Timely news, information and advice concentrating on FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgage lending.

Vimeo Channel YouTube Channel

Articles by: Bruce Reichstein

Bruce Reichstein - FHA News Author

By Bruce Reichstein

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.

Connect with Bruce:

FHA Loan Options

FHA Home Equity Conversion Mortgages In 2024

As further news comes in about improving housing market conditions (however slowly the market may improve), some homeowners are again thinking about their options, including FHA refinance loans and programs that let borrowers take the equity in their homes out in cash. For those reviewing FHA loans, options can include cash-out refinancing as well as an option for those 62 or older who own their homes or have nearly paid them off. FHA Reverse Mortgage Facts The FHA reverse mortgage allows a qualified borrower to get cash at closing time on a loan that is not due until the borrower dies, sells the home, or stops using it as their home address. Borrowers do not make mortgage payments with an FHA reverse mortgage. However, there are payments to be made. | more...

Buying a House

Is It Time To Buy A Home With An FHA Mortgage?

Some borrowers are not sure if they are truly ready to buy a house with an FHA mortgage. Not in the financial sense. For this article, we do not mean “ready” in the sense that a borrower has saved a down payment, worked hard on credit, and has a budget plan that includes the new mortgage payment. In this article, being “ready” means deciding to stop renting and start owning a home. Running The Numbers Before You Shop Get a calculator ready if you need to answer the rent-versus-own question. Compare the current rental options with the cost of owning. Ask yourself, how much is your rent? What about renter’s insurance, monthly utility expenses, and other costs like parking and trash removal? How does that amount compare to the costs | more...

Is your credit ready for an FHA loan?

FHA Loan Down Payment Advice

Are you looking for a home loan with a lower downpayment requirement? In 2024, FHA home loans are a smart option to consider in such cases as the housing market slowly tries to recover. These down payments are often lower than their conventional mortgage equivalents, and borrowers who struggle to come up with the 20% down needed to avoid conventional private mortgage insurance, which is required on a conventional mortgage, may find a better option in the FHA loan program. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, those who don’t pay 20% down on a conventional loan may encounter down payment requirements of up to 15%.  “Most lenders offer conventional loans with PMI for down payments ranging from 5 percent to 15 percent.” The Bureau adds that “some lenders may | more...

FHA loans

Before You Close Your FHA Home Loan

Once your FHA loan application is approved by your loan officer, is your FHA loan really “bulletproof” until closing day? Some believe that it is, but this is not true, there are many things that could wind up stopping a home loan before closing day. For example, your seller may change their mind and decide not to sell. The house might appraise for a lower amount than the seller asks for, and the borrower ultimately chooses to back out of the deal. There are too many scenarios to count. A home that is damaged or destroyed before the closing day is just one variable. While that may sound extreme, that’s a problem that happens often enough to require provisions in FHA loan regulations to guide borrowers and lenders through. Don’t | more...

Is your credit ready for an FHA loan?

Fees and Services For Your Home Loan

What do first-time home buyers need to remember about buying a home with an FHA mortgage?  Many home loan services you need to get to closing day are not centralized and you may have to deal with multiple service providers. It’s good to anticipate the help you’ll need on your home loan journey. We explore some of those services below. Brokers And Agents A real estate agent can help new house hunters find a suitable home. It’s a third-party service you don’t have to use, but many choose to do so to make the process easier on them. A mortgage broker provides a service to those who need a lender. A broker can match you with a participating FHA lender willing to work with you but you are not required | more...

Do You Need Down Payment Help?

FHA Home Loan Down Payments

Most home buyers will make some form of down payment, with exceptions for those using VA mortgages with no money down for qualifying servicemembers, veterans, and surviving spouses. There is also no-money-down USDA loans, but these are need-based and have income caps. By comparison, FHA mortgages, with their low 3.5% down payment requirements, are attractive to many house hunters who want to save more money upfront on the mortgage. Do You Really Have To Put 20% Down? Some borrowers may hear stories of borrowers being required to pay 20% down. This would be true in cases where the home buyer wants to avoid mortgage insurance on a conventional mortgage. And while that is not the only down payment option offered in such cases the mere idea of paying 20% down | more...

Cash out refinancing

Five Reasons To Buy Your First Real Estate With An FHA Home Loan

FHA home loans are a great way to make your first real estate purchase. Are you looking at homes for sale and trying to decide the best mortgage loan for you? If you are a first-time home buyer and feel confused by what your real estate agent finds in MLS listing data while searching for “houses near me”, remember that the FHA mortgage loan option is available to anyone who financially qualifies. If you are talking to a real estate agent, do not forget that FHA loans are not restricted to first-time homebuyers or those who have never owned property. You can own other property and still buy a home as your primary residence using an FHA loan whether you’ve purchased another property or not. #5: FHA Loans Are Guaranteed | more...


First Time Home Buyers: Improve Your Credit With Credit Monitoring

The COVID-19 pandemic created economic uncertainty for many current and future homeowners. And ever since the pandemic ended, financial troubles have continued thanks to inflation, possible recession, and other issues. Many borrowers may have experienced financial setbacks in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak in America. Many working to recover from financial problems discover there’s a lot of credit repair and related efforts American consumers must explore to get back on track financially. Protecting your credit is more important than ever–do you know what can hurt your FICO scores? Actively monitoring your credit is an important option–there are services that keep track of your credit report and learn about what affects your scores. It may be tempting to use free credit monitoring offers but financial advisors recommend comparing features on | more...

Refinance loans: is it time to commit?

Don’t Make These Home Loan Mistakes

Buying a home for the first time is stressful, but there are things you can do as a first-time buyer that will help. Avoid these big mistakes when planning your mortgage. Don’t Change Jobs Before Your Mortgage Closes This advice does not apply to everyone, but it does for those contemplating changing the nature of their employment from having a boss and a traditional workplace to freelance, contract, or per-project type work. There are different FHA home loan rules for non-traditional employment, freelance jobs, commission income, etc. If you were working in a typical job at the start of the home loan application process and are tempted to switch to contract, freelance, or commission work, your job switch could hinder your mortgage loan process. Why? The income rules for those | more...

FHA loans

Home Buying Facts You Should Know

Are you buying a home for the first time? Do you need answers to mortgage loan questions? You aren’t alone. We explore some important issues below. FHA Home Loans For First-Time Home Buyers Feature A Lower Down Payment Lower down payments mean more money freed up to pay closing costs and other expenses related to buying a home. But if you plan on keeping the home for a large portion of the loan term (or the entire loan term), a bigger down payment may be to your advantage. The smaller your principal loan amount, the less you will pay in interest over the lifetime of the loan. Home Loan Appraisals Should Not Be Used By The Borrower To Determine The Condition Of The Home Ask any realtor or lender what | more...