If you’re applying for an FHA refinance you’ll have to get your home appraised by a special FHA-approved appraiser who looks at all the factors a regular appraiser does but takes a more in depth look at health and safety aspects and risks of the home.
FHA Approved Appraisor
An FHA appraisal is unique as it is required to meet all of the guidelines accoridng to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) The appraiser looks at things like if the home has handrails, broken windows, screens, pest infestation and other issues that aren’t necessarily as important for regular appraisals. One of the big things an FHA appraiser checks out is the age and condition of the paint on both the interior and exterior of the home to look for possible lead contamination and/or water damage.
For homes built before January 1, 1978, you have to protect against poisoning from lead-based paint, and even with homes built after 1978, the exterior paint has to be touched up if the finish is unprotected. If there are any areas, inside or out, where you have cracked, peeling, scaling or loose paint, you have to carefully wash, sand and scrape away the loose paint while making sure to catch all the paint chips with a drop cloth or something similar.
If your home doesn’t meet the requirements, you’re going to have to make the necessary repairs/upgrades before you can qualify for an FHA mortgage. So, if you want to refinance soon to take advantage of the current low rates, you can start working to get your home up to FHA standards now to help move the process along quickly and smoothly.