In a recent column we discussed the challenge that first-timer homebuyers face in accumulating funds to purchase and fix up a home. One of the suggested solutions was FHA's 203(k) loan that provides the cash to purchase and rehabilitate a property all in one loan. The 203(k) loan also contains a less complicated "streamline" version that can assist not only buyers but also existing homeowners who want to stay in their homes but lack the extra cash for minor repairs, new cabinets and appliances. While the conventional 203(k) has been around for more than three decades, the streamline came on the scene five years ago. At that time, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development had many homes in its inventory that needed a cosmetic overhaul before interested buyers would make an offer to buy them.The agency discovered that when a borrower could no longer make loan payments, he or she often did not spend the time and money to maintain the home. The streamline ...
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