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  • Selling a house FHA, electrical question.

    So, I finally have a buyer lined up for my old house and while I knew I would have to do some items, like a new electrical panel (mine was a Federal Pacific which they frown upon), I was surprised by what the FHA appraiser wants done.
    For starters, I should mention that the buyer had a home inspection done and the electrical items the guy pointed out were the box and that a couple of GFI outlets needed to be added, otherwise all good. So, the FHA appraiser comes in and he says that all wiring in the basement must be run thru the floor joists or in conduit and it can not be stapled to the sill plate or the side of any floor joist. Now, I understand not having a wire tacked to the underside of a joist, but to run alongside a joist and tacked up 5 inches or so from the bottom, I thought that was fine. So, I had 2 different licensed electricians come thru and they took a look at my wiring and said it was code however the FHA appraiser informs me that while it may be fine for conventional it is not OK for FHA. So, everything is going into conduit but I wanted to see if any of you guys have ever run into this or if this appraiser has some bad info.
    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    I would throw the BS flag. I was in electrical contracting for 7.5 years. I think the NEC (National Electric Code) can be pretty stringent on things, so I don't know how an appraiser could dictate more stringent rules. I would challenge him to show you wording in the FHA Law where that is necessary or get his supervisor involved.
    Sounds like someone needs an ego stroked. Or if he is that insistent, I would put it on the buyers to square up those costs.

    Maybe you can post your question here:
    http://www.fhainfo.com/forum/viewfor...8945435c95ea8e
    Last edited by homer12; 11-19-2013, 08:00 AM.

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    • #3
      Wires stapled along the sill plate and along the side of the joist are completely legal and in compliance with National Electrical Code (NEC). I do know that FHA loans are subject to their own independent standards, but I have to believe that this FHA inspector is off base. Otherwise every house in my town would fail. I've never seen a house that didn't have romex stapled to the side of a joist. And I know of a lot of houses that sold recently with FHA loans. FWIW I am a Master Electrician, certified IAEI Electrical Inspector and Plan Reviewer. You or your buyer needs to speak to the inspector again and somehow ask him if there is any chance he misread or misapplied the regulation. And ask to see it.
      '97 Prostar 190 - LT-1

      Prior boats - 2009 X14, 2008 X14, 2005 197, 1988 Tristar 190, 1989 Prostar.

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      • #4
        Ding Ding Ding^^^^^^^^^^^^^^. What John said.
        ______________________________

        You look like I need a beer!

        2001 Prostar 195 Sold

        2007 X45 LY6

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        • #5
          Thanks for the feedback. I actually spoke with this appraiser and had my electrician there as well and even though we pointed out in the code where I was legal, he would not back down. When I asked to see it in writing and why FHA code would supercede that of national codes, he simply went on to spout some BS about how a kid could be playing around in a basement and spear a knife thru the wire if it is not in conduit, to which I replied, well, if it is run thru the joists, can't he do the same and doesn't it make it easier for him to jump up and grab it!

          In the end, it boils down to this guy needing to make a statement and if I push too far on this he will just ding me on some other BS item that will likely cost me twice as much. Just wanted to make sure that I was not off base though in my thinking and to see what others had experienced. Funny, he never said a word about the electric box itself, but the home inspector did.
          Have to pick and choose your battles as it does me no good to win the battle but lose the war.

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          • #6
            Funny how almost anything having to do with the Federal goverment is just FUBAR!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jkski View Post
              Thanks for the feedback. I actually spoke with this appraiser and had my electrician there as well and even though we pointed out in the code where I was legal, he would not back down. When I asked to see it in writing and why FHA code would supercede that of national codes, he simply went on to spout some BS about how a kid could be playing around in a basement and spear a knife thru the wire if it is not in conduit, to which I replied, well, if it is run thru the joists, can't he do the same and doesn't it make it easier for him to jump up and grab it!

              In the end, it boils down to this guy needing to make a statement and if I push too far on this he will just ding me on some other BS item that will likely cost me twice as much. Just wanted to make sure that I was not off base though in my thinking and to see what others had experienced. Funny, he never said a word about the electric box itself, but the home inspector did.
              Have to pick and choose your battles as it does me no good to win the battle but lose the war.
              Give someone a little power and they take advantage of it, plus he needs to justify his job. Sounds like your doing the best option, especially since you want to sell the place.

              A kid playing with a knife isn't the best example either. FHA loans stink from a sellers point of view based on your example and my brother had issues too, but his was on comparables and the appraised value of his house.
              If its not a competition ski boat, its always second best.

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              "In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress." - John Adams

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              • #8
                I understand the point of having FHA guidelines. Some requirements that they enforce are unenforceable any other way. Such as having open stairs leading to a basement with no ballusters or handrails. A case like that may precede building codes (State building code here in MA was non existent until 1973. And there is no mechanism to require it be brought up to code. So FHA requires it.

                But I have to believe that the FHA inspector is way off base. Is there a way to ask to speak to his supervisor? I believe he is confusing wires stapled under the joist run perpendicular scenario with your scenario.
                '97 Prostar 190 - LT-1

                Prior boats - 2009 X14, 2008 X14, 2005 197, 1988 Tristar 190, 1989 Prostar.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JohnE View Post
                  I understand the point of having FHA guidelines. Some requirements that they enforce are unenforceable any other way. Such as having open stairs leading to a basement with no ballusters or handrails. A case like that may precede building codes (State building code here in MA was non existent until 1973. And there is no mechanism to require it be brought up to code. So FHA requires it.

                  But I have to believe that the FHA inspector is way off base. Is there a way to ask to speak to his supervisor? I believe he is confusing wires stapled under the joist run perpendicular scenario with your scenario.
                  The appraiser that is requiring this is a solo practice and from my conversation with him, they are certified FHA appraisers/inspectors (not really sure what that means/amounts to though). I asked if there was any higher power that I could appeal this to and was told no. Based on my conversation with him, I could see I was going to get nowhere and the $200 it is going to cost me to have a certified electrician put "C" shaped conduit over the wiring is likely less that some other thing he will come up with if I complain. In the end I just like to be educated.

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                  • #10
                    Still sounds like you are getting the sharp end of the stick if there is no appeal available. Absolute power is a very dangerous thing. Could you not ask for another opinion from another inspector? I just don't like being pushed around by that kind of people, almost without regard to how much it costs. Those who stand up for their rights are now the exception.
                    Bob

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jkski View Post
                      I could see I was going to get nowhere and the $200 it is going to cost me to have a certified electrician put "C" shaped conduit over the wiring is likely less that some other thing he will come up with if I complain. .
                      ^^ This. Not worth the time effort or headache to fight it. Unfortunately FHA appraisers and loan underwriters are GOD in real estate. Is it right? Who knows but in the grand scheme of a real estate deal $200 isn't worth worrying about.
                      sigpic

                      1997 Prostar 190, TBI 350, 1:1, OJ XMP 13 x 11.5, Stargazer, Hot Shower, Heated Drivers Seat, Reuben/Mountain Rock/Nite Navy


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                      • #12
                        FHA inspectors win in the end....been there lived it...

                        The more you fight the more it costs you

                        Keep in mind I'm not fond of FHA inspectors at all!!!

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                        • #13
                          It sounds like crap but at only $200, I would certainly pay it and get my house sold--in the grand scheme of things it's a minor amount and not worth the risk of cancelling the sale. Is it right? No. Life isn't fair and anyone who says differently is trying to sell you something.
                          "This one goes to eleven." 2007 ProStar 197 TT w/MCX and Powerslot.

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                          • #14
                            be glad it's not a VA loan.... Just do what you need to to get the house sold. The last VA contract that my wife did, the inspector required a natural cedar fence to be "painted". I am not sure why, there are natural cedar fences all over the place here, paint just holds the moisture in so they don't breathe properly. After the seller threw some paint at the fence in the pouring rain. it was seriously hideous, but "painted" none the less. Inspector bought off, and the sale went through... good luck with your sale!

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                            • #15
                              I am a Broker and I agree, sometimes there is a time to fight and sometimes...waive the white flag. This $200 electrical issue is not right, but you tried to fight it and he won't "man up", so move forward. If it were thousands, then you dig in but here just bite the bullet.
                              "One foot in the grave, one foot on the pedal, I was born a rebel" Petty

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