FHA Loan Articles
FHA Appraisals and Roof Requirements
What is the appraiser looking for when it comes to the roof? For starters, the roof must do what it's designed to do--FHA and HUD regulations say it must not leak or allow moisture to enter the home. in order to pass the appraisal process, the roof must also "provide reasonable future utility, durability and economy of maintenance" according to the FHA official site.
But that's not all--the FHA also requires a minimum amount of durability. "The roof should have a remaining physical life of at least two years. If the roof has less than two years remaining life, then the appraiser must call for re-roofing or repair. The appraiser must clearly state whether the subject is to be repaired or re-roofed."
Any leaks or moisture due to a problem with the roof are noted will be noted on the appraisal report. Any noticeable holes, water damage or other problems are also noted. This discovery process is similar to the appraiser's job in the basement--the appraiser inspects the condition of the area and makes the appropriate observations.
That said, it's important to note that FHA appraisers are not necessarily trained experts on roofing issues, nor is the appraiser required to step onto the roof to inspect it further. The borrower must take it upon themselves to have a home inspector look over the roof and other critical areas of the property-there may be issues not immediately noticeable that an inspection would catch that do not appear on the FHA appraisal report.
FHA appraisers are not required to be specialists in any one particular area-an appraisal is a multi-faceted, more general process than a home inspection. The FHA fee appraiser is not required to enter crawlspaces, walk on roofs or perform other duties for which they have no specialized equipment or safety gear for-that's something to discuss with a home inspector.
Borrowers concerned about the state of the roof or wondering about the remaining years left on it should hire an inspector and ask specifically about those issues prior to the inspection. Borrowers should never assume the property is defect-free just because it passed the FHA appraisal.