The Federal Housing Administration, under the umbrella of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, sets minimum property standards for homes purchased with FHA financing. These requirements protect the lender in the event that a borrower defaults on the mortgage. It’s also important that the FHA appraiser doesn’t undervalue your property; if he does, potential buyers may not be able to secure the financing necessary to buy your house at a price you can accept.
Prepare your house for the appraisal. Look for any surfaces in or on the outside of your home that have peeling paint -- especially if your home was built before 1978 -- and repaint over these areas. Wash dirty walls to remove scuffs and dirt. Steam clean carpets and wash hardwood flooring. Declutter each room to make your house look neat. Mow the lawn and trim hedges.
Obtain a home inspection from a professional inspection agency. The inspector evaluates and inspects your home for defects in the structure. After receiving an inspection, assess the results. If you received a positive inspection, provide it to the appraiser to show that your home is in good condition. If you received an inspection that highlights defects or issues, correct these issues before the appraisal, if possible.
List improvements you have made to your home on a sheet of paper. Include every item, such as replacing bathroom fixtures, adding insulation to the attic and painting the basement. Give the list to the appraiser so the appraiser knows all the improvements you have made to the home.
Prepare a separate list of community improvements that enhance the value of your home. For example, if a new library just opened three blocks away or your city just renovated a city park within walking distance, write these items down and give the list to the appraiser.
Find at least three properties near your house that have similar characteristics to yours that have recently sold for a price that you consider good -- about what you think your home is worth. You can find out this information from your real estate agent. If you are working independently, use a database website for this information.
Allow the appraiser to conduct the appraisal without bothering or pestering him. You may annoy the appraiser if you interfere and distract him away from his inspection process. Wait until the appraiser is finished inspecting your house to ask questions or make comments. If you think of something important to mention, write it down so you remember to discuss it with the appraiser at the appropriate time.
- If an appraiser finds peeling paint in or on a home built before 1978, the appraiser must include this defective condition in the report. This may prevent financing approval unless you correct it.
Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.