The federal government has been searching for ways to curb the foreclosure wave, deal with the subprime mortgage mess and get more people into homes. Our economy is spurred by homeownership and the foreclosure problem is hurting everyone across the country.
So what did the government do? It raised the FHA loan limit. What does that mean to you? It means that it just now became easier to buy a home. For the last several years conventional loans were just as easy, if not easier to get than FHA loans. Banks had relaxed the credit guidelines and made some exceptions for judgments, liens and bankruptcies. Today that is no longer the case. Lenders have clamped down and the guidelines are tighter for conventional loans.
Enter FHA again. Why is it easier to get an FHA loan than a conventional one? Four reasons.
1. Easier to Qualify – FHA loans are normally not credit score driven. So even if you have less than perfect credit, you may still be able to qualify for an FHA loan. What is more important to the lender is your payment history. Are you paying your bills on time now even if you had some challenges in the past.
2. More Flexible with Credit Issues – Again lenders are not as concerned with your credit score as they are with payment history. There is flexibility with past credit challenges as long as you can explain it .
3. Low Down Payment – FHA requires a 3% down payment and still works with Down Payment Assistance Programs such as Nehemiah and AmeriDream to cover that portion. It is still one of the few 100% programs in town. Also, the interest rates are normally fixed and are a decent rate right now.
4. Foreclosure Options – In the unfortunate event that you have changing circumstances and are facing foreclosure, FHA has a range of workout options aimed at keeping you in the home.
The FHA loan limits have been raised to $346,205 which is good for most of the Metro Atlanta market. If you have been sitting on the fence about buying home because of market uncertainty – now is the time to jump in. Talk to a lender and see if you can qualify for an FHA loan. Take advantage of the low interest rates and the motivated sellers.
Now is a great time to buy a home!