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Do you need to buy a home using an FHA loan, but one that is out of town or out of state? The Department of Housing and Urban Development has created a new tool to help FHA loan applicants and anyone else looking for a home loan.

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News and Updates for Homeowners

New HUD Tool Can Help People Find a Home

January 3, 2014 - Do you need to buy a home using an FHA loan, but one that is out of town or out of state? Not all house hunters have the ability to drive through neighborhoods looking at “for sale” properties. Out of necessity–a job relocates to a new city, a new promotion requiring a change of address, sometimes even natural disasters--a house hunter may need to look for a home somewhere far from where they currently live.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has created a new tool to help FHA loan applicants and anyone else looking for a home loan. An FHA/HUD press release issued recently had U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announcing the Location Affordability Portal (LAP).

This portal is described as, “a cost calculation tool that allows users to estimate housing and transportation costs for neighborhoods across the country. The LAP will help consumers and communities better understand the combined costs of housing and transportation associated with living in a specific region, street, or neighborhood and make better-informed decisions about where to live, work, and invest.”

“Many consumers make the mistake of thinking they can afford to live in a certain neighborhood or region just because they can afford the rent or mortgage payment. Housing affordability encompasses much more than that,” said HUD Secretary Donovan. “The combined cost of housing and transportation consumes close to half of a working family’s monthly budget, and the LAP will help to better inform consumers, help them save money, and provide them with a broader perspective of their housing and transportation options.”

The LAP features a pair of data tools. One is called the Location Affordability Index (LAI), the other is My Transportation Cost Calculator (MTCC). According to the FHA official site, “The map-based LAI is a database of predicted annual housing and transportation costs for a particular area.”

“The LAI includes diverse household profiles—which vary by income, size, and number of commuters—and shows the affordability landscape for each one across an entire region.It was designed to help renters and homeowners, as well as planners, policymakers, developers, and researchers, get a more complete understanding of the costs of living in a location given the differences between households, neighborhoods, and regions, all of which impact affordability. The data covers 94% of the U.S. population.”