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Articles in Category: Special FHA Programs

Home Loan

Before You Start House Hunting: Housing Counseling

Saving money is usually done to prepare for a home loan, but did you know there is a simple trick to saving money on mortgage expenses? It basically involves being a more informed borrower so you don’t mistakenly choose options that cost you more unnecessarily. Getting the right home loan for your needs can help you maximize your real estate dollar, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t know the options they have where home loans are concerned. A Freddie Mac report indicates that housing counseling and/or good financial education is a key benefit when you start the journey toward buying real estate. Knowing which loans are best for your needs and which ones to avoid is key. A Freddie Mac “Generation Z Study”, concluded, “The dream of | more...

 
The FHA Loan That Helps You Build On Your Own Lot

FHA One-Time Close Construction Loan Limits Are Higher In 2023

If you want to build a home from the ground up using an FHA One-Time Close Construction Loan, there’s good news for you in 2023. Your buying power has increased thanks to FHA loan limits published at the start of the new year. The Department of Housing and Urban Development issues updated FHA loan limits on an annual basis. The limits vary depending on whether the housing market in a given zip code is considered typical, high-cost, or low-cost. In 2023, the limits for all FHA forward mortgages (including FHA One-Time Close Construction Loans) increased in many areas across the USA. FHA loan limit calculations include a nationwide forward mortgage limit ‘floor’ and ‘ceiling’ for a one-unit property. If you want an FHA One-Time Close Construction Loan in 2023, the | more...

 
FHA And HUD

FHA Adds HECM Relief For Those Financially Affected By COVID

Some homeowners might be surprised to learn about new financial relief for the financial effects of COVID-19, but the FHA and HUD made an announcement in the last month of 2022 — there are new options for those who struggle financially due to COVID. Specifically, there are new options for relief for qualifying senior citizens trying to keep their homes while struggling to make property tax payments on homes securing Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) loan payments.  The issue for these homeowners? One requirement of the FHA HECM program is that the borrower stay current on all so-called property charges such as property taxes and homeowner’s association dues where applicable.  In ordinary circumstances, if an FHA HECM borrower does not stay current on these charges, they face loss of the | more...

 
HUD

HUD Announces Energy-Efficient Initiatives

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced a climate forward green housing initiatives as part of an update to the HUD program known as the Rate Reduction Initiative, or RRI. RRI supports the HUD Climate Action Plan. That plan was created to foster “climate resiliency, reduce greenhouse emissions, and pursue environmental justice in housing” according to HUD.gov.  RRI relies on partnerships with public housing providers, with one stated goal (among many) of encouraging the reduction of public housing utility costs beyond what may already be required by state law, saving money, and helping the environment at the same time. The RRI plan encourages public housing agencies to negotiate special rates with utility companies, or purchase energy through a third-party broker. It also encourages arrangements between utility companies and | more...

 
Who is eligible for an FHA Home Loan?

FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgages Compared To FHA One-Time Close Mortgages

Some borrowers want to know if there are any differences between a one-time close construction loan and an FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation Loan. While both of these loans have some features in common, the short answer is that they are not interchangeable and each loan has a specific purpose. Both types have one loan application and a sinlge loan closing date. Rehab loans and construction loans both use escrow to facilitate the payment of loan funds to contractors, and participating lenders may require the borrower to typically credit-qualify with FICO scores typically in the mid-600s for either type of mortgage. FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgages are offered as either a refinance or a purchase loan. An FHA One-Time Close construction loan is a forward mortgage. You would want to use an FHA | more...

 
HUD

HUD Announces Appraisal Update

The Department of Housing and Urban Development official site contains an FHA Mortgagee Letter published on July 12, 2022, which announces an important update to FHA appraisal policy. FHA loan rules as published in HUD 4000.1, include a maximum age for an appraisal. If an appraisal is about to expire, FHA rules permit an extension of the appraisal validity period for 30 additional days. In some cases, an appraisal update may be permitted but that update must typically be accomplished before the original appraisal expires. Now, FHA appraisal guidelines have been revised to expand the appraisal validity period, which the FHA and HUD say will reduce “financial burdens” of getting appraisal updates. The changes are also meant to help the agency “more closely align” the FHA loan program’s initial appraisal | more...

 
HUD

FHA Adds New Income Flexibility Guidelines For FHA Borrowers Affected By COVID-19

During the global COVID-19 pandemic, many house hunters experienced a loss of income because of coronavirus-related employment gaps, job losses, and similar financial hardship. When you are applying for a mortgage loan, late and missed payments can have a negative effect on your ability to find an affordable home loan. There were many forms of relief for COVID-19-related economic hardship, but as the fallout from COVID continues, it’s clear that some additional measures are needed. That’s one likely reason the FHA has announced updated COVID-19 credit qualifying guidelines for borrowers trying to buy a home with an FHA mortgage.  In early July 2022 the FHA announced new guidelines for participating FHA lenders. These new guidelines permit more flexibility for the lender when qualifying a borrower who may have income or | more...

 
VA One Time Close Construction Loan

VA One-Time Close Construction Loan Options for Military Veterans Expanded

Some house hunters get fed up with looking for just the right home, while others start out their home loan journey knowing in advance they want a house built for them. What options to these borrowers have? There is an FHA home loan known as the FHA One-Time Close / Single-Close construction loan that lets borrowers apply for a single loan that covers both construction costs and the mortgage itself. The FHA version of this type of construction loan requires the borrower and lender to work together to establish a plan for the project including estimated completion times, interest rates, budgets, and more. Some borrowers aren’t interested in FHA home loans since they have other options; do qualifying military veterans have a VA loan version of the FHA One Time | more...

 
One Time Close Mortgage Loans: The Base Home Sales Price

Why Choose An FHA Construction Loan?

If you want to build a home on your own lot or on land you buy in conjunction with the project, you have two basic options to choose from. There is a type of construction loan that features two applications and two closing dates.  One is a loan to pay for the labor and materials in the construction of the property itself. Once the construction phase is over, the borrower applies for a second loan that pays off the construction loan and serves as the mortgage.   It is important to remember that the loan for building your house is not a 30-year mortgage. If you want to build a custom home this way, the first loan is sometimes called an interim loan with the second being referred to in the | more...

 
One-Time Close Construction Loan Options For Veterans

Questions To Ask About FHA Construction Loans And 203(k) Rehabilitation Loans

There are FHA mortgages that let you build a home from the ground up on land you already own or purchase in conjunction with the mortgage. These are called FHA One-Time-Close mortgages. There are also FHA loans that can help you buy and renovate a home. These are called FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation loans and they are also available as an FHA refinance option. Both types of loans will require you to use escrow, hire builders, and have custom work done. And if you have never done this before, there are a few things to know going into the process.  Did you know that not all builders are suitable for construction loans? Not every licensed contractor has experience with a large project such as a home renovation, and you will want | more...