April 23, 2018

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Articles by: Joe Wallace

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

April 23, 2018

Joe Wallace has been specializing in military and personal finance topics since 1995. His work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and a member of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association. He was Managing editor for www.valoans.com for (8) years and is currently the Associate Editor for FHANewsblog.com.

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FHA Home Loan Options: Build, Buy, Or Rehab

FHA Home Loan Options: Build, Buy, Or Rehab

Build, buy, or rehab? Those are among the options open to FHA home loan applicants. Do you know what is possible with an FHA mortgage loan? The options range from purchasing an existing 1-4 unit home to having a single-family house built from scratch using an FHA One Time Close construction loan. FHA Home Loans: The “Forward Mortgage” “Forward mortgage” is a fancy way of describing the new purchase loan-an FHA mortgage that will help you buy a home. “Forward mortgages” are described as such to distinguish them from Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM) or as they often called, Reverse Mortgages. A forward mortgage can include purchase of land and funds for a construction phase when an FHA One Time Close loan is being used to build to suit. FHA | more...

 
FHA Home Loan Down Payment Sources: Retirement Funds and More

FHA Loan Down Payment Sources: Retirement Funds

We’ve been discussing FHA home loan down payment sources and the rules that govern them. FHA mortgage loan rules in HUD 4000.1 have strict requirements when it comes to the sourcing of down payments; since most FHA forward mortgages require a down payment, the rules in this area are very important to know ahead of your loan application. FHA Loan Down Payment Source Rules: Retirement Funds FHA loan rules permit the borrower to use retirement funds as a source of down payment money. According to HUD 4000.1: “The Mortgagee may include up to 60 percent of the value of assets, less any existing loans, from the Borrower’s retirement accounts, such as IRAs, thrift savings plans, 401(k) plan, and Keogh accounts, unless the Borrower provides conclusive evidence that a higher percentage | more...

 
Where can my FHA loan down payment come from?

Where Can My FHA Loan Down Payment Money Come From?

Where can my FHA loan down payment money come from? It’s an important question to ask, and some borrowers might not understand the difference between closing costs that are not part of the down payment compared to what is allowed to be counted toward it. FHA Loan Down Payment Requirements For most forward FHA mortgages, the down payment requirement includes a minimum of 3.5% of the adjusted value of the home. Some FHA home loans such as refinance mortgages don’t require a down payment; FHA rehab loans for those in Federally declared disaster areas are not required by the FHA to make a down payment regardless of whether the rehab loan is a forward mortgage or a refi. Is My Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premium Part Of My Down Payment? | more...

 
What you need to know about switching FHA lenders

What You Need To Know When Switching FHA Lenders

There are several reasons why a borrower might decide to switch FHA lenders during a home loan transaction. In cases where the switch happens, borrowers should know certain FHA guidelines that can affect the transaction-especially if an appraisal has already happened. Some borrowers think about switching lenders because they have had an unsatisfactory experience. Others may simply be offered a better deal. But there are some instances where the borrower is tempted to switch lenders because of an appraisal issue-namely that the appraisal did not value the property as expected. In such cases, when a borrower is tempted to get a new lender and a new appraisal, what should be known about that process? The first thing borrowers should know is that new FHA appraisals are not possible simply because | more...

 
FHA Streamline Refinance Loans: Tangible Benefits

FHA Streamline Refinance Loans: Tangible Benefits

What are the tangible benefits of an FHA Streamline Refinance Loan? Believe it or not, that phrase is not just a clever way to say “Streamline refinance loans can help you lower your payments.” The phrase “tangible benefits” is found in the FHA loan handbook to describe an outcome of getting the loan. “Tangible benefits” means some distinct help for the FHA Streamline Refinance loan borrower in the form of a lower mortgage rate, a lower monthly payment, the ability to get into a fixed rate mortgage and out of an adjustable rate loan, etc. In most cases an FHA Streamline refi is meant to give the borrower one or more of these benefits. In fact, HUD 4000.1 has specific instructions to the lender on this issue; “The Mortgagee must | more...

 
What is my FHA home loan interest rate?

What Is My FHA Home Loan Interest Rate?

What is my FHA home loan interest rate? Borrowers want to know because it affects the overall cost of the mortgage for the lifetime of the loan, and when you are buying a home with an FHA mortgage (or any other kind of home loan) it’s important to think long-term; knowing how the interest rate affects your loan costs is a detail worth learning more about. But interest rates on FHA home loans are not (to the surprise of some) set or regulated by the FHA or HUD. The only real guidelines for basic FHA loan interest rates are that the rates must be applied in a manner that is reasonable and “customary” for the housing market you are buying in. The FHA does have regulations on how Adjustable Rate | more...

 
FHA Loan Requirements For Multi-Unit Properties: Part Two

FHA Loan Requirements For Multi-Unit Properties: Part Two

In a previous blog post, we discussed the FHA loan rules for purchasing multi-unit properties. It’s true that an FHA borrower can buy a home with as many as four living units. It’s also possible to rent out the unused units in the home, but FHA loan rules do require at least one person obligated on the mortgage to occupy the home as the primary residence. FHA home loans are generally for owner/occupiers only. You are permitted to rent out the unused living units in your new home, but those units cannot be rented out for periods less than 30 days, offer hotel-style services such as food, bellboy service, etc. The rules for these issues are very clear, but what is to stop a borrower from purchasing a new home | more...

 
FHA Loan Appraisal Tips

FHA Loan Appraisal Tips

FHA loan appraisal tips can be hard to come by if you are a first-time home buyer and aren’t even sure about the right questions to ask. Do you need to clear up any confusion over the FHA appraisal? Keep reading, you’ll learn that the appraisal process is more simple and straightforward than it may appear at first glance. FHA Appraisals Are Ordered For The Home You Wish To Purchase That may seem alike a simple and obvious fact if you have some experience with the home loan process, but some borrowers might not realize that the appraisal stage of the mortgage comes when you find a home you are serious about buying. You won’t need to know the actual fair market value of a home that you’re just “window | more...

 
More FHA Home Loan FICO Score Questions And Answers

More FHA Credit Score Questions And Answers

In our previous blog post, we examined some common FHA loan FICO score questions and answers. Here are some more things you should know about FHA home loans, the FICO score requirements for them, and more. Is There A FICO Score Too Low To Be Approved For An FHA Loan? Lender standards will apply above and beyond FHA loan rules in this area. Technically speaking an FHA loan applicant with a FICO score of 500 or less is not eligible for an FHA-insured mortgage loan. Lender standards may be higher than this, however, and borrowers with FICO scores in the 500 range should seriously consider calling the FHA directly at their toll-free number 1-800 CALL FHA to get a referral to a local, HUD-approved housing counselor who can assist with | more...

 
More FHA Refinance Loan Tips

More FHA Refinance Loan Tips

There are many FHA refinance loan tips you should know when planning and saving for your new loan. Refinance loans guaranteed by the FHA feature fixed or adjustable rates, can offer cash back to the borrower, and also come as a no cash-out option for both FHA and non-FHA mortgages. FHA Refinance Loans Have No Down Payment, But Do Have Closing Costs You won’t make a down payment on an FHA refinance loan, but there are associated closing costs with the loan you will need to budget and save up for. The LTV for an FHA refinance loan varies depending on the type of refinancing you seek; talk to your lender about the expenses associated with your refinance loan so you can save accordingly. FHA Loans Do Not Require Private | more...