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Published by Contour Mortgage on December 18 2015

What is an FHA 203(k) Rehab Loan?

Topics: Home Buyers, 203k Loan

In the right circumstances, an FHA 203(k) rehab loan could mean the difference between buying a move-in condition house in a less than stellar neighborhood or a fixer-upper in a coveted area. If you’re handy (or your brother-in-law is a contractor), the decision to apply for this financing option just might be a no-brainer.

In short, an FHA 203(k) loan is granted to buyers looking to purchase and renovate a home.


What types of FHA 203k rehab loans are there?

There are two kinds of 203(k) mortgage loans:

  1. Regular
    • Structural repairs (i.e. Fixing cracks in the foundation, adding dormers, addressing termite damage, and relocating a load-bearing wall)
    • Funds up to $625,500 (purchase price and renovations combined)
  2. Streamline
    • Non-structural repairs (i.e. painting, replacing siding and/or flooring, updating the kitchen, and installing new appliances)
    • Funds anything less than $35,000

What does an FHA 203(k) rehab loan cover?

The 203(k) loan will cover the cost of the home purchase (or a mortgage refinance) plus the cost of repairs, up to 20% in contingency reserve in case the repairs end up costing more than the original estimate and a provision to cover the cost of living elsewhere during repairs in the form of mortgage payments lasting up to six months.

The loan will amount to either 110% of the estimated value of the property after all of the repairs are completed or the as-is value plus the cost of repairs—whichever is less.


Does the property type matter?

Yes. A 203(k) loan can only apply to certain types of real estate. These include:

  • Any home up to a 4-family that has been completed for at least one year
  • A house that you want to relocate to a new address
  • A home that has been demolished as long as the foundation is still intact and in place

Some condos, yay. All co-ops, nay.


How do I apply for a FHA 203(k) rehab loan?

This is a government loan, so you will have to comply with FHA requirements.

Such requirements include:

  • Having the ability to make at least a 3.5% down payment
  • Possessing good credit score (the actual number can vary depending on the lender you’re working with and the percentage you put towards your down payment)
  • Out of bankruptcy at least two years
  • Out of foreclosure at least three years
  • Purchasing what will be your main residence

Most importantly, always remember to find a mortgage lending company who is experienced and comfortable with FHA programs and their limits. This will make the entire experience easier.


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