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Outlet/Switch Inspections (Take 2) I messed up previous Poll

Do you inspect all/some/a few/forget it...

  • I test EVERY outlet/switch in all rooms

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I test a few outlets/switches throughout the house

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I test one outlet/switch in each room

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I test none if I see functioning clocks, lights etc

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
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Farm Gal

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
The exact definition of "representative number" has always bothered me.

Just curious how many folks test 'each and every' outlet and switch in a home when performing an FHA appraisal...

Condition this poll on the assumption that the subject is an existing home which appears reasonably well maintained, with no obvious signs of 'by owner' electrical work or anything else that would spark ( :lol: ) a call for an electrical inspection 'by others'.
(edited for emphasis on what we are looking at in this poll)
 

Oregon Doug

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
Oregon
Lee Ann - I do a lot of FHA/HUD REO appraisal work and in most instances the utilities have been shut off by the time I inspect the home. Out here, they "winterize" the homes (shut off the water, drain the lines and put antifreeze in the drains) so I usually can't test the plumbing at all. Sometimes, the electric service is on and in those cases I test at least one outlet in every room but often the ceiling light fixtures have been removed and the bare naked wires are hanging out. I make a point of pushing the test button on every GFI I find.

I carry one of those little nite-lite thingies (technical term) to test the two prong outlets and a small "Snapit Correct" three prong circuit tester (under $5.00) to test the three prong outlets in my "Handy Dandy Appraiser's kit", there's also a water pressure gage with a hose bib adaptor so that when I say "low water pressure (when the water's on), I can say just how low!".

You can't do the job unless you got the tools - they don't cost much. I don't lower my fees, and I don't lower my standards either - it's easy!

Oregon Doug
 

Farm Gal

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
Doug:

We also do FHA REO's and often find similar 'utility off' or 'mangled house' conditions... However it appears that the management company is now making EVERY effort to insure that the utilities, including water, are turned on before the appraisal, regardless of prior winterizing.

This does make it eaier to guesstimate actual condition of the mechanical systems: typically if they are NOT turned on there is a PROBLEM of sufficient nature to involve serious repairs, often described by others.
I report what I can see, but find it usefull to have (and quote) the utility company report of why they didn't turn on x,y,z or all three!

I am seeing more an more homes where former owners have stripped the hose bare up to floorcoverings toilets and the kitchen sink... $5 at a garage sale times 10 items makes a substantial portion towards a rental deposit (?).
 

wade3333

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Georgia
Oregon Doug, you do not require the lights and water to be on when you do an FHA inspection. To each his on. Not being critical just curious. Wade
 

Oregon Doug

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
Oregon
Wade - I do a lot of FHA/HUD REO appraisals. In almost all cases the water & gas has been shut off and the electric service has been shut off in most. I usually complete my appraisal within a couple of weeks of when the M & M contractor has secured the house - these are NOT FHA sale appraisals - I think that this is a little different type of work than what you are thinking of.

These homes have been "winterized" from Oct/1 to Apr/1 - the water lines drained and anti freeze poured in the drains because the heat is off.

The answer to your question is: no, I don't (can't) require that the utilities be turned on at the time of inspection - I don't even require that all the walls be there! It is not uncommon that electric fixtures, appliances, plumbing fixtures and even some of the water lines have been removed by the prior occupant. Yes, I have appraised homes that were missing entire portions of the walls (it enhances the view)!

Oregon Doug
 

wade3333

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Georgia
Oregon Doug, if a person is buying a house financed by FHA, do you require the water and elect. to be on. Not talking about the house having walls, talking about checking the electrical, water, cent system. Does FHA not require this to be done before they wll finance a house. I'm honestly trying to learn how other people work. Wade
 

Farm Gal

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
Wade:

Sometimes on a FHA the utilities are not on, despite a request that they be turned on.
If request is not met, and the client wishes to proceed: I VC the heck out of it, and estimate value 'subject to a complete mechanical systems check', and itemize in all VC catgories what needs to be checked.

One of two things happens:
Either they turn on the power and I go back and do what I should have done the first visit, filling in the 442, OR
They have plumbers electricians and HVAC folks test all the systems instead of me! (which makes me happier anyway)!
 

wade3333

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Georgia
I'm in a small town and when a real estate agent is involved I do not inspect until the utilities are on, however, you do have a good idea. WAde
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
You cant tell HUD to turn the utilities on! Well, actually you can tell them that but they will tell you ......."NO". Just indicate in the report and move on.

I still believe using any type of test equipment is beyond the scope of our ability and leaves us open to liability. I turn on the switches. I flush the toliet. I do carry a marble sometimes!
 
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