October 24, 2021

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FHA Home Loan Rules For Construction Loan Escrow Accounts

FHA Home Loan Rules For Construction Loan Escrow Accounts

Do you need a construction loan to build on your own land? The FHA One-Time Close construction loan can help you do just that; this mortgage features one loan application and closing date to build your house, and you aren’t required to pay more than the usual low 3.5% down payment for qualified borrowers.

When using a construction loan, the borrower will need to use an escrow account to make the payments for labor, materials, and other construction costs.

But there are rules that govern how these “draws” are to be made; HUD 4000.1 contains those rules, which include the following instructions to the lender:

“At closing, after funds are disbursed to cover the purchase of the land, the balance of the mortgage proceeds must be placed in an escrow account to be disbursed as construction progresses.”

That much we know from the article above, but the next portion of the loan rules is very important:

“The Mortgagee must obtain the Borrower’s written authorization for each draw prior to disbursing funds to the contractor.” This is a process that must follow the FHA-dictated steps.

The only variation would be based on lender requirements, state law, or other regulatory means.

As you can see, FHA loan rules are clear on how these funds must be handled and the rules are also clear on what happens to any excess funds after the construction phase is over. Some borrowers may be hoping at this point that the money can be given to them in case, but FHA loan rules forbid this practice.

Instead, “After completion of construction, the construction escrow account must be fully extinguished, and any remaining funds must be applied to the outstanding principal balance of the permanent Mortgage.”

There are few FHA home loans that permit cash back to the borrower; all of them are either refinance loans or reverse mortgages. FHA Forward mortgages, including FHA One-Time Close construction loans, do not permit cash back to the borrower except in the form of a refund paid for expenses paid in cash that were later financed into the loan amount.

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.
Bruce Reichstein - FHA News Author

By Bruce Reichstein

November 20, 2019

Bruce Reichstein has spent over three decades as an experienced FHA and VA home loan mortgage banker and underwriter where he was responsible for funding “Billions” in government backed mortgage loans. He is the Managing Editor for FHANewsblog.com where he educates homeowners on the specific guidelines for obtaining FHA guaranteed home loans.

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About FHANewsBlog.com
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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