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:

Home loans

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...

FHA Options

FHA Refinance Loans In 2024

2023 was a tough year if you needed a refinance loan. Purchase loan interest rates and refinance loan rates saw the 8% range move into clear view in 2023. And that stopped some borrowers in their tracks, not wanting to refinance their home loan at a higher rate. Did it pay to hold off on a refinance in 2023? The short answer in this particular case is yes. Mortgage rates started moving lower in the final weeks of 2023, and financial pundits are hopeful that the new year will bring more recovery in mortgage rates suitable to tempt those interested in refinancing. October 2023 High Water Mark For Mortgage Rates? Rates began recovering from the October highs, recovering back down to numbers in 7% range. There are expectations of further | more...

FHA loans

Avoiding Foreclosure in 2024

Do you want to buy or build a home with an FHA loan? When planning and saving, consider what happens after closing day once you accept the keys, schedule the movers, and take possession of your new house. What’s the big issue to remember here? Future borrowers in the budgeting and planning stages must choose how much cash to pay at closing time. And so far out from that first mortgage payment it may feel tempting to save a bit on your out-of-pocket expenses and finance certain closing costs like the FHA loan upfront mortgage premium. There is an issue called “cost creep” that some borrowers may experience. Financing one closing cost might not hurt your bottom line too much. And from there some justify adding even more to the | more...

FHA mortgage

Planning A Mortgage: Credit Resources You Need

Are you planning a home loan? Are you in the budgeting and saving stages of your home loan journey? If so, there are some necessary resources you should explore before you apply for an FHA mortgage. It’s important to give yourself enough time to plan and save for your home loan and that includes paying more attention to and working on your credit. Credit resources can be a huge help in this regard–don’t pass on the chance to improve your FICO scores, get your payment history into good shape, and prevent identity theft or other problems from stopping your mortgage loan in its tracks. The first resource you should consider is the offer made by the FHA and HUD to give free referrals to a HUD-approved housing counselor. You can | more...


FHA Loan Occupancy Guidelines You Should Know

Did you know that occupancy is a requirement when you buy a house with an FHA loan? FHA policy for occupancy requires at least one borrower obligated on the mortgage to take up residence in the home as the primary residence. This must happen within a “reasonable time” of loan closing, normally 60 days, unless you make other arrangements with the loan officer. FHA Loan Occupancy Rules For Single-Family Homes HUD 4000.1 is the FHA Single-Family Lender’s Handbook. In that handbook, you’ll find regulations covering occupancy as a condition of FHA loan approval. You won’t be approved for an FHA mortgage if you aren’t planning to use the home purchased with your loan as your primary address. How Will The FHA Know You Occcupy The Home? Loan officers are busy | more...

FHA Mortgage Rates and Refinance Options

FHA First Time Home Buyer Loans

How can the FHA home loan program help first-time home buyers? Some perks of an FHA mortgage are central to the home loan program itself, while others may be offered by lenders as an incentive to use that financial institution for your FHA home loan. FHA Home Loans For First-Time Buyers: Low Down Payments The FHA home loan program requires only 3.5% minimum for borrowers with qualifying FICO scores. FHA loan requirements say FICO scores as low as 580 can technically qualify for the lowest down payment, but you will need to check with a participating lender to see what standards may apply above the FHA minimums. Those with credit scores lower than 580 may still technically qualify for an FHA mortgage loan but at a higher down payment. FHA | more...

FHA disaster relief changes

FHA Refinance Loans For Home Improvements

FHA refinance loan options include the ability to apply for a refi loan to do home improvements–a very important option for those with existing FHA mortgages or non-FHA loans alike. That said, home loan interest rates are higher than they’ve been in a while at publication time and many think refinancing today isn’t a great option. But what about when interest rates and the economy in general begin to improve? You may not be considering a refinance loan today, but when mortgage rates begin to fall, the option becomes more viable for many. How can FHA refinance loans help a borrower make upgrades or improvements when the time is right? There’s more than one way to approach the refinance loan question if you want a refi AND funds to perform | more...