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The FHA has a variety of options for people want to buy, refinance or improve a home. It's wrong to assume FHA loans are aimed only at first time home buyers looking for traditional suburban homes.

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August 17, 2017
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FHA Loan Articles

News and Updates for Homeowners

Basic Types of FHA Home Loans

March 31, 2011 - The FHA has a variety of options for people want to buy, refinance or improve a home. It's wrong to assume FHA loans are aimed only at first time home buyers looking for traditional suburban homes--FHA insured loans are as diverse as the housing market itself.

That said, FHA mortgages for first-time home buyers are definitely available for qualified applicants. These loans are for up to 96.5% financing-a 3.5% down payment minimum is required.

FHA loan applicants are allowed to finance the required upfront mortgage insurance premium into the mortgage, and the loan can be for one-to-four unit structures depending on borrower eligibility and other circumstances.

For borrowers who want to save some money and use their home improvement skills, FHA-guaranteed loans for fixer-upper properties are also available. Just like a more traditional FHA mortgage, fixer-upper loans feature a minimum 3.5% down payment.

"The amount of the loan will also include a contingency reserve of 10% to 20% of the total remodeling costs and is used to cover any extra work not included in the original proposal," according to FHA rules.

These loans are for occupants only-the borrower must certify he or she wants to live on the property as the primary residence. These loans are not for investors, landlords, flippers or other parties who don't intend to live in the home.
These types of mortgages, called FHA 203(k) loans, are also available as a refinancing loan according to the FHA official site.

The FHA also has a guaranteed loan especially for borrowers aged 62 and older who want to convert the value built up in a home over time into cash. The FHA HECM loan, (also known by some as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage or Reverse Mortgage,) is for qualifying borrowers who live in the home full-time. According to the FHA, "no repayment is required until the borrower(s) no longer use the home as their principal residence or fail to meet the obligations of the mortgage."

This type of FHA home loan is paid off when the borrower dies or sells the property. Eligible properties are one-to-four unit residences and the borrower must live on the property. Summer homes are not eligible for an FHA insured HECM loan.

You can also apply for an FHA mortgage for manufactured homes or mobile homes. These loans are unique-- different financing and underwriting requirements apply. FHA loans for mobile or manufactured homes have requirements with regard to being attached to a fixed foundation, which allows the home to be classified as "real property". Foundation issues are very important for these FHA mortgage loans--do some research or call the FHA directly to learn more at (800) 225-5342.