I regularly receive questions regarding FHA appraisals and recently more clients have had questions regarding the rules for the heating and cooling system for an FHA, so I am going to take this opportunity to explain.
FHA Heating and Cooling requirements
When your home is inspected by the appraiser, they will inspect the heating and cooling system in your home. A cooling system is not required to meet FHA guidelines, the only guideline is that if there is one it must work. If it does not work the appraiser is required to note what condition it is in, what is wrong and how it may affect the marketability and value of the home. A heating system however is required per FHA guidelines and provide healthful and comfortable condition as well as meet the safety, soundness, and security rules for the property.
Below are the guidelines for your heating sources.
- A minimum of 50 degrees- The system must heat all living areas at a minimum temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It must also heat non-living areas where there are components that could freeze or would not work due to low temperatures.
- Healthful and Comfortable Heat- This is a relatively vague statement but just consider that the heating source should not produce any foul odors or fumes that would be unhealthy to live in.
- Safety- The heating system must operate safely and not put the occupant at risk while operating it. The system must also function correctly.
- Fuel Source- The fuel source must be easy to access, if it is not it could make it difficult to maintain the healthful and comfortable conditions in the home.
- Acceptable in the local market- The heating source must be common in the market place so that it is easy to use and fix if necessary. If it is uncommon it could make it less appealing to a new buyer, making it difficult to sell.
- Operate without Human intervention- The system must be able to operate without human intervention to again ensure healthy and comfortable living. Wood burning fireplaces and wood stoves would not be heating sources that are able to operate on their own since they would need to be monitored for fuel and temperature.
- Permanently Installed- A heating source that is easily removable does not qualify for an FHA appraisal. If it is removable it can be considered personal property therefore would not be included in the sale. This may include a heating source such as a space heater.
If you have any FHA questions I recommend calling the Home Ownership Centers (HOC) 800-225-5342. Please also feel free to contact our office any we will answer any of your questions to the best of our ability.
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