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Blog Inspections 101 FHA Inspection Requirements
FHA Inspection Requirements
Inspections 101
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  1. All crawl spaces must be accessible
  2. Moisture accumulation in crawl spaces is not allowed
  3. Rotted wood must be removed and replaced with new wood
  4. Ventilation and vapor barriers are required
  5. A clearance of 18" or more from floor joist to ground is required
  6. In dug out crawl spaces, the ground must not be disturbed within one foot  of stem wall or supports. If this has taken place, a retaining wall will need to be installed
  7. Sump pumps must be hardwired
  8. Extension cord hookups are not allowed


  1. Must be able to access this space (exceptions apply, such as where no actual attic is in place - vaulted ceiling, mobile home, etc.)
  2. Access opening may not measure less than 14" x 22"
  3. Adequate ventilation is required, with dead air space not allowed


It must be determined that there are three or more years left in the lifespan of the roof. Leaking or worn out roofs are not acceptable. Below are common roofing materials and their expected lifespans:
  1. Rolled Roofing: Cannot be FHA approved, does not meet requirements
  2. Composition roofs: 15-20 years
  3. Wood shingles: 16-22 years
  4. Built-up roofs: 10-13 years
  5. Torch down roofs: Only acceptable if it meets manufacturer's specifications for installation
  6. Metal roofs: Only acceptable if it meets manufacturer's specifications for installation

No more than three layers of roofing may be in place. Re-roofing will be required if three or more are in place. Old roofing materials must be removed during the re-roofing process. Additionally, composition shingles cannot be placed on top of wood shake shingles.


  1. Single main shut-off breaker must be in place
  2. If multiple breakers must be tripped in order to disconnect power, service panel replacement will be required
  3. Main service should be 100 amp or more

The above listed electrical requirements will eliminate nearly all homes constructed prior to 1960 unless an upgrade has been completed.


  1. System must have at least two years of estimated remaining life
  2. Heating system must be able to maintain a temperature of at least 50ยบ F
  3. Wood or coal stoves cannot be the sole source of heat
  4. Solar heating cannot be the sole source of heat

The above listed heating and cooling requirements will eliminate nearly all homes constructed prior to 1960 unless an upgrade has been completed.


  1. Safety release valve must be in place
  2. TPR (Temperature Pressure Release valve) discharge line must be routed outside the home
  3. In basement installations, the discharge line will need to exhaust 6"-24" from the floor


  1. Needs to be properly identified and if present, will need to be repaired according to EPA guidelines
  2. Defective paint in homes built prior to 1978 (interior and exterior) must be corrected as it is assumed that it may contain lead

Defective paint exterior to the home, even if the home was built post 1978, is not acceptable and needs to be repaired.


  1. Septic tanks are acceptable so long as there is proof the the tank has been pumped in the past five years and there is no evidence of failure


  1. Wells need inspection if mandated by state or local jurisdiction; if there is knowledge that well water may be contaminated; when the water supply relies upon a water purification system due to presence of contaminants; or when there is evidence of:
    • Corrosion of pipes (plumbing)
    • Areas of intensive agriculture within 1/4 mile
    • Coal mining or gas drilling operations within 1/4 mile
    • Dump, junkyard, landfill, factory, gas station, or dry cleaning operation within 1/4 mile
    • Unusually objectionable taste, smell or appearance of well water


  1. Escape windows must open to at least 5.7 square feet
  2. Opening space must be at least 24"x20"
  3. Maximum allowable sill height is 44"

Older homes typically do not meet these these requirements. At times, FHA Appraisers may overlook these requirements so long as the windows are in working condition.


Examples of minor property conditions that no longer require automatic repair for existing properties include, but are not limited to:

  1. Missing handrails
  2. Cracked or damaged exit doors that are otherwise operable
  3. Cracked window glass
  4. Defective paint surfaces in homes constructed post 1978
  5. Minor plumbing leaks (such as leaky faucets)
  6. Defective floor finish or covering (worn through the finish, badly soiled carpeting)
  7. Evidence of previous (non-active) Wood Destroying Insect/Organism damage where there is no evidence of unrepaired structural damage
  8. Rotten or worn out counter tops
  9. Damaged plaster, sheetrock or other wall and ceiling materials in homes constructed post 1978
  10. Poor workmanship
  11. Trip hazards (cracked or partially heaving sidewalks, poorly installed carpeting)
  12. Crawl space with debris and trash
  13. Lack of an all-weather driveway surface


Areas Served: We serve the areas listed above as well as many others. If you do not see your city, please contact us. We will be proud to serve your city.
Darin Redding
Written on Tuesday, 25 August 2009 08:35 by Darin Redding

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 May 2013 11:40

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Housecall Property Inspections
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San Diego, CA 92120