You know the feeling.
You found the perfect house except for (fill in the blank).
What are your options?
Option 1 – Get the Seller to Fix It
If something comes up in the inspection that you weren’t aware of, you can ask the seller to make the repairs. On the other hand, you may wish to have your own contractor make the repair and factor the cost into a purchase price reduction. If it’s a major issue, no one will be more interested in making sure the repair is done right than you will be.
If it’s something that will cost $100 or less, it’s usually best not to bother the seller about it. Remember, don’t try to make money on the inspection of your Davie real estate purchase.
Option 2 – Do the Renovation Yourself
If you want to make a major change to your almost perfect house, you could pay for the renovation yourself. This works out well if you have the funds and don’t need to rearrange your entire investment portfolio to get the money you need.
Option 3 – Roll the Cost of Your Renovation into Your Mortgage Loan
If you’d like one mortgage to cover both your renovation and the financing of your new home, consider the 203(k) FHA loan. That loan allows you to include the cost of the work you want to have done with your regular mortgage loan. Here’s a summary of some of the things you need to know about the 203(k) program.
Basic rules of the 203(k) loan:
- You must borrow at least $5,000.
- The home must be at least one year old.
- The home must meet minimum energy efficiency and structural rules.
- The cost of the home must fall within the FHA mortgage limit for our area.
- The Streamline version of this loan has a cap of $35,000, the home must be habitable during renovation, and payments to contractors are made 50 percent to start the work and 50 percent upon completion.
- The Standard version of this loan has more paperwork requirements than the Streamline, doesn’t carry a specific cap, covers more extensive projects, and progress is monitored and payments to contractors are made when each phase of the project is completed.
Issues you need to address:
The best idea is to work with a professional Davie REALTOR® who can guide you through the decision-making process. There are more considerations than would fit into this blog post! In general, you’d need to address the following types of issues:
- Is the type of project you’re thinking about covered?
- Is the loan cost-effective? There are differences in the fees and interest rates for 203(k) loans, but since FHA interest rates are usually lower than you’d find elsewhere, you’d need to do the math to make a concrete comparison.
- FHA loans can take longer to process than other loans. If you’re buying in a hot area and you want the house with or without the remodeling, you can reduce the risk of losing the bid for the house by obtaining a loan as quickly as possible.
When Might a 203(k) Loan Make Sense for You?
Here are just a few situations where this loan could be just what you need:
- If you’re focused on buying in a particular neighborhood and the home you find would work perfectly if only it had a mother-in-law suite.
- If you need improvements to accommodate a family member with disabilities.
- If you find a home you love, but it hasn’t been well maintained and needs some major repairs.
If you don’t want to use your own money, doing key repairs or modernization projects can require a complex and costly financing approach. Construction or improvement loans often have relatively high interest rates and short repayment times. The 203(k) loan can simplify the process.
The professionals on Teri’s Real Estate Team are experts at making Davie real estate dreams come true. Call us at 954-242-8030 or send an email today. If your dream home just needs a bit of work, we can help you determine if using a 203(k) loan is a good strategy, and guide you through the process.