There is a multitude of different factors that can impact how quickly an FHA loan closes following an official appraisal. As an FHA borrower, it’s important to understand that an FHA appraisal and a conventional appraisal work differently. To get a more accurate idea of how long it takes to close an FHA loan after an appraisal, it’s important to get a better understanding of the FHA appraisal process.
- It takes approximately 2-4 weeks for an FHA loan to close following an appraisal
- The closing can be delayed following an appraisal if the value of the home is too low or if there are additional repairs requested
- An FHA loan has to close within 120 days following the appraisal
- Homes must meet the minimum property requirements
Understanding FHA Appraisals
Just like a standard appraisal, an FHA appraisal establishes the value of the home and ensures it’s safe for the homeowner to live in. Once an FHA appraisal is completed, the loan has to close within 120 days. On average, FHA loans can take anywhere between 2-4 weeks to close after an appraisal provided the borrower has submitted all required documentation. This can be delayed if there are outstanding requirements made by the appraiser. In addition to this, FHA loans take approximately 51 days on average to close from start to finish.
However, an FHA appraisal is slightly different than a standard appraisal.
- An FHA appraisal must be completed by an FHA-approved appraiser
- The property must meet HUD’s “minimum property requirements”
- New construction homes must have “minimum property standards”
Generally speaking, FHA loans on average tend to take a bit longer to close than conventional loans due to different underwriting criteria required by lenders.
What do FHA Appraisers Look For?
In addition to getting a fair estimate for the value of the home, an appraiser has to ensure the home has structural integrity for the safety of the borrower. FHA appraisers also look for things that may have an adverse impact on the use of the property and the ability of the property to be marketed for sale in the future.
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From a safety and structural perspective, the appraisal will look for things such as:
- Hazardous materials
- Toxic substances
- Damage or asbestos
- Insulation problems
- Radon Gas
In addition, the FHA doesn’t extend loans on properties within 300 feet of a tank that contains more than 1,000 gallons of flammable or explosive material. Lastly, the FHA has a 1979 regulation against lending on houses that used lead-based paint in construction. If there is paint that is chipped and damaged it needs to be repaired with the following:
- Treatment of wood surface
- New siding installation
- New paint
- Priming the area
These are some of the major items that FHA appraisers look for when going through a property.
What Happens After an FHA Appraisal ?
A few days following an appraisal, the lender and borrower will receive an official appraisal report. The report will include notes about comps around the area, the condition and size of the home, and a fair market value. From here, the value of the home will be weighed against the offer price stated in the purchase contract.
If there are cosmetic repairs requested by the appraiser, this can delay the closing process. However, the repairs can be negotiated into the purchase price of the home if the borrower wants to move forward. Repairs that are about the safety and livability of the home will have to be done prior to the transaction closing.
Factors that Impact FHA Closing Timeline
There are certain things that can impact the FHA closing timeline. Sometimes it is on the lender’s end and sometimes it’s due to the borrower not providing the requested documentation. Below are common things that can delay the FHA loan closing timeline.
- A higher volume of loans on the lender side causes longer underwriting times
- Missing documentation from the borrower
- Inaccurate income and employment data from the borrower
- Delays in employment verification
- Delays in tax certification docs
- Appraisal disputes and repairs
- Delays in title work
Important Note: The FHA underwriting process can be time consuming and there are common delays that occur. However, if the borrower has submitted all the requested information on time, closing can move swiftly.
In addition to the standard FHA appraisal, borrowers are urged to complete a home inspection. A home inspection is different from an appraisal and helps to ensure there aren’t any serious damages to the house that didn’t show up during the appraisal.
A home inspection includes checking some of the following items in the home:
- Major systems such as water heater, plumbing, electrical, air conditioning unit
- Condition of the roof
- Foundation of the home
- Septic systems
- Attic and visible insulation
- Floors, windows, and doors
- Basement condition
These are some of the major items that a home inspector will look for.
How Much Does an FHA Appraisal Cost?
The cost of an appraisal will vary depending on the provider. However, standard FHA appraisals can range between $400 – $2,000 on the high end. The cost of the appraisal is typically added to the loan amount.