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Can you get a reverse mortgage with a dug well?

By Carolann B. on 11.12.2019

Hello Carolann,

HUD will approve properties with individual water systems (wells) but there are several requirements the property and system must meet.  Rather than repeating the HUD manual for each type of well (private, shared or community), I have linked to the HUD website Here where you can access the HUD manual 4000.1 if you would like to see the individual requirements. 

Those requirements differ if your water source is from a private well that services just your property or if it is a shared well or community source.  The manual itself is over 1,000 pages long so remember that the sections on water systems starts on page 166.  Here is the verbiage from the manual though for a private well (one on your property that only services your home):

(2) Individual Water Supply Systems. (Wells). 

When an Individual Water Supply System is present, the Mortgagee (the lender) must ensure that the water quality meets the requirements of the health authority with jurisdiction. If there are no local (or state) water quality standards, then water quality must meet the standards set by the EPA, as presented in the National Primary Drinking Water regulations in 40 CFR §§ 141 and 142.

  1. Requirements for Well Water Testing A well water test is required for, but not limited to, Properties:

• that are newly constructed;

• where an Appraiser has reported deficiencies with a well or the well water;

• where water is reported to be unsafe or known to be unsafe;

• located near dumps, landfills, industrial sites, farms (pesticides) or other sites that could contain hazardous wastes; or

• where the distance between the well and septic system is less than 100 feet


All testing must be performed by a disinterested third party. This includes the collection and transport of the water sample collected at the water supply source. The sample must be collected and tested by the local health authority, a commercial testing laboratory, a licensed sanitary engineer, or other party that is acceptable to the local health authority. At no time will the Borrower/owner or other Interested Party collect and/or transport the sample.


Requirements for the location of wells for FHA-insured Properties are in 24 CFR § 200.926d (f) (3). The following tables provide the minimum distance required between wells and sources of pollution for Existing Construction:

Image from FHA handbook: 



Required Documentation the Mortgagee (Lender) must obtain a valid water test from the local health authority or a lab qualified to conduct water testing in the jurisdictional state or local authority.

The manual goes on to outline the requirements for shared wells so if your property is serviced by a shared well (the well may be located on your land or someone else’s but you share the well and water with at least one other owner), I would encourage you to go to the link above and start at page 168 of the manual if you are curious about what the lender and appraiser will be required to be sure with what your property complies regarding the well.


Also See: 

Reverse Mortgage Property Requirements

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