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House has many issues

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William jackson

Thread Starter
Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
California
Ok,
This is only my third FHA appraisal so I apologize if these questions are simple. And yes I did take an appraisal class but unfortunately went away some what confused. I have been navigating the the HUD website for a few hours and have been unable to find all the answers. I will continue to explore the website but if anyone can help me I would appreciate it.
I am appraising a SFR - very small bungalow (bank owned) approximately 600 SQ ft. Here are the issues and questions. I am told that the bank is going to bring it up to HUM minimum requirements based on what I am listing as "subject to repair".

1. Dirt/Gravel driveway about 50 feet long to house. Question, must the driveway be concrete/ asphalt etc?
2. Water heater is in kind of a living room . It is in the corner out in the open . Seems to me it must be in a closet space at least. Not sure if that will suffice, must it be moved out of the room?
3. No heater - I know that even a conventional loan requires permanent heat. Should I just put permanent heat to code required.
4. County records shows 600 square feet. Thats what I measured . The house was built in 1927. The ceiling height is 6.5' on the south wall of the house which reaches 8' at the about 6 feet towards the center of the home. Is the 6.5 acceptable and able to be included as GLA. Does not look like any additions were done.
Please help with this nightmare.
Ray
 

G-man

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Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Ohio
Welcome to the jungle.

- For the drive way, as long as it is "all weather" it is OK for FHA. A gravel drive is acceptable to FHA, or else most rural properties in my market wouldn't be up to MPR's.

- The water heater issue is a bit tricky. If your area has building codes, (Duh, you're in San Fransico!), I would call them to inquire as to whether the water heater meets current code. Then you can at least site the required safety code if the water heater placement must be changed.

- FHA requires a permanent heat source for almost all locations, & I would assume San Fransico is one of them. I would require a permanent heat source be professionally installed that is acceptable to the market, I.E. electric baseboard or a forced air system. As an aside, was the heat source removed by the prior owners, or did it not have one to begin with?

- As for ceiling height, this is from a website regarding ANSI standards, "
"Level ceilings must be at least 7 feet high, and at least 6 feet 4 inches under beams, ducts and other obstructions. There is no height restriction under stairs. If a room has a sloped ceiling, at least one-half of the finished floor area must have a ceiling height of at least 7 feet. Otherwise, omit the entire room from the floor area calculations. If a room with a sloped ceiling meets the one-half-of-floor-area-over-7-feet requirement, then include all the floor space with a ceiling height over 5 feet.
Lofts and finished attics must be accessible by a conventional stairway or other access to be counted. If you can only reach the loft by climbing a ladder, it’s not part of the finished floor area regardless of the ceiling height."

I hope that helps.
 

William jackson

Thread Starter
Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
California
G- Man
Thanks so much for the reply that info really helps.
Ray
 

NC Appraising

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Will,

We are not code inspectors. In my opinion, I would not condition the report on code violations. If you think it is unsafe, condition it on a professional inspection. Or you could just note it, and recommend (not require) an inspection. Let the UW decide.

From the horses mouth:

-5 CODE ENFORCEMENT FOR EXISTING PROPERTIES
Local municipalities design local housing code standards;
therefore, enforcement of such housing standards rests with the local authority. HUD does not have the authority or the
responsibility for enforcing local housing codes except for
mortgages on properties to be insured under Section 221(d)(2)-a program with mortgage limits at $36,000. Loans insured under Section 221(d)(2) of the National Housing Act require code enforcement. The appraiser should contact the lender for further instructions if the mortgage is to be insured under Section
221(d)(2).
 

RSW

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Both of the posts have it correct. An all weather driveway is all that is necessary. Condition the water heater if you believe it is a safety issue. If it is not, then just report it in the living room and go on with it. The FHA does not want us to be code inforcers. Perm. head must be installed in order to heat every room that has plumbing in it to 50-55 degrees. I can't remember exactly. I believe it is 50 degrees. This heat source may be for each individual room or for the entire dwelling. As to the ceiling height, Follow ANSI if it is required in your state. If not, then follow what ever standard your peers would use in the same situation.
 

NC Appraising

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Will,

Here is a link while it lasts. In my opinion, it is the fastest way to look up info.

Go to the table of contents first, and you will find everything. It really can't get any easier.

FHA Appraisal Documents

Save it to your desktop. Be sure to go and find the relevant mortgage letters too.

Good Luck
 

G-man

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Ohio
As to the "Code" question.

I did not mean to imply that we, as FHA appraisers, are code enforcers. If you search my FHA posts, would you see I have been very consistent on this issue.
However, for those Scooby-Doo moments, where you are unsure of a safety issue that may come back from the Realtor/owner with the question of "why do I/they have to do this?", a little bit of back up is a good thing. The O/P only mentions that the water heater is in the living room. This may be perfectly Okey Dokey. But if it is a gas fire unit and at ground level, or lacks safety straps (San Fransico has been known to get a few earthquakes now & then) there may be a safety issue that the local building codes may give guidance on.

FHA has their guidelines for well & septic distances, but also defers to local code where applicable. Knowing local codes, at least for some items, is very helpful & can give you direction where FHA, in their infinite wisdom & knowledge, have left their guidelines open to huge amounts of interpretation. Just my humble $0.02 worth.
 

RSW

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
I did not mean to imply that we, as FHA appraisers, are code enforcers. If you search my FHA posts, would you see I have been very consistent on this issue.
However, for those Scooby-Doo moments, where you are unsure of a safety issue that may come back from the Realtor/owner with the question of "why do I/they have to do this?", a little bit of back up is a good thing. The O/P only mentions that the water heater is in the living room. This may be perfectly Okey Dokey. But if it is a gas fire unit and at ground level, or lacks safety straps (San Fransico has been known to get a few earthquakes now & then) there may be a safety issue that the local building codes may give guidance on.

FHA has their guidelines for well & septic distances, but also defers to local code where applicable. Knowing local codes, at least for some items, is very helpful & can give you direction where FHA, in their infinite wisdom & knowledge, have left their guidelines open to huge amounts of interpretation. Just my humble $0.02 worth.


Since we all don't have the time to research your prior posts, we well have to take your word on your being consistant. We can only go by what you stated in your last post concernng the matter which you may have not been clear about. If you will read my prior post, you will find that I commented about if the OP thinks it is a safety issue it should be conditioned for repair. If not, then report the location of the water heater. Let the UW make a decission about it.
 

NC Appraising

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
FHA Appraisal

G-man,

I absolutely agree that appraisers should have some knowledge of local building codes, don't get me wrong. I just have a problem with stating in my reports that a item does not meet code, or telling someone that a item does not meet code. I do not want to hold my self out as being a code expert, and I do not want any more monkeys on my back....

For example, homes that were built in 2003 have different codes as compared to homes that were built in 1968. So does this make the homes that were built in 1968 unsafe because they lack code updates for homes that were built in 2003. No. Nob and tube wiring or aluminum wiring is a perfect example. Building codes are an ever changing and evolving document, and I for one do not want to keep up with and when each and every componet or code change took/takes place.
 
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