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FHA Home Loans: Is There a Minimum Square Footage Requirement?

Some of the most frequently asked questions about FHA home loans involve the FHA’s minimum property requirements–the standards homes must be built or modified to in order to meet FHA approval.

FHA minimum property requirements address basic issues such as safety–the property can’t be located near a high voltage easement, for example. But FHA minimum property requirements also address habitability concerns. All mechanical systems on the property must be in working order and be at the proper capacity to serve the home they are installed in.

The FHA rules do not permit heating or central air conditioning systems that are too small to properly heat or cool the home, and electrical systems must be powerful enough to serve the entire building adequately. Areas of standing water in the basement are areas of concern for FHA appraisers, as are leaky roofs and other habitability issues.

FHA rules also include guidelines on how the property is designed–did you know a home is not eligible for an FHA loan unless it has adequate, dedicated areas for sleeping and cooking?

Some FHA loan applicants may wonder if there’s a minimum square footage requirement for a property to be eligible for an FHA home loan. In fact, this query is apparently so common that it’s included in the FHA official site’s list of frequently asked questions. But the FHA does not require homes to have a minimum size per se–according to the FHA FAQ list, “FHA only requires that a home be marketable in the area and have adequate space necessary to assure suitable living, sleeping, cooking and dining accommodations and sanitary facilities.”

There’s one exception to the “no minimum square footage” issue–the FHA does require all manufactured homes to have a “minimum size of 400 square feet to qualify for FHA financing.”

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

November 18, 2011

Joe Wallace has been specializing in military and personal finance topics since 1995. His work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and a member of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association. He was Managing editor for www.valoans.com for (8) years and is currently the Associate Editor for FHANewsblog.com.

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