The FHA 203(k) Loan: Basic Qualification Requirements
The FHA 203(k) mortgage offers you the chance to purchase and repair a home, without having to deplete your life savings. With this, you could buy a home and include all related costs for updates and repair work, or a full renovation, into a single loan that’s fixed for 30 years. That is if you qualify for it.
How Do You Qualify for an FHA 203(k) Loan?
To be eligible for the 203(k), you have to satisfy specific requirements:
- Be the occupant-owner of the home you’re planning on renovating.
- A maximum DTI or debt to income ratio of between 41% and 45%.
- A credit score about 620 at the least, subject to lender approval.
- A loan amount, which includes both your purchase and remodeling expenses, that’s lower than the maximum limit for loans in your area.
- A down payment (home deposit) or home equity (if you’re planning to refinance) of about 3.5% or higher.
All prospective FHA 203k loan borrowers also need to pay mortgage insurance upfront, regardless of the amount of equity in your home or your down payment amount, which could increase your monthly mortgage payment amount. You’d also need yearly mortgage insurance if your loan to value or LTV ratio is 78% or higher or if your down payment is lower than 20%. This insurance would cover your lender in case you default. You’d also need to pay extra fees such as a supplemental fee of 1.5% of your repair costs, plus other charges for a title policy update and additional appraisal following the completion of your project.
The main difference in qualifying for a standard FHA loan instead of an FHA 203k loan is that you should qualify according to your renovation costs, plus your purchase price. For instance, if you need to buy or refinance a property with a value of $150,000 and fund $25,000 in renovation costs, you have to qualify for a home loan worth $175,000 and make a down payment or have home equity of 3.5%.
Whether you are purchasing a home that needs extensive repairs or are just looking to update a bathroom or kitchen before moving into your new home, the FHA 203(k) loan program might just be what you need to fund whatever you need to do. With this in mind, consult with an experienced FHA approved lender to determine if you’re qualified for the 203(k) mortgage.