December 2, 2021

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FHA Appraisals: A Reader Question

099A reader asks, “I had moved out of my home while renovations were done to my property prior to getting an FHA re-fi I had an FHA appraisal done immediately after the repairs were completed.””

“However now the lenders says that because the property was vacant when the appraisal was done it appears that no one lives there and therefore they are not allowed to do a re-fi for this property and to compound the problem I have been told that every lender subsequent to this lender will say the same thing. Is this true?”

It’s impossible to speak for all lenders–policies may vary from one financial institution to another. However, one thing to keep in mind is that FHA appraisals do have an expiration date and once that expiration date has passed, a new appraisal would be required for the property when it’s time to do an appraisal-required FHA refinance loan.

This reader should check with other lenders to see if a refinance loan is possible. Could proof of occupancy be enough to satisfy a different lender? It’s tough to say what might apply as there are details likely not mentioned in the reader question that could have an effect on the transaction. Shopping around for a lender is never a bad thing whether you’re applying for a new purchase home loan or a refinance loan.

FHA appraisals generally expire in six months, so in the event this reader cannot locate a lender willing to do a refinance loan in his or her circumstances, waiting out the expiration date of the current appraisal is always an option.

Do you have questions about FHA home loans? Ask us in the comments section. All comments are held for moderation prior to posting.

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

December 11, 2014

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 for (8) years and is currently the Associate Editor for

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About was launched in 2010 by seasoned mortgage professionals wanting to educate homebuyers about the guidelines for FHA insured mortgage loans. Popular FHA topics include credit requirements, FHA loan limits, mortgage insurance premiums, closing costs and many more. The authors have written thousands of blogs specific to FHA mortgages and the site has substantially increased readership over the years and has become known for its “FHA News and Views”.

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