FHA 203k Loan
If you’re looking at a fixer-upper, the Federal Housing Administration rehab loan may be the mortgage for you.
Are you interested in buying a fixer-upper, but don’t have the cash to remodel it? Or maybe you have saved money for remodeling and you’ve found a house you love, but your lender won’t allow you to buy it because the house isn’t considered habitable without toilets.
There are always properties on the market that weren’t maintained by cash-strapped former owners, were treated poorly by renters or were deliberately trashed by formers owners before they lost their home to foreclosure. Shouldn’t there be a way for someone like you to fix up these neighborhood eyesores and bring them back to life?
A Gift From the Government
There is, and it’s brought to you by the federal government. The Federal Housing Administration’s rehab loan product, the The FHA 203(k) Loan was designed for individuals who want to rehabilitate or repair a damaged home so they can live in it as their primary residence. These loans are endorsed by the government to encourage lenders to offer what would otherwise be considered a risky loan product. Because of the risk and expense involved, rehab projects are normally handled by professional real estate investors who can buy properties with cash and therefore don’t need any bank to approve the property’s condition.
According to the FHA, “All persons who can make the monthly mortgage payments are eligible to apply” for a 203(k) loan. To find a lender in your area who is experienced with FHA 203(k) mortgages, use the search tool at http://www.hud.gov/ll/code/llslcrit.cfmand check the box for 203(k).
You might be surprised by the variety of home repairs and improvements that can be financed with the 203(k) loan. These include, but are not limited to:
Site grading and drainage
Kitchen remodeling, including appliances
Finishing an attic or basement
Structural alterations and repairs
Adding or decreasing the number of units in a dwelling (e.g., single family to duplex)
Second story addition
Elimination of lead-based paint problems
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC)
The FHA does not allow “luxury items” such as tennis courts, swimming pools, hot tubs and barbecue pits to be financed with a 203(k) loan, but some items that you might think of as luxuries, such as whirlpool bathtubs, are actually allowed. Talk to your lender about the specific improvements you want to make to see what you can finance.
Fred Sweezer Sr. is a 203K Consultant