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Why Do the FHA’s Minimum Standards Exist?

Minimum standards exist to protect the lender. It means that the property should be easier to sell and command a higher price if the lender should foreclose. A borrower is more likely to stay in a home because they will not be burdened with expensive home repair bills, and will try harder to make payments during difficult financial times if the home is a pleasant place to live.

What Do the Minimum Standards Cover?

  1. Safety: The home should protect the health and safety of the occupants
  2. Security: The home should protect the security of the property
  3. Soundness: The property should not have physical deficiencies or conditions affecting its structural integrity.

What Do the Minimum Standards Require?

The FHA does not require the repair of cosmetic or minor defects, deferred maintenance and normal wear if they do not affect the safety, security or soundness of the home.

Areas where the FHA does require problems to be remedied in order for the home sale to close:

Electrical and Heating

  • The electrical box should not have any frayed or exposed wires.
  • All habitable rooms must have a functioning heat source.

Roofs and Attics

  • Roofing must keep moisture out, last for at least two more years and cannot have more than three layers of roofing. An appraiser must inspect the attic for evidence of possible roof problems.

Water Heaters

  • Water heaters must meet local building codes.

Hazards and Nuisances

  • Contaminated soil or proximity to a hazardous waste site, or oil and gas wells located on the property
  • Heavy traffic, airport noise, other sources of excessive noise
  • Proximity:
    • something that could explode, such as a high-pressure petroleum line
    • high-voltage power lines
    • a radio or TV transmission tower
  • Property Access: The property must provide safe and adequate access for pedestrians and vehicles, and the street must have an all-weather surface so that emergency vehicles can access the property under any weather conditions.

Structural Soundness

  • Any defective structural conditions that could lead to future damage must be remedied before the property can be sold. These include defective construction, excessive dampness, leakage, decay, termite damage and continuing settlement.


  • If an area of the home contains asbestos that appears to be damaged or deteriorating, the FHA requires further inspection.


  • The home must have a toilet, sink and shower.

For additional information, consult the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Homeownership Center Reference Guide.

Market Ready can help make sure your property meets all minimum requirements for safety.

Free estimates in most cases, you can reach us at:

Phone: Jenni – (614) 545-3190 ext 227