FHA Guidelines

What Questions Should You Ask Your Lender When Applying for a Loan?

                  When shopping for renovation loans and FHA 203k renovation loans, what questions should you ask your lender to be sure they are qualified and ensure a smooth process? Renovation loans are popular because they are flexible: you can take a property in need of a lot of work, and turn it into a good-as-new home, or find a home needing minor updates and make it the way you want. Checking Lender Experience While many lenders say they do renovation loans, it is important to find out how many they’ve actually done. One of the most important things to determine is the amount of experience your lender has with renovation loans. Renovation loans are different than traditional mortgages. Not only does the borrower need to be approved, but contractors doing the renovations need to be involved as well. Everything that needs to…

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How to Find the Right Lender for a FHA 203k Renovation Loan

                  A renovation loan, or FHA 203k renovation loan, is a great tool for buying a home that needs some repairs or improvements to raise the value of the home. Renovation loans allow buyers to incorporate renovation costs into the mortgage in order to improve the home and raise its value immediately, rather than waiting to renovate years down the road. In addition, this can save money in comparison to a second mortgage or use credit cards to make improvements. When shopping for a lender, what questions do you need to ask when considering a renovation loan, or FHA 203k renovation loan? How Experienced Is the Lender? How many renovation loans has the lender done in the past? There are many moving parts to a renovation loan: you have to approve the situation, know the timing of everything, and know what is…

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How Can a 203k Renovation Loan Save You Money?

                  If you’re looking into buying a home in the Chicago area, a 203k renovation loan can end up helping you save money. If you’re looking to buy with an FHA 203k loan, it will allow you to buy a home, and add in some improvements at the same time. While it costs a bit more to buy with a 203k loan than a traditional mortgage, you can still save a lot of money if you know what you’re doing. When a Renovation Loan is Appropriate It comes down to your plans for the home after you buy. Many folks think that a renovation loan is only for buying a run-down property or a foreclosure, and homes that haven’t been cared for very well. However, there are many homes in good condition that are simply out of style, such as homes occupied…

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Simple Guide to the 203k Renovation Loan

If you’re out looking for a home, you’ve probably noticed that inventories are tight: there are not as many homes available as you would like, and the homes in good locations at the right price will go fast, often with multiple offers. Similarly, there are many homes that sit on the market for a long time due to their condition: perhaps due to the home not being updated in many years, or due to a physical problem with the home that needs to be fixed before occupancy. In these cases, a simple fix for this problem is the renovation loan. Buying the Ugly Duckling Sometimes, it makes sense to buy what many would call the ‘ugly duckling’ – a home that needs some updating or several repairs. An updated home in a good location will often be very expensive, and a discounted ‘ugly duckling’ home can be a better financial…

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It’s alive??? Chicago, IL FHA Down Payment Assistance Programs May be on Their Way Back

Not so long ago it looked like the FHA Down Payment Assistance programs (DPAs) were gone for good. The DPAs were one of the last ways available for first time home buyers Loan and others who were short a down payment but otherwise qualified, to buy a home with no money out of their own pocket. This program was a way to launder a seller’s equity and use it as the basis of a grant from a charitable group like Ameridream or Nehemiah (here is a detailed look at how FHA DPAs work). But the DPAs were cut as one of the provisions of the new housing bill due to go into affect October 1st. It now seems that rumors of their death may be greatly exaggerated. A compromise deal to save the DPAs appears to be about to be accepted, and the FHA Down Payment Assistance programs could be…

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Illinois FHA loans – What Do You Do When Your Chicago FHA Loan Isn’t Automatically Approved?

If you are buying a home in Chicago or the Chicago area, an FHA mortgage might be your best financing choice. With FHA there are two ways to get your mortgage approved. The first is through an automated approval. This is the way nearly all conventional loans are approved, and most FHA loans are approved this way, too. When you apply for a mortgage approval or pre-approval your loan officer enters all your personal and financial information into a computer program and uses an Automated Underwriting System (AUS) to determine the risk in the loan. The system issues either an approval or a refer to the underwriter decision. This is a very simplified explanation. Part of getting the approve decision is based on how your loan officer interprets your loan information and how it corresponds to FHA guidelines. If the wrong information is put in, or if the information is…

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Last Chance to Buy a Chicago Area Home with No Money Down – FHA Loans with Down Payment Assistance Are About to Disappear

One of the provisions of the recently signed Housing Bill, was the elimination of the Down Payment Assistance Programs (DPAs) like Ameridream and Chicago FHA loans | Mortgage Company | Mortgage Broker Nehemiah. These programs were a legal loop hole which allowed sellers, in a round about way, to fund the buyer’s down payment and allow them use an FHA loan to buy with no down payment from their own pockets. The DPAs have been a great deal for home buyers who didn’t have extra cash saved up for a down payment, and it’s been a great deal for home sellers because they brought in home buyers who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to buy a home. The down side has been that FHA has linked the DPAs to a higher default rate, and they’ve been trying to shut them down for years. Ameridream and Nehemiah contest the default figures,…

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FHA Takes on Risk Based Pricing

Over the last months conventional mortgage guidelines have tightened, and with risk based pricing mortgage financing has gotten more expensive for most borrowers. Conventional mortgage insurance has pulled back on what they will cover, and the cost of mortgage insurance has gone up (more increases are coming in August). This combination has made it harder to qualify for a conventional loan, and more expensive for those who have lower down payments and good but not great credit scores. The one bright spot in the real estate financing market has been FHA. Earlier this year FHA raised their maximum loan limit (up to $410,000 for a single family home here in the Chicago area, lower in other parts of Illinois) making FHA a great option for many borrowers who would have once been conventional borrowers. But FHA is feeling the pinch of the market, too. Effective July 14th FHA is changing…

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Can You Still Buy a Home in the Chicago Area with No Money Down?

Now that it’s April, I think it is finally safe to say winter is over here in the Chicago area. It’s been a long hard winter, and spring couldn’t come a moment to soon. But the baseball season has officially started, the sun is out and my phone is ringing with first time home buyers who are ready to take the plunge into home ownership. Yep, this is springtime in Chicago. First time home buyers Loan generally have two things in common. One, they are nervous about the home buying process and whether they will be able to qualify for a mortgage (especially now with all the economic uncertainty and the tighter underwriting from the mortgage mess), and two, they don’t have a lot of money saved up for a down payment. This wasn’t a problem a year or two back. Over the last few years 100% financing loans were…

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Why FHA May be the Best Option for Chicago Area Home Buyers – Even Those Who Can Qualify for a Conventional Mortgage

Not so long ago, FHA loans were the red-headed step child in the housing market. They didn’t get any respect. That wasn’t always the case. Back in the old days FHA loans were the only option for most first time home buyers or others who had little money to put down. FHA was the way for many borrowers to take their first steps into home ownership here in the Chicago area. Not only could you buy a home with a small down payment, but the entire down payment could be a gift, and your credit didn’t have to be perfect. There were problems with FHA loans, though. It took longer to get a loan approved and closed than with a conventional loan, and if there were issues with the homes condition (like peeling paint) the issues had to be fixed before closing. Many people felt that FHA underwriters were professional…

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