My wife and I recently bought a 100 yr old rowhome in North Petworth recently using an FHA loan. No one then could give us a staright answer on what would be a disqualifying condition for the FHA. That being said, I think it really boils down to a few things from our housing search:
1. Is the house structurally sound? No hidden issues like foundation, termites, mold, water damage/leakage issues
2. Is the house livable? No exposed floors or missing plumbing fixtures, all windows and doors are present, drywall in decent condition, no signs of squatters.
The house we purchased had been renovated about 6 years ago, and was in good but not great condition. However, it passed the inspection and appraisal, and the FHA loan was approved rather painlessly(if you consider 12 late night trips to kinkos painless.)
Anyways, it’s a pain in the ass, but it’s worth it, because North Petworth is a great neighborhood, and you’ll be glad you took the plunge.