Buyer Programs for Purchasing and Renovating Fixer-Uppers


Affordable move-in ready homes are becoming increasingly difficult to find in our market, and it’s leaving many buyers feeling discouraged. Luckily, Kristin Jamieson from Success Mortgage joins us today to educate buyers about some programs that help buyers purchase fixer-uppers and renovate them into their dream home. 

Buyers looking to go this route have two programs to choose from: an FHA 203k loan or a conventional renovation loan offered by Fannie Mae. In their most basic terms, you’ll add the home’s price and the renovation costs you work out with a contractor and possibly a HUD consultant. Then, in the post-closing process, either you or your contractor will receive the funds from your lender to complete the renovations. 

Your down payment will be determined by your total acquisition cost—the home’s price plus renovations. That means if, for example, you and the seller have agreed to a $250,000 purchase price, and you plan to receive another $25,000 in renovation funding, your final purchase price will amount to $275,000. 

What if you’d like to renovate your countertops, flooring, or some other cosmetic item, but the home is in otherwise good condition? These programs are available for that purpose too! Keep in mind that, because it’s a riskier loan, you’ll pay added administration fees for construction and you might see an adjustment to your interest rate. For that reason, it’s probably best to only pursue this option if the renovations you’re looking to make go beyond those of a cosmetic variety. 

The two loan types differ in one major way: Conventional loans allow for pool installation, while FHA loans do not. That’s an important distinction because, here in Florida, the value of homes with pools has grown exponentially over the last few years, which has made affordability an issue for buyers who want this feature in a home.     

Another thing to keep in mind is that at least one licensed general contractor must oversee any renovations that are being made. If the home’s major components need renovating, as many as four contractors can be part of the project. 

In most cases, the time frame you can expect from contract to close is around 45 days. As a buyer, the surest way to move the process forward is to get your inspections done and your contractors and HUD consultants into the home as quickly as possible. The quicker you can get all the necessary information to your lender, the better off you’ll be.

For all of your mortgage needs or if you have any questions about rehab home loans, you can contact Kristin and her team by calling 352-242-1535 or by emailing her at If you have any real estate-related questions for me, don’t hesitate to let me and my team know. We look forward to hearing from you! 


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