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Foundation Inspection Certification: The What, When and Why’s of a Foundation Inspection Certification

Reviewed by: David Naimey

Approved by: Chad Turner

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Lenders may request a Foundation Inspection Certification for appraisals or HUD/FHA purchasing.
  • Appraisers seek it for identified issues like cracks, damage, or moisture in the foundation.
  • Vital for manufactured homes, ensuring a stable, permanent foundation per HUD/FHA guidelines.
  • The certification must bear a licensed engineer’s signature and seal if required by the state.
  • Costs range from $350 to $450, potentially covered by the buyer or seller based on the Purchase Contract.

ON THIS PAGE

Foundation Inspection Certifications: A Brief Introduction

In the process of obtaining a mortgage, your lender may request a Foundation Inspection or a Foundation Certification. A Foundation Inspection Certification may be requested for several reasons, such as being requested by the appraiser due to his or her inspection, or the home being manufactured and needing to be certified for HUD/FHA purchasing.

Foundation Inspection Certifications For Appraisals

Foundation Inspection Certifications are documents that certify that a foundation of a home meets local and HUD/FHA guidelines. This can mean several things. If an appraiser requests a Foundation Inspection Certificate, this is usually due to the spotting of a crack or damage in the foundation of a home during their inspection. The appraiser can also request a Foundation Inspection Certification when there’s evidence of moisture or mold in the basement or in the crawl space, as this can be evidence that the foundation is not properly sealed, or there are cracks that were otherwise unable to be detected by a quick inspection of the basement or crawl space. Remember that an appraiser will not do a full home inspection. This means that a full in-depth inspection of the basement or crawl space may not be done by the appraiser. This Foundation Inspection Certification will be necessary to ultimately clear the Appraisal Report for the lender, so that the appraiser is satisfied that the home is on a solid foundation without any indication of failure and/or need of repair. 

Foundation Inspection Certifications For Manufactured Homes

The Foundation Inspection Certification in regards to HUD/FHA purchasing of a manufactured home may be obtained for a different reason. The foundation certification report for a manufactured home are required in certain counties across the country, but not all. In most cases, the Foundation Inspection Certification may be needed to verify that the foundation is currently present, is fixed or permanent, and is functional.  An example of a permanent foundation is one that is constructed of durable materials, such as concrete, or specifically treated wood, and that the foundation is site built. The manufactured home, according to the HUD/FHA Guidelines, must have attachment points to anchor and stabilize the manufactured home to transfer all loads to underlying soil or rock. In other words, the lender will need to verify that the home will not be unstable during inclement weather, like high winds, or become unaffixed from the soil through normal and abnormal conditions in conformance of local guidelines. The Foundation Inspection Certification must be performed by a professional certified foundation engineer or architect.

What Needs To Be On The Foundation Inspection Certification?

The Foundation Inspection Certification will ultimately clear up any concern from a home inspector or an appraiser, and will also clear the required condition by the lender for manufactured homes, if it is required in that specific county. The Foundation Inspection Certification will need to also have the certified and licensed engineer’s signature and seal if a seal is required by the state. If the state issues seals with the engineer’s license, then a seal is also required on the completed Foundation Inspection Certification.

What Will It Cost?

A Foundation Inspection Certification may cost anywhere between $350 to $450 depending on location. This cost may be covered by the seller or the buyer, depending on the Purchase Contract. We hope this blog post will help a buyer interested in buying a manufactured home or a seller wishing to sell a manufactured home by preparing them for additional costs.

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