Does a garbage disposal have to work for a Greater Baton Rouge FHA loan?
As a State Certified Home Appraiser in Louisiana and FHA/HUD approved appraiser since 1996, I can validate that FHA Home Loans have strict requirements of operational mechanical systems placed upon the home appraiser to inspect and verify. While home appraisers aren’t necessarily “home inspectors”, FHA home appraisers are required to verify that mechanical systems are functioning properly and that they would appear to have a reasonable life left.
HUD or FHA Home Appraisers are expected to be well versed on 2 major manuals plus keeping up the “Mortgagee Letters” that offer amendments and updates to HUD policy. In fact, the statement many lenders want placed in reports is, “Condition: Overall Condition is: Average. No major repairs or functional inadequacies. MEETS FHA/RD MINIMUM STANDARDS for existing dwellings as outlined in HUD Handbooks 4150.2 and 4905.1 Requirements and all applicable Mortgage Letters). SFR Dwelling was determined to be decent, safe and sanitary. Subject is connected to public or community sewer. Mechanical Systems were on and operational. Attic was inspected and appears to individually meet FHA requirements.” No, the lenders don’t tell us to use “Average” but to state a condition rating. And, FMHA or Rural Development and VA loans also have these same requirements as well.
So, can a inoperable garbage disposal hold up an FHA loan closing until repaired? There are four (4) national HUD HOC’s or Homeownership Centers in the U.S.. For Louisiana, the HUD HOC is located in Denver, CO. I called the Denver HOC Appraiser Tech Support Department at 1-800-543-9378 for a verifiable answer to this question. I spoke with “Gary” and he said that NO, the inoperable garbage disposal WILL NOT HOLD UP A CLOSING because FHA doesn’t require appliances to be installed in homes. Gary said that includes Range/Ovens, Dishwashers or Garbage Disposals. Gary said that this is a “condition” issue and that FHA appraisers should apply deductions to the subject property if the comps used have appliances and superior functioning appliances.
BEFORE YOU BUY THAT HOME, GET A HOME INSPECTION!
In the early 2000’s with FHA’s introduction of the HUD Form “HUD-92564-CN” For Your Protection: Get A Home Inspection, FHA made the distinction between the home appraiser and the home inspector and strongly recommended home buyers obtain a home inspection. This appraiser also recommends you obtain a home inspection as well to know the true condition of mechanical system and a more accurate remaining economic life. Home appraisers are fairly limited on their knowledge of such systems but home inspectors are trained to know these systems and know them very well.
Just remember that if you as a home buyer receive notice that there are FHA mandated repairs on the home being purchased, know that this is for your benefit and that generally the seller will be required to repair these items prior to closing.
Bill Cobb, with Accurate Valuations Group, is a long time FHA Home Appraiser within the Greater Baton Rouge housing market. Bill can be contacted at 225-293-1500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Garbage Disposal Source Photo: http://www.thehandyblog.com/disposal.php
Second Garbage Disposal Source Photo: http://appliancefactory.com/