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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.

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What You Need To Know About Your FHA Home Loan

Don’t Buy A House Without A Home Inspection

Here’s a common example of a home buyer question that is asked after the purchase of a house with an FHA home loan has closed, the new owners have moved in, and suddenly discover there are serious issues with the property: “I did not get a home inspection when I purchased my house, and now there are problems. Do I have any recourse?” If what is meant by “recourse” involves some form of intervention or relief from the lender or the FHA, the general answer is no–you don’t have any avenues of recourse when buying a home if you choose not to pay for the optional but essential home inspection and choose to rely only on the FHA appraisal instead. An FHA appraisal is NOT a home inspection in spite | more...

What Credit Score Is Needed For An FHA Mortgage?

What Are FHA Home Loan Discount Points?

If you don’t know what discount points are, you should explore them as an option to lower your mortgage loan interest rate while still in the planning and saving stages of your FHA mortgage. For new purchase loans, including FHA One-Time Close construction mortgages, FHA Condo loans, or FHA Mobile Home loans, discount points may help you save money upfront on your mortgage over the loan’s lifetime. Discount points aren’t for everyone–some borrowers prioritize reducing their upfront costs and these FHA loan applicants won’t be interested in points. Why? They represent a larger upfront and out-of-pocket expense. But for those who want to pay more upfront so they can save money down the line should consider points. What are these home loan discount points? The financial website Investopedia.com defines them | more...

New FHA Home Loan

How Do FHA Loan Requirements Work?

How do FHA loan requirements work? Do you know what you need to qualify for an FHA mortgage loan or FHA refinance loan? There are important details about FHA mortgage loans that can help you make an informed decision about applying for one. We’ll examine them below. FHA Loans: Lower Down Payment Requirements FHA loan down payment rules say you’ll need a minimum 3.5% down based on the appraised value of the home. You won’t be able to get a zero-down payment FHA mortgage unless you are a qualified borrower applying for an FHA 203(h) mortgage for disaster victims in a federally-declared disaster area. 3.5% down is the minimum cash investment required. Some borrowers with low FICO scores may be required to put down 10% depending on their scores, lender | more...

FHA mortgage credit score

Myths About FHA Refinance Loans

There are plenty of misconceptions about refinancing real estate. If you have a house you want to refinance, it’s good to learn what you can and cannot do with an FHA refinance loan before you start shopping around for a lender. And you WILL want to shop around. FHA Refinance Loan Myths: You Have To Keep Your Original Lender You can refinance your home with another lender offering more competitive terms, rates, or perks for borrowing with that financial institution. FHA Refi Loan Myths: You Have To Refinance Into A Fixed-Rate Mortgage Borrowers can choose an FHA Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) at refinance time if the lender offers such a loan. Not all participating lenders will, which is another reason to shop for the right lender. Refinancing an ARM into | 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...


Is It Possible To Use A VA Loan To Purchase Land?

Are you wondering if you can use a VA loan to purchase land? Although you can’t finance the purchase of land with a VA loan alone, you can use a VA-insured loan program to buy land if it’s combined with the construction costs of building a new home. This loan product, known as a VA One-Time Close construction to permanent loan, allows borrowers to roll all the costs into one loan, requires $0 down payment, and involves just one closing. It’s a popular choice for those building Stick-Builds, modular, and manufactured homes. This loan type offers several benefits to borrowers, including the ability to avoid making payments during the construction phase and the convenience of not needing to re-qualify after the home is built. Moreover, even borrowers with credit scores | more...

Higher FHA Loan Limits In 2021

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.

FHA Mortgage Loan

FHA Home Loan Myths Explained

There are plenty of myths about FHA home loans. For example, some people STILL believe the FHA home loan program is a need-based mortgage loan offered only to low-income house hunters. This is not true–any financially qualified borrower can apply for an FHA mortgage. There are no income caps or need-based requirements for FHA loan approval. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. FHA home loans can be used to buy certain property types including condo units and mobile homes. FHA home loans can even be used to have a house built on your own land with a low 3.5% down payment. FHA Loan Myths: First-Time Home Buyers You do NOT have to be a first-time homebuyer to qualify for an FHA mortgage. You can be an experienced homeowner, | more...

Conventional Loan Interest Rates Make History, FHA Loan Rates Still Incredibly Low

Are You Ready For An FHA Loan Application?

Are you ready for an FHA mortgage loan? Buying or refinancing a home with an FHA loan takes planning and preparation, but once you’ve put the time in and gather your information, budget for expenses, and check your credit, the process will be far more understandable and accessible. Are You Ready For An FHA Mortgage Loan Application? You may be ready to fill out your FHA mortgage loan or refinance loan application if you have spent the last year reviewing your credit reports, working on reducing your debt-to-income ratio, and have made sure to have 12 months of on-time payments on ALL financial responsibilities. You are ready to apply if you know what kind of home loan you need and how it will be used. For example, are you interested | more...

If Your Home Was Damaged In A Federally Declared Disaster Area

FHA Refinance Loans For Your First Home

Why should first-time home buyers start thinking about their FHA refinance loan options sooner instead of later? It’s not because you are actively planning to refinance, but there are circumstances which may make you reconsider your refi loan options. As a millennial home buyer, first-time homeowner, or any other type of borrower, unforeseen events or situations may have you re-thinking your long-term financial plans. There are FHA refinance loan options for first-time home buyers and new homeowners, but some are more appropriate for certain needs than others. FHA Refinance Loans For Upgrades, Repairs, And Home Improvements If your home is damaged in a storm, you experience a fire or flood, or need to repair your roof, an FHA 203(k) rehabilitation loan is the refinance you should ask a participating FHA | more...