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  #1  
Old 01/03/11, 12:02 PM
Acres of Blessing Farm
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: West Virginia
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Exclamation HELP: FHA heating requirements & Wood Boiler

We're coming down to the wire on closing on our new house (Jan 14th) and have hit a snag. The appraiser says we have to have a permanent SECONDARY heating system per FHA. There are NO heating ducts, etc in the house, it's all heated by radiant heat in the flooring fed by the Outdoor Wood Boiler. When we looked up the requirements, it mentions only WOOD STOVES which according to the EPA and others is a completely different beast. I know boilers can go longer without feeding than a wood stove for example.

The question is this: Has anyone gotten a FHA loan with a Wood BOILER only? If not, what did you do to satisfy their requirements??? Baseboard heaters?

TIA,
Mike

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  #2  
Old 01/03/11, 12:06 PM
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U look at this?

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  #3  
Old 01/03/11, 12:12 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: ne colorado
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install a window unit heatpump. like an ac but also heats. after you close take it out if you want. might find a used one from a hotel around your area.

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  #4  
Old 01/03/11, 12:18 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Former State of Franklin
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Buy one baseboard heater....they are cheap. Problem solved.

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Old 01/03/11, 12:33 PM
Acres of Blessing Farm
 
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po boy - Yup, that's why we're hoping to find someone with information on a wood boiler. A wood stove heats air directly inside the house (air to air). A wood boiler heats water which is pump into the house where it transfers the heat. We may be splitting hairs but the EPA recognizes the difference as do most insurance companies.

TnAndy- Well, no. We could add a baseboard heater in each bathroom - no problem. The problem is the kitchen. The regs state that the heating system must keep all living areas with plumbing above 50 degrees. The kitchen is open to the living room/dining room, so we would have to put something in that would heat 900-1000 square feet! I don't know if a baseboard would do that.

rancher1913 - Unfortunately it has to be a permanent system. IE hardwired and bolted-in if we go with something electrical.

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Old 01/03/11, 01:57 PM
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RAdiant heat in the flooring? Not in the Kitchen???

something in that would heat 900-1000 square feet! I don't know if a baseboard would do that.

Ask the lender/originator to ask the appraiser..

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  #7  
Old 01/03/11, 02:08 PM
Acres of Blessing Farm
 
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The radiant heat IS in the kitchen, it's just fed by the wood boiler. Therefore, it cannot be considered a primary heat source per FHA guidelines (at least according to the appraiser). We have PEX tubing going throughout the whole house but again, being hooked to a wood boiler, the appraiser says it has to be backed up by another heat source.

The appraiser recommended a $3500+ gas fired boiler but we don't even own the house yet!!!

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Last edited by m39fan; 01/03/11 at 02:11 PM. Reason: can't spel!
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  #8  
Old 01/03/11, 02:31 PM
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I missed the part new house.

Will the seller share any of the cost?

What does your contract say?

AND I am confused. House has radiant heat through out and the only issue is the kitchen? May be the size of the room, since it is open to the LR..

Again, see if the lender/originator will find out about electric baseboard heat in the kitchen.................. Should not be expensive. seller may pay, depending on contract...

Be cautious if you decide to do it at your expense.. I would never recommend that..

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  #9  
Old 01/03/11, 02:48 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m39fan View Post

TnAndy- Well, no. We could add a baseboard heater in each bathroom - no problem. The problem is the kitchen. The regs state that the heating system must keep all living areas with plumbing above 50 degrees. The kitchen is open to the living room/dining room, so we would have to put something in that would heat 900-1000 square feet! I don't know if a baseboard would do that.
Guess what ?.....the appraiser doesn't either....ahahahaaa. His mission is to check the box that says "Type of heat".

Since you don't even plan to use it, what difference does it make ?

Stick 'em in there to get the appraisal/loan and move on.

Me personally, I'd screw them to the baseboard and wouldn't even wire them in. You can honestly say it "has baseboard heaters"....their ability to produce heat is a whole nuther story....ahahaaaa

BUT then I'd also want to see the requirements in writing on wood stove versus wood boiler.

Another option is to put a gas water heater in, plumbed into the same water line as your wood system as a backup, which most likely WOULD keep the house up to 50 degrees or better.
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Old 01/03/11, 08:24 PM
 
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You have to have a heat source that will heat your house all the time. If you are away from your home for a long weekend or more you must have a heat source that will keep your home from freezing. The most acceptable sources are gas, fuel oil and electric heat. It sounds like you need to go back to the seller and ask them to install the appropriate system. If they want to sell the house, then that is what will be needed. If I were the seller I would rather pay the $3500, then to have to put it back on the market and make a few more house payments. Seriously, it will be hard to sell without a "stable" heat source.

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  #11  
Old 01/03/11, 09:13 PM
 
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what if you added the propane backup option on the outdoor boiler.

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  #12  
Old 01/03/11, 09:17 PM
 
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I believe that if you attach a gun burner to the outdoor wood boiler it will meet the requirement. What I understand is that you must have a stand alone, not manned, heating system to meet the requirements. It would not be a bad idea to have this feature in event no one was home to fire the boiler.

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  #13  
Old 01/03/11, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m39fan View Post
The radiant heat IS in the kitchen, it's just fed by the wood boiler. Therefore, it cannot be considered a primary heat source per FHA guidelines (at least according to the appraiser). We have PEX tubing going throughout the whole house but again, being hooked to a wood boiler, the appraiser says it has to be backed up by another heat source.

The appraiser recommended a $3500+ gas fired boiler but we don't even own the house yet!!!
************************************************** **
We built our dream home with an outdoor wood boiler with an underground piping system,
that comes into the house and then goes to a manifold from which pex tubing goes throughout the
house as underfloor heating. The inspector stated that we had to have another form of
heating BESIDES strictly wood heat. We argued the matter, but he insisted that
the state code required it. Initially we were going to go with a high efficiency propane
hot water heater tied into the system, but at the last minute the inspector reneged and stated
that he couldn't/wouldn't pass it because he didn't feel that it had the capacity to keep
the temperature at the required level to live comfortably. We then examined our remaining
options and I purchased a number of electrical baseboards, but nixxed that idea as too expensive
to maintain. We finally found that they made a super large *(80+) gallon Comdicore which is
a very well insulated double tank propane fired water heater and plumbed it into the
system coming from the outdoor wood boiler. We use it for our domestic potable hot water and it stays
hot enough to do the dishes, several washer load of clothes and plenty of showers for around
2 days before we have to heat the water again. That baby set us back around $1200.00,
but it enabled us to get our certificate of occupancy. It is 'supposed' to come on automatically,
should the wood boiler fail to provide heat, but I've never finished the final connection.
Perhaps one day when I'm too old to fire up a chain saw or carry the chunks of wood to feed
the monster.......but until then, the propane gets to stay in the tanks set up outside for that eventuality.

BTW: I understand that there are some brands of wood boilers that are multi-fueled and use not
only wood, but natural or propane gas or oil. Might check into those options as well as a solution.
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Last edited by copperkid3; 01/03/11 at 11:40 PM.
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  #14  
Old 01/04/11, 08:10 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MN
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Well, your 2 cheapest options are to tie into the current radient system with another boiler, either lp or electric fired. Many outdoor boilers have such an option? Or a stand alone. This puts the heater out of the way.

Or put in cheap clunky electric baseboards. I know, not terrible cheap... 220v models should probably get sized right to heat the house.... How many btu does it need, should be a number at the tip of your fingers for a new building?

This farmhouse was heated with only wood from 1926-1971 here in Minnesota, a boiler in the basement. Don't believe govt financing was ever involved tho. So, someone was around the house every 12 hours (really 8...) or less for 5 solid months a year for 45 years. Having a backup isn't really the worst idea....

--->Paul

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  #15  
Old 01/04/11, 09:49 AM
White Mtns of AZ
 
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Location: NE Arizona mountains
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Rather than going the route of what the appraiser says, why not go to your lender and try for a "Non-conforming Loan?? Not all houses conform to FHA standards and people do get loans on them.

FHA standards are set (one reason) so banks have a base standard to loan to and then bundle the loans to investors. Easier to sell to investors if they're all FHA.

I'd check to see exactly what code says in your area. Look up UBC (Uniform Building Code/ heating) as that's usually what counties/cities build by. Ask the city/county what you need to pass inspection - that's your bottom line. I'd also go to whomever installed your heating system and see if they can help you resolve this issue as they probably have encountered this problem before. There seems to be a lot of money at stake here & I'd not go down without exploring ALL avenues.

A non-conforming loan may be a %age or 2 higher, but in the long run, may be cheaper than trying to install another heating system.

Remember, he's JUST the appraiser - tells you what the value of your house is worth. He's NOT an inspector, that'll pass/fail your house, plus he's hired by the bank (even though you end up paying for the appraisal) I'd call the bank, not let him finish (you don't want to pay for 2 appraisals) fight this, them have him come back.

I hope you've locked in your interest rate as rates are inching up & this may be an extended fight. You can also go to a mtg. broker, they can find you a non-conforming loan (if that's what you end up needing), then take your loan package from the first lender....lenders hate that & will fuss...

Good luck.

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Last edited by Wolf mom; 01/04/11 at 09:59 AM.
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  #16  
Old 01/04/11, 09:03 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: MN
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If you do a secondary market loan (FHA, VA, Conventional) you will need a stable heating source. FHA and VA are very strict on what is required. Here is a link to the FHA heating requirements http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/ref/sfhp1-26.cfm
It is possible to do an in house loan with only the wood heat, but would probably require 20+ percent downpayment.

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