When submitting house plans in a Section 523-grant reapplication, must the plans and specs have an architect or engineer’s approval signature, or can I just submit the signed and approved plans with the appraisal package?

Signed: Submitting House Plans for Approval 

Dear Submitting House Plans for Approval,

Yes, all house plans must be certified using an architect or engineer and a completed, signed Rural Development Form 1924-25 must be sent to Rural Development for approval before they can be approved (usually through the Section 523 application process or as they are changed). This must be completed prior to ordering the appraisal. There just wouldn’t be time to conduct the review before you would want to order the appraisals, usually by a Rural Development state architect or state appointed architect (sometimes they are regional), which can take up to several months.

Here’s the language relating to this from Handbook 1-3550:


  1. Review and Approve the Drawings and Specifications

Once the drawings and specifications are finished, the Loan Originator should review them to ensure that they have been certified as meeting the Agency’s minimum standards contained in RD Instruction 1924-A. The plans, specifications, calculations, and any modifications should be certified by the design professional on Form RD 1924-25, Plan Certification, to ensure that the appropriate codes and standards are met. If all applicable requirements are met, the Loan Originator may accept the documents. If they do not meet the applicable requirements, the Loan Originator should inform the applicant and designer, in writing, of the deficiencies or discrepancies. Once these issues are resolved, the Loan Originator should review the drawings and specifications again.

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