Short sales, foreclosures and new construction homes all have caveats that need to be considered when pursuing financing.
If the guidelines and potential pitfalls are not properly understood, you could face delays in closing or potentially even a denied loan.
Short Sales & Foreclosures -
Short sales and foreclosures are everywhere. They often represent great value when looking to by a new home.
However, they also present a unique set of problems that homebuyers need to be aware of and plan for.
1.) Property Condition
Typically, when homeowners are facing foreclosure or looking to short sell their house, it means they lack the financial means to pay the mortgage or maintain the property.
A property in poor health can cause many financing issues for traditional financing. FHA loans have specific rules requiring that the property is move-in-ready, unless you’re using a 203(k) Rehab Loan.
2.) Timing Challenges
Short sales typically come with awkward timeframes for purchase contract approval and loan closing.
Each bank is different, but approval can take anywhere between a week to 120 days. As a general rule, the larger the bank the longer it takes to get short sale approval.
The lack of a set timeframe for short sale approval makes the timing of loan submission, rate locks and closing very challenging. You have your approval conditions cleared to close on time, just to find out that new appraisals, income, employment and asset verifications need to be updated by an underwriter to cover the most recent 30 days. Worst case, purchase contracts and legal documents may have to be re-submitted to a bank for an updated approval.
Either way, be prepared for a lot of redundant paperwork when purchasing a short sale property.
Home buyers looking to purchase new construction using FHA financing will have more hoops to jump through than those purchasing through conventional (Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac) financing.
If you want to use FHA financing to purchase new construction then you need to be aware of a number of issues that can trip you up.
First, you MUST have a certificate of occupancy (C.O.) certifying that the property is complete and move-in-ready. If you do not have this then you typically CANNOT go FHA. You’ll need a renovation loan, but a FHA 203K WILL NOT work.
You’ll need to employ the Fannie Mae HomeStyle for a property without a C.O.
In addition to the C.O. you’ll need some combination of the following documents as dictated by your lender and your unique situation:
- Builder’s Certification
- One Year Builder Warranty (10 YR Warranty may be required)
- Termite Inspection (when applicable)
- Septic Inspection (when applicable)
- Well Test (when applicable)
- Construction Permits
There are a number of factors which go into exactly what combination of documentation will be required to satisfy your lender and FHA, so it is best to work with an experienced loan officer when purchasing new construction with FHA financing.
If you plan on using conventional Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac financing you’ll still have hoops to jump through, just not as many as FHA. You’ll also have a higher down payment requirement and the credit qualification guidelines tend to be stricter.
Whether it be FHA financing, conventional financing or renovation financing, it’s important to have a qualified home buying team in place that can lead you through the maze of paperwork and negotiations.
Related Articles – Home Buying Process:
- Home Buying Process
- First-Time Home Buyer Credit Checklist
- Assembling Your Home Buying Team – Knowing The Players
- Seven Things Your Agent Should Know About Your Mortgage Approval
- Where Does My Earnest Money Go?
- HOA Hurdles to be Aware of When Looking at New Properties
- What You Need To Know About The Home Inspection Process