Can an FHA 203K loan be used for a refinance project?
The short answer is absolutely yes. Is a couple scenarios that we're seeing prevalent in today's marketplace.
1) first scenario is that you as a Realtor may have sold a home to somebody that needed work. It wasn't quite the house they wanted but they felt they could get by with it and fix it over period of time. You and I both know that won't likely happen. This family likely has a life and life goes on. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life you have to decide what will get done and what won't it done and quite often the home doesn't get repaired as quickly as everybody had hoped or thought it might be.
This is ideal for a FHA 203K refinance project. The owners of this home can refinance and get the money to repair appear the home all-in-one low interest loan. This is what we specialize in and were finding more and more situations like this exist than you might think. If you sold the home recently any time within the less several years you may want to touch bases with those people and see if they were able to get that home fixed the way they wanted. If not you might suggest the FHA 203K as a way to do that. If they have any equity in this home at all they likely won't have to come out-of-pocket for any costs and fees. Remember FHA is only 3 1/2% down payment so if they have equity equal to that, they may not have to come out-of-pocket.
2) second scenario we see is that you just sold at home to them a couple months ago or less and it needs work. If we refinance that home into a 203K within six months of the original close of escrow we get to count the money they put down originally as money they now have in this project and again we could very well refinance with no more money out of their pocket and get the money to make all the repairs they need.
3) third scenario is that the home has been well used over a long period of time with very little maintenance or upgrades. The owners have opted to repair and update their home rather than sell it and move. Again this home likely has equity and we might be able to refinance with a 30 year fixed-rate and get the money to renovate the home all in one low interest loan.
4) forth scenario is a family inherits a home that needs lots of work. There's a couple choices, one being if some member of the family is going to move into the house they can do an FHA 203K refinance and get the money to fix it up all in one low interest loan. If all they want to do is fix this home and get the top dollar for it they might consider a Fannie Mae HomeStyle loan which allows investment properties and second homes to be refinanced and renovated in a low interest loan program.
In any case both of these renovation loan products are viable alternatives to purchasing already fixed up homes and quite often leave considerable equity for the owner.