Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the Get Home Now! program?
To help people who desire homeownership but have the following problems:
- do not have the savings or cash needed for a home purchase
- credit challenges or lack the credit reputation normally required for a home mortgage
- want to buy a home in need of repairs, upgrades and/or customization
- uninformed about the home buying or construction management process and need help
How does the program help people overcome the savings barrier?
A small down payment is required (only 3.5%) and the program helps you find sources of assistance locally to help with that and closing costs. In many markets there is up to $25,000 in assistance available to help you buy your home depending on your need.
How flexible is the credit criteria?
Applicants with a 580 or better FICO score or an on-time rent history over the last 12 months may qualify. Bankruptcies must be discharged with only 2 years of good credit since.
How does it help me buy a home needing repairs?
There are many vacant homes on the market today that can be purchased at a value but getting the money to fix-it-up is a challenge. This program will provide you with a loan for the purchase and for needed repairs/renovation to make the home what you want it to be. For existing homeowners the program will refinance and provide funds for needed repairs or upgrades.
Who’s going to help me with the process?
APD Solutions has been hired as the program administrator and they are here to assist you with the home buying and construction process. They will help you find service providers (for example real estate agents, moving companies, down payment programs, etc.) and will also oversee your construction project. They will make sure you are getting the help you need throughout the entire process.
How does it work?
Call our toll free number (877-GT-HM-NOW) or go to the website (www.HomeByRequest.com/gethomenow) to get started. APD Solutions will refer you to a lending professional with one of the program approved lenders. Clients are pre-approved by a program lender, they select the home and APD Solutions arranges to have the home reviewed by a qualified local contractor. After you agree on a list of repairs or improvement (scope of work) that can fit into your budget it is provided to your lender to include in your mortgage loan. There is one closing and the funds for your repairs are held in an escrow account by your lender to pay the contractor as work is completed.
What are the income limits?
This program is designed to help any working family or individual regardless of how much or how little they make. There are no income limits for this program. If you are using any form of down payment or closing cost assistance their requirements would apply.
What is the maximum home purchase price?
How much you qualify for depends on your financial situation and what the county’s loan limit is. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) sets a cap on how much they are willing to insure which varies from county to county and changes based on the size of your family. You can find the loan limits for you county on the HUD website.
Who sponsors this program?
APD Solutions, HomeByRequest.com, First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation and GMFS
What is HomeByRequest.com?
HomeByRequest.com is a free consumer information and help website. It is designed to provide the consumer with assistance and hand holding in purchasing a home. www.HomeByRequest.com
Who is APD Solutions?
APD Solutions is a community development company founded in 1990 that helps revitalize neighborhoods across America through public-private partnerships.www.APDSolutions.com
What if something goes wrong with the home?
You will be provided a one-year warranty on all repairs or improvements made to the home. In addition, each home has the option to be covered by a warranty that provides for the replacement or repair of the major systems of the house. We strongly suggest that each buyer adds the warranty. In the event any repairs are needed a qualified local contractor will come out to provide services. (note: if the buyer does not take the warranty option any repairs must be covered out of pocket.)
Who is the program administrator?
APD Solutions has been designated to run the program.
What if I am not able to make a payment due to a temporary financial hardship?
If the purchaser has a temporary financial hardship, the program administrator can refer you to a local counseling agency to help.
Do I have to use the contractor provided by the Get Home Now! program?
This program has special requirements that are made available through the participation of identified qualified local contractors and the other partners. You are able to use another contractor but they must meet the financial, insurance, criminal background and other screening requirements of the program.
Where do I find an approved lender?
To participate in this program with APD Solutions you must use one of the approved program lenders who are First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation (FGMC) and Ginger Mae Financial Services (GMFS)
What types of homes can I purchase through the program?
You can use the program to purchase single family homes, up to four unit buildings as long as you live in one of them, manufactured housing, townhomes and condominiums. There are certain restrictions for condominium repairs that you should consult your lender about before purchasing.
Do I have to live in the home I purchase?
Yes. The FHA requires you to occupy the property you purchase.
Can I convert a single-family home into a multi-family home?
Yes. The FHA allows you to use the rehabilitation money from the loan to convert a single-family home into up to a four-unit home. The FHA also allows you to use the loan to move existing homes onto a new site if necessary.
What if the home I want to purchase needs to be torn down and re-built, can I use the program for this?
Yes under certain circumstances. If you need to tear down the existing home and re-build a new home then you can use the 203(k) loan money as long as you are able to use some of the existing foundation.
Are there certain repairs that are required by the Program?
Yes. The FHA requires you to meet current building standards for energy efficiency. If you are rehabilitating a home than these standards include:
- Ventilation in crawl spaces and attics.
- There must be weather stripping on all windows and doors.
- All outward facing walls and ceilings of the home must be insulated. The air conditioning, heating, and ventilation pipes and ducts must also be insulated.
- All cracks and openings from the interior to the exterior of the home must be sealed.
- Every bedroom must have a smoke detector.
How much can I borrow with a Get Home Now/FHA 203(k) loan?
You can borrow up to 110% of the value of the home AFTER the repairs and rehabilitation of the home. The lender will do a current value appraisal of the home in order to see what it is worth now. Then they will consider all of the rehabilitation you plan to do and do a second appraisal for what the home will be worth after the repairs have been made to the home. If you plan to install solar energy systems as part of your rehabilitation the FHA will insure up to 20% more of your mortgage values which means your lender will loan you more for your repairs and it will be easier to qualify for the loan.
What improvements are allowed by the Get Home Now!/203k Program?
The FHA requires you to make your home more energy efficient, but optional repairs that you can finance into your loan include:
- Repair to the structure of the home. This includes framing, chimneys, foundations, siding, new additions to the home, roofing, basement finishing, and more.
- Repair or the building of new bathrooms.
- New windows and/or skylights.
- Remodeling kitchens and new appliances.
- All types of flooring repairs or new flooring.
- Any repairs that are needed for safety like mold removal or lead paint.
- Repair to internal systems of the home like electrical, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and ventilation.
- Repair or replacement of wells and septic systems (note that these repairs must be done first).
- Remodeling including new light fixtures, bathroom fixtures (even whirlpool bathtubs), painting, and more.
- Outdoor improvements including decks, patios, covered porches, landscaping, walkways, driveways, fencing, and more.
- Any rehabilitation that is necessary due to accessibility reasons for disabled people.
Once I have the loan money how long do I have to make the necessary improvements and repairs?
When you get a FHA 203(k) loan you sign an agreement with APD Solutions/local contractor that specifies what time frame you have to complete the repairs. You have to begin the rehabilitation within 30 days of signing the agreement and receiving the money. The rehabilitation must be completed within 6 months and any pause in the work cannot last for more than 30 days straight.
What if there is a problem and I don’t get the rehabilitation work done as agreed?
If you foresee a problem with the agreement then contact APD Solutions immediately. They will work with you and the lender and may be able to help you with a solution. If you break your contract then you will not be able to access the escrow account with your home rehabilitation money. This money will be held and if unused it may go back into your mortgage loan to lower your owed balance. Because of this you want to make sure and be ready to have the work done before you close on the loan.
What if the price of the repairs increases once the work begins, can I borrow more money to cover the cost?
No. The contractor will give you an accurate price before you take out your loan. There will be an opportunity for you to review and approve the scope of work and pricing before the loan closes. Once you have the loan you cannot borrow more money. Discuss this with your GHN! contractor when you have the estimate done. They know you cannot afford to go over the estimated cost and are prepared to keep you within budget.
I am not going to live in my home while it is being repaired, do I still have to make the mortgage payments out-of-pocket?
No. You do have to make the mortgage payments, but the program allows you to include the cost of your first 6 months of mortgage payments into the loan so that you do not have to try and bare the burden of paying your new mortgage and rent to live somewhere while you home is being rehabilitated.