- Principal residences, one to four units
- Single-unit second homes
- Condos and Townhomes
- Single-unit investment properties
Manufactured or mobile homes are not eligible.
Types of renovations mortgages include:
- 15- and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages
- Adjustable-rate mortgages
Note from Fannie Mae: “The original principal amount of the mortgage may not exceed Fannie Mae’s maximum allowable mortgage amount for a conventional first mortgage.”
Qualifying and down payment requirements:
In general, there is a 5 percent minimum down payment stipulation on these Fannie Mae purchase loans. Unlike other loan products, HomeStyle mortgages are based on the “as completed” value after the renovations and upgrades have been made. Using improved values based on documented plans from your approved General Contractor, The Loan Tree can insure can ensure that the mortgage covers the renovations. Moreover, funds for the improvements won’t be released for homeowners/contractors until the work is certified complete by an inspection. There is no loan credit for sweat equity!
Down payments can vary above the 5 percent minimum based upon the property type and property use. That’s why it makes sound advice to call The Loan Tree for assistance in navigating the approval process. Currently, applicants for a HomeStyle mortgage on owner-occupied, single-unit homes find down payments around 5 percent on a fixed-rate loan and 10 percent on ARMs.
Getting the upgrades done on time:
When it comes to renovations, the HomeStyle mortgage offers a generous range of costs for inclusion in the loan including:
- Architects/designer expenses
- Energy efficiency assessments
- Engineering and design updates
- Required inspections
- Permit fees
- Project reserves
All renovations performed under a HomeStyle mortgage must be done by your chosen General Contractor who is properly licensed, properly insured and has been approved by the lender. General Contractors and Architects with professional licenses and credentials will be required to prepare the necessary drawings and plans as part of the loan approval process. This assists underwriters in their determination of completed value as well as whether the proposed improvements are cost effective.
Once the loan closes, the work must begin within 30 days and must be completed within 6 months. A HomeStyle Consultant or appraiser will inspect all work and submit a completion certificate to Fannie Mae before funds can be paid to your general contractor for that completed phase of the work.
Energy improvements up to 75 percent of the “completed” appraised value of the home can also be financed though the HomeStyle loan. Any budgeted improvement funds left over after the renovations are done can be paid as a principal reduction of the mortgage.
What to do while the work is underway:
Because the HomeStyle mortgage applies to “owner-occupied” homes, you’ll have to live in and around the upgrades. Those who must relocate while the work is underway can arrange to have an escrow established by their lender to pay for homeowner’s insurance and property taxes without disruptions.
What’s the Difference Between the HomeStyle Mortgage and FHA 203k Loans?
Fannie Mae HomeStyle and FHA 203k mortgages both offer the ability to finance improvements in concert with a purchase or refinance of your home. The Fannie Mae HomeStyle loan’s minimum down payment is around 5 percent, while FHA 203k’s may only require 3.5 percent. HomeStyle lenders typically require higher qualifying credit scores but feature lower closing costs than those commonly charged on FHA 203k loans.
What makes the HomeStyle program so unique is that it allows for the financing of primary residences, second homes as well as 1 unit investment properties. As with a FHA 203K mortgage, the borrower must use approved, licensed professionals to do the renovation work.
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