April 9, 2020

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Articles in Category: FHA Guidelines

FHA Announces Updated COVID-19 Guidance For Participating Lenders

FHA Announces Updated COVID-19 Guidance For Participating Lenders

The FHA and HUD have announced policy changes to the FHA Single-Family home loan rulebook, HUD 4000.1. These changes were announced in FHA Mortgagee Letter 2020-06 and address loss mitigation procedures specifically for COVID-19 related economic hardship. The prior version of HUD 4000.1 did not include specific guidance for lenders trying to help borrowers avoid foreclosure due to coronavirus issues; the old instructions are updated to include policies for lenders to help borrowers via CARES Act measures signed into law to help struggling companies and workers. The new additions to HUD 4000.1 include a new Section addressing the “Presidentially-Declared COVID-19 National Emergency” guidance for lenders, which is effective immediately takes precedence over disaster relief guidance issued prior to the pandemic. FHA loan rules for presidentially declared major disaster areas in | more...

 
FHA Announces Modified Appraisal Rules During Coronavirus Outbreak

FHA Announces Modified Appraisal Rules During Coronavirus Outbreak

The FHA and HUD have modified certain FHA appraisal requirements in response to the coronavirus outbreak and the need for social distancing. Since the outbreak of coronavirus and the worldwide pandemic that followed, government agencies began issuing policies to accommodate the need to prevent gatherings of people which potentially spreads the virus farther and wider. In the home loan industry, many are at risk including appraisers who must (under normal conditions) enter the homes of strangers and potentially expose themselves to infection. At the end of March, the FHA and HUD issued a press release announcing changes in FHA appraisal policy to address the needs to get appraisals done without exposing people to additional risks. That announcement including a set of temporary modifications to FHA appraisal requirements for single-family home | more...

 
How To Avoid Foreclosure During The Coronavirus

5 Home Loan Myths You Should Know About

There are many myths about FHA home loans; that you must be a first-time buyer to qualify, that you can only buy a certain kind of home with an FHA mortgage, and that FHA loans are only for economically disadvantage home buyers. None of those things are true. There are other pervasive myths about FHA mortgages you should know. #5: FHA Loans Are Only For Existing Construction Property Not True! The FHA One-Time Close Construction loan allows even first-time homebuyers the chance to apply for a loan to build a house from the ground up. Construction loans require more time and you won’t be able to move into the home until the construction phase is complete, but for those not in a hurry to move in favor getting just the | more...

 
Mortgage Industry Seeks Federal Relief For Borrowers

FHA Mortgages For First-Time Borrowers In 2020

What makes FHA home loans a great option for first-time home buyers? Anyone purchasing their first real estate, working with a realtor, and getting their credit ready for a home loan for the first time should know about the FHA mortgage program and it’s lower interest rates and flexible income requirements. FHA Loan Guidelines Are More Flexible It’s true that FHA mortgages require a borrower to have two years of employment history. But that history requirement does not have to be with a single company or employer.  Borrowers should know that some frequent job changes are acceptable to FHA lenders, but overall your employment record is reviewed on a case-by-case basis when necessary. You may want to explain any unusual job circumstances to a loan officer up front to see | more...

 
FHA Announces Modified Appraisal Rules During Coronavirus Outbreak

HUD Announces New Policy On Service Animals

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced updated guidance regarding the use of service animals and emotional support animals as it relates to Fair Housing Act issues. The issue of support animals might not seem to be related to the purchase of real estate with an FHA home loan, not at first. But Fair Housing rules do affect all stages of the house-hunting process including renting a home while you are looking for one to purchase with the help of a realtor, or on your own. The HUD announcement discusses a need for reasonable accommodation in housing for those who need service animals or emotional support animals. The agency has released an “Assistance Animal Notice” designed to help all parties understand how to best comply with Fair Housing | more...

 
Beware of Escrow Fraud

Need A Home Loan? Beware Of Escrow Fraud

There are common home loan scams that affect house hunters, even those applying for FHA home loans. One such scam–one you might actually encounter in your home buying journey–is called escrow fraud and it can affect even the most experienced homeowner if they are caught at just the wrong moment. Home Loan Scams Can Affect Any Type Of Mortgage Escrow scams are not associated with FHA mortgages alone, any type of home purchased with any type of home loan could be targeted. An important sense of any successful scam is creating a sense of urgency or emergency or a feeling that a big discount might be missed if you stop to consider the options. The scammer wants you to be in a hurry, not thinking critically, and ready to invest | more...

 
Mortgage Rate Trends

FHA Loan Rules You Need To Know Before House Hunting

There are several things you should know about FHA home loans before you go looking for real estate to buy. You can save a LOT of time and even some money by taking extra time to consider the following issues. You Don’t Have To Buy An Existing Home FHA home loans have an option called the One-Time Close construction loan. It lets you build a home from the ground up on your own land. Don’t want to purchase existing real estate? There is an FHA home loan for that and it is offered even to first-time home buyers. The same low 3.5% minimum down payment is available to those who qualify with credit scores and other financials. You Don’t Have To Buy A Suburban Home With An FHA Mortgage Don’t | more...

 
FHA Refinance Loans: Are You Ready?

FHA Home Loan Appraisals: What You Should Know

Borrowers have plenty of questions about the FHA appraisal process. After all, if the appraisal doesn’t go well, it could mean the borrower has to decide whether to walk away and find something else or deal with the issues uncovered by the appraisal. What is the real issue with FHA appraisals that confuses many borrowers? The fact that there are multiple standards that must be met and not just the ones that are set by the FHA and HUD. House hunters write us frequently to ask if a certain appraisal issue will affect their home loan. And the simple answer is that there is no easy answer to appraisal questions because of one huge variable. And that variable is what state and local building code requirements say in addition to | more...

 
Do you need to

Higher FHA Home Loan Limits For 2020

In 2019, the FHA and HUD announced higher loan limits, giving borrowers in most counties additional borrowing power to purchase, build, repair, or refinance an owner-occupied home. The uptick in FHA loan limits for 2019 led some to believe that it might be possible to see another year of higher loan limits, while others speculated that higher limits may not be a trend, but simply a typical course correction for home loan limits. Regardless of which camp 2020 borrowers were in back then, it seems there is another year to contemplate higher loan limits; the Department of Housing and Urban Development has released the FHA loan limits for 2020 and they are indeed higher in most areas. The HUD announcement discussing the overall increase in the FHA loan limit for | more...

 
FHA Loan Rules For Appraisals: Appliances, Mechanical Systems In The Home

FHA Loan Rules For Appraisals: Appliances, Mechanical Systems In The Home

HUD 4000.1, the FHA Single-Family Loan Handbook, has a detailed section about FHA loan appraisal requirements. First-time home buyers may not realize that certain details of the home must meet FHA requirements such as the condition of appliances and the efficiency of the mechanical systems in the home such as central air conditioning or hot water heaters. HUD 4000.1 lists FHA requirements for appliances in the appraisal, stating that the FHA appraiser is required to review the home’s stove, fridge, washing machine, etc. if those appliances are being left in the home for the new owner. “Appliances that are to remain and that contribute to the market value opinion must be operational. ” This section is discussing appraisals for existing construction homes, but the intent is clear; the condition of | more...