Q. What are the most common residential property appraisal items requiring repair?

First Alert Carbon Monoxide Detector

Missing Carbon Monoxide Detectors. The Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010 requires that carbon monoxide detection devices must be installed in any dwelling unit which will be used for human occupation. For optimum performance, CO Detectors should be placed below knee level on every floor of the home and at least 15 feet away from any fossil burning appliances or the garage to ensure accurate CO gas reads. For more information, click here

Roof Condition. California state roof regulations require that roofs must not leak or be cause for any moisture to enter into the dwelling. Additionally, California law allows no more than two (2) layers of composition shingles due to excess weight on the structure. Residential roofs must also be able to function properly for an additional two (2) years after the property is sold/purchased. If this is not the case, the property appraiser must indicate if the roof needs repair or replacement. 

Earthquake Strapping for Hot Water HeaterMissing Earthquake Strapping. If water heaters are not properly braced, they can topple over during an earthquake. Catastrophic damage caused by poor strapping may include broken gas lines and/or gas leaks, broken water lines and/or flooding, and fires which can cause major damage to homes and serious injuries to occupants. Therefore, water heaters in California are required to have double earthquake strapping on the upper and lower thirds of the tank in order to meet earthquake safety standards. (Tankless water heaters are excluded.) Temperature Pressure Relief Valves (TPRV’s) and overflow pipes are also required.

Frayed/Exposed Electrical Wiring. Frayed or exposed electrical wiring issues must be resolved. Most exterior outlets must be fitted with weatherproof covers, and missing light switch or outlet covers must be replaced. Uncovered junction boxes are also susceptible to damage, accidental contact, and can contain exposed, hazardous wires. Therefore, California State regulations require that energized junction boxes must be covered. 

Q. What are the requirements for the presence of Kitchen Appliances?

Appliance regulationsBuilt-in appliances are considered real property, and are required to be present by the FHA. Slide-in appliances such as a slide-in refrigerator or stove are considered personal property and are not generally required by the FHA. Additionally, if a gas appliance is not present, regardless of its location in the dwelling, the gas line must be capped.

Q. If I’m buying a home, should the seller’s real estate agent receive a copy of my lender’s appraisal?

Mortgage lenders order property appraisals on behalf of their borrowers, the home buyers. Home sellers and their agents do not automatically receive copies of an appraisal. However, if a seller wants a copy, he/she should consider asking for one from the buyer’s agent. A lender might require written permission from its borrower before providing the home appraisal to the seller. Keep in mind that a copy of the appraisal will come in handy if the value is unexpectedly low and price negotiation ensues.


This article from Homelight walks you through what to expect from a property appraisal and how sellers can prepare to maximize the value of their home.

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