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FHA repair requirement regarding decay

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Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Nov 17, 2008
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
I am an FHA approved appraiser in Texas. I have always understood that any decay is considered to be a defective condition and must be remedied. This includes trim at the bottom of doors, around garage doors, etc.

I was told by recently be a fellow appraiser that only decay that is thought to affect the structural integrity required mandatory repair. That is, minor wood rot around trim areas should not be required for repair.

I find nothing in Mortgagee Letter 2005-ML-48 that lessens the repair requirement for decay. Please give your thoughts and opinions.

I guess the final question is----Does all decay (rotten wood) have to be repaired no matter how minor?
Last edited:


Sophomore Member
Nov 3, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser

The key word to keep in mind is "structural". In the old days before lenders could directly order the appraisal, the FHA staff insisted that every FHA appraiser treat the property ‘as if you were moving your grandmother into the property”. That meant we would condition things like: clean the carpets, repair the decayed wood trim around the door and window frame…etcetera.

The point of MORTGAGEE LETTER 2005-ML-48 was to tell us that the old days of making sure the home was good enough for granny were over! Yes, there still is a list of mandatory repairs, but that list is shorter.

I have been doing FHA appraisals since 1994, I still do the same level of inspection, but now I seldom call out for a repair. It has to be really bad. All the other border line stuff is disclosed and ML-48 is quoted a great deal in just about every report I do.

I preferred the old days, when we actually helped people move into a house that was fixed up to FHA standards – those days are long gone.
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