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FHA and VA Loan Repair Guidelines

HUD Homes

FHA and VA has softened its repairs guideline since then, but it still has minimum property standards that  you'll come up against if you're dealing with this type of loan. And that makes sense if you think about it. The property acts as collateral for a loan that the FHA or VA is backing. The home must be in reasonably good shape so it can be sold if you should default on the loan.

Who makes the repairs?

It's not always the sellers who must make the required FHA / VA repairs. It depends on how the buyer's purchase offer is  written.  A buyer's agent can specify a limit or dollar cap on the repairs. The seller might agree to go along with this even if she's reluctant to sell to an FHA / VA buyer. Or a buyer might be free to do her own lender-required repairs with the seller's  permission.  A buyer might switch from a conventional loan to an FHA / VA loan in midstream. When the seller is informed of this, he might only agree to continue with the transaction if the buyer would be responsible for doing any FHA / VA conditional repairs that were called for in the appraisal. The downside, of course, is that repairs could end up costing considerably more than the original appraisal estimation.  This can set the buyer back quite a few dollars at a time when the deal isn't even finalized yet. It's one thing if he ends up owning the property, but it can still mean a good bit of cash out of pocket right before closing.


FHA - VA repairs for garages

FHA - VA repair guidelines are not absolute. An underwriter can call for additional repairs and a converted garage is often  a red flag. It's up to the appraiser and the underwriter as to whether the interior of a converted garage must be dismantled. The appraiser also has the option of simply appraising the value of the home without the garage conversion and/or deducting for the cost of demolition.


FHA - VA repairs for non-permitted additions:

FHA's biggest repair concerns are health and safety issues, protecting the security of the property, and the structural soundness of the property. Non-permitted additions and remodels are not always finished to code. Not only might the FHA / VA require that these  items be brought up to code, but it might not consider the value of non-permitted items in its appraisal if it decides to  approve the loan without that requirement. FHA / VA repair guidelines are also subject to lender overlays. The FHA / VA might approve a non-permitted structure, but  the lender's investor guidelines could cause an FHA / VA loan to be denied for a non-permitted addition or remodel.


FHA - VA repairs that MUST be completed prior to closing:


The following checklist provides a pretty comprehensive guideline as to what to keep an eye out for on a prospective  property:

  • Peeling paint in homes built before 1978, which may be a lead hazard

  • Unpainted downspouts and broken rain gutters

  • Rotting outbuilding in need of demolition

  • Exterior doors that do not properly close and open

  • Exposed wiring and uncovered junction boxes

  • Major plumbing issues and leaks

  • Inoperable HVAC systems

  • Leaky or defective roofs, roofs with a life expectancy of less than 3 years, composition over shake

  • Active and visible pest infestation

  • Rotting window sills, eaves, and support columns on a porch

  • Missing appliances that are usually sold with a home such as a stove

  • Bedrooms without minimal-sized windows for egress or bedroom windows with bars that do not release

  • Foundation or structural defects

  • Wet basements

  • Evidence of standing water in the crawl space

  • Inoperable kitchen appliances

  • Empty swimming pools, pools without a working pump, and abandoned pools with mosquitos or fish

  • Ripped screens

  • No pressure relief valve on the water heater

  • Leaning/broken fence

    Call Cucci Realty for guidance at 708-505-7088


FHA or VA repairs that are NOT necessary to fix before closing:


Some repairs don't have to be completed prior to closing, but you'll still want to keep track of them for future reference:

  • Peeling paint in homes built after 1978

  • Cracked glass in windows

  • Minor plumbing defects such as a dripping faucet

  • Missing handrails

  • Damaged wall coverings in homes built after 1978

  • Worn out carpeting or defective floor finishes

  • Beat-up or damaged exterior doors that still open and close

  • Trip hazards such as heaving sidewalks

  • Removal of debris under the house

  • Poor workmanship

  • Evidence of previous or inactive pest infestation

  • Replacement of flat roofs

  • Testing of wells unless it's required by local jurisdictions or if water is suspected of contamination


It's important to keep in mind that the FHA isn't concerned with cosmetic defects. Normal wear and tear doesn't throw up  a red flag provided that it doesn't interfere with the soundness, security, or safety of the dwelling.

Is there ways around some FHA or VA issues that might arise? Yes, but you will need an experienced agent and lender.  We can help you with both. Call or text 708-505-7088

Cucci Realty has 11 years experience and closed over 100 FHA and VA deals. Both sellers and buyers need the help of an experienced local Realtor. A Cucci Realty agent is your best choice:


Need FHA or VA assistance in Oak Lawn, Burbank, Alsip, Chicago Ridge, Crestwood, Oak Forest, Palos Hills, Palos  Heights, Palos Park, Worth, Orland Park, Tinley Park, Matteson, Frankfort, Richton Park, Mokena, Homer Glen, Lockport, North Riverside, Riverside, Brookfield, Bridgeview, Evergreen Park, Mount Greenwood, Blue Island, Willow Springs, Hazel Crest, Homewood, South Holland, Country Club Hills, Midlothian.

Call/Text Cucci Realty for guidance at 708-505-7088 or

use the calendar below to schedule a phone call

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