What is the FHA rule for electrical outlets?

What is the FHA rule for electrical outlets?

FHA appraisals vary from conventional appraisals on various things related to the safety, soundness andcircuit tester can save realtor time and money security of the house. Some of the items that appraisers look at to determine whether they function or not can be easily inspected by the seller or real estate agent prior to the appraiser coming out, so today we’re going to look at the FHA rule for electrical outlets to show you how spending 5 minutes doing a simple inspection might save you a delay in your closing and save the buyer an additional inspection fee.

Under $10

A simple circuit tester that you can buy for less than $10 at a hardware store can be used to test the operation of electrical outlets. Most of the ones I’ve seen have a light pattern that indicates if the outlet is wired correctly or even works. For example, after I plug my tester in, it will let you know if the following conditions exist: open ground, open neutral, open hot, hot/ground reverse, hot neutral reverse, or correct. Appraisers and real estate agents are not required to know as much as electricians, however if the outlet is not working correctly it must be fixed and this little tool can help you determine that. Check out my quick tip video on how easy it is to test the outlet.

HUD has this to say about electrical outlets as well as other parts of the system:

Operate a representative number of lighting fixtures, switches and receptacles inside the house, garage and on the exterior walls and note any deficiencies. If the appliances present at the time of the inspection do not appear to be reasonable (undersized), determine if there is adequate amperage to run “standard” appliances, as per local code.

Fix ahead and avoid delays

If the appraiser determines that a problem exists then it will have to be fixed before the loan is closed per FHA guidelines. This can cause delays in the loan closing and can cost the buyer additional money for a final inspection fee. It would be better to address this issue before the appraiser visits the home so that it is not even an issue.

Question

If you have a question related to the FHA rule for electrical outlets or anything else to add please leave a comment below, and as always thanks for reading.

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Comments

  1. Audrey lisik says:

    Tom, I’m having an inspector coming to my house on Friday(very soon) to inspect it for a FHA refinance loan. I’ve had this done years ago and I’m a little confused as to what they will look at. The gal from the appraisal office mentioned that I’ll have to have GFI(?) plugs in all my electrical outlets. I don’t recall needing that the last time with my FHA loan. The big thing then was mold & splintered paint on the foundation of my house. Should I get someone in here pronto to fix each outlet? I live in Akron, Ohio.. do states have different rules? I thought FHA was federal. You mentioned the little tool to check the plugs, if the plugs are working now what’s the reason to check them? I hope I can hear from you ASAP as I’m worried about the inspection. Thank you Audrey Lisik

    • I would just wait for the appraiser to come out and see what they say. States do not have different rules, but like you say FHA is a federal program so the requirements are the same no matter where you live. A GFI plug is one that is typically installed in an are near a wet area like in a bathroom. Is is an outlet that will shut the circuit off if a plugged-in appliance like a hair dryer were to fall in the water.

  2. Great blog post Tom. I have not done an FHA appraisal for a while and I don’t plan to do any more. However, when I did do FHA appraisals, I was bad about checking a representative number of wall outlets. Great food for thought on improving our product.

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