Assuming an Existing FHA Loan

Most mortgages have a requirement that the loan must be paid in full when the property is sold. However, FHA offers a different option to the seller and buyer. It is possible for the buyer to take over the existing FHA mortgage from the current property owner. This is a very enticing offer for someone that has a mortgage with a great interest rate. Here are the guidelines for an assumable FHA mortgage.

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Review Existing Loan

The first thing you should do as a potential buyer is review the existing loan documents. Any loan that originated prior to December 1 in 1986 is allowed to go through a “simple assumption” procedure. This means the buyer does not have to qualify for the FHA mortgage. For loans that were originated on after the December date, the buyer will have to qualify for the loan just like any new borrower.

Negotiate a Price with the Seller

Most sellers would like to receive a large part of the equity they paid in to the mortgage over the years since they originated the loan. The price you can negotiate is really dependent on your ability to deal and the seller’s motivation for getting rid of the home. One thing that must be clear; the buyout amount given from buyer to seller cannot be financed in to the existing FHA mortgage. This is money that needs to be paid either in cash or with a loan separate from the mortgage.

It may be possible to convince the seller to finance the buyout amount. This would mean that you have two loans to repay in order to purchase the home.

Talk to a Mortgage Lender

Since you will likely have to qualify for an FHA mortgage loan, it is advisable to talk to a lender experienced with FHA loans. The lender can review your credit file, determine your monthly income per FHA guidelines and find out if you qualify for the loan.

Determine Current Loan Status

You need to find out if the current property owner is up to date on their mortgage payments. If there are any late payments, those payments are transferred to the new buyer. This can be rectified by either paying the amount necessary to get current or requesting a modification of the loan.

Inquire About Down Payment

Since FHA asks for a down payment equal to 3.5% of the price, this rule will apply to someone assuming the loan. In this case, the 3.5% is based on the existing loan balance.

If you are approved for the loan, you may proceed with the closing process. You should ask the lender to contact a local title agency to research the title to ensure there are no liens on the property other than the FHA mortgage. Additional liens will have to be paid in order to transfer the deed in to your name as owner.

This communication is provided to you for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon by you. Rock Realty is not a mortgage lender and so you should contact a lender directly to learn more about its mortgage products and your eligibility for such products.

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