VA and FHA Inspections

VA and FHA Inspections

VA FHAWhen it comes to VA and FHA home purchases many people often ask if we can do an FHA or VA inspection.  In the State of Nevada all home inspectors are required to be licensed.  The licensing law was constructed to conform to all state and federal standards.  So the answer to the question is; yes.

But this brings to light a common misconception.  What many people fail to understand is that the VA or FHA loan is not being provided by the VA or FHA (except in rare circumstances).  The VA or FHA are only guaranteeing the loan.  The loan is being provided by a commercial non-governmental lender.

Because the VA or FHA guarantee is a component of the loan it is the lender is tasked with ensuring the loan meets the requirements of the VA or FHA in order to receive the associated loan guaranties.  In those requirements are verification that the property meets certain health, safety, and habitability standards.

The home inspector is not employed by the lender.  The home inspector is employed by the Buyer.  99.999% of the time the home inspector has no knowledge of who the lender is. The inspector does not provide a copy of the inspection report to the lender (unless specifically requested and only with permission).  So it is not the home inspector’s job to verify whether the home meets or exceeds VA or FHA standards; it is the lenders responsibility.

How then does the lender verify the property meets the required VA or FHA health, safety, and habitability standards?  It’s accomplished through the appraiser.

Appraisers are well versed in VA and FHA health, safety, and habitability standards.  They will review the home to ensure it conforms.  When they find issues that do not conform to VA or FHA health, safety, and habitability standards they call them out as appraisal conditions.  Appraisal conditions become underwriter conditions.  Underwriter conditions are conditions that must be satisfied (corrected) in order for the loan to fund.

Here are the most common issues found in Las Vegas homes that result in appraisal conditions:

Plumbing

  • Seismic Restraint Straps (AKA Earthquake straps) missing on the water heater.
  • Defective plumbing installed (i.e. KITEC)
  • Plumbing leaks; faucets, toilets, etc…

Roofing

  • The appraiser is required to inspect the attic for evidence of possible roof problems.
  • The roofing must be sound. It must keep out moisture.
  • The roofing must be expected to last for at least two more years. If questionable the appraiser may require a roof certification.
  • Shingle roofing cannot have more than three layers of roofing.
  • If the appraiser determines there is the need for roof repairs and the roof already has three or more layers of shingles, the FHA requires a new roof.

Heating and air conditioning

  • All habitable rooms must have a functioning heat source.
  • The home must have functioning air conditioning. (This FHA requirement is regional and applies to all homes in our region of the country)

Doors and Windows

  • All doors leading to the exterior must be relatively free of damage and functional.
  • The door between the interior of the home and the garage is required to be fire-rated, self-closing, and self-latching.
  • Crack window glazing (glass) is required to be replaced.

Interior issues

  • Handrails are required to be installed where appropriate.
  • Defective floor finish or covering (worn through the finish, badly soiled carpeting)
  • Damaged or worn out counter tops.
  • Damaged plaster, sheetrock or other wall and ceiling materials in homes constructed pre-1978 (lead based paint concern).
  • Trip hazards (including damaged and poorly installed carpeting)
  • All smoke alarms are required to be present and functional.
  • Exposed electrical wiring or evidence of improper electrical modifications.

There are other issues that the appraiser may call out.

Structural Soundness
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.  All VA loans require a termite inspection to be performed.

Appliances

FHA requires properties to have working kitchen appliances, particularly a working stove.

Bathrooms
The home must have an operable toilet, sink and shower.  (An REO home that has been cannibalized and stripped of plumbing features cannot receive FHA or VA guaranteed funding)

Property Access
The property must provide safe and adequate access for pedestrians and vehicles. The street must have an all-weather surface so that emergency vehicles can access the property under any weather conditions.

Asbestos
If the appraiser suspects the home contains asbestos that appears to be damaged or deteriorating, the FHA requires further inspection by an asbestos professional.

Swimming Pools

Swimming pools must be operational to provide Contributory Value in the appraisal. The appraiser is required to report readily observable defects in a non-covered pool that would render the pool inoperable or unusable. If the pool water contains algae or demonstrates evidence of severely neglected chemistry the appraiser may require that the water be brought back to a normal operating condition.  Pools with unstable sides or structural issues may be required to be repaired or permanently filled in accordance with local guidelines.

Non-permitted additions and / or conversions

Often additions and remodels are not accomplished utilizing the benefits of the permit process.  Appraisers are not code compliance inspectors but they are familiar with what is typical and consistent with acceptable building standards and practices.  If the appraiser suspects an addition or modification is not in conformance with applicable building code the FHA may require that these items be brought to code. If FHA decides to approve the loan without that requirement, FHA will not consider the value of non-permitted items in its appraisal.

Paul Donohue
OWNER & SENIOR INSPECTOR at Caveat Emptor LV
Las Vegas & Henderson Home Inspections. Comprehensive reports -Resale, Luxury, New Construction, Licensed since 1999, Retired Navy Chief Petty Officer. Call 702-967-1733 to schedule your Las Vegas Home Inspection TODAY!

About the Author

Las Vegas & Henderson Home Inspections. Comprehensive reports -Resale, Luxury, New Construction, Licensed since 1999, Retired Navy Chief Petty Officer. Call 702-967-1733 to schedule your Las Vegas Home Inspection TODAY!

 
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by Red Christian on Caveat Emptor LV
If you want a quality inspection, this is the place!
Was your inspector on time and knowledgeable?: Yes
Was your report delivered on time?: Yes
Did your follow up questions get answered?: Yes

Caveat Emptor was referred to us by our realator for an inspection of a home we were buying. I was impressed from the start of the inspection process. Paul sent an email explaining exactly what to expect from the inspection, what an inspector would an wouldn't do. On the day of the inspection, he arrived on time and went to work. He spent several hours meticulously going over the house and the systems in it. He didn't miss a thing. From some major problems to the very smallest , he noted them all. When he had completed the inspection, he spent another hour with us discussing his findings. He displayed detailed photos, including some thermal images, on his laptop so we could see exactly what he had found. The following morning he sent us a copy of his report, complete with photos, by email. His initial fee included the necessary reinspection to insure that needed repairs were done correctly. I can proceed with the purchase of this home knowing exactly what I am buying. Paul was friendly, patient, meticulous, and most of all professional. If you need a quality inspection, this is the place!

by Danielle on Caveat Emptor LV
Fantastic company, would highly recommend!
Was your inspector on time and knowledgeable?: Yes
Was your report delivered on time?: Yes
Did your follow up questions get answered?: Yes

I was referred to Caveat Emptor by my realtor, who had recently just found out about the organization a few months prior. My inspector was Ralph and I met him at the end of the inspection to run through his findings. Ralph was very professional, knowledgeable and personable, he really did a great job relieving some first time home buyer anxiety. The email listing out expectations that I received prior to the inspection was VERY HELPFUL! It clearly articulated what the inspector would and would not do and provided guidance in the areas that did not fall within their responsibilities. They use infrared technology to detect items behind walls that are not visible, they used a drone (with excellent photo image) to capture photos of my roof and they took plenty of photos throughout the property that were referenced in their inspection. The inspection was received the same day as the inspect, thank you for that! Photos with circles and areas will be helpful for the minor repairs I'll be making. The report was easy to read, included recommendations and where to get easily accessible parts and Ralph also included pricing where he was familiar, SO HELPFUL! I paid $300 for my inspection which also came with 2 free re-inspections (if needed), when most inspection companies seem to have additional charges for re-inspections and are still higher than Caveat Emptor's base price.I'll summarize this company with this: professional, transparent, forthcoming with information, informative, knowledgeable in repair solutions and solution costs and very friendly. Absolutely worth every penny!

by Eddie Stoneking on Caveat Emptor LV
Awesome
Was your inspector on time and knowledgeable?: Yes
Was your report delivered on time?: Yes
Did your follow up questions get answered?: Yes

For buying a home out of state these guys were top notch. The report they sent was easy to read easy to understand. The real deal here.

My Home Inspection
Was your inspector on time and knowledgeable?: Absolutely
Was your report delivered on time?: Yes it Was
Did your follow up questions get answered?: Yes

I was very pleased at how thorough my inspector was. I was able tp understand everything that was noted. I will certainly recommend this company to anyone needing this typw of service.

by Rachel L on Caveat Emptor LV
Was your inspector on time and knowledgeable?: Yes
Was your report delivered on time?: Yes
Did your follow up questions get answered?: Yes

We had an excellent experience! Paul was knowledgeable, professional and his attention to detail was spot on. We very much appreciate him including the complementary 2 visits for a reinspection after the Intial inspection since we had some work that needed to be done and we wanted to make sure things were done properly

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