FHA home requirements regarding minimum property standards are pretty strict when it comes to safety and living conditions. Properties must meet national and/or state building codes, and must be “marketable” single-family units. They may include condominiums, townhouses, duplexes, and single family residences. FHA loans are also available for purchasing or refinancing manufactured mobile homes.
When can you use an FHA loan?
Contrary to popular belief, FHA loans aren’t just for first-time homebuyers. Homeowners may use FHA loans to make energy-efficient home improvements to their current eligible properties via the FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage Program. And homeowners over the age of 62 with low mortgage or no mortgage balances may qualify for a HUD Reverse Mortgage, which may let you access a portion of your home’s equity as cash to spend on whatever you like.
FHA loan requirements you may not know about
If you have a bankruptcy, short sale, or foreclosure in your not-too-distant past, you may still be eligible for an FHA-backed home loan. Recently FHA regulations changed, allowing some home buyers in these situations to apply for loans after just one year, instead of waiting two or three years (depending on the credit issue) as was previously the case. From the period August 15, 2013, through September 30, 2016, home buyers may apply under the FHA’s Back to Work -Extenuating Circumstances. However, take note – the lender ultimately makes the approval decision, and may have stricter lending requirements than the FHA.
Another thing to keep in mind is that FHA loans do come with geographically-dependent limits. When looking for a home, make sure to check the FHA loan limits for your desired area to make sure that the area qualifies for an FHA home loan.
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