Intro to FHA Inspection Checklist:

FHA Inspection Checklist - Process Street

This Process Street FHA Inspection Checklist provides a complete breakdown of the inspection process to make sure any property is up to the required standards. 

These Federal Housing Authority standards are meant to protect buyers from investing in dangerous or mis-sold property.

Like every Process Street checklist, all the data which is entered is saved in a table format in the template overview tab. This data can be exported as a CSV file for on-site storage.  

As you work through this checklist you will find it asks you negative questions about the nature of the property. The goal is to reach the end of the checklist without registering a single "Yes" answer.  

You can record notes and further details in the form fields provided.

As the US Department of Housing and Urban Development say: For Your Protection, Get a Home Inspection

Appraisals and inspections are slightly different in the FHA process, but this video will give you a feel for what FHA inspections are for:

FHA Guidelines for Home Buying - Sarasota Sandy

Record checklist details

Use this section to record the important details of the inspection.

VC-1 Location Hazards And Nuisances:

Section VC-1 pertains to general potential problems within the immediate location of the premises

A: Subsidence or sink holes

B: Oil or gas wells within 300 feet of existing construction

This is inclusive of the presence of gasoline stations within that 300 feet radius. 

The presence of gasoline stations should still be noted even though they do not make the property unacceptable.

C: Oil or gas wells within 75 feet of new construction

D: Abandoned oil or gas wells within 10 feet

E: Evidence of slush pits

F: Excessive traffic noise

G: Within airport clear zone

H: High pressure gas or petroleum lines

I: Overhead high voltage transmission lines

Low voltage lines must also not directly pass over living spaces including pools of the property being insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

J: Hazards from smoke and fumes

K: Special Flood Hazard Areas

L: Stationary storage tanks

VC-2 Soil Contamination:

Sections VC-2 and onwards are concerned with the specific property area to be insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development

A: On-site septic system

The septic system must be visually inspected for readily observable evidence of system failure, along with the septic system's immediate surrounding area. 

B: Underground storage tank

C: Dumps and landfills

D: Presence of pools of liquid

This could comprise:

  • Pits
  • Ponds
  • Lagoons
  • Stressed vegetation
  • Staining to soil
  • Staining to pavements
  • Odors

VC-3 Grading and Drainage:

A: Positive drainage from grading

Proper drainage should combine guttering and downspouts with appropriate grading or landscaping to encourage water to flow away from the structural foundations. 

B: Standing water

Checking for standing water on and around the property can reveal grading issues which could otherwise have been missed. Look closely for the ponding of water.

VC-4 Well, Individual Water Supply and Septic:

A: Connection to public water

A "Yes" response will require that the lender performs water testing on the property.

If the property is served by a:

  • Dug well
  • spring
  • lake 
  • cistern
  • river

It is ineligible.  

If the property is served by a drilled well, the well must be:

  • 50 feet from a septic tank
  • 100 feet from the septic tank's drainfield
  • 10 feet from any property line

B: Connection to public sewerage system

If a connection to a public sewerage system is feasible then said connection is mandatory.

VC-5 Wood Destroying Insects:

A: Ground level structure and wood touching ground

If the answer to this is "Yes" then a termite inspection is required

In the case of condominiums, a termite inspection would only be required for the first-floor units. 

The key elements to check to uncover potential termite presence include but are not limited to:

  • Mud tunnels up the side of the building
  • Swarms around wooden structures
  • Small collections of wings around windows and windowsill areas
  • Excessive dampness
  • Areas where vegetation has died 

B: Evidence of active termite infestation

All buildings should be checked for signs of termite infestation. 

VC-6 Private Road Access and Maintenance:

A: Inaccessible by foot or vehicle

All roads must have access for vehicles and pedestrians. 

B: Accessible only by private road

Recorded easements should be revealed by a title search. It is the responsibility of the DE Underwriter to determine whether there is evidence of a permanent easement within the records.

C: All weather surfaces

The FHA defines an all-weather surface as one which can be used all year round by the normal vehicles of emergency services

For example, grass would not count but gravel would just.  

VC-7 Structural Conditions:

Floor Support Systems:

A: Significant cracks

B: Evidence of water damage

C: Rodent infestation

Framing/Walls/Ceiling:

D: Significant cracks

E: Visible holes of structural importance

F: Evidence of water damage

Attic:

G: Evidence of holes

H: Damaged support structures

I: Significant water damage

J: Appropriate ventilation

This ventilation could be in the form of vents, fans, or windows

VC-8 Foundation:

Foundation/Basement:

A: Basement access

B: Significant water damage

C: Structural soundness

Crawl Space:

D: Crawl space access

E: Ease of maintenance and repair

F: Support beams

G: Dampness or ponding of water

If dampness is noted, a vapor barrier is required.

VC-9 Roofing:

A: Full coverage of the building

B: Deterioration of roofing materials

C: Expected roof life

D: Roof holes

E: Signs of leakage

F: Flat roofs

The presence of a flat roof simply requires that a further investigation would need to be done into the health of the roof. 

VC-10 Mechanical Systems:

The appraiser must inspect all the appliances present in the property.

This will involve turning the appliances on and monitoring them while in use to make sure they are in full working order. 

Furnace/Heating System:

A: Turning on

B: Effectively heating the air

C: Emitted smells

D: Emitted smoke

E: Continued heating of the space

F: Deterioration of the unit

Air Conditioning (central):

G: Turning on

H: Effectively cooling the air

I: Emitted smells

J: Emitted smoke

K: Continued cooling of the space

L: Deterioration of the unit

Electrical System:

M: Electrical switches

N: Outlets do not function

O: Presence of sparks or smoke

P: Exposed wiring

Q: Frayed wiring

Plumbing System:

R: Functioning toilets

S: Leaky plumbing

T: Structural damage under fixtures

U: Presence of puddles

V: Evidence of malfunction

W: Basin and pipes

X: Running water

Y: Water pressure

Z: Hot water

VC-11 Other Health and Safety Deficiencies:

A: Multiple broken windows

B: Exterior stairs

C: Exterior doors

D: Entrances and exits

E: Handrails on steps

F: Garage doors

G: Further health and safety deficiencies

VC-12 Lead Based Paint Hazard:

Lead based paints are a particular problem for homes and buildings constructed prior to 1978.

A: Interior paint

B: Exterior paint

VC-13 Condominiums and Planned Unit Developments (PUD):

A: FHA's approval list

B: Owner-occupany standards

C: Completion standards

Addendum:

Leave any further notes on the inspection

Generate and send the report

When this checklist is completed, you can choose to print it as a document. 

This will give you the option of saving the checklist as a PDF. Once your checklist is saved as a PDF it will provide a full report of everything documented in the inspection. 

Use the form field below to upload your PDF.

Use the email field to send the report to the appropriate body.

Sources:

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