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FHA Exterior Inspection-Continued

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Ben Vukicevich SRA

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Well since we started with the roof on FHA inspections, let's finish the exterior of the home before we move inside to the attic.

I'll go first and take the heat.

Here's what I look for. Hopefully, others can add. I have the flu right now, I'm not feeling well and I may miss something so bear with me:

1) We've done the roof but check the chimney, especially the brick ones. We don't want to see leaning chimneys, chimneys missing bricks, poor flashing or eroded mortar joints. How's the flashing around the plumbing vent stacks? Any roof sections that are not observable-require a roof certification.
2) All exterior millwork and trim to be in good condition. If rotted, it is conditioned to be replaced. The bottom of exterior door trim is a prime place to check for rot. All peeling paint or bare areas on exterior wood trim is to be corrected via VC 11G. If lead-based paint, then VC 12 is added with a stipulation that no lead based paint chips are to be on the ground upon reinspection. Obviously, you don't want them scraping the peeling lead based paint and leaving the chips on the ground for kids to eat so tell them that on the VC sheet Page 4. Believe me,the morons will leave them on the ground-not good.
3) Exterior siding. Primary observation: is it watertight to protect the structure from rot? All broken, cracked, missing siding is conditoned for replacement and conditioned to be primed and painted to match if necessary. If siding is loose, it is required to be renailed. Brick/stone is required to be raked and pointed if the joints are eroded or crumbling. How's the exterior caulking on the siding, if present? If it is painted wood siding, then no peeling paint or bare areas also.
4)Check the electrical service line to the electric meter for wear/fraying.
5) Check the windows, especially wood windows for proper glazing of the glass. This is also a good time to check between the storm windows and the main windows for peeling paint, especially if its lead-based. This is where kids will find it and eat it when the windows are opened in the spring. I usually look into the windows while I'm measuring around the home. Also, check the windows for size, type, placement, security bars for emergency egress. If proper egress can not be obtained, the bedroom can not be considered a habitable bedroom. I don't want to see jalousie windows in a bedroom as you can not exit them in an emergency.
6) Check for gutters, downspouts and splash blocks if they are required to afford positive drainage away from the foundation.
7)Check for exterior handrails and railings as necessary.
8)Check for elevated patios (over the sill plates) and earth/mulch graded-up over the exterior siding. Elevated concrete patios need further investigation in the basement to see if there are rotted sill plates and rim joists from lack of proper flashing. Earth/mulch graded up to the siding does not provide positive drainage and is a direct entry point for termites. Not good. Check wood decks for proper construction. Patios should direct water from the foundation, not toward it.
9) Wander the site looking for underground oil tanks, malfunctioning septic systems and outbuildings or fences with peeling lead-based paint.
10) If a driveway is typical for the neighborhood, make sure the subject has one with at least a chipstone surface.
11) Make sure the site is not subdividable.
12)Make sure there are no dangerous/safety items such as rotted/leaning trees, tree branches scraping the roof shingles, elevated service walks (trip hazards), holes, pits, etc.
13)Check any outside electrical outlets, if present.
14) Make sure pool areas, if any, are fenced.
15) Check off-site improvements-sidewalks-for trip hazards.
16)Check for proper attic ventilation via gable vents, windows, ridge vents and soffit vents. If a crawl space home, observe number of foundation vents to insure proper ventilation. Also, insure that there is a proper cover over the crawl space access hole-we don't want kids falling down there.
17)Check exterior flues on woodstoves or fireplaces.
18) Check the CAC condensor for excessive rust/deterioration, if present.
19) Check for cracks in the foundation.

Remember, whatever you're not comfortable with that looks "funky," call for a professional inspection on the VC Sheet and word it properly to explain why you're calling for the inspection and to throw the final pass/fail decision on the DEU.

I'm sure I've forgotten to mention stuff, especially stuff that is "area specific" that I never see in NJ but I'm sure Brad E, Brad P, Larry L and a host of others can add to the list-which is what we want.

Inside the attic is next.

Ben
 

Dick Dolman

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alaska
Ben,

Very comprehensive list. Nice work. I would expand on the inspection for attic ventilation to determine that soffit and gable vents are screened to discourage intrusion by insects and critters.
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Good list. Other than 300 gallon propane tanks up against the house, and high power transmission lines in the back yard, I can't think of any thing else that I have seen lately.

Mell.
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Mel,

Good idea about the propane tanks as an example of area specific items to watch-out for. I don't come into contact with them that often.

Regarding electric towers in the back yard-you can get around the VC1 reject by telling the underwriter to contact the utility's transmission engineering department for their "canned" FHA letter. The letter usually states the tower is designed to collapse inward upon itself or that it will stay inside the easement, if it does collapse. So if the PE for the utility states there is no engineered fall distance, the DEU approves the loan.

How did you think all those towers got in the backyards of those FHA insured loans. There are very few tower rejects anymore. All you need is the magic letter from the PE who's the expert on tower design, not the appraiser. LOL

I also forgot to add to look-out for those yellow upright pipes on or near the subject site which indicate the presence of a high-pressure gas line easement.

Ben
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
I also forgot to add to watch out for proper sideyard clearance for sidewall maintenance of the dwelling. Obviously, you can not trespass on the adjoining owner's land to paint/maintain siding, etc., so if you have a very narrow sideyard or no side yard (zero lot line home), you will need a recorded maintenance easement of sufficient width to allow for maintenance of the dwelling. This would be a VC condition for the DEU to straighten-out. If you have a survey to review and there is a maintenance easement shown, then VC condition the report for the DEU to review it to insure acceptability to HUD.

Ben
 

Atlanta CG

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Hall county in Georgia just had, what they expect to prove, a faulty tank valve set in the basement of a large home. It exploded & killed 3 young children. We have to watch out for these.
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
John,
The report I heard from my Chief, in our weekly meeting, is that the LP tank was stored in the BASEMENT of the house. Illegal, homeowner plumbing may be an issue. A slow leak filled the basement with LP, and it eventually made it's way over to the pilot light on the water heater. Nothing left, and blew all of the windows out of the neighboring house.
 
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