If you’re a buyer, real estate agent or loan officer, you’re probably deeply aware that if a property built before 1978 has chipping paint, that’s a situation that needs to be cured if you are doing an FHA loan.
Why is that? Before 1978 lead-base paint was used, so if there is a defective paint surface on a house (chipping, flaking or peeling paint), then little Johnny shouldn’t be able to pull away pieces of paint for a quick snack. That smells like a health and safety issue to me (and HUD).
What about properties built after 1978? If a house has flaking paint, but was built in 1993, does the paint surface have to be cured? Obviously there shouldn’t be lead-base paint because the house was built post-1978, so it should be okay, right?
I asked this question last week at a presentation I gave at the Sacramento Association of Realtors and I think there was some confusion in the room on this point. Here’s the deal. The defective paint surface DOES have to be cured because FHA is not okay with bare wood which could lead to wood decay and not support the longevity of the property. The rule of thumb then is that if there is a defective paint surface, regardless of the age, the surface must be properly cured.