If you plan to buy a home with a septic tank, it is important to know the FHA septic system loan rules that need met before this type of home mortgage will be approved.

FHA Septic System Loan RulesThe Federal Housing Administration (FHA) folks are just as concerned about the home’s value as they are the safety of the residence. They are able to delay the sale of the house if they deem that any part, septic system included, could result in problems.

Your responsibility early in the buying process is making sure the home’s septic system and well have a clean bill of health, then the appraisal can move forward.

Will FHA Lenders Approve Loans For Homes With Septic Tanks?

The short answer is: Yes, an FHA home loan is possible on homes with septic tanks!

If a public system is not available or connection is not feasible than community or private systems are an option.  It must be acceptable to local authorities and comply with HUD Handbook 4940.3 at Hud.gov.

The FHA lender is responsible for being sure the property meets the HUD requirements, the system meets local licensing ordinances, and is adequate to serve the property. The approval process also includes an appraisal of the property by the lender’s FHA approved appraiser.

When you find the house that you want usually the property can be improved or repaired to meet the FHA guidelines allowing the sale to proceed. If for some reason the requirements can not be met, loan applicants will have to look for an alternate home or a different type of Non-FHA financing.

What Are The FHA Septic System Loan Rules and Guidelines?

Consider the following septic system guidelines when seeking approval for FHA home loans:

Local Septic System Ordinances

The septic system must be approved by and comply with all local ordinances and licensing requirements.  This includes city, county or state permitting requirements.  For more information on properties in Florida visit:

A Guide To Florida Septic Tank Regulations and Rules

How To Obtain A Septic System Permit In Lake County

Septic Tank Operating Safely

Since the home does not have service by the city sewage system, the FHA septic system guidelines are much different concerning self-contained septic systems. One of the FHA appraiser’s main goals is to make certain that the septic tank system is both operational and safe for your family to be around.

The appraiser will inspect the age of the system, the land around the house, the type of system, and how deep the septic tank is in relation to the ground water.  If the appraiser sees or suspects a problem with the septic system a formal septic inspection by a specialist may be required.

Signs of Contamination

The appraiser must carefully check the areas around the system for any signs of contamination that could put the health of your family at risk. Liquid-based contaminants could include distressed vegetation, standing water, odors, and discolored soil.

Distance Between Septic System and Water Well

Many properties with a septic system are often serviced by well water too. The guidelines concerning how far apart the two must be are very specific.

In order for the FHA lender to approve the mortgage, the well has to be at least 50 feet from the home’s septic tank and at least 100 feet from the septic tank’s drainage field. The well must also be at least 10 feet from the property line. These numbers are exact and if the well falls under those requirements, the inspection will fail until changes are made.

A professional surveyor’s sketch may be required showing the location and distance between the property line, septic tank, drainage field, and well.  A test of the chemical make-up of the well water may also be requested to see if there are any contaminants present.

The Well Water Pump Test

When there is a well on the property, the FHA appraiser will perform two main tests.

First, many of the water fixtures will be run inside the house to see how the water level in the well drops.

The pump test is when the appraiser checks to see how much water passes in one minute, where 3 to 5 gallons is usually an acceptable rate for an old system, new wells must pump at least 5 gallons a minute.

If you have concerns about the FHA septic system loan requirements affecting the sale of the home, many of these issues can be addressed when you call the local septic system company and have them do an inspection first. The team is then able to address those issues before the appraiser arrives, allowing the loan process to move along without delay.