Federal Housing Authortity (FHA)

FHA guidelines are changing in 2009.  The first thing to be aware of is that FHA.com is not sponsored by the Federal Housing Administration.  They don’t hide the fact and it appears to have valid info on it but the real site is FHA.gov.

I’m having a hard time finding what I know is somewhere on the website: in January, the minimum 3% down payment for FHA backed loans goes up to 3.5%.  Your bank or mortgage broker will have better information than I am able to provide here.  It is not a huge change but is $1000 on a $200,000 loan.  There is a provision for locking the 3% in for purchases that go past 12/31/08.  It is important to note that FHA is not a lender, they insure mortgages:

“The Federal Housing
Administration has insured over 35 million home mortgages and 47,205
multifamily project mortgages since 1934. Currently, FHA has 4.8
million insured single-family mortgages and 13,000 insured multifamily
projects in its portfolio.”

Other things of note on the website:

  • FHA on Facebook (21 fans, I am not one of them).
  • HUD’s Guide to Avoiding Foreclosure one interesting page I found there is the Foreclosure Timeframe.
  • HOPE for Homeowners: “The HOPE for Homeowners (H4H) program was created by
    Congress to help those at risk of default and foreclosure refinance
    into more affordable, sustainable loans. H4H is an additional mortgage
    option designed to keep borrowers in their homes.

The program is effective from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2011.

As many as 400,000 homeowners could avoid foreclosure
through this program over the next three years. If you are having
trouble making your mortgage payments, HOPE for Homeowners may be able
to help you, by refinancing your loan into a new 30-year or 40-year
fixed-rate loan with lower payments.”

Rates did take a big dip in the middle of the week but only for a few hours.  We heard of loan locks for 30 year mortgages under 5%.

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