Many people think FHA loans are only for homeowners, but real estate investors can also take advantage of this government home buying program. Certain requirements must be met.
Real estate investors can use these loans if they live in the residence as their primary home for one year. Another key advantage of this style loan: You can use the income you will generate from multi-unit investment properties to help qualify for an FHA loan. Plus, real estate investors can also buy FHA homes that are in foreclosure.
What Is An FHA Loan?
The U.S. government is in the home buying business. These loans are still one of the most popular ways to buy a home for buyers with blemished credit or with a small down payment.
An FHA loan is mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration. The government agency was created as part of the National Housing Act of 1934 following the Great Depression.
Today, it has provided financing for millions of Americans to buy homes. Unlike some government programs, FHA loans are available for everyone.
The amount of these loans varies by state.
Generally, the loans are popular because they are one of the most affordable ways for homeowners and even real estate investors to purchase homes. You can own a home for just 3.5 percent down. Your down payment doesn’t have to come from your own earnings, but can be a gift, grant or sweat equity.
FHA loans allow sellers to pay up to 6 percent of your closing costs, which means more money in your pocket. Plus, there are generally fewer credit requirements than a traditional mortgage loan.
Requirements For An FHA Loan
- A loan requires two years of documented work history. You can’t just say you’ve worked, you’ve got to prove it with tax returns. It’s helpful if you’ve spent two years in the same profession.
- FHA requires a minimum 620 FICO credit score. You can even purchase a home with an FHA mortgage if you’ve had a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, as long as you have a 12-month track record of on-time payments. Your bankruptcy must have been discharged for two years.
- A 3.5 percent down payment. This may change to 5 percent in 2010, but it is still lower than traditional mortgage financing that requires 20 percent down.
FHA loans offer advantages for real estate investors and home buyers.