September 21, 2017

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Articles by: Joe Wallace

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

September 21, 2017

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.

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Do I need the consent of my non-borrowing spouse to get an FHA loan?

Do I Need The Consent Of My Non-Borrowing Spouse To Get An FHA Mortgage?

Do I need the consent of my non-borrowing spouse to get an FHA mortgage? That’s an important question, and the answer varies depending on the laws of your state. The rules governing this issue are found in the FHA loan handbook, HUD 4000.1. The section answering this question is short, but the implications will vary, again, depending on state law. But why? FHA home loans and other major lines of credit are often affected by state laws, including what are known as “community property laws”. If you reside in a community property state, that means that state law dictates how the debts incurred in a legal marriage are viewed legally. In community property states, spouses share the financial responsibility for all debts incurred for the duration of the legal marriage. | more...

 
Can I buy a manufactured home with an FHA loan?

Can I Buy A Manufactured Home With An FHA Mortgage?

Can I buy a manufactured home with an FHA loan? That is a question on the minds of many who are interested in purchasing a mobile home or manufactured home. What are the FHA loan rules for these properties? For starters, It IS possible to buy a mobile home or manufactured home using an FHA mortgage. Not all participating FHA lenders offer these loans (that’s up to the discretion of the lender) so you will need to find a lender who offers this type of FHA mortgage. Secondly, the homes themselves must meet FHA loan standards and other requirements in order to qualify for the mortgage. What are the FHA loan rules for mobile and manufactured home loans? One of the most basic areas addressed in the FHA loan handbook | more...

 
HUD announces disaster relief

HUD Announces Disaster Relief For Virgin Islands, Georgia

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced disaster relief for parts of Georgia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. As more parts of the United States and its’ protectorates are affected by hurricanes and tropical storms, many of those areas are being declared federal disaster areas and as such become eligible for certain aid from HUD, FEMA, and other agencies. The disaster declaration for St. Thomas and St. John islands, plus Camden, Chatham, and Glynn counties in Georgia mean that the FHA “activates a mortgagee letter making a variety of insured loan programs available for disaster victims and putting into play use of special loan servicing and underwriting requirements” according to the FHA/HUD official site. What options are available in these areas? According to HUD, those directly affected | more...

 
Can I Add Energy-Efficient Upgrades To An FHA One-Time Close Construction Loan?

Can I Add Energy-Efficient Upgrades To An FHA One-Time Close Construction Loan?

Can I add energy-efficient upgrades to an FHA One-Time Close Construction Loan? FHA loan rules governing the FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage add-on to other loans such as an FHA One-Time Close new construction loan are found in HUD 4000.1. There we learn the following on page 400: “The Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) program allows the Mortgagee to offer financing for cost-effective energy efficient improvements to an existing Property at the time of purchase or refinancing, or for upgrades above the established residential building code for New Construction.” We know from that reading of FHA loan rules that new construction loans (including One-Time Close mortgages) do qualify for FHA EEMs, which allow the borrower additional funds for an “energy package” defined as: “…the set of improvements agreed to by the Borrower | more...

 
Am I ready to apply for an FHA mortgage?

Am I Ready To Apply For An FHA Mortgage?

Am I ready to apply for an FHA mortgage? There’s a set of questions you should ask yourself that can help gauge your readiness to apply for a home loan. Some of them are obvious questions, some aren’t so obvious. All of them deserve some thinking time before you begin filling out application data. Have I Requested Copies Of My Credit Report? If you don’t know what is on your credit report, or if it’s been more than six months since you last reviewed your credit, it is best to wait to fill out a home loan application until you know what your lender will see. Identity theft is a major issue, and now more than ever a borrower should be fully informed as to the contents of those credit | more...

 
HUD announces disaster relief for Florida.

HUD Announces Disaster Relief For Florida

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced disaster relief measures for Florida following a presidential declaration of federal disaster areas in the state. According to a press release on the FHA/HUD official site, the following counties are now recognized as federal disaster areas: Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, Duval, Flagler, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Putnam, Sarasota and St. Johns counties. According to the release, HUD offers a variety of relief options to those in the affected areas including (but not limited to) the following: A 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and “forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages”. Making Section 203(h) loans available to those in the counties listed above. The 203(h) program “provides FHA insurance to | more...

 
Can I Add Energy-Efficient Upgrades To An FHA One-Time Close Construction Loan?

Can I Get An FHA 203(h) Rehab Loan With Bad Credit?

Can I get an FHA 203(h) rehab loan with bad credit? That question is a serious one in the wake of natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Borrowers who are in the process of fixing bad credit, catching up on their payments, or trying to improve their overall credit situation have enough to manage without the added complication of trying to repair or salvage a home damaged in a natural disaster. What are the FHA loan rules for credit qualifications when applying for FHA 203(h) rehab loans in federally-declared disaster areas? FHA Loan Credit Requirements For 203(h) Rehab Mortgages The FHA loan handbook, HUD 4000.1, instructs lenders processing 203(h) rehab loans and refinance loans to be as flexible as possible with credit requirements. That flexibility is governed | more...

 
Can I use disaster relief for my FHA loan down payment?

Can I Use Disaster Relief For My FHA Loan Down Payment?

Can I use disaster relief for my FHA loan down payment? That question is on the minds of many in the wake of hurricanes, forest fires, and other natural disasters. FHA home loans have a minimum required investment or down payment of 3.5% of the adjusted value of the home. Depending on circumstances including marginal credit scores, some transactions may require a higher down payment. But the down payment is required no matter what, and FHA loan rules state the down payment must come from approved sources. That means a borrower will be required to furnish the lender with information about the source of the FHA loan down payment. Borrowers can use cash saved at home, money from investments or savings clubs, even gift funds from approved sources. Those approved | more...

 
What should I know about FHA loan escrow account rules?

What Should I Know About FHA Home Loan Escrow Account Rules?

What should I know about FHA loan escrow account rules? Depending on the nature of your transaction, lender standards, and other issues, you may be required to use an escrow account to complete or maintain your FHA mortgage. The rules for escrow accounts to be used in FHA loan transactions are found in the FHA loan handbook, HUD 4000.1. The section governing escrow includes guidance that such accounts must be established in accordance with procedures defined in the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. The escrow account must be maintained in order to meet monthly financial obligations including the following (where applicable) as found in HUD 4000.1: -hazard insurance premiums; -real estate taxes; -Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP); -special assessments, including any assessments related to a PACE obligation; -flood insurance premiums if | more...

 
Can I buy a condo unit with an FHA mortgage?

Can I Buy A Condo Unit With An FHA Mortgage?

Can I buy a condo unit with an FHA mortgage? Some people have a misconception about FHA mortgages, thinking they are intended for a certain income bracket, a certain type of home, or that it is possible to earn “too much income” to qualify for an FHA loan. None of those things are true. You cannot earn too much money to qualify, and you can explore options to buy a variety of property types up to and including condominium units. Yes, FHA condo loans are possible, but they have some unique requirements (see the section on the FHA “condo project approval” list) and certain property types may be listed as condos even if they are “detached dwellings”. The requirements for these units, sometimes known as “site condos” vary slightly from | more...