FHA Mortgages
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Fixed Rate Mortgages


FHA fixed-rate mortgages, or Section 203(b), are the most common and popular type of FHA mortgage. The interest rate does not change with a fixed-rate mortgage. A fixed-rate FHA mortgage insures the lender for the total amount of the mortgage in case the buyer defaults. This type of mortgage requires a smaller down payment than a conventional mortgage would require. The typical down payment for a fixed-rate mortgage is 3 percent of the total amount borrowed. A fixed-rate mortgage can offer a lower interest payment if the mortgage is taken out during a period of low-interest rates. A fixed-rate mortgage can also offer stability; your monthly payments will be the same for the life of the mortgage. Fixed-rate mortgages can be taken out for a period of 10, 15, 20, or 30 years.

More information on FHA loans is available from online resources like FHA Mortgage and Loan Center and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Adjustable-rate Mortgages

FHA adjustable-rate mortgages, or Section 215, have interest rates that increase and decrease, depending on the current federal index. An adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM, is attractive because interest rates are initially lower than interest rates on a fixed-rate mortgage. Several factors are used to calculate an ARM, all of which can affect the interest rate. Typically, an ARM is most appealing to homebuyers who don't intend to stay in the purchased house for more than a few years, as interest rates tend to increase over time. An ARM is convenient if current interest rates are high, as ARM rates are lower than fixed rates. It may be more appealing to use an ARM once interest rates have peaked, as the subsequent interest charged over the life of the mortgage will most likely reduce, rather than increase, monthly payments.

Teacher Next Door

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, directly offers the Teacher-Next-Door program to approved teachers in the United States to purchase housing that has been acquired by HUD at a 50 percent discount. Typically, these homes are offered in areas of revitalization, or areas found in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods that may have increased crime rates and many vacant houses but have been identified as good candidates for redevelopment efforts. Through HUD and FHA, teachers are able to purchase houses at a 50 percent discount and are required to make only a $100 down payment if the house is financed with a FHA mortgage.

Officer Next Door

This special program is identical to the Teacher Next Door program, but it is for approved law enforcement officers of the United States. To qualify for the program, law enforcement agents must live in the purchased property for a minimum of three years.

FHA Renovation Mortgages

The FHA Renovation Mortgage, or 203(k), allows homeowners to borrow money to extensively renovate their home. As much as 110% of the costs needed to repair and renovate the home can be financed. There are restrictions as to what types of repairs or renovations can take place, and the minimum amount of the 203(k) is $5000.

Special FHA Program: FHA Bridal Registry Program

Like a bridal registry for specialty and department stores, the FHA Bridal Registry program allows a couple to register with a lender. Friends or family of the couple can make gift payments into an account that bears interest. The money gifts earn interest, and can be used as a down payment towards a FHA mortgage.