FHA appraisers are not home inspectors

Why home buyers shouldn't rely solely on appraiser's opinion

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Dear Barry, In one of your articles, you painted an inaccurate picture of FHA appraisers. I agree that home inspectors are more qualified than appraisers to identify defects in a home, but FHA appraisers also have a role in identifying some of these problems. According to HUD standards, an FHA appraiser must look in the attic for signs of leakage, poor construction and fire damage; inspect the foundation crawlspace for various defects; operate the heating, electrical and plumbing systems; review the site drainage; and check many other issues. Our inspections are not nearly as thorough as a home inspection, but when we find evidence of a significant problem, we recommend that buyers hire a home inspector. I suggest you review HUD's Valuation Analysis for Single Family One- to Four-Unit Dwellings. --David Dear David, My comments about FHA appraisers were not intended to negate the importance or validity of your profession. Many home buyers, however, are unclear about the d...