Check Out What One Family Did With the FHA 203k Renovation Loan

Key Takeaways:

  • FHA 203k loans require lower down payments than Traditional
  • A lower down payment frees up money for other uses
  • Two-Step Strategy – refinancing an FHA 203k loan into a Traditional Conventional mortgage
John and Lauren DeSantis recently finished renovations on their new home and they love it. They found a house that had potential, but needed some TLC. Continue reading

In case you missed it, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development launched new sales incentives for the states included in the HUD Philadelphia Homeownership Center region (Philadelphia HOC). The incentives are for the purchase and sale of HUD homes, and are designed to benefit both buyers and real estate agents registered with HUD.

The Philadelphia HOC region includes Ohio, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

The two incentives, which took effect October 1, include:

  • Buyer Bonus – $100 down payments on HUD homes financed with FHA-insured financing
  • Agent Bonus – Real estate selling agents (agent for buyer) get $500 for every HUD home purchased with a FHA Rehab Loan

In order to qualify for the broker bonus, the bid must have been awarded on or after October 1, 2016, and the purchase must be made with an FHA 203(K) loan. All HUD properties available for sale can be found at

Contact our office to learn about HUD homes in your area so you can take advantage of these incentives.

*Down payment and terms shown are for informational purposes only and are not intended as an advertisement or commitment to lend. Please contact us for exact quote and for more information on fees and terms. Not all borrowers will qualify.

Key Takeaways

  • Think creatively: don’t worry about what a listing ‘should’ look like
  • Identify the key advantage of renovating this house, then turn it into an attention-grabbing headline
  • Write an opening statement that gets to the point – a sentence or two should do it
  • Sell emotion with your copy – describe the ‘home’, not just the ‘house’
  • Accentuate the positives and focus on the potential
  • Create urgency with a closing call-to-action

How are renovation listings different?

Listings for homes with perfect foundations, new roofs, gorgeous gardens and all the modern amenities practically write themselves. So, how do you spin sweet poetry about a property that needs some TLC?

The first step is to ditch any preconceived notion you may have about what a property listing should look like. Lately, it seems like most listings are just a quick paragraph listing the property’s features. Yet, if your property is ripe for a renovation mortgage, describing features like, “Roof needs replaced, windows are drafty, paint chipped throughout, and hole in the bathroom floor,” won’t whet anybody’s appetite.

With an attention-grabbing headline and the right descriptive copy, your listing will attract the right audience and will clearly communicate why this property is worth the time and investment to renovate.

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A Welcome Home Story

A Welcome Home Story

In November, we introduced you to Nick and Veronica Getsy and told you their success story using an FHA 203k loan. In this extended version of the video, we take another look at their story and learn more about their 203k process and how they were able to take a house they liked, and turned it into a home they love!

Click here to watch!

FHA 203k: Before and After

FHA 203k: Before and After

After looking at numerous homes and not finding “the one,” first-time homebuyers Nick and Veronica Getsy were all but resolved to settle on something that was nice…but not perfect. It’s easy to get discouraged when you feel that the market has essentially priced you out of buying your first home.

Our office showed them that they can take a house they like, and turn it into a home they love. With the FHA 203k loan, the Getsys were able to find a home that had potential and make renovations that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to accomplish. Renovations included putting in a new air-conditioner, new energy-efficient windows, all new appliances, a new deck, new fence for the backyard, new carpet, and fresh paint throughout the whole house.

Watch this video to hear their story.

If there was ever any doubt of the popularity of renovation loans, a bit of good news out of AmeriFirst Home Mortgage should put those doubts to rest.

AmeriFirst_HM_logo_750Earlier this month, Inc. Magazine announced AmeriFirst earned the position of 2,192 in its 2014 Inc. 5000 list. This identifies AmeriFirst among some of the fastest-growing companies in America, with the average company this year growing at a rate of 516%.

This honor is a big deal for AmeriFirst, which recorded its best month ever in July. In an article published by Mortgage Professional America Magazine, Dan Moyle, AmeriFirst’s Creative Director of Marketing and Communication, shed some light on the numbers that drove this growth. AmeriFirst closed 625 units in July compared to its 550 monthly average. The company is on track to close nearly 700 in August, Moyle said.

Team at AmeriFirst in Boardman
Team at AmeriFirst in Boardman

One of the reasons for AmeriFirst’s growth is its niche offering of renovation loans. Speaking as a part of the AmeriFirst team, a majority of the business we do revolves around renovation loans, including the FHA 203k loan, HomeStyle loans, and HomePath loans. From our perspective, these loan types have been taking off, particularly among first-time homebuyers who may not be able to put 20% down on a home with a conventional mortgage. Here in Boardman, our success with renovation lending has been very exciting, and I’m proud to say that our office leads AmeriFirst in both renovation lending loan volume and loans closed YTD for 2014.

As the housing market in our area rebounds, no doubt those numbers will continue to climb as we continue to provide the best service to homebuyers in our community. More importantly, we will continue to help put credit-worthy customers in homes that they love.

As always, thanks for reading. Talk again soon…


The other day, one of my realtor friends called and asked if they should suggest that one of their sellers offer financial concessions to help sell the house. An interested buyer had the money for the down payment, but not enough funds to cover the costs & prepaids.

Of course, my answer wasn’t a simple “yes” or “no”…few of my answers ever are. But at the end of the day, if the seller is looking to close that sale ASAP, then Seller Concessions can be a beneficial utility.

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In my last post, I discussed what drives a lending decision. I also want to take a look at payment ratios/formulas and how they impact the total monthly payment for a home. The dirt is in the details…let’s consider buying a house.

Whenever my team works with a client, maybe the most frequently asked question is, “How much will this house cost me every month?” It’s understandable….a necessary question. Buying a home is a huge financial investment. Not to mention one of the most important financial decisions a person will make. I find many clients are under informed about what home ownership truly costs.

The mortgage loan is simply one variable in the grand scheme of things. Instilling confidence by providing “how to” details is important…with financial clarity comes less anxiety.

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Early this morning, as I shoveled the overnight delivery from Winter Storm Rex, I find myself reflecting on all the reasons I detest winter – and they are many.

Getting out of a nice warm bed earlier to dig my car out from the snow, then chiseling off all the ice that accumulated overnight just so I can join the long parade of horrible drivers ranks pretty high on that list. But if I had to pick my personal Winter Enemy No. 1, it’s gotta be those high utility bills.

If ever there was a good enough reason to invest in some eco-friendly alternatives to generating energy for my house, the wintertime gas bill is it. And while “Going Green” with such sustainable energy upgrades like fuel cells, solar panels or wind turbines isn’t a novel concept, few have made the investment because, let’s face it, the cost is usually more than the average American homeowner can handle.

Fortunately, AmeriFirst Home Mortgage has rolled out the PowerSaver Grant. It’s an FHA-approved grant that allows AmerFirst to cover some closing costs when a buyer makes specific eco-friendly home improvements with the FHA 203k loan. But what does that mean?

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As the housing market steadily bounces back, many homebuyers may be considering 203(K) loans to help purchase fixer upper homes. A 203(K) loan not only makes such a purchase possible, but also can make a project like an addition or a remodeled kitchen economically feasible for someone who doesn’t have a few extra thousand dollars lying around.

In this blog, I want to give you a good idea of what this loan is and what it can mean to a homebuyer or current homeowner.

The 203(K) is a specific type of mortgage through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that is geared toward homebuyers and homeowners who are looking to improve their home with repairs or upgrades. The funds can be easily and quickly accessed to pay for property repairs or improvements, including those identified by a home inspector or an FHA approved appraiser. There are two types of 203(K) loans to meet different needs.

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