Are you thinking about refinancing your home? Trying to learn all the things involved in getting a mortgage can make your head spin. You probably know that getting your house appraised is one of the major steps in the process, but how does that work exactly? Is there anything you can or should do to prepare for the appraisal and try to raise the value of your home?
Yep, there are some things you can do. But, first, let’s look at some of the basic appraisal requirements for an FHA mortgage.
An FHA loan is a mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration. This means the government insures the loan so there is less risk for the mortgage lender in case a mortgage is defaulted on. FHA loans were created in response to all of the foreclosures in the 1930s and are very popular, especially for first-time home buyers. FHA loans are often easier to qualify for because they don’t require a high credit score or a high down payment – usually just 3.5%.
On the flip side, FHA loans require more insurance (because of the more relaxed standards), and the home has to meet certain requirements. If you’re applying for an FHA refinance you’ll have to get your home appraised by a special FHA-approved appraiser who looks at all the factors a regular appraiser does but takes a more in depth look at health and safety aspects and risks of the home.
The appraiser looks at things like if the home has handrails, broken windows, screens, pest infestation and other issues that aren’t necessarily as important for regular appraisals. One of the big things an FHA appraiser checks out is the age and condition of the paint on both the interior and exterior of the home to look for possible lead contamination and/or water damage.
For homes built before January 1, 1978, you have to protect against poisoning from lead-based paint, and even with homes built after 1978, the exterior paint has to be touched up if the finish is unprotected. If there are any areas, inside or out, where you have cracked, peeling, scaling or loose paint, you have to carefully wash, sand and scrape away the loose paint while making sure to catch all the paint chips with a drop cloth or something similar.
If your home doesn’t meet the requirements, you’re going to have to make the necessary repairs/upgrades before you can qualify for an FHA mortgage. So, if you want to refinance soon to take advantage of the current low rates, you can start working to get your home up to FHA standards now to help move the process along quickly and smoothly.
If you’ve got any damaged paint on your home, you’ll want to take care of that right away. You really can’t paint when the temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and the Paint Quality Institute recommends not painting when the temperature is 35-50 degrees.
There are some paints designed for cold weather like Sherwin-Williams LowTemp 35 line of products. Even with paint designed for temperatures as low as 35 degrees, remember that the air and the surface you’re painting can’t fall below 35 degrees, even at night. So, if you’re going to be painting in cold weather, you still need to keep an eye on the weather and plan ahead. Also, whatever other products you’re using, primer, stain, caulk etc. need to be designed for use in cold weather as well.
With FHA appraisals, you can be under the gun to get mandatory improvements done in a short period of time, but if you paint when it’s too cold or wet and the paint doesn’t last, then you’ve wasted your time and money.
Because the weather is slowly getting warmer, now is the perfect time to get a head start on your home improvements. If you’re painting inside your home, you’ll be fine with any indoor paint you find in the stores, but if you’re painting outside, there are some things you should know.
When it’s cold outside, below 50 degrees, paint will take a lot longer to dry, and this increases the risk of dust, dirt, bugs and other debris getting stuck in the paint or having it smear.
You can use either water or oil-based paint on exterior surfaces, but certain paints are better for particular materials. Oil-based primers and be used with either type of paint, but water-based primers should only be used with water-based paint.
The Home Depot has a great list of what kind of paint you should use based on what kind of surface you’re going to be painting.
You can use either oil or latex for floors and porches, but 100% acrylic latex usually works best because it’s weather-resistant.
Both oil and latex paints are available for gutters, but oil is better this time, especially for tin gutters. Oil-based paint also adheres well to galvanized steel and aluminum, but be sure to use a galvanized metal primer.
You can get both oil and latex paints for house/siding paint jobs – they’ll endure severe weather conditions.
Masonry paint is usually latex and works on stucco, concrete, cement and shingles. Often, you have to use some kind of bonding primer first.
For painting a pool or marine area, you’ll want a polymerized cement-based paint for concrete and granite surfaces. Make sure to look for paints that are stain and abrasion-resistant and double check the compatibility with your surface.
If you’re looking to paint the roof, you’ll need an acrylic-latex blend and it should be mildew/algae proof, but paint is never a substitute for waterproofing your roof.
Hopefully, you’ve found this info helpful, but if you have any questions or other information, please share them with us!