BREAKING NEWS: 2015 FHA Loan Limits HIGHER for King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties

HUD just released the loan limits for 2015. All Washington state counties will have the same FHA loan limits as 2014 with exception to King County, Snohomish County and Pierce County. The tri-county area has higher loan limits that mirror 2015 conforming loan limits.

2015 Conforming Loan Limits for King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties:

  • One Unit: $517,500 (up from $506,000)
  • Two Unit: $662,500 (up from $647,750)
  • Three Unit: $800,800 (up from $783,000)
  • Four Unit: $995,200 (up from $973,100)

I will do a follow up post with a complete list of all counties soon!

UPDATE December 15, 2014: Here is a complete list of the FHA 2015 loan limits of all Washington state counties.

Seattle RE Chat – FHA’s HAWK Program [Video]

In this episode of Seattle Real Estate Chat, Jim Reppond and I discuss FHA’s HAWK program with special guest, Frances Flynn Thorsen.

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HUD extends FHA’s Flipping Waiver through 2014

HUD recently announced they will extend the “anit-flip waiver” through December 2014. Without this waiver, home buyers would not be able to use FHA financing for homes that are considered being “a flip” ( a property that is quickly resold at a much higher price).

From the Federal Register:

Prior to the waiver, a mortgage was not eligible for FHA insurance if the contract of sale for the purchase of the property that secured the mortgage was executed within 90 days of the prior acquisition by the seller, and the seller did not come under any of the exemptions to this 90-day period specified in the regulation.

Through the regulatory waiver, FHA encourages investors that specialize in acquiring and renovating properties to renovate foreclosed and abandoned homes, with the objective of increasing the availability of affordable homes for first-time and other purchasers, helping to stabilize real estate prices as well as neighborhoods and communities where foreclosure activity has been high. The waiver is applicable to all single family properties being resold within the 90-day period after prior acquisition, and is not limited to foreclosed properties. Additionally, the waiver is subject to certain conditions, and mortgages must meet these conditions to be eligible for the waiver.

The Waiver continues to be limited to sales meeting the following conditions:

  • All transactions must be arms-length, with no identity of interest between the buyer and seller or other parties participating in the sales transaction.
  • In cases in which the sales price of the property is 20 percent or more above the seller’s acquisition cost, the Waiver will only apply if the lender meets specific conditions and documents the justification for the increase in value.
  • Seller must be by the owner of record
  • Property may not have been a repeatedly “flipped” over the past year
  • Property was marketed openly and fairly
  • The Waiver is limited to forward mortgages, and does not apply to the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for purchase program. [Reverse Mortgages]

When a home is being resold 20% or higher than what the seller purchased the property for in less than 90 days, often times a second appraisal will be required and the seller will need to show documentation to support the increased value in the home, such as receipts for the improvements made. A property inspection report will also be required by the lender to assure the quality of the improvements made to the property. Any health or safety issues disclosed by the property inspection will need to be corrected.

If a home has been re-sold withing 91-180 days at more at 100% or more than the seller’s acquisition cost, the same conditions will apply.

NOTE: If a second appraisal is required, the home buyer is not allowed to pay for it per HUD. And you can pretty much count on that second appraisal being required. Thanks to LO Comp being passed by the Fed in 2010, your friendly mortgage professional is not allowed to pay for the appraisal either.  

Investors (aka Flippers) who are reselling in a short period of time for a much higher amount than their acquisition cost should be prepared for the cost of the second appraisal when the buyer is using a FHA mortgage for financing. They should also retain detailed records of improvements (including all receipts) when they’re planning to quickly resale a home. The seller’s acquisition cost is the sales price of the home, plus the seller’s closing cost, including real estate commissions. It does not include any repairs. 

If you are considering buying a home located anywhere in Washington State, I’m happy to help you! Click here for a mortgage rate quote for homes located anywhere in Washington.  I’ve been originating home loans at Mortgage Master Service Corporation since April 2000, including FHA insured loans.

FHA Mortgage Insurance Increasing in 2013

Last week I shared with you part of HUD’s plan to no longer allow FHA mortgage insurance premiums to terminate to help improve their financial stability. This would be effective for loans guaranteed by HUD in 2013. 

HUD also announced in their report to Congress, their plans to increase the MIP (mortgage insurance premiums) paid on FHA insured loans by an additional 0.10 basis points (or 0.1% of the loan amount). From HUD’s press release:

In 2013, enact an increase of 10 basis points or 0.1 percent to the annual insurance premium paid by borrowers on new FHA loans. This premium increase is expect to add $13 per month for the average borrower and will strengthen FHA’s capital position without limiting access to credit for qualified borrowers.

In the greater Seattle area (King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties), the FHA loan limit (as of today) for a 1-unit single family dwelling is $567,500.  An increase of 0.1% for this loan amount would cost an FHA borrower an additional $47.29 per month.

If you are considering an FHA mortgage for your refinance, I highly recommend you do so as soon as possible while your mortgage insurance premiums may still be cancelled instead of for the life of the loan AND before the mortgage insurance premiums are increased.

If your home is located anywhere in Washington state, where I am licensed to originate mortgages, I can help you! 

HUD’s Net Tangible Benefit Requirement is Hampering FHA Streamline Refinances

HUD has a requirement that in order for a borrower to do a streamline refinance their  existing FHA mortgage, their scenario must have a “net tangible benefit”. FHA streamline refinances are popular today because they do not require an appraisal and FHA mortgage rates are very low.

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Why you should make sure your condo is on the FHA approved list


Editors Update: Loan limits are different than what’s reflected below from when this article was originally written.  Check with your local FHA approved Mortgage Originator to see what your loan limits are (or click on the link in the second paragraph).  

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