FHA Issues with the homes exterior

An Appraiser's level of observation is at its highest when completing and appraisal for FHA and/or VA.  When training new appraisers I will typcially instruct them to go into all observations with the intent of looking for FHA/VA violations.  This way your observations are on auto pilot in discovering issues or potential issues for the User of the final report.

The exterior of the home gets a lot of wear and tear from the elements.  Sun beating on the home all day everyday and when the sun is not shining then possibly rain and snow are stressing out the homes exterior.  Outside of the weather we have insects and animals that look for places to create and/or bore a home.  While an appraiser is not a home inspector the FHA and VA ask the Appraiser to make observations not typical in a conventional transaction.  Recently had to give a homeowner some bad news on the exterior of their home.  While not a deal killer they would need to be remedied for this home to be FHA approved.  The exterior of the home cannot have exposed wood elements.  This being areas where paint has deteriorated enough exposing the underlying wood or in our case no covering at all after a recent slider door upgrade.

Some other issues and Appraiser is to look for in an FHA observation:

  1. Structural Soundness: The appraiser evaluates the overall condition of the house's exterior, including the foundation, walls, roof, and any attached structures, such as garages or porches. The structure should be sound and free from any major defects or safety hazards.

  2. Siding and Paint: The type and condition of the siding material are assessed. Common siding materials such as vinyl, brick, or wood are generally acceptable as long as they are in good condition. Peeling or chipping paint may need to be addressed, particularly if lead-based paint is present, as FHA loans have specific requirements regarding lead-based paint.

  3. Roofing: The roof's age, condition, and remaining useful life are evaluated. The appraiser looks for signs of leaks, missing shingles, or other damage. If the roof is near the end of its lifespan or requires significant repairs, it may impact the appraisal value.

  4. Windows and Doors: The condition, functionality, and energy efficiency of windows and exterior doors are considered. Cracked glass, broken frames, or missing hardware may be noted. FHA guidelines generally require windows and doors to be in good working order.

  5. Exterior Improvements: Any improvements or additions to the exterior, such as decks, patios, or fences, are taken into account. These features should be well-maintained, structurally sound, and comply with local building codes.

  6. Access and Safety: The appraiser assesses the safety and accessibility of the exterior areas, including sidewalks, driveways, and stairways. Adequate lighting and secure handrails are important factors, particularly for FHA loans.

Give me a call if I can be of any service in your appraisal needs.  Keep in touch with us to find out additional issues I find out in the field that may help you in your marketing of your home or your client's home.


Paul Johnson