Ask The Appraiser - Do I Need to Replace a Cracked Window?



Question:

As an appraiser, I get asked many questions multiple times a day. Sometimes the answers are clear, but sometimes they require a bit of detective work. Yesterday, an agent asked me about a cracked window on a listing - they wanted to know if it would be required to be replaced for an FHA loan.

Answer:

Maybe.

FHA handbook 4000.1 states:

    “The Appraiser must limit required repairs to those repairs necessary to:

    • maintain the safety, security and soundness of the Property
    • preserve the continued marketability of the Property
    • protect the health and safety of the occupants
     
    The Appraiser may complete an as-is appraisal for existing Properties when minor property deficiencies, which generally result from deferred maintenance and normal wear and tear, do not affect the health and safety of the occupants or the security and soundness of the Property.

    Cosmetic or minor repairs are not required, but the Appraiser must report and consider them in the overall condition when rating and valuing the Property. Cosmetic repairs include missing handrails that do not pose a threat to safety, holes in window screens, cracked window glass, defective interior paint surfaces in housing constructed after 1978, minor plumbing leaks that do not cause damage (such as a dripping faucet), and other inoperable or damaged components that in the Appraiser’s professional judgment do not pose a health and safety issue to the occupants of the house.

    If an element is functioning well but has not reached the end of its useful life, the Appraiser should not recommend replacement because of age.”

Therefore based on this information from FHA, a cracked window would not require repair. HOWEVER - if the cracked window is a potential hazard to the health or safety of the occupant (has a sharp edge) or poses a potential hazard to the structural integrity of the home (provides a possible leak in the seal) then it would be required to be repaired.


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