FAQs

 

How will smoke detectors be checked? Will the inspector use canned smoke or just push the button?

We just push the button if it dose not sound. It’s a safety and health deficiency.

Is there a checklist of standards I can use before the inspections to help me make sure everything is up to par?

The Main Idea with FHA:
FHA is primarily concerned that everything in the house functions properly and that there are no health and safety issues. The basic concept of meeting FHA minimum requirements is that everything must work as it was designed to work. For example, a window that is supposed to open must open, and a built-in appliance should do what that appliance is supposed to do. If you have a sliding glass door with a lock on the handle, the lock should work. REAC are providing the following guidance to assist you.

What to do if you fail a reac inspection?

Make it a priority to respond to any letters from HUD within their time frames. Expect to be in direct connect with your HUD asset manager. At a minimum you will be asked to perform a survey of every apartment unit to identify all the needed repairs. You should also spend time reviewing the HUD inspection report for errors. And use photos to document any items in question. If you do find some errors in the report consider filing an appeal. If this is your first time failing to pass, it is better to concentrate your efforts on passing the next inspection. Be sure to contact us if you have any further questions.

What is my role during the inspection?

Home inspector
It’s important that you witness your home inspection.
Seeking professional home inspection services is perhaps the most important aspect of the homebuying process.

Sometimes people confuse a home inspection with an appraisal, but they are two separate things. An appraisal is the assessed market value of the home. Banks typically require appraisals when determining whether to approve a loan. An appraisal gives just the value of the house, it doesn’t include an assessment on the condition of the home or what needs to be repaired (although if there are glaring shortfalls, it could reduce the value of the home).

A home inspection gives the details needed when buying, or considering buying, a given house.

What will be inspected?
Generally costing between $300 and $500 and lasting three to four hours, a professional home inspector will examine the condition of the following:

• heating system

• central air conditioning system

• interior plumbing

• electrical system

• roof

• attic and visible insulation

• walls

• ceilings

• floors

• windows

• doors

• the foundation

• basement

• structural components

Once the home inspector examines all these components, he or she will write a detailed report to give to you and the seller. From that point, the buyer can renegotiate if issues arise concerning needed repairs. It’s generally best to hire a home inspector as soon as a purchase agreement or contract has been signed.

Also, the contract should always be written to be contingent on the findings of the home inspection. If it’s found that the house in question needs $20,000 worth of roof work, the buyer might think twice. Instead, the buyer might want to renegotiate with the seller to compensate for the needed repairs.

The buyer should be there
When it comes time for the home inspection, the would-be homebuyer should tag along while the inspector is doing his job. This is a huge investment, and the buyer has a right to be there.

Not only that, but the buyer can likely to learn a lot about the house. Here are some specific reasons why:

• Confirming the state of the heating and cooling system. New heating and cooling units cost thousands of dollars. Some inspectors are reluctant to check the air conditioning in the cold of winter or blast the heater during the scorching summer months. Yet, if this step the inspector skims this over and it is determined the air conditioning or heating doesn’t work by the time it’s needed next season, it could cost the buyer. An inspector might also provide a basic idea of how the system works and the maintenance required each season.

• Checking up on top. The roof is another biggie. Some inspectors will just do a visual inspection from the ground. But a good inspector should get up on the roof and check for loose tiles. Roof leaks have the potential to be one of the costliest home repairs. If the buyer is there, it’s more likely the inspector will thoroughly check the roof and either mention defects in his report or tell the buyer about little oddities he finds.

• Looking closely at how some of the things in the house are functioning. The appliances might all be working and nothing significant will make it to the report. But the inspector might offer you some sage advice by letting you know the model of your appliances are outdated and only have a couple years’ life left. The inspector can also offer helpful maintenance tips.

• Learning where all the shut-off valves are located. An emergency could be averted down the road if the new buyer knows where the gas, water and electric shut-off valves are located.

• Asking questions. For first-time buyers, this can be especially important. Owning a home can be overwhelming. If there’s any part of the upkeep or physical components a buyer doesn’t understand, a home inspector can typically clarify things.

Where should I focus my resources?

Easy Steps that Owners, Managers and On-Sites can take to improve REAC Physical Inspection Scores:

Conduct your own inspection prior to the REAC inspection.
Cite tenants for disabling smoke detectors.
Check for tenant-created problems, including tripping hazards (electrical cords), fire hazards (belongings too close to the baseboard heaters) and blocked egress (air conditioners in a room’s only window). Cite any violations.
Make sure electrical boxes are locked, even if they are in a locked room.
Make sure that all missing breakers are either replaced or properly covered.
Do not store anything wet or flammable in the room with the electrical panel in it, such as a mop bucket or a gasoline lawn mower.
Check to make sure that the tags on the fire extinguishers were properly notated as inspected by the Fire Department within the past year
Address sidewalk tripping hazards from settling (variance of more than a quarter inch).
Check for other unit tripping hazards (torn or separated carpet seams, deteriorated vinyl flooring).
Keep stairwells and hallways free of fire hazards. Cite tenants who block exits with belongings.
Replace cracked or missing light switch plate covers and outlet faceplates.
Ensure that management has a system for at least annual unit inspections to address ongoing repair needs, such as replacement of doors, windows, screens, flooring, etc.
Remove non-required, non-operational unit features. For example, pull cords that have been replaced by call-in systems must be removed, or they will be cited as non-operational, even if not in use.

How do I properly prepare for a reac inspection?

Property owners should check out the rental unit prior to the inspection and take care of any maintenance issues beforehand. Broken or worn out features should be repaired or replaced before the inspection. While cosmetic fixes should be taken care of, inspectors are specifically looking for violations that affect health and safety of tenants.