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FHA Loan Questions: Home Inspections

August 29, 2016

114A reader asks, “So what do I do if I bought a house with an FHA loan and 2 weeks after closing the roof leaks? You can visually see more than 3 layers of roofing without setting foot on the roof or a Ladder? Obviously the roof didnt have 2 years of life left in it and obviously it was in need of repair. Also the inspector I hired didnt go up on the roof either. What are my options now? Also code in my area is no more than 3 layers of roofing and after getting estimates the house has 5 layers on it.”

FHA loan appraisals and home inspections are two different things. The reader question in this particular case seems to indicate that the borrower paid for the optional, but very crucial home inspection in addition to having the appraisal done. This is the recommended course of action for all borrowers according to the FHA official site.

The home inspection is a process the borrower pays for independently of the FHA appraisal, which is only designed to insure MINIMUM standards are met. The inspection is intended to be a much closer look at the property, and at the end of the process the borrower should have an inspection report to read over detailing the results.

So what happens when a borrower pays for the optional home inspection but defects are found after moving into the home that were not listed on the inspection report?

This is a tricky issue for a variety of reasons including state law, and the language of the agreement the borrower enters into with the home inspector.

To begin, in such cases a borrower should always re-examine the inspection report. It’s also crucial to carefully examine the language of the contract or written work agreement with the inspector to see what provisions may or may not be made for such problems.

The language of the legally binding agreement you make with the home inspector to pay for services rendered will determine a great deal of what may be possible in terms of recourse.

And finally, it’s important to consider a consultation with a lawyer or someone with legal expertise in real estate law. As mentioned above, the laws of your state may play an important role in determining next steps in cases like these. Borrowers can always contact the FHA directly for advice by calling them at their toll-free number, 1-800 CALL FHA.

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

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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