety, security, or soundiness. Following are examples of such problems:
- Missing handrails
- Cracked or damaged exit doors that are otherwise operable
- Cracked window glass
- Defective paint surfaces in homes constructed post-1978
- Minor plumbing leaks (such as leaky faucets)
- Defective floor finish or covering (worn through the finish, badly soiled carpeting)
- Evidence of previous (non-active) wood destroying insect/organism damage where there is no evidence of unrepaired structural damage
- Rotten or worn out counter tops
- Damaged plaster, sheetrock, or other wall and ceiling materials in homes constructed post-1978
- Poor workmanship
- Trip hazards (cracked or partially heaving sidewalks, poorly installed carpeting)
- Crawl space with debris and trash
- Lack of an all weather driveway surface
Following are some issues that may be faced with FHA:
Electrical and Heating
The electrical box should not have any frayed or exposed wires. All habitable rooms must have a functioning heat source.
Roofs and Attics
The roofing must keep moisture out. The roofing must be expected to last for at least two more years. The appraiser must inspect the attic for evidence of possible roof problems. The roof cannot have more than three layers of roofing. If the inspection reveals the need for roof repairs and the roof already has thee or more layers of roofing, the FHA requires a new roof.
The water heater must meet local building codes, and must convey with the property.
Hazards and Nuisances
A number of conditions fall under this category. They include, but are not limited to
- Contaminated soil
- Proximity to a hazardous waste site
- Oil and gas wells located on the property
- Heavy traffic
- Airport noise and hazards
- Other sources of excessive noise
- Proximity to something that could explode, like a high-pressure petroleum line
- Proximity to high-voltage power lines
- Proximity to a radio or TV transmission tower
The property must provide safe and adequate access for pedestrians and vehicles, and the street must have an all-weather surface so that emergency vehicles can access the property under any weather conditions.
Any defective structural conditions and any other conditions that could lead to future structural damage must be remedied before the property can be sold. These include defective construction, excessive dampness, leakage, decay, termite damage, and continuing settlement.
If an area of the home contains asbestos that appears to be damaged or deteriorating, FHA requires further inspection by an asbestos professional.
The home must have a toilet, sink, and shower.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that FHA requires properties to have working kitchen appliances, particularly a working stove. However, FHA documents do not mention any requirements regarding appliances.