The FHA 203k government-backed mortgage program, or â€śthe best-kept secret in loan programs,â€ť according to Dennis and Teresa Walsh, stepped into the spotlight recently during a news feature on NBC Miami about their company, REBuildUSAâ„˘ and its partnership with Loweâ€™s Home Improvement to expand homeownership.
Click here to watch REBuildUSAâ„˘ on NBC Miami.
Based on their extensive experience, the Walshes, real estate educators and consultants to the worldâ€™s leading real estate organizations since 1988, recognized a unique opportunity to help consumers and real estate professionals tap into the power of the U.S. Government FHA 203k Home Purchase and Renovation Loan program. As a result, REbuildUSAâ„˘ was established to help the real estate industry open up homeownership to many more Americans, while bringing tremendous new business to lenders, real estate professionals and the home renovation industry.
The 203k loan program is a U.S. government-backed mortgage program insured through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that offers the benefits of FHA financing, such as low down payments, easier qualification and less than perfect credit, but factors into that loan additional funds to make improvements and repairs to the home.
In the news segment, which runs just over four and a half minutes long, the Walshes discuss the benefits of the program, how it works and who can qualify.
â€śThe FHA 203k loan program has been around since the 1970s and itâ€™s been like a best kept secret,â€ť said Dennis Walsh. â€śA lot of folks in real estate and most consumers have had no idea it even exists.â€ť
With 2.2 million homes currently in the foreclosure pipeline, Teresa Walsh noted that the 203k loan provides a powerful tool to those who can get into homeownership now to take a look at foreclosed or other homes that they may be able to afford to buy, but not to renovate.
â€śThere are a lot of young people who go and look at a home, the home needs a lot of repair and they can afford the home, but not the repairs,â€ť Teresa said. â€śThere are so many great deals on homes out there and we donâ€™t even want to think about what itâ€™s going to cost to fix them up. This is one mortgage that the money factored in there to renovate it. If you donâ€™t like the kitchen, you can change it, make it your own. The flooring, the paint â€“ this loan can help change the feeling of the whole home.â€ť
The program can also be used for refinance, Dennis noted.
â€śSo depending on where people are equity-wise, so many folks out there have a home that is in need of a roof repair or new furnace or other improvements, and they have no idea how to make that happen,â€ť said Dennis. â€śSo refinancing with the 203k, in some cases, they have lowered their monthly payments; or they can put energy-efficient improvements in. Itâ€™s a very powerful mortgage product, but thereâ€™s been very little awareness.â€ť
To educate the industry as well as consumers, through Newport Beach, Calif.-based REBuildUSAâ„˘, the Walshes have created a program that trains real estate professionals, brings lenders and real estate professionals together, and helps consumers connect with those professionals at, no cost or obligation.
Further enhancing the program is the companyâ€™s partnership with Loweâ€™s Home Improvement, which through its network of roughly 1,700 stores and 10,000 licensed installers, â€śLoweâ€™s is a company with a heart that really saw the benefits of a program like this,â€ť Dennis said. â€śSo what weâ€™ve done is built a system that makes it much easier than ever before for people to take advantage of the power of this program.â€ť
Loweâ€™s is working with REBuildUSAâ„˘ to be the home improvement solution for products and services required by a 203k loan. The company helps facilitate the needs of home buyers acquiring properties in need of repairs and facilitates the process of getting their projects done through its products and installers.
â€śWhatâ€™s great about this is itâ€™s not only fundamental repairs,â€ť added Dennis. â€śSome people are really changing the look and feel and updating their whole home, and itâ€™s one of the most financially sound ways to do that.â€ť
The Walshes noted that the reaction from lenders and real estate professionals in the industry has been outstanding.
For more information on REBuildUSAâ„˘, visit REBuildUSA.com or call 877-USA-203K (877-872-2035).