How Do You Get a Home Loan for a Fixer-Upper?

Purchasing a home of their own is a dream for many people. But the high price of property often means that it can take a long time and a lot of saving to own a home. To save money, many prospective buyers decide to look for a property that needs some TLC. But getting a home loan for a fixer-upper has some nuances to keep in mind.

Securing a mortgage for a fixer-upper is a great way to get into a property that you can afford. Buying a home that needs a little attention is also the perfect way to make the home uniquely yours as you do updates, upgrades, and renovations.

For any home loan needs, the expert team at TwinCity Lending is here to help. Our concierge service ensures you get the best rates, service, and closing process.

Why Choose A Fixer-Upper?

Choosing a house that requires work can seem daunting, but it can also offer a host of benefits:

  • A Lower Price – If you have your heart set on a particular location, but the prices are out of your range, then a fixer-upper could be the perfect solution. Due to their less-than-perfect state, they often carry prices below market rate. The lower price point makes them a fantastic option. You could find yourself living in your dream location for a fraction of the cost.
  • An Older Home – In general, fixer-uppers tend to be older properties. This is perfect if you are looking for a space that is bursting with character and original items. Rather than designing a house that looks like all of its neighbors, you can restore the period features such as windows, cornices, and super-high ceilings. It is exciting to bring charm and majesty back to a faded beauty.
  • A Chance to Make It Your Own One of the significant appeals of a fixer-upper is the opportunity to put your spin on a property, and make it feel like your home. This chance is particularly exciting if you are planning to stay for the long term. You can design your perfect dream home right from the outset.  

What Are Your Options?

When deciding how to get a home loan for a fixer-upper, many buyers opt for a renovation loan. This type of loan package is beneficial when you want to buy a property that needs some work. It allows you to finance the purchase of the home, as well as the essential improvements required into one loan. You only have one monthly payment to cover the mortgage and renovations.

This streamlined home loan package is an ideal way to get started on homeownership without a considerable outlay of cash.  Some of the most popular renovation loan options include:

  • FHA 203(k): This choice comes through the Federal Housing Association and is accessible to those with a lower income and credit score. The FHA 204(k) is suitable for most home improvement projects. You can use the funds to carry out both structural and cosmetic renovations. Even better, work can begin as soon as you close.                                                                                                                                               

It is important to note that these loans are only suitable for primary residences. You will not be able to submit an application for renovations on a rental property or second home. There are also limitations on what you can do with the funds. Luxuries such as a pool or extreme landscaping do not qualify for using the loan money.

There are two types of 203(k) loans: limited and standard. The limited version is available to use for any renovations up to $35,000, as long as they don’t require major structural work.                                                                                                   

The standard option covers projects with budgets over $25,000 or where significant structural improvements are necessary. For this route, you must work with a HUD consultant. They will help the homeowner analyze bids and oversee all inspections.

  • VA Renovation loan: The loans offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs went through a recent update. Now they are eligible for use in the purchase and renovation of a home. Note that for this type of loan, you will need a VA-approved contractor, and there may be a construction fee attached to the loan.
  • Fannie Mae HomeStyle: A HomeStyle loan requires a higher credit score than the FHA 203(k) loans. But almost any home improvement is eligible, including landscaping or even installing a pool. With Fannie Mae backing, this loan is a popular choice if you are planning a total luxury overhaul of a property.
  • CHOICERenovation Loan: Guaranteed by Freddie Mac, this option carries a lot of benefits. It is ideal for those seeking a lower-cost home to purchase since it has a low down-payment requirement. Borrowers can even earn a down payment by making repairs themselves before closing.                                                                                     

A renovation loan is a perfect way to ensure that you can meet all your financial obligations while still working on developing and building your dream home.

How Do I Get Started On a Home Loan for a Fixer-Upper?

If you decide to head down this route, the first step is to talk with your lender. It is best to work with a mortgage broker rather than a loan officer who works with only one institution. The broker will be able to offer you more options for your financing needs. They will walk you through your options and help you determine the best loan for your needs. 

Once you have a plan with your lender, it’s time to go house hunting. Be sure you have an experienced real estate agent who can help you through this process. And unless you plan to do the work yourself, it’s a good idea to have a contractor available to give you some advice and input as well. 

When you are in contract on a property, you will likely need to obtain estimates for the work to be done. Sometimes this information is necessary to close the transaction. 

TwinCity for All Your Lending Needs

No matter what stage of home buying you are in, the friendly staff at TwinCity Lending is here for you. We can help you navigate FHA and VA loans, as well as home equity and jumbo loan packages. Reach out today to get started.

 

Can I Get an FHA Home Loan With Bad Credit?

Get An FHA Home Loan

Having bad credit doesn’t always have to stop you from buying a home. If you have a steady income that allows you to make a monthly mortgage payment, you may be able to get an FHA home loan even with bad credit.

There are several pieces of your financial health that a lender will look at, but there are options for those with credit challenges. Working with a mortgage broker is the best choice for finding a home loan package that will work for you.

At TwinCity Lending, you can learn how to get a home loan from our lending specialists. Contact us to learn more about the options we offer.

Will an FHA Home Loan Help You Buy a Home?

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) provides financial backing to qualified consumers. The FHA is not the lender for your home loan. Instead, they insure the loan so that lenders are willing to extend credit to borrowers who don’t qualify for traditional mortgages.

This program offers potential buyers the chance to secure a home loan even if they do not have a high credit score or a large down payment.

Credit Score for Home Loans

A conventional mortgage typically requires a buyer to have up to a 20 percent down payment to purchase the property. It also generally demands credit scores of at least 700 to secure a home loan with the best interest rates. FHA loans are different.

The benefits of an FHA loan are numerous. They can include:

  • Lower interest rates on the home loan you secure
  • Reduced closing costs
  • Lower down payment requirements
  • Improved access to credit with lower application requirements
  • The ability to purchase a more expensive home due to the lower interest rate

Every situation is different. Even if you have bad credit, you may qualify for an FHA loan so that you can enjoy the benefits of homeownership.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for an FHA Loan?

There are a few things you need to know about how to get an FHA home loan. Not everyone with bad credit will qualify. Those who wish to buy a house using this type of loan still need to provide proof of income to show they can make a consistent monthly payment.

To obtain an FHA loan, you must have a minimum credit score of 500. If your number is higher than this, you may qualify for additional savings opportunities. If you have a credit score of at least 500, you may be eligible to borrow up to 90 percent of the home’s sale price. This opportunity means you would need to provide only 10 percent as a down payment.

Some borrowers who have a score of at least 580 may benefit for additional financing opportunities. Your down payment requirement drops to just 3.5 percent at that point.

In addition to credit score expectations, other requirements exist. You will need to show:

  • Proof of consistent, adequate income
  • A debt-to-income ratio that is within the lender’s range
  • Proof that the property is in good enough shape to qualify

Your TwinCity broker will help you learn if you’re eligible to get a home loan using the FHA program. We can answer all of your questions about the requirements.

What If Your Credit Score Isn’t That High?

As noted, FHA does not provide home loans. Traditional lenders do. That means you still must meet the lender’s standards for borrowing money.

The FHA backing offers protection to the lender since it is riskier to provide a loan to someone with poor credit. Should you default on the loan, the FHA will pay the lender for their losses. Thanks to that financial protection, the lender is willing to extend you a mortgage at a reasonable interest rate.

If your credit score is lower than 500, the FHA may not be willing to approve your loan application. That means lenders would face a significant risk. This risk will likely mean they will not offer you a home loan. If you have a sub-500 credit number, consider following these tips for improving your credit score before you try to secure a mortgage.

Pay Down Your Debts

Get Rid of Debt

Instead of using credit, make purchases with a debit card or cash. Focus on paying down or eliminating consumer debt to lower your debt-to-income ratio. This ratio is a significant piece of the lending picture. If you have too much debt compared to your income, a lender will not risk extending you a loan. 

Check Your Credit Report

You can get a free copy of your credit report every year from each of the three credit bureaus. Take advantage of this service and check that everything on your credit report is up-to-date and accurate. Errors will lower your credit score, so address them quickly. 

Make On-Time Payments

One of the most significant impacts on your credit score is your ability to make payments on time. Use auto-pay features with your utilities and credit card companies to make sure the payments are never late.

Avoid Opening New Lines of Credit

When you are preparing to seek an FHA home loan, or any mortgage option, don’t open new lines of credit, such as new credit cards. Even if a new credit card has a zero balance, it raises a red flag to lenders. It is potential debt, and it gives them pause.

Consider Debt Consolidation

There are no legitimate companies that can repair your credit for you. Instead, ask your lender if there are options for consolidating your debt to pay it down faster. You might want to seek help from consumer credit bureaus as well. And once you do secure an FHA home loan, the TwinCity experts can explain how to use your home equity for debt consolidation when the time is right.

Ready to Apply for an FHA Loan?

Make a Budget

As you work with a lender to determine if you qualify for an FHA home loan, continue to make all the right financial moves:

  • Build up your down payment.
  • Create a budget and stick to it.
  • Pay down your debt.
  • Consider adding new income, if possible, to help boost your ability to qualify.

If you want to learn how to get an FHA loan or to learn about applying for any home loan, contact TwinCity Lending. Our team can help you to find a mortgage package that will work for you, even if you have less-than-perfect credit. Reach out today to schedule a no-obligation consultation with our team.

How To Get Approved for a Home Loan as a First-Time Buyer

Home Loan

Owning a home for the first time is an exciting opportunity, but it is one you need to approach wisely. Because this is a significant financial decision, you’ll want to learn how to get approved for a home loan that’s affordable for you and your situation.

One survey shows that the median home price for first time homebuyers in the United States is $182,500. These buyers had a median down payment of 6 percent and were 32 years old, on average. With so much at stake, you want to be sure you’re buying the right home with the best loan available to you.

If you’re ready to start the home loan process, TwinCity Lending is available to help you. Contact us now for a free home loan quote.

Home Loan

Are You Financially Ready to Buy a Home?

At the heart of the process of getting approved for a home loan is understanding your overall financial health. Your lending specialist can help you with this process. But it’s best to have a clear picture of your finances already before you begin house hunting.

  • How much money can you commit to each month for a mortgage payment?
  • Are you prepared for increased costs for utilities and maintenance?
  • Have you factored in mortgage and homeowners insurance?

It’s always wise to know your credit score, too. Work to improve your score by using debt wisely and keeping the amount low. All of this helps you to show lenders you’re a good credit risk. 

What Type of Loan Programs Can Help You Qualify?

There are ways for first-time buyers to get approved for a home loan. Several mortgage programs can help support those efforts. Take a look at some options that may fit your goals.

FHA Loans

One of the most commonly used home loans for first-time homebuyers is the FHA loan. Approved lenders, such as TwinCity Lending, can help you qualify for a home loan through this federally-backed program. There are a number of benefits:

  • Lower down payment requirements – You’ll typically need just 3.5 percent of the purchase price in a down payment to secure a loan.
  • Lower closing costs – These fees are less than in conventional loans, reducing how much cash you need to close.
  • Lower credit score requirements – FHA loans can result in approval for some people even with a score of just 580.

VA Loans

Home Loan

VA loans are much like FHA loans in the benefits they offer. The difference is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs backs these loans for current or former members of the U.S. Armed Forces. TwinCity Lending can also help you secure these loans. VA loans typically offer:

  • No down payment requirement for most borrowers
  • Low credit score requirements
  • Lower closing costs

If you believe you would qualify for these loans, be sure to speak to your lending specialist about the options. Many borrowers will find this is an excellent way to secure a mortgage as a first-time buyer.

Tips to Help You Secure a Home Loan as a First-Time Buyer

When you meet with a mortgage broker, he or she can provide you with step-by-step information about how to get approved for a home loan. Use these tips to make the process smoother by being prepared:

#1: Seek Pre-Approval Before Looking for a Home

Bring your proof of identity, income, and expenses with you to your loan consultation. This is an opportunity to gain pre-approval, telling you how much you are likely to qualify for a home loan. If you have any concerns about qualifying, be sure to speak to your mortgage specialist about this.

This step is essential in helping you determine a budget for your house hunt. Your broker will be able to give you a good picture of the full financial commitment. Having pre-approval also gives you much better odds of a seller accepting your offer. When a seller sees that a potential buyer already has lending pre-approval, they are much more likely to agree to your offer. This piece is especially critical in hot markets.

#2: Work with a Real Estate Agent to Find the Ideal Home

While your loan is in initial processing, it’s time to find a real estate agent to be on your team. With any home loan, the property will need to pass a full inspection. Your real estate agent will be able to help you find a house that is perfect for you.

If you hope to buy a home that’s a fixer-upper, be sure to talk to your loan specialist about this opportunity. There are options available, such as a 203(k) home loan, that may help with this approval process.

#3: Answer the Underwriter’s Questions

Home Loan

During this time, you will also need to provide proof of income or verify information about the debt you already carry. You may need to provide tax returns and references to your lender, too. The sooner you respond and submit the requested information, the better. If you drag your feet in providing information or signing documents, the home loan process will take a long time.

#4: Bid on Your Home and Close Your Loan

Once you find your desired home and enter into contract, you can then move forward with the loan closing process. Closing on your home means you sign the contract for your mortgage and finalize the purchase. Be prepared that you may need to provide additional information or verify data right up until closing time.

The good news is that your lending specialist will work with you to make the entire process of getting a loan as easy as possible. Your mortgage broker is an expert in all the details. 

TwinCity Lending Is Your Premier Minneapolis Mortgage Broker

Work with our team at TwinCity Lending to learn how to get approved for your home loan. We typically can close on your home loan within two weeks of an accepted offer, as long as all documentation arrives promptly. Reach out today to get started on your first home purchase.