FHA 203k Loan Questions and
Answers, Page 3
If the borrower does the work, how is the cost for work estimated?
The cost estimate must be the same as if a contractor is doing the work, in case the borrower cannot (for some
reason) complete the work.
Can cost savings on the rehabilitation be given back to the borrower?
No. However, the savings can be transferred to cost overruns in other work items or can be used to make additional
improvements to the property If the cost savings are not used, the money must be applied to the mortgage principal,
but the mortgage payments will remain the same, because the loan has already closed. To use the cost savings, it
will be necessary for a Change Order to be completed and approved by the lender.
Can any rehabilitation money be paid upfront to offset the startup costs for the contractor?
No. However, an exception can be allowed for kitchen and bath cabinetry, or floor covering, where a contract is
established with the supplier and an order is placed with the manufacturer for delivery at a later date.
Is there anyone available who can prepare the Work Write-up and cost estimates?
Yes. HUD allows fee inspectors to be an independent consultant with the borrower. This is a time saver, because it
can be completed in about two weeks. After this step is completed, closing should occur within 60 to 90 days.
Can the borrower do their own work write up and cost estimate? Yes. However, it will take them between
three to six months to complete. This slows down the process and will save only about $200, but waste a lot of
valuable time. Hiring an independent consultant will help the closing occur within 60 to 90 days from completion of
the Work Write-up.
What is the definition of a First-Time Homebuyer?
A single person or an individual and his or her spouse who have not owned a home (as a tenant in common or as a
joint tenant by the entirety) during the three years immediately preceding the date of application for the FHA 203k
loan. Any individual who is legally separated or divorced cannot be excluded from consideration, because the
three-year waiting period does not apply, provided the individual no longer has an interest in the home.
Is there a limitation on how many properties a person or organization can have in any area of the
Yes. A borrower can have not more than seven (7) units within a two block radius of the property they want to
purchase. However, if the property is in a local community area that has been designated for redevelopment or
revitalization, then this seven unit limitation does not apply.
Can nonresidential (storefront) property be eligible for a FHA 203k mortgage loan?
Yes. Mixed-use residential property is acceptable provided the property has no greater than 25% (for a one
story building); 33% (for a three story building); and 49% (for a two story building) of its floor area used
for commercial (storefront) purposes. The rehab funds can only be used for the residential functions of the
dwelling and areas used to access the residential part of the property.
Is only one appraisal required to establish the "after-rehab" value of the property?
Basically, yes, provided the lender can be assured that the contract sales price is reasonable or the existing
debt on the property is low enough to assure a good equity position by the homeowner. On a HUD-owned property,
the lender can use HUD's appraisal for the after-rehab value.
Can HUD-owned properties be purchased using a FHA 203k mortgage loan?
Yes. However, the property must be advertised that it is eligible for financing with a FHA 203k loan. If the
HUD-owned property is purchased with other funds, a FHA 203k loan can be made after the property is in the
buyers name. In this case, cash back will be allowed to the borrower for a period of six months from purchasing
the HUD-owned property
Is the borrower required to enter into a contractual agreement with the general contractor who will do the
work on the property?
No. However, it is strongly suggested that the lender protect their interests to assure no liens are placed on
Can an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) be allowed using the FHA 203k program?
Yes. A borrower can finance into the mortgage 100 percent of the cost of eligible energy efficient
improvements, subject to certain dollar limitations, without an appraisal of the energy improvements and
without further credit qualification of the borrower.
Can a detached garage or another dwelling be placed on the mortgaged property?
Yes, however, a new
unit must be attached to the existing dwelling, and must comply with HUD's Minimum Property Standards in 24 CFR
200.926d and all local codes and ordinances.
Is there a time period on the rehabilitation construction period?
Yes, the Rehabilitation Loan Agreement contains three provisions concerning the timeliness of the work. The
work must begin within 30 days of execution of the Agreement. The work must not cease prior to completion for
more than 30 consecutive days. The work is to be completed within the time period shown in the Agreement (not
to exceed six months); the lender should not allow a time period longer than that required to complete the