FHA appraisals do not differ from conventional appraisals in a large way; however, there are a few differences.
One main difference is that there can be more required repairs. A big one is the roof. These are the appraisal guidelines for FHA appraisers:
Roofs and Attics:
The roof must prevent moisture from entering the home and provide reasonable future utility, durability and economy of maintenance. The roof should have a remaining physical life of two years. If the roof has less than two years remaining life, the appraiser must call for re-roofing or repair.FHA will accept a maximum of three layers of existing roofing. If more than two layers exist and repair is necessary, all of the old roofing must be removed as part of the re-roofing.Roofing on slopes of 2.5/12 pitch or less must be installed by a licensed roofer using built-up roofing that meets the Uniform Building Code.
According to http://www.fhainfo.com/fhaappraisals4.htm:
These are the 12 Most Common FHA Repairs
These conditions are not listed to scare you, but to help you understand and erase any worries you may have.The purpose of a repair is to correct deficiencies which may affect the health and safety of the occupants or the continued marketability of the property. If possible, we suggest that you make any repairs to your home prior to the appraisal. This will improve the marketability and help the sale or refinance of your home go smoothly.
1. If the home was built prior to 1978, chipping, peeling paint must be scraped and painted. This includes interior, exterior, garages, sheds, fences, etc.
2. Any useful components (appliances, floor covering, etc.) of the home, especially the roof, should have 2 years of useful life remaining. A roof should have no more than 3 layers of shingles.
3. Broken windows and doors should be replaced.
4. The cause of negative drainage must be cured (i.e., improve drainage away from house, gutters, french drains, etc.).
5. Health and safety hazards (i.e. electric garage door opener won’t reverse with resistance; burglar bars). GFIC outlets are not an FHA requirement.
6. Abandoned inoperable wells must be capped and sealed by a licensed well sealing contractor.
7. Safety handrails should be installed in open stairwells of three or more stairs.
8. Infestation of any kind should be exterminated (i.e., insects, mice, bats, etc.).
9. Damaged or inoperable plumbing, electric and heating systems should be repaired. The appraiser will check these areas.
10. Structural or foundation problems must be repaired.
11. Flammable storage tanks must be removed and filler cap sealed from the inside (i.e., buried oil tank).
12. If there is a crawl space, it will be the homeowner’s responsibility to make this area accessible so that it can be thoroughly inspected
All of the information in this post was taken word for word from: http://www.fhainfo.com/fhaappraisals4.htm
This is meant to be helpful in the determining the right home for you if obtaining an FHA loan or accepting the right offer if you are a seller considering an offer with an FHA loan. Always discuss this information with your Realtor and lender to get more specifics.
**Regardless of the type of loan being used to purchase your home, it is always a good idea to fix anything broken and do all of the maintenance items you were putting off. This will not only make any appraisal process go more smoothly, but will make a better showing to potential buyers as well.