The 203(k) Information and Resource Center

203(k) Loan

Standard 203(k) Loan
The Section 203(k) mortgage program is the HUD’s primary program for the rehabilitation and repair of single family properties. 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); 49 percent (for a two story building) and 33 percent (for a three 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.

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 fire walls 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.

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.

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.

Click Here to See Complete 203(k) Guidelines

Translate »