Five Fast FHA Fixes!

The Coyle Group - HUD LogoFor those Agents who deal with FHA and VA financing, you understand how the required repairs can be frustrating, costly and time consuming.  Sometimes the repairs may even kill your deal.  As Philadelphia Appraisers we certainly understand your situation. That being said, let’s keep in mine that the repair requirements are intended to protect the borrower/veteran.

There are; however, a number of fixes that can be done proactively to reduce or eliminate FHA required repairs.  Here is a list of five easy FHA repairs that can be done ahead of time that will save you and your seller time, money, hassle and in the end help the home get sold.

 

The Coyle Group - Defective Paint - Philadelphia AppraiserDefective Paint.  This is one of the biggest FHA issues out there and one of the easiest to recognize and repair prior to listing.  If a home was built prior to 1978, there is the potential for the presence of lead based paint.  This applies to the dwelling and/or all related improvements (garages, sheds, barns, fences, outbuildings and appurtenant structures).  The appraiser is to observe all interior and exterior surfaces including common areas, stairs, decks, porch, railings, windows and doors for defective paint (cracking, scaling, chipping, peeling or loose) and call for repair.

If these areas of distressed paint can be identified and taken care of ahead of time, your seller and you are ahead of the game which will result in saved time, money and hassle.

Please note that all repairs should be in compliance with HUD and EPA guidelines.

 

Missing Hot Water Heater Valve Extension.   The FHA requires that all hot water heaters be equipped with an extension to the pressure relief value that extends to within six-inches of the floor.  This is to prevent scalding should the valve release.  As appraisers in Philadelphia, we run into this one all the time.  The fortunate thing is that this is literally a $5.00 – $10.00 fix and can be done by almost anyone.  This fix can easily save hundreds in appraiser re-inspection fees, hassle and lost time that could jeopardize the deal.  Simply, go to the Plumbing Supply department of Lowe’s or Home Depot and explain your problem to an associate.  If they can’t point you a pre-made extension, they will easily be able to show you to the components to make one for yourself.

(HINT:  If you’re an agent that does a good deal of FHA/VA business in Philadelphia or the surrounding counties, you may want keep one or two of these in your car, just in case.  Also, some extensions will require an elbow joint as well.)

The Coyle Group - Hot Water Heater - Philadelphia Real Estate Appraiser

Heater without Extension

The Coyle Group - Pressure Relief Valve - Philadelphia Appraisal

Heater with Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Coyle Group - GFCI Outlet - Philadelphia Appraiser

GFCI Outlets.  This is another one that we see all the time.  Look at it this way, if your seller has an electrical outlet within six-feet of a water source (a sink, washer, toilet, shower/tub, etc) they should replace it with a GFCI outlet.  If the outlet is already part of a GFCI breaker but doesn’t have the easy-to-see reset buttons, you may want to have a qualified electrical contractor write-up a certification to that effect prior to listing.  Show the cert to the appraiser and buyers.  It should take that FHA repair off the table.

 

The Coyle Group - Frayed ESW 2 - Philadelphia AppraiserFrayed Electrical Service Wires (ESW).  As a Philadelphia Appraisal firm, we appraise a lot of older homes.  Even if an older home has been updated, sometimes the exterior electrical elements can got forgotten.  After years of exposure to the elements, the exterior (and some times interior)  ESW can become cracked and frayed.  This poses an obvious hazard.  If your seller has this problem, recommend that the replace the exposed lengths of ESW.  Again, it’s an easy fix that will save money, time and hassle in the end. It will also show the buyer that the seller has been maintaining the electrical service.

 

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Non-Functional Appliances.  With the new FHA Guidelines for appraisers, one of the new requirements is that the appraiser must test that all appliances are operational.  While many appraisers feel that this is more a job for a Home Inspector, it is the way things are for now.  So, if your client has an y appliances that are non-functional, it is recommended that they repair or replace them prior to listing.  If the appraiser finds that they are not operational, the seller will have to repair/replace them anyway.  So why not proactively take the problem out of the equation?  The house will show better and there will be less wasted time, money and hassle.

By now, I’m sure you’ve caught on that these Five Fast FHA Fixes will all save your client and you a great deal of time, money and hassle.  I hope you found this informative.  If you have any questions about FHA repairs or any appraisal related matter reach out to us by email, phone or FaceBook.  Also, feel free to ask about our FHA Pre-Listing inspections where one of our appraisers will visit a property and inspect it for any potential FHA repair issues, prior to listing.

The Coyle Group’s team of Philadelphia appraisers are a leading provider of appraisals for Estate/Probate, Divorce, Bankruptcy, Tax Appeal and Pre-Listing. If you need a guest speaker at your next sales meeting, please give us a call. We would welcome to opportunity to speak to your group and field any appraisal related questions you may have. For more information please visit our website at www.TheCoyleGroupLLC.com You can also contact The Coyle Group at 215-836-5500 or appraisals@coyleappraisals.com

 

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Geographic WHAT?!?!

The Coyle Group - Geographic Competency - Philadelphia AppraisersYou may have heard the term Geographic Competency as it relates to appraisers. It’s been a hot topic in the appraisal industry for the past few years. It basically means that an appraiser has to be knowledgeable and capable enough to produce accurate and reliable appraisals within a specific geographic area. The appraiser should also have access to data about a geographic area. It’s the coupling of local knowledge and accurate data that can make the difference between a reliable report and one that’s not worth the paper it’s printed on.

As the appraisal market began to change over recent years, many appraisers found themselves expanding their coverage areas in an effort to stay busy. For some appraisers this meant working in areas with which they were not familiar. This often resulted in reports that were poorly supported and wildly off the mark.

If an appraiser finds themselves in a situation where they do not feel Geographically Competent, they have a few options. All are designed to protect the user of the report from getting inaccurate information from the appraiser.

1) They can decline the assignment

2) They can obtain the knowledge necessary to become competent to appraise in a certain area

3) They can seek assistance from another person who is Geographically Competent in that area

Over my 15 years of appraising in the Philadelphia market, agents have shared stories about appraisers coming from miles away to complete appraisals. My favorite is a tale of an appraiser from Parsippany, NJ who drove two hours (both ways) to complete an appraisal in Philadelphia. That’s insane! Not to mention that after time and travel the appraiser was literally working for peanuts!

But keep in mind that an appraiser doesn’t have to live close to a property in order to be competent to appraise there. Most appraisers are capable of appraising in several different counties or even states. I have an appraiser friend who lives in Lower Bucks County and routinely appraises homes at the New Jersey shore. It turns out that he has a house down there and actually worked in that market for several years. He’s competent to appraise there even though he lives in PA.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are not sure if the appraiser has experience appraising in your area, talk with them about it. Interview the appraiser. Ask about their experience in your area. The answers you receive could save you from a “bad” appraisal.

Do you have any stories about appraisers traveling far and wide to look at properties? If so, please share them.

 

The Coyle Group’s team of Philadelphia appraisers is a leading provider of appraisals for Estate/Probate, Divorce, Bankruptcy, Tax Appeal and Pre-Listing appraisals.  If you need a guest speaker at your next sales meeting, please give us a call.  We would welcome to opportunity to speak to your group and field any appraisal related questions you may have.  For more information please visit our website at www.TheCoyleGroupLLC.com  You can also contact The Coyle Group at 215-836-5500 or appraisals@coyleappraisals.com

 

 

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