A Real Estate Appraisal is an important part of obtaining a mortgage and can determine whether or not the home loan process can continue. If possible, have repairs made to your home prior to the appraisal being conducted. Not only will the repairs improve the home’s marketability, they can help the sale or refinance of your home go more smoothly. Here, we’ll share the most common repairs that should be addressed before an appraiser makes a visit. Health and safety is always top priority.
Some examples of items that raise a red flag for appraisers:
• Electric garage door opener won’t reverse with resistance
• Burglar bars without safety latches
• Steps or stairwells with no handrail that are deemed a safety concern by the appraiser
• Second floor doors lacking decks that are not secured
• Raised decks with no railing
• An outlet within 10 feet of a water source that has only a regular two-prong plug (for FHA loan and VA loan). A grounded plug or a GFI outlet (designed for bathrooms, kitchens, garages and anywhere outside where you need an electrical outlet) must be installed.
• Utilities must be functional and have no safety issues present such as exposed electrical wires. The appraiser will test the operation of water, electricity and air conditioning.
• Water stains on the ceiling may not require repair, however, they generally require an inspection to locate the cause of the stain, such as a plumbing or roof inspection.
• Foundation or structural inspections may be required if there are signs of concern such as:
• Cracks in the walls, ceiling or foundation
• Water intrusion through the foundation
• Lack of sound roofing structure (must have at least three years of economic life remaining)
For FHA loan or VA loan products: If the home was built prior to 1978, chipping and peeling paint must be scraped and painted. This includes the interior, exterior, garages, sheds and fences. While there are many repairs that may be needed depending on your situation, these are the most common repairs I recommend should be handled before an appraiser visits your home. When an appraiser evaluates a house that has safety as a top priority, it’s more likely the appraisal will help the mortgage process move forward instead of stalling it.