In mid-January, 2010, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a temporary waiver (good until February 1, 2011, or until extended or withdrawn) to give FHA borrowers the ability of obtaining an FHA-insured mortgage on a home that was purchased less than 90 days previous. What this means is that a Buyer can use FHA financing for a home which was bought by an investor less than 90 days before, then repaired or rehabbed.
On its surface, it would seem as though this waiver would be greatly beneficial to investors. After all, an investor needs to purchase a real bargain house, do some repairs, and then re-sell the home as quickly as possible for a profit.
In my experience, most investors look for the original purchase to be no more than 70% of its repaired value, with 50-60% (or even less) preferred. Considering that the cost of buying and then selling a home can easily run approximately 10% of its resale value, that there are costs of borrowing funds for purchase, and, of course, the necessary costs of repair, an investment home must be sold for far more than 120% of the investor’s purchase price.
It’s also important to bear in mind that many buyers (if not most) are also looking for homes that are a bargain … and are using FHA financing to secure their purchase.
So .. where this gets difficult is that there is a 20% variance to the flip rule for homes being resold within 90 days of an investor’s acquisition of the property:
* If the home is being sold for no more than 120% of its purchase price, then flipping guidelines do not apply.
* If the home is being sold for more than 20% above its purchase price, then the Buyer’s lender will require an independent home inspection, selected by the lender and likely paid for by the Buyer (OUCH!), and
* The Lender must justify the loan value by acquiring support documentation of the increased value or TWO appraisals, and
* Even if an appraiser doesn’t find the need for a repair, a lender can require that any issues revealed by a home inspection be fixed prior to closing!
A home inspection in the hands of an underwriter can be problematic. Every home requires some repair–no home is perfect. In a typical transaction, Buyers and Sellers often agree to financial adjustments rather than repair. Underwriters aren’t necessarily equipped to interpret the findings presented on a written inspection report, and an transaction otherwise acceptable to a Buyer and Seller may be stalled or cancelled.
Finally, in most transactions, the Buyer pays for the appraisal of the property they wish to purchase, used to assure their lender that the value of the home is at least equal to the amount of the loan. With the requirement that a flipped home sold for more than 120% of its investment purchase price, the Buyer may be required to pay for two appraisals, which further impacts the Buyer’s closing costs. In today’s buyer-driven market, remember also, that the Seller is very frequently asked to pay all or some of the Buyer’s closing costs.
Click to read the HUD Waiver of Requirements for FHA loans, then be sure to factor in these additional requirements that may be impactful of your desire for a quick resale of your investment property.