FHA program: cash for home repairs

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First-timer homebuyers often scramble to find the funds required for the downpayment. Cash for needed repairs is simply not available and it will have to be saved over time. Given the drop in home values in many regions, the need for extra cash to close a home sale or refinance and then fix up the house spans all age groups and price ranges. For people without a job or on a fixed income, proper maintenance and repairs simply are not getting done. The home equity pot of funds is not what it used to be. However, there's an underused program that solves the cash problem. More and more consumers are discovering the Federal Housing Administration's 203(k) program, which provides cash for repairs and permanent mortgage financing in one loan. "In today's marketplace, a number of homes have the potential to be all that a buyer could hope for," according to Clark Schafer, a specialist in 203(k) financing. "The 203(k) renovation loan can turn an almost perfect house in...