The HUD/FHA Single Family Policy Handbook will go into effect September 14, 2015, and includes a mandate that instructs mortgagees to inform mortgage applicants to get a home inspection at first contact. The handbook will also include a document entitled “For Your Protection, Get a Home Inspection.”
American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) Executive Director Frank Lesh worked with HUD to prepare the handbook for prospective homebuyers that will be given to all new mortgage applicants. He believes that this new policy will help protect both parties.
“This new Handbook will be the final word—the controlling law of the land—for any entity that conducts FHA mortgage practice in the U.S.,”Lesh said in an interview with MReport. “All FHA mortgages with case numbers assigned on or after that date will be required to be in compliance with the new Handbook.”
For the first time, HUD has requested that the ASHI give information to prospective home buyers that explains:
- Why a buyer should get a home inspection.
- How appraisals are different from home inspections.
- Why the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) does not guarantee the value or condition of a new home.
- Information on radon gas testing and other safety and health issues.
The new mandate from HUD and the FHA hope to see “fewer foreclosures from buyers who did not find out about serious problems until they moved into an uninspected house,” Lesh said.
“We are proud to provide critical inspection information for this handbook to help homebuyers protect themselves,” Lesh said. “Owning a home is one of the biggest financial investments in a person’s life, and a home inspection can help prevent costly problems.”