October 17, 2017

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Articles Published in: December 2015

Apply For An FHA Loan In 2016

If you are considering any type of home loan in 2016, be sure to explore your options with FHA mortgages, refinancing, or reverse mortgages. FHA loans offer a variety of advantages over conventional mortgages including lower interest rates (based on your financial qualifications), built-in protections for the buyer, and more. FHA New Purchase Loans There are many options with an FHA mortgage for single-family homes. New purchase loans include the option to add extra funds to the loan for energy-efficient upgrades or improvements. You can also consider purchasing a fixer-upper using an FHA rehab loan where funds are made available to repair/upgrade the property to FHA minimum standards. The loans mentioned above are intended for owner-occupied residences and would be not be available for investment properties. An FHA new purchase | more...

 
When Is An FHA Loan Better Than A Conventional Loan?

FHA Loan Rules In HUD 4000.1 On Closing Costs, Discount Points

FHA loan rules in HUD 4000.1 include some instructions to the lender about closing costs, discount points, down payment funds, and much more. Can a borrower use closing costs as part of his or her down payment? What does the FHA rulebook say about interest rate lock-in fees? There are many rules and regulations–borrowers and lenders alike should be familiar with the guidelines. For example, when it comes to the down payment question, FHA loan rules are clear that the down payment money is a separate and distinct thing from closing costs. Specifically, HUD 4000.1 states: “The Mortgagee is not permitted to use closing costs to help the Borrower meet the Minimum Required Investment (MRI).” So that means an FHA borrower will need to budget for both closing costs and | more...

 

FHA Loans and Escrow Accounts

In cases where an FHA home loan transaction requires an escrow account, HUD 4000.1 has a specific list of rules and regulations that govern them. There are times where there may be no FHA-required escrow but the lender’s standards do require it. Other times FHA loan rules may demand an escrow account due to the nature of the loan transaction, such as rehab loans where the borrower is accomplishing the labor of the repairs or improvements. What does HUD 4000.1 say about escrow accounts? In general when escrow is used, we learn the following: “The Mortgagee must collect a monthly amount from the Borrower that will enable it to pay all escrow obligations in accordance with 24 CFR 203.23. The escrow account must be sufficient to meet the following obligations | more...

 

FHA Appraisal Fees, Appraiser Integrity Rules In HUD 4000.1

The FHA appraisal process is very important–it helps establish the fair market value of the home and insures that the home meets minimum standards. Just because a home passes the FHA appraisal process does not mean it is defect-free. It’s the borrower’s responsibility is to hire an independent home inspector for verification of the home’s condition in a more complete way than the appraisal. FHA loan rules published in HUD 4000.1 establish some guidelines and ground rules for appraisals, lenders, and others who might be in the home loan “food chain”. Did you know that the FHA does NOT set appraisal fees? That’s just one important aspect of the rules for this process found in HUD 4000.1. “The Appraiser and the Mortgagee or Mortgagee-designated third party will negotiate the appraisal | more...

 

FHA Appraisals And The Cost Of Appraiser-Directed Repairs

When it’s time for the FHA appraisal to happen, a borrower may be understandably nervous about the outcome of the appraisal. What happens if the appraiser finds areas that must be corrected or repaired? In many cases those corrections or repairs are directed as a condition of loan approval. In some instances (which would be handled on a case-by-case basis) the repairs may also require a compliance inspection which the borrower would have to pay for. When repairs or corrections are required, can the borrower request that the cost of making those repairs be added to the home loan? According to HUD 4000.1, “A Mortgagee may add repair costs to the sales price before calculating the mortgage amount if: –the repairs are required by the Appraiser to meet HUDs Minimum | more...

 

Mortgage Rate Trends: Holiday Calm

Mortgage loan rates are being reported in “holiday mode” at present, so while there was some very minor adjustments for the better in rates, we’re not likely to see much in the way of dramatic movement this week barring some form of breaking news that causes a significant investor reaction. As we move from one short week to another before the new year, there is lighter activity in the financial sector, things slow down, and investor behavior tends to reflect this winding-down time, so it’s no surprise that the word “float” is being used a lot when it comes to advising borrowers on getting a mortgage rate lock or not this week. Many industry pros feel floating carries a smaller degree of risk than it did previously due to the | more...

 

Planning For An FHA Refinance In 2016?

Are you considering refinancing your home in 2016? There are several things you’ll want to consider planning, budgeting, or saving for in the new year. Having plans to examine these important issues connected to an FHA refinance loan can help you get organized and stay organized in the new year. Those issues include deciding on the type of loan, purchasing discount points, and the possibility of applying for extra funds to make energy efficient improvements in the home. For starters, it’s good to consider the type of refinancing you are interested in. Do you want lower payments and/or interest rates? Consider a Streamline FHA Refinance loan. Streamline refinances don’t have an FHA-required credit check or appraisal (though your lender is free to require one or both). For non-credit qualifying and/or | more...

 
White House Announces Federal Disaster Assistance For Texas

HUD Announces Settlement With Real Estate Agency Charged With Fair Housing Act Violations

Often when a violation of the Fair Housing Act occurs, it’s up to the victim to report the incident in order for the situation to be fixed. Those who fail to report such violations may not only cheat themselves out of a fair deal, but also allow such violations to continue to occur. Consider a recent settlement by HUD, which recently approved a pair of “Conciliation Agreements” with Delap Realty, LLC, of Northampton, Massachusetts, resolving allegations mentioned in an FHA/HUD press release that, “…the company and its agents violated the Fair Housing Act by discouraging families with children from renting over concerns the units might contain lead-based paint hazards.” Under the Fair Housing Act, it is illegal to deny or limit housing because a family has children. It’s also not | more...

 

Happy Holidays!

No matter what tradition you celebrate, or if you choose not to celebrate at all, we hope today is a safe, fun December 25th for everyone. We pause our usual coverage of FHA home loan issues, answering reader questions, and observing mortgage loan trends to spend time with family and friends. Our usual posting schedule resumes on Monday. Happy holidays!

 

FHA Appraisal Standards: “Ordinary” Home Purchases Versus Fixer-Uppers

One good question that comes our way in the comments section from time to time involves the difference between an ordinary new home purchase loan or FHA mortgage and the purchase of a fixer-upper with an FHA rehab loan. If appraisal standards for FHA loans include minimum property requirements, how can a fixer-upper be purchased with an FHA mortgage? After all, the nature of a fixer-upper loan is that you take a property that is in need of rehab or repairs and bring it up to standards. How can a fixer upper pass an FHA appraisal? Fortunately, this issue is addressed in HUD 4000.1, which includes the following: “As the on-site representative for the Mortgagee, the Appraiser provides preliminary verification that a Property meets the Property Acceptability Criteria, which includes | more...