I received an email this week asking what the FHA guidelines for attics was from a person who wanted to sell their home. They wanted to make sure it met these guidelines just in case the buyer used an FHA loan. So I thought I would share my answer with you in case you might be wondering the same thing.
The HUD Handbook 4150.2 states the following in section 3-6A(9):
The appraiser must enter the attic and observe the interior roof structure and attic for evidence of leaks, water damage, structural problems, previous fire damage, FRT sheathing, exposed and frayed wiring, deficient materials, deficient insulation and adequate ventilation by vent, fan or window. The attic must be entered, at a minimum, by head and shoulders, whether access is by pull-down stairway or scuttle. Size of scuttle and accessibility of the attic dictate the level of entry. If unable to visually evaluate the improvements in their entirety, the appraiser must contact the lender and reschedule a time when a complete visual inspection can be performed. The appraiser is not required to disturb insulation, move personal items, furniture, equipment, plant life, soil, snow, ice or debris that obstructs access or visibility.
So as you can see that while the inspection is only a “heads and shoulder” one, the level of observation is still pretty extensive. If there is no attic access this must be reported and the underwriter will most likely make the loan subject to an access door being installed so the appraiser can report their findings. The only time one would not be required is when the roof is flat. The goal of the inspection is to determine if the attic meets the “Three S’s” which I wrote about in my HUD MPR post. Take a look at the video below to see a recent attic I looked at during an appraisal inspection.
Are there any features of your attic that you are concerned may not meet HUD/FHA guidelines? If you have any questions let me know by connecting with me at any of the social media accounts listed below.