Things You Can Do With The 203(k) Loan

1. Mixed Use properties – You can renovate a mixed use property provided the commercial space represents less than one floor of the structure. The commercial uses cannot affect the health and safety of the occupants.

2. Home buyers and non-profits who purchase HUD-Owned properties can refinance the property using the 203(k) within six (6) months of the purchase, the same as if the buyer purchased the property with a 203(k) insured loan to begin with.

3. The borrower(s) will be eligible as a first time home buyer(s) without the three year waiting period if they are legally separated or divorced, even if they had an interest in a home with their spouse, provided the individual no longer has an interest in the home.

4. Non-profits can purchase a property, rehabilitate it and sell it or keep it. If the non-profit intends to keep the property as a rental then they should keep the acquisition and rehab costs at the lowest possible number to increase the cash flow.

5. If the non-profit sells the property they can take advantage of a unique aspect of this program called the “escrow commitment procedure” which allows them to secure a loan based on the “after improved” value of the property. Once a buyer is located that qualifies, the non-profit is relieved of liability on that loan since it is fully assumable and the buyer takes over the mortgage. The buyer comes up with a 5% down payment that can be borrowed from the non-profit or anyone else to complete the transaction. If the buyer takes a second with the seller then it must be a five year note or longer. The non-profit may chose to forgive the second or collect it but in either case the non-profit has received 95% of their money up front. It has been setting in an escrow account since the original loan was funded drawing interest in the non-profits name.

Eligible Improvements

There originally was a minimum requirement of $5,000 in eligible (necessary) improvements on the subject property… Improvements to a detached garage, a new detached garage, or the addition of an attached unit (if allowed by local zoning ordinances) can also be included in this first $5,000. The mortgage must include one or more of the items listed below:

  • Structural repairs and alterations.
  • Items such as additions to the structure; repairing any and all structural damage.
  • Improvement in the functionality or modernization.
  • Such items as remodeled kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Changes for aesthetic appeal, and the elimination of obsolescence.
  • New exterior siding and new doors.
  • Repair of replacement of plumbing, heating, air conditioning or electrical system. Installation of new plumbing fixtures are acceptable, including interior whirlpool bathtubs.
  • Installation of Well and/or Septic System. Must be installed or repaired prior to beginning any other repairs to the property. Properties less than one acre in size can be limited on this item.
  • Replacement or installation of flooring, carpeting or tile.
  • Energy conservation improvement. EEM
  • New dual pane windows and doors, storm windows, insulation, and solar domestic hot water systems. EEM
  • Major landscape work and site improvement.
  • Patios and terraces that improve the value of the property equal to the cost, or that are needed to preserve the property from erosion.
  • Improvements for easier accessibility to the handicapped.
  • Handicapped retrofitting can be included in the cost of rehab. This is particularly good to get this information into the hands of vocational rehab companies and companies that deal with disabilities. They may have a list of clients for you
  • The following items can be included in addition to the minimum $5,000 requirements:
  1. New cooking ranges, refrigerators and other stand alone appliances.
  2. Painting and other cosmetic repairs.
  3. Fencing, new walks and driveways, and general landscape work trees, shrubs or seeding).
  4. Repair of an existing swimming pool, up to $1,500. Any costs exceeding $1,500 must be paid into the Contingency Reserve by the borrower.

NOTE: Items that will not become a permanent part of the property are not eligible. Luxury items are not eligible. These items include, but are not limited to New swimming pools, exterior hot tubs, saunas, spas, tennis courts, and barbecue pits

Which Properties are Eligible?

1. Any one to four unit properties which have been completed (with a certificate of occupancy) for at least one year are acceptable according to the provisions of local zoning requirements.

2. Homes that have been demolished or razed as a part of the rehabilitation process can be rehabbed as long as the existing foundation system is not affected and remains intact. (as long as there is a portion of the original foundation HUD may waive the rule)

3. A home can be moved onto a foundation on the mortgaged property, provided the proceeds from the sale of the previous location are not released until the foundation is properly inspected and the home is satisfactorily attached to the new foundation.

4. Any property the buyer wishes to convert either from single family into a two to four family or from a two to four family dwelling into a single family unit. Let’s take this one a little farther – You can take a 5-8 plex and turn it into a 1-4 unit. i.e… make an 8-plex into a fourplex and use this program. This is particularly interesting when you end up with 4 each 4bedroom units with two bathrooms each. We had one that the Housing Authority rate was $1,600 per unit making this an exceptional purchase.

5. A manufactured home that was built AFTER June 15, 1976, and has been on a permanent foundation for over one year is eligible, provided the unit must have been delivered to the site when ft was new, prior to being occupied. This could open up a great deal of business for you.

6. A 203(k) can be used on a “mixed use residential property provided it meets the following requirements:

  • The floor space used for commercial purposes does not exceed:
    25% for a one story building
    33% for a three story building
    49% for a two-story building
  • The commercial use must not affect the health and safety of the residential occupants.
  • 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.

7. Condominiums are eligible.