Most people obtain a home through financing. You’re probably already familiar with some common types of home loans such as conventional financing through banks and veteran’s loans for active and retired military members. Some potential homebuyers who are not able to meet the qualifications for certain loans may look into the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan.
What is FHA Loan
Downpayment and Closing costs
Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans make homeownership more attainable with a smaller down payment. You can pay a 3.5% down, compared to as low as a 5% down payment for conventional loans.
The terms of the loan may include the closing costs as well. The seller can pay up to 6% of the purchase price in closing costs.
The FHA also offers offer more lenient credit score guidelines. Currently and subject to change, the minimum credit score is 580 for a 3.5% downpayment, 500 below with a 10% down payment. It would be a challenge to obtain a home loan through conventional financing when your credit score is below 620. You also only need 1 credit score, 3 non-traditional accounts such as rent, utilities, and auto insurance.
Qualified homeowners can enjoy better rates than conventional for low-credit borrowers. As of this writing, the average 30-year FHA rate is 3.94% APR while a 620 FICO conventional 30-year mortgage is at 4.414 % APR.
Finance Repairs on a Fixer-Upper
The FHA also has a program called FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation Loan or renovation loan, that enables homebuyers to take the financial burden out of renovating a home.
Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP)
A downside is that mortgage insurance is more expensive and non-cancelable. You have to pay for it for the life of the loan at 0.85 monthly factor (compared to 0.35 monthly factor in conventional) There is also a 1.75% upfront fee financed into the loan amount. However, you may refinance into conventional to drop the MIP.
Income, Loan, and Property Restrictions
You may purchase a primary residence anywhere in the US. Condos may not be approved. The home also has to be occupied by the owner. It cannot be obtained as a vacation home or a real estate investment.
There are no income limits however there may be loan limits based on region. Check with your local office to learn more.
The FHA loan allows the American dream possible for many. We hope you find the information above helpful. If you have any questions about FHA loans and other home loan options, feel free to reach out to our agents at Broadpoint Properties.