How to Get a House to Pass an FHA Inspection

How to Get a House to Pass an FHA Inspection
••• Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

If you are planning to sell your home and are willing to allow potential buyers to finance the purchase of this home through the Federal Housing Administration it must meet all FHA requirements. If after inspection your home does not meet these requirements FHA will not approve this purchase. The lengthy process of obtaining an FHA loan will result in a complete waste of your time and the time of your potential buyer. These inspections can be costly for potential buyers and within this process if they are denied they also will lose any earnest money they have invested. The last thing you need when you are trying to sell are for problems to occur that could have been easily avoided.

Examine your crawl spaces. Every crawl space within your home should have a way for the buyer to access them. This access should allow for an 18-inch clearance. Measure from the ground to the floor joist to ensure this clearance is 18 inches. The crawl spaces should not have any water buildup or any obstructions. You should have vapor and ventilation barriers within these crawl spaces. Sump pumps must be hard wired, and there cannot be extension cords used. Retaining walls should be built into crawl spaces that were dug out. If you find wood rot or any other damages you will have to repair them.

Examine your attic if your home has one. There must be an opening of 14 inches by 22 inches or larger for the buyer to access the attic. There must be proper ventilation in this attic. Dead air space is not allowed.

Locate any documentation you have on roof repairs performed on your home. If you have a torch down or metal roof you will need documentation that your roofer installed this roof following the manufacturer’s specification. Roofing of slopes from 2 1/2 to 12 or less must be installed by a licensed roofer using built-up roofing that meets the Uniform Building Code. You will be asked for documentation of this installation and for your roofer’s credentials. Composition and wood roofing should not exceed three layers. If upon inspection the roofing is not acceptable to FHA you will have to strip all of the roofing down to the bare roof before installing more. Rolled roofing is not allowed within FHA requirements, and it will have to be stripped off and replaced.

Upgrade the electrical system completely if your home was built before 1960. Your main breaker service should be no less than 100 amps, and it must have a main breaker shut off. This one main breaker should shut down power to the entire house.

Evaluate your heating and cooling systems. You might need to have a licensed heating and cooling specialist evaluate these systems. The FHA will look for central heating and air to be the main sources. Gas heaters or electric-start gas heaters included in central heat and air systems are acceptable. However, if you are using gas you should also ensure there are not any possibilities of leaks. FHA inspectors will look for leaks. You can have wood or coal heaters in this home, but they must be an additional heat source. If you are using gas and are renting the propane tank from a gas company, this should be included in the listing package for the property. Your heating and cooling system will be evaluated by the inspector as to how long it will operate properly. This estimate should be no less than 2 years.

Measure the discharge line for your hot water heater to ensure it is no less than 6 inches and no more than 24 inches. It also must drain outside. You must have a Safety Value Release installed on the hot water heater. Check it for rust and corrosion, as these are reasons to insist that it be replaced.

You also need documentation proving that your septic system (if one is present) has been pump no more than 5 years prior to listing your home on the market.

Measure window clearance and ensure that this clearance is no less than 24 inches by 20 inches.