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If you are a first-time home buyer and are looking for real estate to buy with an FHA mortgage loan, there is a very important part of the process you should not overlook. It’s called a home inspection and many first-time borrowers confuse the FHA appraisal process for a home inspection.

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FHA.com is a privately owned website, is not a government agency, and does not make loans.

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FHA Mortgages and the Home Inspection

FHA Mortgages and the Home Inspection
March 7, 2019 - If you are a first-time home buyer and are looking for real estate to buy with an FHA mortgage loan, there is a very important part of the process you should not overlook. It’s called a home inspection and many first-time borrowers confuse the FHA appraisal process for a home inspection.

The two are NOT the same and relying on the appraisal to determine the home’s true condition is a big mistake.

FHA Appraisals Don’t Involve A Home Inspection No Matter What Terminology Is Used

Many people including your lender may refer to the FHA appraisal process as an “inspection”. But do not be fooled by the use of this word-an FHA appraisal does not include a home inspection. Your home will be REVIEWED by an appraiser, but INSPECTED by a home inspection.

If You Did Not Personally Order and Pay For A Home Inspection, You Didn’t Get One

No matter how the FHA appraisal process is carried out, if you did not personally contact a home inspector in your area, arrange and pay for the inspection, and get results back to you, your home has NOT been inspected.

There are cases where a seller may have this done and pay for it herself, but you will need to discuss that with the seller-especially where the results of the inspection are concerned.

The FHA Lender’s Role in Home Inspections

Your lender will not order or pay for a home inspection. Your lender WILL order an appraisal. The two are not the same and the results of the two are not identical. The results of an inspection reveal far more than the appraisal will.

FHA Appraisals Do Not Guarantee The Condition of Your Home

The FHA itself warns borrowers on its’ official site, “For your protection, get a home inspection” and is quick to remind borrowers that the FHA appraisal is NOT any sort of guarantee for the home. It only insures the property meets minimum requirements and helps establish the fair market value of the property. Nothing more.

The appraisal may not detect termites, foundation problems, sewage or electrical issues, roof problems, or damage you cannot see. The appraisal is not designed to detect these issues. FHA loan rules say there is no help for borrowers (from the FHA) who purchase a home without getting a home inspection and later discover such problems.

First time home buyers, keep this in mind when you go house hunting-you may spend hundreds now, but you will save thousands later.

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