Picking the correct Plan Consultant will make an FHA 203(k) loan process run smoothly.  The Plan Consultant selected must be on FHA’s approved list.  At the outset, the Plan Consultant’s responsibility is to inspect the property to discover any safety issues, property code violations, FHA minimum property standard issues, and anything the applicant may wish to address. Based on that visit, the Plan Consultant will develop the scope and cost of the job presented as a document entitled a “Work Write Up.” There are 35 different property components that must be examined. The “Work Write Up,” done properly, will develop costs for labor and material as well as ancillary items such as the need for a dumpster and cleanup.

As a best practice, we suggest a buyer develop a list of what they would like to change. Further, it helps to draft a proposed layout of the house including labeling all rooms. Armed with such a document the Plan Consultant can develop a detailed project report outlining the scope and cost of the project.

Once the construction phase begins, the Plan Consultant remains involved in the project.  As work is completed, either the homeowner or the contractor will contact the lender to request an inspection of the phase of the project that is completed.  The lender will most often assign the inspection of the work to the original Plan Consultant.

During the construction phase, the continued involvement of the Plan Consultant is beneficial.   A knowledgeable consultant will be able to assist the contractor and the homeowner in working through any challenges that arise during construction.

It is crucial to make sure that before selecting a Plan Consultant, discuss their experience not only with the FHA 203(k) loan program but also with residential construction, in general.