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         HUD 203k Rehab Program           

FHA 203-k loan - Questions & Answers

    1) Is the FHA 203k mortgage loan program restricted to single-family dwellings? No. The FHA 203-k mortgage program can be used for one-to-four unit dwellings. Maximum mortgage limitations are the same as for properties under Section 203(b).

    2) Can the FHA 203k loan be used to improve a condominium unit? Yes, however, condominium rehabilitation is subject to the following conditions:

    a) Owner/occupant and qualified non-profit borrowers only;

    b) Rehabilitation is limited only to the interior of the unit. Mortgage proceeds are not to be used for the rehabilitation of exteriors or other areas which are the responsibility of the condominium association, except for the installation of firewalls in the attic for the unit;

    c) Only the lesser of five units per condominium association, or 25 percent of the total number of units, can be undergoing rehabilitation at any one time;

    d) The maximum mortgage amount cannot exceed 100 percent of after-improved value. After rehabilitation is complete, the individual buildings within the condominium must not contain more than four units. By law, FHA 203k loans can only be used to rehabilitate units in one-to-four unit structures. However, this does not mean that the condominium project, as a whole, can only have four units or that all individual structures must be detached. Example: A project might consist of six buildings each containing four units, for a total of 24 units in the project and, thus, be eligible for an FHA 203k loan. Likewise, a project could contain a row of more than four attached townhouses and be eligible for a FHA 203k loan because HUD considers each townhouse as one structure, provided each unit is separated by a 1 1/2 hour firewall (from foundation up to the roof). Similar to a project with a condominium unit with a mortgage insured under Section 234(c) of the National Housing Act, the condominium project must be approved by HUD prior to the closing of any individual mortgages on the condominium units.

    3) Can a FHA 203k loan be used to convert a one family dwelling to a two-, three-, or four-family dwelling (or vice versa)? Yes.

    4) Can a FHA 203k loan be used to move an existing house onto another site? Yes, however, release of loan proceeds for the existing structure on the non-mortgaged property is not allowed until the new foundation has been properly inspected and the dwelling has been properly placed and secured to the new foundation. At closing, funds would be released to purchase the site and the rest of the mortgage proceeds would be placed in the Rehabilitation Escrow Account. The borrower would have the site prepared to accept the dwelling. The first release would be based on the improvements made to the site, including the installation of the existing structure on the new foundation.

    5) What eligible home improvements are acceptable under the $5,000 minimum requirement?

    a) Structural alterations and reconstruction (e.g., repair or replacement of structural damage, chimney repair, additions to the structure, installation of an additional bath(s), skylights, finished attics and/or basements, repair of termite damage and the treatment against termites or other insect infestation, etc.).

    b) Changes for improved functions and modernization (e.g., remodeled bathrooms and kitchens, including permanently installed appliances, i.e., built-in range and/or oven, range hood, microwave, dishwasher).

    c) Elimination of health and safety hazards (including the resolution of defective paint surfaces or lead-based paint problems on homes built prior to 1978).

    d) Changes for aesthetic appeal and elimination of obsolescence (e.g., new exterior siding, adding a second story to the home, covered porch, stair railings, attached carport).

    e) Reconditioning or replacement of plumbing (including connecting to public water and/or sewer system), heating, air conditioning and electrical systems. Installation of new plumbing fixtures is acceptable, including interior whirlpool bathtubs.

    f) Installation of well and/or septic system. The well or septic system must be installed or repaired prior to beginning any other repairs to the property. A property less than 1/2 acre with a separate well or septic system is not acceptable; also, a property less than 1 acre with both a well and a septic system is unacceptable. Lots smaller than these sizes, usually have problems in the future; however, the local HUD Field Office can approve smaller lot size requirements where the local health authority can justify smaller lots. The installation of a new well or the repair of an existing well (used for the primary water source to the property) can be allowed provided there is adequate documentation to show there is reason to believe the well will produce a sufficient amount of potable water for the occupants. (A well log of surrounding properties from the local health authority is acceptable documentation.)

    g) Roofing, gutters and downspouts.

    h) Flooring, tiling and carpeting.

    i) Energy conservation improvements (e.g., new double pane windows, steel insulated exterior doors, insulation, solar domestic hot water systems, caulking and weather stripping, etc.).

k) Major landscape work and site improvement (e.g., patios, decks and terraces that improve the value of the property equal to the dollar amount spent on the improvements or required to preserve the property from erosion). The correction of grading and drainage problems is also acceptable. Tree removal is acceptable if the tree is a safety hazard to the property. Repair of existing walks and driveway is acceptable if it may affect the safety of the property. (Fencing, new walks and driveways, and general landscape work (i.e., trees, shrubs, seeding or sodding) cannot be in the first $5000 requirement.)

    l) Improvements for accessibility to a disabled person (e.g., remodeling kitchens and baths for wheelchair access, lowering kitchen cabinets, installing wider doors and exterior ramps, etc.). Related fixtures such as new cooking ranges, refrigerators, and other appurtenances, as well as general painting are also eligible; however, it must be in addition to the $5,000 requirement.

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