The FHA home inspection and buying a home

If you’re buying a home with an FHA backed mortgage, the property is required to be inspected by an approved HUD inspector. The reason for the FHA home inspection is to assure that the home is in compliance with minimum applicable HUD standards. Don’t confuse the inspection with the HUD appraisal. The appraisal only determines the current market value of the property. The inspection is for purposes of assuring the habitability of the home along with the health and safety of anybody who will actually live in it. The major components that the inspection will focus on are:

  • Whether the roof prevents moisture from entering the home’s interior
  • Grading that flows away from the foundation to protect against damage from water
  • The integrity of the home’s foundation
  • Whether there are handrails on stairways
  • The integrity of the heating system but not the air conditioning system
  • Whether there is peeled or chipped paint

After the FHA home inspection is completed, the inspector will note any conditions that will require repair or replacement. Any repair or replacement must be made prior to closing while allowing time for another mandatory inspection. Should the seller fail repair or replace a condition as directed, the FHA won’t permit the loan to fund. Buyers can then walk away from the transaction.

HUD certified inspectors aren’t paid to be unnecessarily picky. They don’t want to impair the marketability of any property that they might inspect. The primary purpose of the FHA home inspection is to assure the buyers that the home they’re purchasing is a habitable, safe and comfortable home. Secondarily, a satisfactory FHA inspection operates to give the lender a level of confidence as to the soundness of its investment.

Remember that the inspector isn’t there to throw a wrench into your deal. Everybody attendant to the transaction wants to see it close.