4 Things I’d like to have known before I got an FHA Mortgage

Some time ago My husband and I obtained the FHA loan. In the beginning, we were moving from our two-bedroom apartment of 850 square feet situated in St. Petersburg, FL. We had one kid with one cat, as well as plenty of things. In short we were ready to leave.

We weren’t in the market for a purchase at first, but a close friend (it always begins with a friend, isn’t it?) had recently purchased a house through the Federal Housing Administration loan, and it had been working very well.

My husband and I have good ratings on our credit score and very little debts, but we definitely didn’t have the luxury of 20% of money to pay for a house. A FHA loan, which allows buyers to pay as little as 3.5%–sounded like a wish that would come to life. We found a lender that was FHA-approved and, in a short time we were on the journey to purchasing our first house with the help of a government-backed loan.

However, in the middle of the process, one of us asked what our mortgage insurance would cost us.

“Mortgage insurance?” I asked. “What’s that?”

The lender we dealt with hadn’t provided any information about the restrictions and rules regarding the FHA loan. We learned this the hard way — after it was already a closed deal. We were able to continue finding our home for our starter. However, here is a list of four tips I would have had before signing the”dotted line.

  1. You’re responsible to pay mortgage insurance over the duration of your loan

Let’s dive into the first aspect you’ll need to consider when you apply for an FHA loan the mortgage insurance.

This type of payment is generally required when a buyer doesn’t have 20 percent down. (You may know it as PMI which is also called private mortgage insurance. FHA’s version is referred to as MIP, which stands for mortgage insurance cost. )

The borrower (you) has to make monthly payments to safeguard the lender in the event you do not repay your loan. This is the cost of the mortgage you can get with these permissive requirements.

The twist is The old rule was that you were required to pay for mortgage insurance for the FHA loan only up to the point that you had a 20 percent capital value in the home. However, under the law that was passed by the Congress in 2013, homeowners are now able to think about paying the extra amount for the duration that of an FHA loan. Yikes! (You are able to get around this rule if you pay at minimum 10 percent down, but that does not really serve the purpose of the sweet, low-down payment plan, isn’t it? )

It’s not all lost However, eventually your monthly payments can decrease as you work to reduce the loan amount.

“But in the initial couple of years, the buyer is paying a lot more interest than principal, which means the loan amount won’t decrease for time,” says Robert Harris the director of All in One Lending and mortgage consultant. All in One Lending.

  1. You cannot buy the right home with the help of an FHA loan

If the bank is satisfied that you’re qualified to get the loan, then why wouldn’t you have the ability to buy the house you’d like? But, the FHA comes with a few additional obstacles to overcome as opposed to conventional loan.

To be eligible in the process of loan approval, the property must be inspected through HUD, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. An appraiser who is licensed and approved by HUD will assess the market value of the house and conduct the “health and safety” inspection to look for important issues, such as foundation cracks or problems with mechanical systems.

“Many people are unaware that the rules can be very strict when it comes to the FHA credit,” says Paolo Matita an ex-real estate agent who believes that inspections were a problem for his FHA clients with loans. “The roofing, AC unit, plumbing as well as electrical components all need to function properly and last for a long time in order to be inspected. .”

(Note The inspection described here does not replace the regular home inspection that you must have as well. )

Additionally If the home requires specific repairs to be inspected, these must be completed prior to the sale can proceed. This could create a new hurdle to FHA buyers: You must either take on the cost for the repairs or request the seller pay for the repairs, which is a huge risk, particularly in the current market for sellers.

At the end of the day it could be that you have to end the contract.

  1. It is possible that you won’t be able to utilize your FHA loan to finance improvements

My husband and I stumbled across an opportunity in a home that was possibile but required some serious work. The property was priced under spending limits, and we figured we’d use the remaining part of the loan to fund repairs. No biggie, right?

The truth is, the kind of FHA loan we’d signed on to did not permit remodeling. If we had conducted more research prior to signing we would have realized that there’s an FHA loan which would have allowed us to purchase and fix the fixer-upper we were looking for that we had: the FHA 203(k) credit.

With the help of a 203(k) loan you can set aside to up to $35,000 in home improvement. The lender has the final say on what types of repairs you are able to make however, it is possible to make repairs. 203(k) loan is an ideal option for those who are first-time buyers and like to do some work.

  1. You’ll need good credit to get the FHA loan

Although we didn’t have superhigh credit scores however, the process of getting an FHA loan wasn’t an easy task buyers need to be able to show a credit score of 580 to qualify for the 3.5 percent down payment. Also, lenders have stakes in the market, and often require that you have a credit score of or more to be eligible. (Our lender demanded that you have a credit score of at least 665. )

The FHA also has strict guidelines regarding the amount of debt you can take on Check the latest rules for more information. ensure that your debt is in the hands of the federal government.

An FHA loan gave us the lowest interest rates and a low down. However, don’t believe that you can get an FHA loan is an easy path to homeownership. Do research and take a look at the advantages and disadvantages to determine whether you think an FHA loan is right for you.