I'm not going into the FHA handbook for this so.....
Well water does need to be tested.
For septic systems I usually add a comment: "No readily observable septic system defects noted. Appraiser is not a septic system specialist and a septic inspection by a qualified professional is recommended."
The septic system is an area that I really have a problem with HUD. The handbook (page 3-10) says:
"If there is a well or septic system on the property, mark "YES" in VC-4, condition the appraisal on further inspection by the lender and prepar the appraisal "as-repaired" subject to satisfication of the condition."
That's sorta black and white-no gray area.
The Homeownership Reference Guide states:
"Certifications are only required if the appraiser suspects a problem with the system, or problems are customary in the area..."
I word it to accommodate both. I check VC-4 as YES and state that I observed no signs that the system was not functioning properly (if that's the case) and an inspection is required at the lenders option.
I check for evidence of septic system failure as required by VC 2A-you know the stuff to look for I'm sure:Grass is greener over the septic tank, smelly odors, soggy yard by the septic field, when you flush the toilets on the lower levels, they empty poorly or back-up,etc. Also, if you are in an area of known septic system failure such as neighborhoods with high water tables, lakes, etc call for the cert using that as the reason for the cert. I still remember the one I did years ago where the septic system field was at the same grade level as the water filled detention pond behind the subject-sure that system is going to drain properly-NOT.
Of course, as Ron said, you check VC 4A, if no problems are observed and let the DEU worry about it from there.
As Pam stated, a statement that you are not a septic system specialist and that a test/cert is recommended could never hurt either.
One FHA "trick" to know-If the home is vacant when you inspect, ALWAYS call for a septic system certification. If it's vacant, even with the utilities operational, you can not observe the septic system for proper operation because, well, no one is using it and subjecting it to a daily load-no pun intended there. Do not automatically assume the system is OK. I've seen situations where people will vacate a home with a bad system which will pass our silly, run-the-water, flush the toilet tests because all we're doing is filling the plumbing lines with a small amount of water. So if it's vacant, state that you can not observe the system for proper operation and call for the certification. The same goes for snow covered sites-if you can't observe it (the septic system field), state why (the snow), then call for the certification.
Remember, think of a reasonable reason (I like that, reasonable reason) to pass the liability onto an expert. If a major, costly item such as a septic system fails as soon as the new buyers move in, you can be sure that a complaint will be filed against you with FHA (buyers never make mistakes, right???) and you will be rewarded with a field review in response to the complaint-don't need that. Not to mention, a lawsuit.
They always call wanting to "soften" the comments when there's repair issues. :x :lol:
My current ride (like the wind) is a '98 Honda VFR800 "Interceptor". Pilots say "Visual Flight Rules", and I follow those. Or maybe "Very Fun Ride".
One of these days gotta get me one of those dual purpose machines and explore those mountain fire roads, and outback. How about "most fun you can have with your clothes on". Hey that's MHO, and it works for me! 8) :lol:
I call for a septic inspection and a water potability test. Don't forget to comment on feasability of hooking up to public system, if available. Recently had to call for a property to be hooked up to city sewers . Per Handbook, connection to public sewer must be made if cost to convert is reasonable. HUD defines reasonable to be up to 3% of market value.