Due to homeowner complaints
about problems and defects found in houses after they have moved in, HUD (US Housing and
Urban Development) has changed the way that appraisers must evaluate a structure.
HUD has mandated that appraisers now give a summary of observations to all homebuyers
under the FHA program. The summary of observations looks at the physical condition
of several areas of the home including: Soil Contamination; Grading and Drainage Problems;
Well & Septic; Wood Destroying Insects; Structural; Foundation; Roofing; General
Health and Safety Issues; Mechanical Systems; and Deteriorated Paint.
HUD is quick to note that the appraiser is NOT doing a home
inspection, and has published some forms explaining this to the homeowner. The form "Notice
to the Homebuyer" (Form HUD-92564-HS) explains the difference between a home
inspection and an appraisal; and "For Your Protection: Get A Home
Inspection" (Form HUD-92564-CN) requires the potential homeowner to sign that
they "understand the importance of getting an independent home inspection. . .I have
thought about this before I signed a contract with the seller for a home."
Visit the HUD website http://www.hud.gov
to look over the 1999 Mortgagee Letters (Mortgagee Letters 99-29, 99-22, 99-18 refer to
the Appraisal/Home Inspection industries). The letters can be found under the
"Short Cuts, 1999 Mortgagee Letters". If you are interested in looking at
the various forms appraisers are required to use during the appraisal process, they can be
found under the section "What's New", "List New Documents." Look
for the following form numbers:
HUD-92564-CN - For Your Protection
Get A Home Inspection
HUD-92564-HS - Notice to the
HUD-92564-VC - Appraisal Forms.