Friday, May 22, 2009

Government program to help improve property (203k)

So you've been thinking about buying a new (to you) single family home and want to take advantage of the cutthroat pricing offered by the banks on their foreclosed homes. You've even taken the opportunity to view a few of these 'deals' based on price, but in many cases realize that there could be thousands of extra dollars needed to improve the housing unit to make it what I term as live in ready.

No question that there can be issues with some of the foreclosed listings available on the market. Foreclosed properties often were not taken care of all that well by the previous owner that was facing a distressing financial situation. Face it folks, those that are about to get evicted by the lender usually don't go to great lengths to keep the home in tip top shape.

I've seen many instances where the carpet needs to be replaced. Maybe some disrepair to the exterior or issues with the electrical or plumbing systems. No matter what kind of repairs might be needed, one thing is for certain at the moment... the banks that own these distressed assets are doing very little to improve the marketability of the homes and property.

I stumbled across a program offered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that may be of help to some buyers looking to take advantage of the low price offerings but may not have the extra available funds to make the house feel like a home when the deal is closed and the buyer takes over as owner.

Read more about the program here.

Some excerpts...

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), administers various single family mortgage insurance programs. These programs operate through FHA-approved lending institutions which submit applications to have the property appraised and have the buyer's credit approved. These lenders fund the mortgage loans which the Department insures. HUD does not make direct loans to help people buy homes.

The Section 203(k) program is the Department's primary program for the rehabilitation and repair of single family properties. As such, it is an important tool for community and neighborhood revitalization and for expanding homeownership opportunities. Since these are the primary goals of HUD, the Department believes that Section 203(k) is an important program and we intend to continue to strongly support the program and the lenders that participate in it.

Many lenders have successfully used the Section 203(k) program in partnership with state and local housing agencies and nonprofit organizations to rehabilitate properties. These lenders, along with state and local government agencies, have found ways to combine Section 203(k) with other financial resources, such as HUD's HOME, HOPE, and Community Development Block Grant Programs, to assist borrowers. Several state housing finance agencies have designed programs, specifically for use with Section 203(k) and some lenders have also used the expertise of local housing agencies and nonprofit organizations to help manage the rehabilitation processing.

The Department also believes that the Section 203(k) program is an excellent means for lenders to demonstrate their commitment to lending in lower income communities and to help meet their responsibilities under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). HUD is committed to increasing homeownership opportunities for families in these communities and Section 203(k) is an excellent product for use with CRA-type lending programs.

If you have questions about the 203(k) program or are interested in getting a 203(k) insured mortgage loan, we suggest that you get in touch with an FHA-approved lender in your area or the Homeownership Center in your area.


How the Program Can Be Used

To purchase a dwelling and the land on which the dwelling is located and rehabilitate it, and to refinance existing indebtedness and rehabilitate such a dwelling, the mortgage must be a first lien on the property and the loan proceeds (other than rehabilitation funds) must be available before the rehabilitation begins.


Eligible Improvements

Luxury items and improvements are not eligible as a cost rehabilitation. However, the homeowner can use the 203(k) program to finance such items as painting, room additions, decks and other items even if the home does not need any other improvements. All health, safety and energy conservation items must be addressed prior to completing general home improvements.

There is plenty more information at the link.

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