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FHA Home Loan Rules For New Construction Appraisals

FHA Home Loan Rules For New Construction Appraisals

Borrowers who are interested in having a home built for them from the ground up using an FHA construction loan such as an FHA One-Time Close mortgage or any other type of FHA-guaranteed mortgage loan may wonder what the rules are for appraisals.

After all, existing construction appraisal processes are for a home that is ready to sell (although the process may vary if the borrower is applying for certain types of rehab loans).

While the appraisal requirements may be generally the same-the home must be safe, habitable, and have an economic life for the entire duration of the mortgage-there are procedural issues that affect new construction properties.

With that in mind, appraisals on new construction run a bit differently in some procedural ways than existing construction mortgages; with the construction loan the appraiser must perform their work within a specified set of parameters that may be affected by the progress of the construction.

From HUD 4000.1 we learn that some parameters of the FHA appraisal apply to both existing and new construction loans:

“The effective date of the appraisal cannot be before the FHA case number assignment date unless the Mortgagee certifies that the appraisal was ordered for conventional lending or government-guaranteed loan purposes and was performed pursuant to FHA guidelines.

New construction appraisal rules in HUD 4000.1 include guidelines for the appraiser to review the project’s documentation:

“When performing an appraisal for a sales transaction or on New Construction (emphasis ours), the Appraiser must also review and analyze:

  • the complete copy of the executed sales contract for the subject; and
  • documents related to New Construction, including plans, specifications, and any exhibits provided that will assist the Appraiser in determining what is to be built, or, if now Under Construction, what will be built when finished; and report the results of that analysis in the appraisal report.”

But the construction phase for any FHA One-Time Close mortgage or other FHA construction loan options doesn’t always run to a standardized schedule; the appraiser may need to do her work before or after the construction reaches the 90% completion point. HUD 4000.1 addresses requirements depending on when the appraiser does the work:

“When New Construction is less than 90% complete at the time of the appraisal, the Appraiser must document the floor plan, plot plan, and exhibits necessary to determine the size and level of finish. When New Construction is 90% or more complete, the Appraiser must document a list of components to be installed or completed after the date of appraisal.”

What about contractor work to be performed on existing construction homes to be purchased with an FHA mortgage? HUD 4000.1 includes some guidance in this area, too:

“For labor on Existing Construction, the Mortgagee must also obtain an appraisal indicating the repairs or improvements to be performed. (Any work completed or materials provided before the appraisal are not eligible.)”

Want More Information About One-Time Close Loans?

One-Time Close Loans are available for FHA, VA and USDA Mortgages.  These loans also go by the following names: 1 X Close, Single-Close Loan or OTC Loan.

We have done extensive research on the FHA (Federal Housing Administration), the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) One-Time Close Construction loan programs. We have spoken directly to licensed lenders that originate these residential loan types in most states and each company has supplied us the guidelines for their products. We can connect you with mortgage loan officers who work for lenders that know the product well and have consistently provided quality service. If you are interested in being contacted by a licensed lender in your area, please send responses to the questions below. All information is treated confidentially.

FHANewsblog.com provides information and connects consumers to qualified One-Time Close lenders in an effort to raise awareness about this loan product and to help consumers receive higher quality service. We are not paid for endorsing or recommending the lenders or loan originators and do not otherwise benefit from doing so. Consumers should shop for mortgage services and compare their options before agreeing to proceed.

Please note that investor guidelines for the FHA, VA and USDA One-Time Close Construction Program only allows for single family dwellings (1 unit) – and NOT for multi-family units (no duplexes, triplexes or fourplexes). In addition, the following homes/building styles are not allowed under these programs:  Kit Homes, Barndominiums, Log Cabin Homes, Shipping Container Homes, Stilt Homes, Solar (only) or Wind Powered (only) Homes.

Your email to onetimeclose@fhanewsblog.com authorizes FHAnewsblog.com to share your personal information with a mortgage lender licensed in your area to contact you.

  1. Send your first and last name, e-mail address, and contact telephone number.
  2. Tell us the city and state of the proposed property.
  3. Tell us your and/or the Co-borrower’s credit profile: Excellent – (680+), Good – (640-679), Fair – (620-639) or Poor- (Below 620). 620 is the minimum qualifying credit score for this product.
  4. Are you or your spouse (Co-borrower) eligible veterans? If either of you are eligible veteran’s, down payments as low as $0 may be available up to the maximum amount your debt-to-income ratio VA will allow – there are no maximum loan amounts as per VA guidelines.  Most lenders will go up to $750,000 and review higher loan amounts on a case by case basis.   If not, the FHA down payment is 3.5% up to the maximum FHA lending limit for your county.
Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

May 25, 2018

Joe Wallace has been specializing in military and personal finance topics since 1995. His work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and a member of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association. He was Managing editor for www.valoans.com for (8) years and is currently the Associate Editor for FHANewsblog.com.

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FHANewsBlog.com was launched in 2010 by seasoned mortgage professionals wanting to educate homebuyers about the guidelines for FHA insured mortgage loans. Popular FHA topics include credit requirements, FHA loan limits, mortgage insurance premiums, closing costs and many more. The authors have written thousands of blogs specific to FHA mortgages and the site has substantially increased readership over the years and has become known for its “FHA News and Views”.

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