Appraisal and Inspections
At this point of your application journey, you will be contacted by the Strategic Buyout Program to schedule inspections at your property.
In addition to the inspections, applicants will be encouraged to engage with housing counseling services beginning in Step 4. Housing counselors will be available to provide classes on how to purchase a home, the ongoing responsibilities of homeownership, and credit repair and enhancement.
Property inspections are mandatory to determine eligibility and to move forward in the program. Inspections will follow COVID-19 safety standards in accordance with CDC guidelines.
The following inspections will be conducted during Step 4:
The boundary survey will define the legal boundaries of your property. It will also make sure that there are no conflicts with your property boundaries that are inconsistent with the future open space, recreational, or natural floodplain uses of the property. Examples of conflicts are a neighbor’s shed being built on your property, or use of your property by a utility company.
The property appraisal is how the program will determine the value of your property. A qualified appraiser will visit the property to inspect it. They may spend several hours on the property, looking at the structure, taking pictures, and making notes on the condition of the property. They will also do research into other properties in your neighborhood to see if any of them have recently been purchased, and at what amount. All this information will be used to determine the current Fair Market Value of your property.
Please note that you are required to be on site during the appraisal. If you are unable to be on site, you may designate someone else (such as the co-applicant or another household member) to be on site for you.
Lead-Based Paint Assessment
Properties constructed before 1978 are federally required to receive a lead-based paint risk assessment. If your property is vacant and will remain vacant until it is purchased by the program, it is exempt from the lead-based paint risk assessment requirement.
If your property was built before 1978, is occupied by anyone, and is safe to enter, the program’s lead-based risk assessor will test your paint, take samples of the soil outside, and sample the dust on floors and windowsills inside. The assessor will need to inspect both the interior and exterior of the property.
Once a lead-based paint risk assessment is completed for your property, the program will send you an evaluation notice to inform you if lead-based paint was found or not.
Properties with lead-based paint, or properties that are presumed to have it, will be demolished in a way that keeps the surrounding community and our demolition contractors safe from lead-based paint risks.
Asbestos Building Survey
All properties that are safe to enter must receive an asbestos building survey, which is required by state and federal law. This survey ensures that damaged properties are free of hazardous, asbestos-containing materials that could affect the health of the people who occupy your property, the surrounding community, or contractors that will be demolishing your property. During the asbestos building survey, the program’s asbestos inspector will inspect your property and take samples to determine whether hazardous materials are present. If asbestos is present and you decide to sell your property to the program, the property will be demolished in a way that safely disposes of any asbestos.
An environmental review is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to make sure:
- There are no environmental hazards, such as underground fuel tanks.
- There are no negative impacts to the community’s social, cultural, and historical make-up.
- There is no historic value to your property.
To learn more about appraisal and inspections, please view the Strategic Buyout Program Manual.
Proceed to Step 5: Offer Determination and Closing