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Articles in Category: FHA Loan Types

Who is eligible for an FHA Home Loan?

Why Choose An FHA Mortgage?

You may have heard that the FHA loan program features a low minimum down payment, lower credit requirements, plus the ability to apply for extra loan funds to add energy-saving improvements to the home you are buying with an FHA loan. This is accomplished using a program called the FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage. FHA home loans, which are NOT for first-time home buyers only, are offered to all financially qualified applicants. These home loans, unlike some of their USDA counterparts, are not need-based and do not feature income restrictions. FHA mortgages are government-backed loans, which means there is an arrangement between the lender and the federal government that reduces the risk to the lender. This is why FHA lenders can offer you lower down payments and more competitive interest rates | more...

 
FHA home loans

Which Is Better: Conventional Mortgages Or FHA Home Loans?

Which is better, a conventional mortgage or an FHA home loan? If you are struggling to make this choice, rising interest rates and home ownership costs might make you look twice at your upfront costs and other expenses associated with each type of mortgage loan. The more forgiving credit requirements and down payment expectations of an FHA mortgage may have you thinking twice about going conventional. When it comes to FICO scores, FHA loans on paper are easier to be approved for than conventional home loans. And while a conventional mortgage could be more affordable over the lifetime of the mortgage, those who need more flexible credit requirements and lower upfront costs may find the FHA mortgage worth considering. There are a few objections to FHA loans. Some are less | more...

 
FHA and HUD

FHA Appraisal Rules For Systems In The Home

In 2016, we published an article about FHA loan appraisal rules for certain systems in the home. FHA appraisals have rules governing the process including some that address specific systems in the home. Make no mistake: some FHA appraisal requirements depend on the local authority, while other requirements have specific guidance. Depending on the issue your experience may vary. As we noted in 2016, FHA appraisal rules are found in HUD 4000.1, which is the rule book for all FHA single-family mortgage loans, refinancing, and reverse mortgages. Where heating the home is concerned, FHA loan rules include the following:  “The Appraiser must examine the heating system to determine if it is adequate for healthful and comfortable living conditions, regardless of design, fuel or heat source.” The installed system must have | more...

 
FHA Mortgage Loan

Conventional Loans Versus FHA Mortgages

What’s the major difference between FHA mortgage loans and conventional loans? Actually, there are several, but the first and most basic difference is that an FHA mortgage is guaranteed by the government. A conventional loan is not. The government’s backing of an FHA mortgage makes the loan less of a risk to the financial institution offering you a line of credit to purchase your home. And because the loan is backed by the government, FHA mortgages feature lower down payment requirements than many conventional mortgages. You may find conventional loans requiring 10 or even 20 percent down, whereas an FHA mortgage for qualified borrowers with FICO scores of 580 or above may qualify for maximum financing. That means a down payment requirement of only 3.5% of the adjusted value of | more...

 
FHA Loans

Article Update: Using Rental Income To Qualify For An FHA Home Loan

In 2017, we published an article about FHA loan rules and whether it is possible to qualify for an FHA mortgage using rental income. Back then we cited FHA loan rules and regulations that stated it IS possible, but only if certain conditions are met. Part of the issue? Whether or not the rental income meets FHA loan rules in HUD 4000.1, the FHA Single Family Lender’s Handbook. If your income is derived in whole or in part by rent payments, the lender will need documentation to support that. Back in 2017, we reported FHA loan rules in HUD 4000.1 addressing the rental income issue starting on page 202. That section begins, “Rental Income refers to income received or to be received from the subject Property or other real estate | more...

 
FHA loans

Article Update: FHA Loan Appraisal Rules For Central Heating and Air Conditioning Systems

In 2017, we asked an important appraisal question. We asked, “What are the FHA loan appraisal rules for central heating and air conditioning systems? Does a house need to have central air/heating to be FHA approved?” There were two answers to this question back then and the same issues apply today. In HUD 4000.1, we learn the following about the appraisal requirements for heating systems and central air conditioning units, including the following requirement: “The Appraiser must examine the heating system to determine if it is adequate for healthful and comfortable living conditions, regardless of design, fuel or heat source. FHA loan rules say the Appraiser must notify the Mortgagee of a deficiency if the permanently installed heating system does not: “Automatically heat the living areas of the house to | more...

 
FHA loans

Article Update: FHA Loan Rules For Different Income Types

Back in 2017, we published an article examining the FHA loan rules for income. As we noted back then, not every home loan applicant has the same type of employment, compensation, or schedule of compensation.  That means a participating FHA lender must have rules that govern how/if certain types of income may be included for the purpose of determining a borrower’s monthly gross income. That information is needed to calculate the debt-to-income ratio your lender must have to help approve the loan. FHA Loan Rules For “Primary Employment” HUD 4000.1, the FHA Single-Family Lender’s Handbook, contains guidance for the lender to review hourly income, salary, and part-time income. The section that includes these guidelines states that the lender is responsible for examining earnings from the home loan applicant’s “primary employment” | more...

 
Mortgages

What You Cannot Do With Your FHA Home Loan Money

Some new borrowers have misconceptions about home loans in general; they may think that FHA mortgages are for first-time buyers only, they may assume you have to make a 20% down payment, and they may also hope to apply for more home loan than they need to make the purchase with the idea of taking the excess in cash. If you make plans for a home loan based on some of those assumptions, you may be in for a surprise. FHA loans do not require you to be a first-time home buyer, you do not have to make a 20% down payment, and you generally cannot take cash at closing time except for refunds. When you apply for an FHA home loan, that application will be for a loan amount | more...

 
FHA Loans

Assuming An FHA Mortgage: Article Update

Can I assume an FHA mortgage? That is a question we addressed in a 2021 article about FHA mortgages, and it’s an important question on the minds of those looking to take over an FHA home loan from the original borrower. The process of getting a loan assumptions are a bit different than a new purchase home loan application, but under FHA home loan rules, the borrower must be able to afford the loan in both cases. The lender’s job in part has to do with determining whether the borrower is a good risk. The short answer to the original question? Yes, in most cases, assuming there is lender participation, you may be able to assume an existing FHA home loan from the original borrower. You will NOT be able | more...

 
Cash out refinancing

Article Update: Do Townhouses Qualify For FHA Loans?

Back in 2018, we published an article about the FHA home loan rules for townhouses. Do they qualify for FHA home loans? One source defines a townhouse as: “…multi-floor homes that share one- to two walls with adjacent properties” but which feature separate entrances for each property. What do the FHA home loan rules say about purchasing townhomes with an FHA mortgage? FHA Loan Rules For Property Eligibility The FHA Single Family Home Loan rule book, HUD 4000.1, has seen some important changes since we wrote the original article in 2018 but in 2022 it still says the following property types may be purchased with an FHA mortgage: -detached or semi-detached dwellings -Manufactured Housing -townhouses or row houses -individual units within FHA-approved Condominium Projects As you can see from the | more...