If you’re buying a home with an FHA loan, you should know that the Federal Housing Administration has some specific requirements for major appliances. In this context, we’re talking about home appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, and washing machines.
The good news is that the FHA requirements for home appliances are pretty straightforward. Basically, they just have to be in good working order and present no hazard to the homeowner.
That’s the short version. Here’s the longer version:
FHA Requirements for Major Home Appliances
The FHA loan program is managed by the Federal Housing Administration, which falls under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). So it’s HUD that determines the minimum requirements for the program, and that includes appliances.
Most of the guidelines for this program can be found in the Single Family Housing Policy Handbook, also known as HUD Handbook 4000.1. The FHA loan requirements for major appliances can be found in this document as well. In fact, they are mentioned in several places.
Here’s what the handbook says about appliance requirements for FHA loans:
- According to HUD, the term “appliances” generally refers to the following items: ovens and ranges, refrigerators, dishwashers, garbage disposals, microwaves, and washers / dryers.
- The handbook states that the mortgagee (or mortgage lender) “must ensure that appliances that are to remain and that contribute to the market value opinion are operational.” So they must actually work.
- There’s also a requirement for appraisers who are evaluating the home to determine its market value. The handbook says: “The Appraiser must note all appliances that remain [after the sale] and contribute to the Market Value.” In other words, the major appliances that are going to convey from seller to buyer must be noted by the appraiser.
- If the utilities (i.e., water and electrical) are shut off when the appraiser visits the home, FHA requirements state that he or she must “complete the appraisal under the extraordinary assumption that utilities and mechanical systems, and appliances are in working order.”
- Additionally, the home’s electrical system should be sufficient to support the “typical functions” of the home, including any major appliances like the dishwasher, refrigerator and oven.
This is just a basic overview of the minimum FHA requirements for home appliances. The items in direct quotes above were taken verbatim from the Single Family Housing Policy Handbook. You can find that document here on our website, and also at HUD.gov (if you’d like to explore this topic further).
Note: The minimum FHA appliance requirements mentioned above apply to a basic home-buying scenario. If you’re using an FHA 203(K) loan to purchase and rehab a property, additional requirements might apply. You can refer to HUD Handbook 4000.1 for more information on that.
Appraisal vs. Home Inspection
We also receive a lot of questions about the difference between home appraisals and inspections, where FHA loans are concerned. The Department of Housing and Urban Development does not require buyers to have a home inspection when using an FHA loan. But they do encourage it.
The home appraisal, on the other hand, generally is required for FHA-insured mortgage loans. The appraiser is primarily concerned with determining the market value of the home. But he or she will also evaluate the house being purchased to make sure it meets HUD’s minimum property requirements (more on that here). Appraisers typically review the home’s major appliances as well, using the FHA requirements mentioned above.
Disclaimers: We are not associated with HUD or any other government agency. Our mission is to help home buyers and borrowers understand the basic requirements for FHA loans, and other aspects of the program. The information provided above was adapted from HUD Handbook 4000.1 in June of 2018. To learn more about the program, and to obtain the most current information available, please refer to the HUD website or an approved mortgage lender.