FHA appraisers do a different type of appraisal than appraisers for conventional loans. They are more concerned with the health and safety of the borrowers. They look at the standard things that all appraisers look at, and they take it a little further. FHA is not only concerned with the property value but is also concerned with things like handrails on steps, broken windows, lack of screens, evidence of rodent infestation and other issues that don’t affect a normal appraisal to the same degree. If the house was built before 1978 and may have the potential for lead based paint, the FHA appraiser looks for peeling paint.
The FHA appraiser needs to see that the bedrooms have egress in case of a fire, the windows have to work and if there are burglar bars they need to have the code approved methods of opening them from the inside in case of a fire. They want to see smoke detectors. The FHA appraiser needs to see window screens if there isn’t central air conditioning. They look at the remaining life of the roof and the furnace and hot water heaters and want to see a stove in the kitchen. The utilities have to be on during the appraisal and they check that the various components are working. The appraiser looks for evidence of environmental contaminants like asbestos and mold. The FHA appraiser looks for earth to wood contact and other evidence of termites.