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The Harris Company, 203k Consultant \ Real Estate Appraiser los angeles, Inspectors, Inspectors Los Angeles, California
The Harris Company,
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5780 West Centinela Avenue, Building 1, Suite 408
Los Angeles, California 90045
310.337.1973  
harris_curtis@sbcglobal.net
PIRS/ HARRIS COMPANY AND THE SCIENCE OF REAL ESTATE - PARTNERS
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which is part of the Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD), administers various single family
mortgage insurance programs. These programs operate through FHA-approved
lending institutions which submit applications to have the property appraised and
have the buyer's credit approved. These lenders fund the mortgage loans which
the Department insures. HUD does not make direct loans to help people buy
homes.

The Section 203(k) program is the Department's primary program for the
rehabilitation and repair of single family properties. As such, it is an important tool
for community and neighborhood revitalization and for expanding homeownership
opportunities. Since these are the primary goals of HUD, the Department believes
that Section 203(k) is an important program and we intend to continue to strongly
support the program and the lenders that participate in it.

Many lenders have successfully used the Section 203(k) program in partnership
with state and local housing agencies and nonprofit organizations to rehabilitate
properties. These lenders, along with state and local government agencies, have
found ways to combine Section 203(k) with other financial resources, such as
HUD's HOME, HOPE, and Community Development Block Grant Programs, to
assist borrowers. Several state housing finance agencies have designed
programs, specifically for use with Section 203(k) and some lenders have also
used the expertise of local housing agencies and nonprofit organizations to help
manage the rehabilitation processing.

The Department also believes that the Section 203(k) program is an excellent
means for lenders to demonstrate their commitment to lending in lower income
communities and to help meet their responsibilities under the Community
Reinvestment Act (CRA). HUD is committed to increasing homeownership
opportunities for families in these communities and Section 203(k) is an excellent
product for use with CRA-type lending programs.

If you have questions about the 203(k) program or are interested in getting a 203
(k) insured mortgage loan, we suggest that you get in touch with an FHA-approved
lender in your area or the Homeownership Center in your area.

Introduction
Section 10 1 (c) (1) of the Housing and Community Development Amendments of
1978 (Public Law 95557) amends Section 203(k) of the National Housing Act
(NHA). The objective of the revision is to enable HUD to promote and facilitate the
restoration and preservation of the Nation's existing housing stock. The provisions
of Section 203(k) are located in Chapter II of Title 24 of the Code of Federal
Regulations under Section 203.50 and Sections 203.440 through 203.494.
Program instructions are in HUD Handbook 4240-4. HUD Handbooks may be
ordered online from The HUD Compendium or from HUDCLIPS.  HUD
Miminum
Property Standards.

203(k) - How It Is Different
Most mortgage financing plans provide only permanent financing. That is, the
lender will not usually close the loan and release the mortgage proceeds unless
the condition and value of the property provide adequate loan security. When
rehabilitation is involved, this means that a lender typically requires the
improvements to be finished before a long-term mortgage is made.

When a homebuyer wants to purchase a house in need of repair or modernization,
the homebuyer usually has to obtain financing first to purchase the dwelling;
additional financing to do the rehabilitation construction; and a permanent
mortgage when the work is completed to pay off the interim loans with a permanent
mortgage. Often the interim financing (the acquisition and construction loans)
involves relatively high interest rates and short amortization periods. The Section
203(k) program was designed to address this situation. The borrower can get just
one mortgage loan, at a long-term fixed (or adjustable) rate, to finance both the
acquisition and the rehabilitation of the property. To provide funds for the
rehabilitation, the mortgage amount is based on the projected value of the
property with the work completed, taking into account the cost of the work. To
minimize the risk to the mortgage lender, the mortgage loan (the maximum
allowable amount) is eligible for endorsement by HUD as soon as the mortgage
proceeds are disbursed and a rehabilitation escrow account is established. At this
point the lender has a fully-insured mortgage loan.

Eligible Property
To be eligible, the property must be a one- to four-family dwelling that has been
completed for at least one year. The number of units on the site must be
acceptable according to the provisions of local zoning requirements. All newly
constructed units must be attached to the existing dwelling. Cooperative units are
not eligible.

Homes that have been demolished, or will be razed as part of the rehabilitation
work, are eligible provided some of the existing foundation system remains in place.

In addition to typical home rehabilitation projects, this program can be used to
convert a one-family dwelling to a two-, three-, or four-family dwelling. An existing
multi-unit dwelling could be decreased to a one- to four-family unit.

An existing house (or modular unit) on another site can be moved onto the
mortgaged property; however, release of loan proceeds for the existing structure
on the non-mortgaged property is not allowed until the new foundation has been
properly inspected and the dwelling has been properly placed and secured to the
new foundation.

A 203(k) mortgage may be originated on a "mixed use" residential property
provided: (1) The property has no greater than 25 percent (for a one story
building); 33 percent (for a three story building); and 49 percent (for a two story
building) of its floor area used for commercial (storefront) purposes; (2) the
commercial use will not affect the health and safety of the occupants of the
residential property; and (3) the rehabilitation funds will only be used for the
residential functions of the dwelling and areas used to access the residential part
of the property.

Condominium Unit
The Department also permits Section 203(k) mortgages to be used for individual
units in condominium projects that have been approved by FHA, the Department of
Veterans Affairs, or are acceptable to FNMA under the guidelines listed below.

The 203(k) program was not intended to be a project mortgage insurance
program, as large scale development has considerably more risk than individual
single-family mortgage insurance. Therefore, condominium rehabilitation is subject
to the following conditions:

Owner/occupant and qualified non-profit borrowers only; no investors;  
Rehabilitation is limited only to the interior of the unit. Mortgage proceeds are not
to be used for the rehabilitation of exteriors or other areas which are the
responsibility of the condominium association, except for the installation of firewalls
in the attic for the unit;  
Only the lesser of five units per condominium association, or 25 percent of the
total number of units, can be undergoing rehabilitation at any one time;  
The maximum mortgage amount cannot exceed 100 percent of after-improved
value.  

After rehabilitation is complete, the individual buildings within the condominium
must not contain more than four units. By law, Section 203(k) can only be used to
rehabilitate units in one-to-four unit structures. However, this does not mean that
the condominium project, as a whole, can only have four units or that all individual
structures must be detached.

Example: A project might consist of six buildings each containing four units, for a
total of 24 units in the project and, thus, be eligible for Section 203(k). Likewise, a
project could contain a row of more than four attached townhouses and be eligible
for Section 203(k) because HUD considers each townhouse as one structure,
provided each unit is separated by a 1 1/2 hour firewall (from foundation up to the
roof).

Similar to a project with a condominium unit with a mortgage insured under Section
234(c) of the National Housing Act, the condominium project must be approved by
HUD prior to the closing of any individual mortgages on the condominium units.

How the Program Can Be Used
This program can be used to accomplish rehabilitation and/or improvement of an
existing one-to-four unit dwelling in one of three ways:   To purchase a dwelling
and the land on which the dwelling is located and rehabilitate it.
To purchase a dwelling on another site, move it onto a new foundation on the
mortgaged property and rehabilitate it.
To refinance existing liens secured against the subject property and rehabilitate
such a dwelling.


To purchase a dwelling and the land on which the dwelling is located and
rehabilitate it, and to refinance existing indebtedness and rehabilitate such a
dwelling, the mortgage must be a first lien on the property and the loan proceeds
(other than rehabilitation funds) must be available before the rehabilitation begins.

To purchase a dwelling on another site, move it onto a new foundation and
rehabilitate it, the mortgage must be a first lien on the property; however, loan
proceeds for the moving of the house cannot be made available until the unit is
attached to the new foundation.

Eligible Improvements
Luxury items and improvements are not eligible as a cost rehabilitation. However,
the homeowner can use the 203(k) program to finance such items as painting,
room additions, decks and other items even if the home does not need any other
improvements. All health, safety and energy conservation items must be
addressed prior to completing general home improvements.

Required Improvements

All rehabilitation construction and/or additions financed with Section 203(k)
mortgage proceeds must comply with the following:

A. Cost Effective Energy Conservation Standards
(1) Addition to existing structure. New construction must conform with local codes
and HUD Minimum Property Standards in 24 CFR 200.926d.

(2) Rehabilitation of Existing Structure. To improve the thermal efficiency of the
dwelling, the following are required:

a) Weatherstrip all doors and windows to reduce infiltration of air when existing
weatherstripping is inadequate or nonexistent.

b) Caulk or seal all openings, cracks or joints in the building envelope to reduce air
infiltration.

c) Insulate all openings in exterior walls where the cavity has been exposed as a
result of the rehabilitation. Insulate ceiling areas where necessary

d) Adequately ventilate attic and crawl space areas. For additional information and
requirements, refer to 24 CFR Part 39.

(3) Replacement Systems.

a) Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system supply and return pipes and
ducts must be insulated whenever they run through unconditioned spaces.

b) Heating systems, burners, and air conditioning systems must be carefully sized
to be no greater than 15 percent oversized for the critical design, heating or
cooling, except to satisfy the manufacturer's next closest nominal size.



B. Smoke Detectors. Each sleeping area must be provided with a minimum of one
(1) approved, listed and labeled smoke detector installed adjacent to the sleeping
area.

Determining Upon One or Two Appraisal Reports

The appraiser must provide an opinion of the After-Improved value of the subject
property, and in some cases, may be directed by the lender to provide the As-is
value.

In those cases for which both As-is and After-improved values are required, the
valuation analysis may consist of either one or two separate appraisal reports.

The number of appraisals depends on the complexity, scope and lender review of
the proposed rehabilitation and nature of the work.

A. As-is Value. A separate appraisal (Uniform Residential Appraisal Report) may
be required to determine the as-is value. However, the lender may determine that
an as-is appraisal is not feasible or necessary. In this instance, the lender may use
the contract sales price on a purchase transaction, or the existing debt on a
refinance transaction, as the as-is value, when this does not exceed a reasonable
estimate of value.

Further, on a refinance transaction, when a large amount of existing debt (i.e., first
and second mortgages) suggests that the borrower has little or no equity in the
property, the lender must obtain a current as-is appraisal on which to base the
estimated as-is value.

On a refinance, the borrower may have substantial equity in the property to assure
that no further down payment is required on the new loan amount. In some cases,
the borrower will not have an existing mortgage on the property. In this case, the
lender should obtain some comparables from a real estate agent/ broker to
estimate an approximate as-is value of the property.

Another way of establishing the as-is value is to obtain a copy of the local
jurisdiction tax valuation on the property.

B. Value After Rehabilitation. The expected market value of the property is
determined upon completion of the proposed rehabilitation and/or improvements.

For a HUD-owned property an as-is appraisal is not required and a DE lender may
request the HUD Field Office to release the outstanding HUD Property Disposition
appraisal on the property to the lender to establish the maximum mortgage for the
property. The HUD appraisal will be considered acceptable for use by the lender if.
(1) it is not over one year old prior to bid acceptance from HUD; and (2) the sales
contract price plus the cost of rehabilitation does not exceed 110 percent of the
"As Repaired Value" shown on the HUD appraisal. If the HUD appraisal is
insufficient, the DE Lender may order another appraisal to assure the market
value of the property will be adequate to make the purchase of the property
feasible. For a HUD-property, down payment for an owner-occupant or non-profit
organization is 3.5% of the accepted bid price of the property and 100 percent
financing on all other costs.

Recently Acquired Properties
Homebuyers who purchase a property with cash can refinance the property using
203(k) within six (6) months of purchase, the same as if the buyer purchased the
property with a 203(k) insured loan to begin with. Evidence of interim financing is
not required; the mortgage calculations will be done the same as a purchase
transaction. Cash back will be allowed to the borrower in this situation less any
down payment and closing cost requirement for the 203(k) loan. A copy of the
Sales Contract and the HUD-1 Settlement Statement must be submitted to verify
the accepted bid price (as-is value) of the property and the closing date.

Architectural Exhibits
The improvements must comply with HUD's Minimum Property Standards (24 CFR
200.926d and/or HUD Handbook 4905.1) and all local codes and ordinances. The
homebuyer may decide to employ an architect or a consultant to prepare the
proposal. The homebuyer must provide the lender with the appropriate
architectural exhibits that clearly show the scope of work to be accomplished. The
following list of exhibits are recom mended, but may be modified by the local HUD
Field Office as required.

A. A Plot Plan of the Site is required only if a new addition is being made to the
existing structure. Show the location of the structure(s), walks, drives, streets, and
other relevant details. Include finished grade elevations at the property corners
and building corners. Show the required flood elevation.

B. Proposed Interior Plan of the Dwelling. Show where structural or planning
changes are contemplated, including an addition to the dwelling. (An existing plan
is no longer required.)

C. Work Write-up and Cost Estimate. Any format may be used for these
documents, however, quantity and the cost of each item must be shown. Also
include a complete description of the work for each item (where necessary). The
Rehabilitation Checklist in Appendix 1 of Handbook 4240.4 REV-2 should be used
to ensure all work items are considered. Transfer the costs to the Draw Request
(form HUD-9746-A).

Cost estimates must include labor and materials sufficient to complete the work by
a contractor. Homebuyers doing their own work cannot eliminate the cost estimate
for labor, because if they cannot complete the work there must be sufficient money
in the escrow account to get a subcontractor to do the work. The Work Write-up
does not need to reflect the color or specific model numbers of appliances,
bathroom fixtures, carpeting, etc., unless they are nonstandard units.

The consultant who prepares the work write-up and cost estimate (or an architect,
engineering or home inspection service) needs to inspect the property to assure:
(1) there are no rodents, dryrot, termites and other infestation; (2) there are no
defects that will affect the health and safety of the occupants; (3) the adequacy of
the existing structural, heating, plumbing, electrical and roofing systems; and (4)
the upgrading of thermal protection (where necessary).

Definitions for Use in the 203(k) Program
A. Insurance of Advances. This refers to insurance of the 203(k) mortgage prior to
the rehabilitation period. A mortgage that is a first lien on the property is eligible to
be endorsed for insurance following mortgage loan closing, disbursement of the
mortgage proceeds, and establishment of the Rehabilitation Escrow Account.

The mortgage amount may include funds for the purchase of the property or the
refinance of existing indebtedness, the costs incidental to closing the transaction,
and the completion of the proposed rehabilitation. The mortgage proceeds
allocated for the rehabilitation will be escrowed at closing in a Rehabilitation
Escrow Account.

B. Rehabilitation Escrow Account. When the loan is closed, the proceeds
designated for the rehabilitation or improvement, including the contingency
reserve, are to be placed in an interest bearing escrow account insured by the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union
Administration (NCUA). This account is not an escrow for the paying of real estate
taxes, insurance premiums, delinquent notes, ground rents or assessments, and is
not to be treated as such. The net income earned by the Rehabilitation Escrow
Account must be paid to the mortgagor. The method of such payment is subject to
agreement between mortgagor and mortgagee. The lender (or its agent) will
release escrowed funds upon completion of the proposed rehabilitation in
accordance with the Work Write-Up and the Draw Request (Form HUD-9746,A).

C. Inspections. Performed by HUD-approved consultants/inspectors or HUD-
accepted staff of the DE lender. The consultant is to use the architectural exhibits
in order to make a determination of compliance or non-compliance. When the
inspection is scheduled with a payment, the inspector is to indicate whether or not
the work has been completed. Also, the inspector is to use the Draw Request form
(Form HUD-9746-A). The first draw must not be scheduled until the lender has
determined that the applicable building permits have been issued.

D. Holdback. A ten (10) percent holdback is required on each release from the
Rehabilitation Escrow Account. The total of all holdbacks may be released only
after a final inspection of the rehabilitation and issuance of the Final Release
Notice. The lender (or its agent) may retain the holdback for a maximum of 35
calendar days, or the time period required by law to file a lien, whichever is longer,
to ensure that no liens are placed on the property.

E. Contingency Reserve. At the discretion of the HUD Field Office, the cost
estimate may include a contingency reserve if the existing construction is less than
30 years old, or the nature of the work is complex or extensive. For properties
older than 30 years, the cost estimate must include a contingency reserve of a
minimum of ten (10) percent of the cost of rehabilitation; however, the contingency
reserve may not exceed twenty (20) percent where major remodeling is
contemplated. If the utilities were not turned on for inspection, a minimum fifteen
(15) percent is required. If the scope of work is well defined and uncomplicated,
and the rehabilitation cost is less then $7500, the lender may waive the
requirement for a contingency reserve.

The contingency reserve account can be used by the borrower to make additional
improvements to the dwelling. A Request for Change Letter must be submitted with
the applicable cost estimates. However, the change can only be accepted when
the lender determines: (1) It is unlikely that any deficiency that may affect the
health and safety of the property will be discovered; and (2) the mortgage will not
exceed the appraised value of the property less the statutory investment
requirement. If the mortgage exceeds the appraised value less the statutory
investment, then the contingency reserve must be paid down on the mortgage
principal. If a borrower feels that the contingency reserve will not be used and he
wishes to avoid having the reserve applied to reduce the mortgage balance after
issuance of the Final Release Notice, the borrower may place his own funds into
the contingency reserve account. In this case, if monies are remaining in the
account after the Final Release Notice is issued, the monies may be released back
to the borrower.

If the mortgage is at the maximum mortgage limit for the area or for the particular
type of transaction, but a contingency reserve is necessary, the contingency
reserve must be placed into an escrow account from other funds of the borrower at
closing. Under these circumstances, if the contingency reserve is not used, the
remaining funds in the escrow account will be released to the borrower after the
Final Release Notice has been issued.

F. Mortgage Payment Reserve. Funds not to exceed the amount of six (6)
mortgage payments (including the mortgage insurance premium) can be included
in the cost of rehabilitation to assist a mortgagor when the property is not habitable
during rehabilitation. The number of mortgage payments cannot exceed the
completion time frame required in the Rehabilitation Loan Agreement. The lender
must make the monthly mortgage payments directly from the interest bearing
reserve account. Monies remaining in the reserve account after the Final Release
Notice must be applied to the mortgage principal.

G. Approval of Non-Profit Agencies. A non-profit agency, before it can be
approved as an eligible mortgagor and obtain the same mortgage amount as
available to owner-occupants on Section 203(k) mortgages, must demonstrate its
experience as a housing provider to HUD and meet all other requirements
described in HUD Handbook 4155.1 REV-4, paragraphs 1-5. It must also be able
to provide satisfactory evidence that it has the financial capacity to purchase the
properties.

Maximum Mortgage Amount
The mortgage amount, when added to any other existing indebtedness against the
property, cannot exceed the applicable loan-to-value ratio and maximum dollar
amount limitations prescribed for similar properties under Section 203(b). The
down payment requirements are the same as under the Section 203(b) program.
The Mortgage Payment Reserve is considered a part of the cost of rehabilitation
for determining the maximum mortgage amount. Also refer to the requirements for
incentives to acquire HUD-owned properties.

The form HUD-92700 (Maximum Mortgage Worksheet) must be used to determine
the maximum mortgage amount.

A. Maximum Mortgage Calculation

REFINANCE:

Based on the lesser of:

1) The existing debt on the property before rehabilitation, plus the estimated cost
of rehabilitation and allowable closing costs or

2) The lesser of the As-Is value plus rehabilitation costs or 110 percent of the After-
Improved value multiplied by the appropriate LTV factor.

NOTE: If the property was owned less than one year, the acquisition cost plus the
documented rehabilitation costs must be used.

PURCHASE:

The maximum mortgage amount is based on the lesser of 1) or 2) of the below
multiplied by the appropriate LTV factor.

1) The As-is value or the purchase price of the property before rehabilitation,
whichever is less, plus the estimated cost of rehabilitation or

2) 110 percent of the After-Improved value of the property.

Principal Residence (Owner-Occupant) & HUD Approved Non-Profit Organization.
For purchases with 203(k) financing: the maximum mortgage amount is to be
based upon the HUD estimate of value in 1) or 2) above, less the statutory
investment requirement. For refinances under the 203(k) program: the maximum
mortgage amount is to be based upon 97/95/90 percent of the HUD estimate of
value in 1) or 2) above.

B. Cost of Rehabilitation. Expenses eligible to be included in the cost of
rehabilitation are materials, labor, contingency reserve, overhead and construction
profit, up to six (6) months of mortgage payments, plus expenses related to the
rehabilitation such as permits, fees, inspection fees by a qualified home inspector,
licenses and consultant and/or architectural/engineering fees. The cost of
rehabilitation may also include the supplemental origination fee which the
mortgagor is permitted to pay when the mortgage involves insurance of advances,
and the discounts which the mortgagor will pay on that portion of the mortgage
proceeds allocated to the rehabilitation.

C. Exemption of the Market Value Limitation. The 203(k) regulations allow for a
waiver request of the market value limitation, which allows the appraiser to go
outside the targeted area to obtain the value of comparable properties. Such
requests must be forwarded to the Assistant Secretary of Housing-Federal
Housing Commissioner at the HUD Headquarters.

Requests must include documentation that the following conditions are present:

1) The property is located within an area which is subject to a community
sponsored program of concentrated redevelopment or revitalization (See 24 CFR
Part 220).

2) The market value loan limitation prevents the use of the program to accomplish
rehabilitation in the subject area.

3) The interests of the borrower and the Secretary of HUD are adequately
protected.

D. Solar Energy Increase. The mortgage is eligible for an increase of up to 20
percent in the maximum insurable mortgage amount if such an increase is
necessary for the installation of solar energy equipment.

The solar energy system's contribution to value will be limited by its replacement
cost or by its effect on the value of the dwelling.

E. Energy Efficient Mortgage Program. Under the FHA EEM Program, a borrower
can finance into the mortgage 100 percent of the cost of eligible energy efficient
improvements, subject to certain dollar limitations, without an appraisal of the
energy improvements and without further credit qualification of the borrower. To be
eligible for inclusion into the mortgage, the energy efficient improvements must be
"cost effective," i.e., the total cost of the improvements (including maintenance
costs) must be less than the total present value of the energy saved over the
useful life of the improvements. The cost of any improvement to the property that
will increase the property's energy efficiency and that is determined to be "cost
effective" is eligible for financing into the mortgage and its cost may be added to
the mortgage amount up to the greater of:


1) 5 percent of the property's value (not to exceed $8000) or,

2)$4000.


"Cost effective" means that the total cost of the improvements, including any
maintenance costs, is less than the total present value of the energy saved over
the useful life of the energy improvement. The FHA maximum loan limit for the area
may be exceeded by the cost of the energy efficient improvements. However, the
entire mortgage cannot exceed 110 percent of the value of the property

The cost of the energy improvements and the estimate of the energy savings must
be determined based upon a physical inspection of the property by a home energy
rating system (HERS) or energy consultant. For a 203(k) loan, the entire cost of
the HERS or the energy consultant can be included in the mortgage.

On new construction (an addition or new building on an existing foundation), the
energy improvement must be over and above those required for compliance with
the current FHA energy conservation standards for new construction. The estimate
of the energy savings in new construction must be based upon a comparison of
plans and specification of the house with the additional energy saving
improvements to those of the basic house which complies with the current FHA
energy conservation standards. Presently, these standards are those of the 1992
CABO Model Energy Code (MEC).

The energy inspection of the property must be performed prior to completion of
the work writeup and cost estimate to assure there is no duplication of work items
in the mortgage. After the completion of the appraisal, the cost of the energy
improvements are calculated by the lender to determine how much can be added
to the mortgage amount.

Seven Unit Limitation
HUD regulations and policies state that a real estate owner/entity should not be
allowed to rapidly accumulate FHA insured properties that clearly and collectively
constitute a multifamily project. In general, a borrower may not have an interest in
more than seven rental units (FHA, VA, conventional or owned free and clear of
any mortgage) in the same subdivision or contiguous area. For 203(k) purposes,
HUD defines a contiguous area as within a two block radius.

The seven unit limitation does not apply if (1) the neighborhood has been targeted
by a State or local government for redevelopment or revitalization; and (2) the
State or local government has submitted a plan to HUD that defines the area,
extent and type of commitment to redevelop the area. A restriction may still be
imposed (by HUD) within a redevelopment area (or sub-area) in order to prevent
undesirable concentrations of units under a single (or group) ownership. H U D will
determine that the seven unit limit is inapplicable only if: (1) the real estate
owner/entity will own no more than 10 percent of the housing units (regardless of
financing type) in the designated redevelopment area or sub-area; and (2) the real
estate owner/entity has no more than eight units on adjacent lots.

Interest Rate and Discount Points
These are not regulated and are negotiable between the borrower and the lender.
The amortization of the loan will be for 30 years; however, provisions of the
Section 203(k) mortgage (described in Section 203.21 of the Regulations) are the
same as prescribed under Section 203(b).

Discount Points on Repair Costs and Fees
Discount points the borrower pays on the rehabilitation portion of the mortgage
proceeds are allowable rehabilitation costs.

Maximum Charges and Fees
The statutory requirements and administrative policies of Section 203(k) result in
deviations from the maximum amount of charges and fees permitted under Section
203(b).

A. Supplemental Origination Fee. When the Section 203(k) mortgage involves
insurance of advances, the lender may collect from the mortgagor a supplemental
origination fee. This fee is calculated as one and one-half percent (1-1/2%) of the
portion of the mortgage allocated to the rehabilitation or $350, whichever is
greater. This supplemental origination fee is collected in addition to the one
percent origination fee on the total mortgage amount.

B. Independent Consultant Fee. A borrower can have an independent consultant
prepare the required architectural exhibits. A borrower can also use a contractor to
prepare the construction exhibits or prepare the exhibits themselves. The use of a
consultant is not required; however, the borrower should consider using this
service in order to expedite the processing of the 203(k) loan. When a consultant
is used, HUD does not warrant the competence of the consultant or the quality of
the work the consultant may perform for the borrower. The consultant must enter
into a written agreement with the borrower that completely explains what services
the consultant will perform for the borrower and the fee charged. The fee charged
by the consultant can be included in the mortgage. A fee of $400 is acceptable for
a property with repairs less than $7,500; $500 for repairs between $7,501 and
$15,000; $600 for repairs between $ 15,001 and $ 30,000; and $ 700 for repairs
between $30,001 and $50,000; $800 for repairs between $50,001 and $75,000;
$900 for repairs between $75,001 and $100,000; and $ 1,000 for repairs over
$100,000. An additional fee of $25 can be charged for each additional unit in the
property under the same FHA case number. For this fee, the consultant would
inspect the property and provide all the required architectural exhibits. State
licensed architect or engineer fees are not restricted by this fee schedule. The
architect and engineer fees must be customary and reasonable for the type of
project.)

C. Fee Consultant. Prior to the appraisal, a HUD-accepted fee consultant must visit
the site to ensure compliance with program requirements. The utilities must be on
for this site review to take place. The fee is as follows and may not be changed
without HUD Headquarters approval:

1) Initial review prior to appraisal:

Cost of Repairs/Fee: <$15,000=$100.00, >$15,001 but less than or equal
to<$30,000=$150.00, >$30,001=$200.00

2) Additional unit review (two to four units with same case number)-$50.00/unit.

3) Additional review (reinspection of the same unit)-$50.00. When travel distance
exceeds 30 miles round trip from the reviewer's place of business, a mileage
charge (established by HUD Field Office) may be applied to the above charges,
including toll road and other charges where applicable.



D. Appraisal Fee. The lender may charge a borrower no more than the actual
amount the lender pays the appraiser, whether the appraiser is on the lender's
staff, or external to the organization. The lender may include the appraisal fee in
the closing costs.

E. Inspection Fee (during the rehabilitation construction period). Established by
the local HUD Field Office.

(1) Fees for a maximum of five draw inspections will be allowed for inclusion in the
cost of rehabilitation. If all inspections are not required, remaining funds will be
applied to the principal after the Final Release Notice is issued.

(2) If additional inspections are required by the lender to ensure satisfactory
compliance with exhibits, the borrower or contractor will be responsible for
payment; however, the lender has ultimate responsibility.


F. Title Update Fee. To protect the validity of the mortgage position from
mechanic's liens on the property, reasonable fees charged by a title company may
be included as an allowable cost of rehabilitation. When the mortgage position is
protected and is not in jeopardy, this fee may not apply Borrowers may wish to
obtain lien protection, but the fees must be paid by the borrower where such lien
protection is not required to ensure the validity of the security instrument. The
allowable fee should not exceed $50.00 per draw release. If all draw inspections
are not made, monies left in escrow must be applied to reduce the mortgage
balance.

Application Process
This describes a typical step-by-step application/mortgage origination process for
a transaction involving the purchase and rehabilitation of a property. It explains the
role of HUD, the mortgage lender, the contractor, the borrower, consultant, the
plan reviewer, appraiser and the inspector.

A. Homebuyer Locates the Property.

B. Preliminary Feasibility Analysis. After the property is located, the homebuyer
and their real estate professional should make a marketability analysis prior to
signing the sales contract. The following should be determined:

1) The extent of the rehabilitation work required;

2) Rough cost estimate of the work; and

3) The expected market value of the property after completion of the work. Note:
The borrower does not want to spend money for appraisals and repair
specifications (plans), then discover that the value of the property will be less than
the purchase price (or existing indebtedness), plus the cost of improvements.

C. Sales Contract is Executed. A provision should be included in the sales contract
that the buyer has applied for Section 203(k) financing, and that the contract is
contingent upon loan approval and buyer's acceptance of additional required
improvements as determined by HUD or the lender.

D. Homebuyer Selects Mortgage Lender. Call HUD Field Office for a list of lenders.

E. Homebuyer Prepares Work Write-up and Cost Estimate. A consultant can help
the buyer prepare the exhibits to speed up the loan process.

F. Lender Requests HUD Case Number. Upon acceptance of the architectural
exhibits, the lender requests the assignment of a HUD case number, the plan
reviewer, appraiser, and the inspector.

G. Fee Consultant Visits Property. The homebuyer and contractor (where
applicable) meet with the fee consultant to ensure that the architectural exhibits
are acceptable and that all program requirements have been properly shown on
the exhibits.

H. Appraiser Performs the Appraisal.

I. Lender Reviews the Application The appraisal is reviewed to determine the
maximum insurable mortgage amount for the property

J. Issuance of Conditional Commitment/Statement of Appraised Value. This is
issued by the lender and establishes the maximum insurable mortgage amount for
the property.

K. Lender Prepares Firm Commitment Application. The borrower provides
information for the lender to request a credit report, verifications of employment
and deposits, and any other source documents needed to establish the ability of
the borrower to repay the mortgage.

L. Lender Issues Firm Commitment. If the application is found acceptable, the firm
commitment is issued to the borrower. It states the maximum mortgage amount that
HUD will insure for the borrower and the property.

M. Mortgage Loan Closing. After issuance of the firm commitment, the lender
prepares for the closing of the mortgage. This includes the preparation of the
Rehabilitation Loan Agreement. The Agreement is executed by the borrower and
the lender in order to establish the conditions under which the lender will release
funds from the Rehabilitation Escrow Account. Following closing, the borrower is
required to begin making mortgage payments on the entire principal amount for
the mortgage, including the amount in the Rehabilitation Escrow Account that has
not yet been disbursed.

N. Mortgage Insurance Endorsement. Following loan closing, the lender submits
copies of the mortgage documents to the HUD office for mortgage insurance
endorsement. HUD reviews the submission and, if found acceptable, issues a
Mortgage Insurance Certificate to the lender.

O. Rehabilitation Construction Begins. At loan closing, the mortgage proceeds will
be disbursed to pay off the seller of the existing property and the Rehabilitation
Escrow Account will be established. Construction may begin. The homeowner has
up to six (6) months to complete the work depending on the extent of work to be
completed. (Lenders may require less than six months.)

P. Releases from Rehabilitation Escrow Account. As construction progresses,
funds are released after the work is inspected by a HUD-approved inspector. A
maximum of four draw inspections plus a final inspection are allowed. The
inspector reviews the Draw Request (form HUD-9746-A) that is prepared by the
borrower and contractor. If the cost of rehabilitation exceeds $10,000, additional
draw inspections are authorized provided the lender and borrower agree in writing
and the number of draw inspections is shown on form HUD-92700, 203(k)
Maximum Mortgage Worksheet.

Q. Completion of Work/Final Inspection. When all work is complete according to
the approved architectural exhibits and change orders, the borrower provides a
letter indicating that all work is satisfactorily complete and ready for final
inspection. If the HUD-approved inspector agrees, the final draw may be released,
minus the required 10 percent holdback. If there is unused contingency funds or
mortgage payment reserves in the Account, the lender must apply the funds to
prepay the mortgage principal.

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ACCEPTABLE PROPERTY TYPES

Does the rehabilitation construction have to comply with HUD's Minimum Property
Standards? Yes. The improvements must comply with HUD's Minimum Property
Standards (24 CFR 200.926d and/or HUD Handbook 4905.1) and all local codes
and ordinances. <back to top>

Is the Section 203(k) program restricted to single-family dwellings?

No. The program can be used for one-to-four unit dwellings. Maximum mortgage
limitations are the same as for properties under Section 203(b). <back to top>

Can Section 203(k) be used to improve a condominium unit?

Yes, however, condominium rehabilitation is subject to the following conditions:

A. Owner/occupant and qualified nonprofit borrowers only;

B. Rehabilitation is limited only to the interior of the unit. Mortgage proceeds are
not to be used for the rehabilitation of exteriors or other areas which are the
responsibility of the condominium association, except for the installation of firewalls
in the attic for the unit;

C. Only the lesser of five units per condominium association, or 25 percent of the
total number of units, can be undergoing rehabilitation at any one time;

D. The maximum mortgage amount cannot exceed 100 percent of the after-
improved value. After rehabilitation is complete, the individual buildings within the
condominium must not contain more than four units. By law, Section 203(k) can
only be used to rehabilitate units in one-to-four unit structures. However, this does
not mean that the condominium project, as a whole, can only have four units or
that all individual structures must be detached. Example: A project might consist of
six buildings each containing four units, for a total of 24 units in the project and,
thus, be eligible for Section 203(k). Likewise, a project could contain a row of more
than four attached townhouses and be eligible for Section 203(k) because HUD
considers each townhouse as one structure, provided each unit is separated by a
1 1/2 hour firewall (from foundation up to the roof). Similar to a project with a
condominium unit with a mortgage insured under Section 234(c) of the National
Housing Act, the condominium project must be approved by HUD prior to the
closing of any individual mortgages on the condominium units. <back to top>

Can a six (or more) unit building be done using the 203(k) program?

No. However, the building could be renovated and reduced to a four unit building.

Can nonresidential (storefront) property be eligible for a 203(k) insured loan?

Yes. Mixed-use residential property is acceptable provided the property has no
greater than 25% (for a one story building); 33% (for a three story building); and
49% (for a two story building) of its floor area used for commercial (storefront)
purposes. The rehab funds can only be used for the residential functions of the
dwelling and areas used to access the residential part of the property. <back to
top>

Can HUD-owned properties be purchased using the 203(k) loan?

Yes. However, the property must be advertised that it is eligible for financing with a
203(k) loan. If the HUD-owned property is purchased with other funds, a 203(k)
loan can be made after the property is in the buyers name. In this case, cash back
will be allowed to the borrower for a period of six months from purchasing the HUD-
owned property.

BORROWER ELIGIBILITY

Can an investor use the 203(k) program?

No. In October, 1996, the Department placed a moratorium on investor
participation in the 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage Program. <back to top>

Can a local government agency or a nonprofit organization use the 203(k)
program?

Yes. The same qualification requirements will be used as for an owner-occupant of
the property. <back to top>

What is the definition of a First-Time Homebuyer?

A single person or an individual and his or her spouse who have not owned a
home (as a tenant in common or as a joint tenant by the entirety) during the three
years immediately preceding the date of application for the 203(k) loan. Any
individual who is legally separated or divorced cannot be excluded from
consideration, because the three-year waiting period does not apply, provided the
individual no longer has an interest in the home. <back to top>

Is there a limitation on how many properties a person or organization can have in
any area of the community?

Yes. A borrower can have not more than seven (7) units within a two block radius
of the property they want to purchase. However, if the property is in a local
community area that has been designated for redevelopment or revitalization, then
this seven unit limitation does not apply. <back to top>

ELIGIBLE IMPROVEMENTS

Can Section 203(k) be used to convert a one family dwelling to a two-, three-, or
four-family dwelling (or vice versa)?

Yes. <back to top>

Can Section 203(k) be used to move an existing house onto another site?

Yes, however, release of loan proceeds for the existing structure on the non-
mortgaged property is not allowed until the new foundation has been properly
inspected and the dwelling has been properly placed and secured to the new
foundation. At closing, funds would be released to purchase the site and the rest
of the mortgage proceeds would be placed in the Rehabilitation Escrow Account.
The borrower would have the site prepared to accept the dwelling. The first
release would be based on the improvements made to the site, including the
installation of the existing structure on the new foundation. <back to top>

What eligible improvements are acceptable under the $5,000 minimum
requirement?

A. Structural alterations and reconstruction (e.g., repair or replacement of
structural damage, chimney repair, additions to the structure, installation of an
additional bath(s), skylights, finished attics and/or basements, repair of termite
damage and the treatment against termites or other insect infestation, etc.).

B. Changes for improved functions and modernization (e.g., remodeled bathrooms
and kitchens, including permanently installed appliances, i.e., built-in range and/or
oven, range hood, microwave, dishwasher).

C. Elimination of health and safety hazards (including the resolution of defective
paint surfaces or lead-based paint problems on homes built prior to 1978).

D. Changes for aesthetic appeal and elimination of obsolescence (e.g., new
exterior siding, adding a second story to the home, covered porch, stair railings,
attached carport).

E. Reconditioning or replacement of plumbing (including connecting to public water
and/or sewer system), heating, air conditioning and electrical systems. Installation
of new plumbing fixtures is acceptable, including interior whirlpool bathtubs.

F. Installation of well and/or septic system. The well or septic system must be
installed or repaired prior to beginning any other repairs to the property. A
property less than 1/2 acre with a separate well or septic system is not acceptable;
also, a property less than 1 acre with both a well and a septic system is
unacceptable. Lots smaller than these sizes, usually have problems in the future;
however, the local HUD Field Office can approve smaller lot size requirements
where the local health authority can justify smaller lots. The installation of a new
well or the repair of an existing well (used for the primary water source to the
property) can be allowed provided there is adequate documentation to show there
is reason to believe the well will produce a sufficient amount of potable water for
the occupants. (A well log of surrounding properties from the local health authority
is acceptable documentation.) Refer to HUD Handbook 4910.1, Appendix K, for
additional information.

G. Roofing, gutters and downspouts.

H. Flooring, tiling and carpeting.

I. Energy conservation improvements (e.g., new double pane windows, steel
insulated exterior doors, insulation, solar domestic hot water systems, caulking and
weather stripping, etc.).

J. Major landscape work and site improvement (e.g., patios, decks and terraces
that improve the value of the property equal to the dollar amount spent on the
improvements or required to preserve the property from erosion). The correction
of grading and drainage problems is also acceptable. Tree removal is acceptable if
the tree is a safety hazard to the property. Repair of existing walks and driveway is
acceptable if it may affect the safety of the property. (Fencing, new walks and
driveways, and general landscape work (i.e., trees, shrubs, seeding or sodding)
cannot be in the first $5000 requirement.)

K. Improvements for accessibility to a disabled person (e.g., remodeling kitchens
and baths for wheelchair access, lowering kitchen cabinets, installing wider doors
and exterior ramps, etc.). Related fixtures such as new cooking ranges,
refrigerators, and other appurtenances, as well as general painting are also
eligible; however, it must be in addition to the $5,000 requirement. <back to top>

Can a detached garage or another dwelling be placed on the mortgaged property?

Yes, however, a new addition must be attached to the existing dwelling, and must
comply with HUD's Minimum Property Standards in 24 CFR 200.926d and all local
codes and ordinances. <back to top>

Can a dwelling be converted to provide access for a disabled person?

Yes. A dwelling can be remodeled to improve the kitchen and bath to
accommodate a wheelchair access. Wider doors and handicap ramps can also be
included in the cost of rehabilitation. <back to top>

PROGRAM QUESTIONS

What is the minimum amount of rehabilitation required for a non-streamlined
Section 203(k) mortgage?

There is a minimum $5,000 requirement for the eligible improvements on the
existing structure on the property. Minor or cosmetic repairs by themselves are
unacceptable; however, they may be added to the minimum requirement. Under
the Streamlined 203(k) program, a minimum repair/improvement cost requirement
is not applicable. <back to top>

Is there a time period on the rehabilitation construction period?

Yes, the Rehabilitation Loan Agreement contains three provisions concerning the
timeliness of the work. The work must begin within 30 days of execution of the
Agreement. The work must not cease prior to completion for more than 30
consecutive days. The work is to be completed within the time period shown in the
Agreement (not to exceed six months); the lender should not allow a time period
longer than that required to complete the work. <back to top>

What happens if the borrower fails to perform under the terms of the Agreement?

The lender may refuse to make further releases from the Rehabilitation Escrow
Account. The funds remaining in the account can be applied to reduce the
mortgage principal. Also, the lender has the option to call the mortgage loan due
and payable. <back to top>

Does HUD always require a contingency reserve to cover unexpected cost
increases?

Typically, yes. On properties older than 30 years and over $7,500 in rehabilitation
costs, the cost estimate must include a contingency reserve. The reserve must be
a minimum of ten (10) percent of the cost of rehabilitation; however, the
contingency reserve may not exceed twenty (20) percent where major remodeling
is contemplated. If utilities were not turned on for inspection, a minimum fifteen (15)
percent is required. <back to top>

How many draw releases can be scheduled during the rehabilitation period?

As many as five releases (four plus a final) can be scheduled. The number of
releases is normally dictated by the cash-flow requirements of the contractor. An
inspection is always required with a scheduled release; however, inspections may
be scheduled more often than releases if necessary to ensure compliance with the
architectural exhibits, HUD's Minimum Property Standards and all local codes and
ordinances. If the cost of rehabilitation exceeds $10,000, then additional draw
inspections may be authorized under certain circumstances. <back to top>

Can the architectural exhibits, including the cost estimate, be modified after the
mortgage loan is closed?

Yes. The changes must be approved by HUD or a DE lender prior to beginning the
work. If the change affects the health, safety or necessity of the dwelling, the
contingency reserve can be used to pay for the change. However, if the health,
safety or necessity of the dwelling is not affected and an increase in cost occurs,
the borrower must apply monies into the contingency reserve fund to pay for the
change. Should the change result in a reduced cost of rehabilitation, the
difference will be placed in the contingency reserve fund; if unused, it will be
applied as a mortgage prepayment after completion of construction.

What happens if the cost of the rehabilitation increases during the rehabilitation
period?

Can the 203(k) mortgage amount be increased to cover the additional expenses?
No. This emphasizes the importance of carefully selecting a contractor who will
accurately estimate the cost of the improvements and satisfactorily complete the
rehabilitation at or below the estimate. <back to top>

How long will it take after the sales contract is signed to go to closing?

If the cost estimates are completed within two weeks of signing the sales contract,
the loan should close within 60 to 90 days, assuming there are no title problems
and, of course, your borrower is qualified. <back to top>

Can a Section 203(k) mortgage be an Adjustable Rate Mortgage?

Yes. An Adjustable Rate Mortgage is available to an owner-occupant only.
Investors and non-profits are not eligible for an ARM. <back to top>

Can mortgage payments (PITI) be included in the mortgage?

Yes. Up to six months of payments may be included in the mortgage if the property
is not occupied during the rehabilitation period. <back to top>

Is a contractor required to do the work?

No. However, if the borrower wants to do any work or be the general contractor,
they must be qualified to do the work, and do it in a timely and workmanlike
manner. It is very important that the work be done in a time frame that will assure
the completion of the work that will be agreed upon in the Rehabilitation Loan
Agreement (signed at closing). A borrower doing their own work can only be paid
for the cost of the materials. Monies saved can be allocated to cost overruns or
additional improvements. <back to top>

If the borrower does the work, how is the cost for work estimated?

The cost estimate must be the same as if a contractor is doing the work, in case
the borrower cannot (for some reason) complete the work. <back to top>

Can cost savings on the rehabilitation be given back to the borrower?

No. However, the savings can be transferred to cost overruns in other work items
or can be used to make additional improvements to the property If the cost savings
are not used, the money must be applied to the mortgage principal, but the
mortgage payments will remain the same, because the loan has already closed. To
use the cost savings, it will be necessary for a Change Order to be completed and
approved by the lender. <back to top>

Can any rehabilitation money be paid upfront to offset the startup costs for the
contractor?

No. However, an exception can be allowed for kitchen and bath cabinetry, or floor
covering, where a contract is established with the supplier and an order is placed
with the manufacturer for delivery at a later date. <back to top>

Is there anyone available who can prepare the Work Write-up and cost estimates?

Yes. HUD allows fee inspectors to be an independent consultant with the borrower.
This is a time saver, because it can be completed in about two weeks. After this
step is completed, closing should occur within 60 to 90 days. <back to top>

Can the borrower do their own work write up and cost estimate?

Yes. However, it will take them between three to six months to complete. This slows
down the process and will save only about $200, but waste a lot of valuable time.
Hiring an independent consultant will help the closing occur within 60 to 90 days
from completion of the Work Write-up. <back to top>

Is only one appraisal required to establish the "after-rehab" value of the property?

Basically, yes, provided the lender can be assured that the contract sales price is
reasonable or the existing debt on the property is low enough to assure a good
equity position by the homeowner. On a HUD-owned property, the lender can use
HUD's appraisal for the after-rehab value. <back to top>

Is the borrower required to enter into a contractual agreement with the general
contractor who will do the work on the property?

No. However, it is strongly suggested that the lender protect their interests to
assure no liens are placed on the property. <back to top>

Can an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) be allowed using the 203(k) program?

Yes. A borrower can finance into the mortgage 100 percent of the cost of eligible
energy efficient improvements, subject to certain dollar limitations, without an
appraisal of the energy improvements and without further credit qualification of the
borrower. <back to top>

What is a streamline 203k mortgage?

HUD has developed an FHA insured mortgage, called the “Streamline (K)” Limited
Repair Program that permits homebuyers to finance an additional $35,000 into
their mortgage to improve or upgrade their home before move-in. With this
product, homebuyers can quickly and easily tap into cash to pay for property
repairs or improvements, such as those identified by a home inspector or FHA
appraiser. More...

LENDER QUESTIONS

Is there a secondary mortgage market for Section 203(k) mortgage loans?

Yes. The Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA) permits the Section
203(k) mortgage to be placed in both GNMA I and II pools with Section 203(b)
mortgages. GNMA accepts the 203(k) mortgage once it has been endorsed by
HUD. The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal
Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) will also purchase a Section 203
(k) first mortgage. <back to top>

Can Section 203(k) be processed under the Direct Endorsement program?

All unconditionally approved Direct Endorsement (DE) lenders are eligible to
process Section 203(k) loans without completing any pre-closing test cases. The
Streamlined K Limited Repair Program also does not require submission of pre-
closing test cases for DE lenders with unconditional approval. <back to top>

Does a Direct Endorsement lender who is approved for the 203(k) program need
to be approved in another HUD office?

No. However, the lender needs to submit their approval to the other HUD office
where they wish to originate 203(k) loans. A preclosing review in the new HUD
office will not be necessary. <back to top>

Can a DE lender sponsor a correspondent lender to originate 203(k) loans?

Yes. The correspondent lender can even use the DE sponsor's staff appraisers,
inspectors and plan reviewer /consultants for processing. <back to top>
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