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Articles Published in: February 2023

Is your credit ready for an FHA loan?

Anticipating Closing Costs For Your New Home Loan

Buying a home requires planning and saving. Especially for closing costs, which can include appraisal fees, the home inspection, compliance inspections, and the Up-Front Mortgage Insurance Premium. It takes time to save for these expenses, but some borrowers will pay more up front than others. That is usually due to a combination of factors, but the thing new home loan applicants need to know is that your financial needs and goals will dictate how and when you pay certain closing costs. Did you know you can finance some closing costs and have the home’s seller help you pay for others? Government-backed mortgages like FHA home loans (including FHA One-Time Close construction loans which can help even a first-time home buyer build a home from scratch) make buying or building a | more...

FHA loans

Can I Do My Own Contracting Work With An FHA One-Time Close Construction Loan?

When applying for an FHA One-Time Close / Single-Close construction loan to have a house built from the ground up, some borrowers want to know if the FHA construction loan program will permit the borrower to act as her own contractor. FHA loan rules found in HUD 4000.1 would seem to make this question fairly easy to answer, but look beyond this quote from the FHA home loan rulebook-this isn’t the only rule that governs the FHA construction loan process: “The Borrower must have contracted with a builder to construct the improvements. The builder must be a licensed general contractor. While the FHA guidelines state “The Borrower may act as the general contractor, only if the Borrower is also a licensed general contractor,” the FHA lender can choose not to | more...

What Credit Score Is Needed For An FHA Mortgage?

What Credit Score Is Needed For An FHA Mortgage?

What is the minimum credit score required to get approved for an FHA mortgage loan? Readers ask questions about this issue all the time, sending in questions asking if it is possible to still get an FHA mortgage with a low credit score. FHA loan rules establish a minimum credit score for loan eligibility but lender standards also apply so this is a harder question to answer than you might think. What is best in these situations is to know that FHA loan rules are the baseline, the minimum. The lender’s requirements are also applicable so you will need to discuss what FICO scores qualify. In general, FHA loan rules in the FHA lender’s handbook say FHA borrowers with credit scores at 580 or higher are eligible for maximum financing | more...

FHA loans

Rent Or Buy?

For some, buying is better. Why? Much depends on your financial goals but you should also take into consideration aesthetics and practical concerns, too. One argument favoring buying or building (on your own lot) a home with an FHA mortgage? The ability to modify your property without having to go running to the landlord to ask permission is a big one. But some renters don’t realize that you can when you own your home, also apply for a refinance loan to repair or modify your property. That is not something you can do with a rental unit. You’re basically at the mercy of the landlord in such cases. Another argument in favor of buying a home with an FHA mortgage instead of renting? The ability to purchase a multi-unit home | more...

FHA Options

Do You Need To Refinance?

Do you need to refinance your home loan, but aren’t sure what the difference is between an FHA Streamline Refinance loan and FHA cash-out refinancing? These loans have important differences, beginning with the availability of cash paid to the borrower at closing time. One refi option permits cash back, the other does not. FHA Cash-Out Refinancing Loans FHA cash-out refi loans allow the borrower to be paid cash at closing when the costs of the new loan have been satisfied and the original loan has been paid off. These cash-out loans are offered by both FHA lenders and conventional lenders; why should a borrower choose an FHA cash-out refinance? Interest rates are generally lower on government-backed mortgages like FHA refinance loans. That said, your FICO scores will affect the actual | more...


FHA Fixed-Rate Mortgages Versus Adjustable Rate Mortgages

What’s the difference between a fixed-rate mortgage and an adjustable-rate home loan? In 2023, you may find advantages in both types thanks to inflation and a recovering housing market. FHA single-family home loans come in a variety of types; both fixed-rate loans and those with adjustable rates. The rules for these loans, commonly referred to as FHA ARM loans, are spelled out in HUD 4000.1, the FHA Lender’s Handbook. Fixed rate home loans backed by the FHA are essentially what their name implies; a mortgage with a rate negotiated between the borrower and lender that does not change for the entire loan term. Borrowers who later want to apply for a lower rate can apply for FHA refinancing, including options such as the FHA Streamline Refinance loan program for FHA-to-FHA | more...

Home Loans For Building On Your Own Land

One-Time Close Construction Hints

One-Time Close (OTC) loans allow borrowers to build a house on their own lot instead of having to choose from existing properties. You can be a first-time home buyer and still be approved for a One-Time Close construction loan, also known as Single-Close loans or Single-Close construction mortgages. If you have never examined your options on the real estate market, it’s easy to assume you aren’t financially qualified for a construction loan. After all, that sounds like a very big undertaking, doesn’t it? Having a house built for you? That may sound like something that other people might qualify for, but the fact is that FHA and VA OTC loans have the same requirements as any other FHA or VA mortgage. These loans are designed to be more affordable, and that | more...

FHA Loan

Credit Monitoring For First-Time Home Buyers

Modern payment gateways, online selling and re-selling, and even digital currencies such as Bitcoin make for a more complicated relationship with credit and personal security; doing business digitally exposes consumers to more risk every day and from a variety of angles. Your account can be hacked individually, it can be compromised as part of a larger “harvest” of personal data and account numbers from a target company, etc. You may have had a credit card “skimmed” by a third-party device secretly installed in a gas pump payment swiper, or you could have been “shoulder surfed” at the ATM while entering your account information. Whatever the approach taken to this sort of crime, the threat to consumers is very real. Today’s news headlines tell us there are too many ways accounts | more...

FHA loans

Home Renovation With An FHA Loan

There are two kinds of home renovation projects; the ones you plan and the unexpected renovation you may need to do if there is a sudden problem in the home after purchasing it. An unexpected home renovation can be caused by many things that were not a factor at the time your home inspection was done; a water pipe can burst, a stove can prematurely stop working, or storm damage could cause a leak in your roof. Repair experts and contractors will be quick to point out that even a home that passes an inspection can develop such problems through no fault of the builder or seller. An unexpected home repair situation isn’t uncommon for home owners, so what’s a borrower to do when the need arises? You can fund | more...

FHA home loan advice

Can You Buy Land With An FHA Loan?

There are several reasons why a house hunter looking for a home to purchase with a VA mortgage might want to buy a piece of land. In times when the housing market is favorably inclined towards new construction loans, some buyers might want a government insured loan for a proposed construction or new construction purchase; others might want to buy a piece of land for a manufactured home or mobile home.