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HUD No. 05-OR-08
Pamela Negri
(206) 220-5356
For Release
October 14, 2005


Residents in ten Oregon and two SW Washington counties to benefit

PORTLAND --More homebuyers residing in ten Oregon counties and two Southwest Washington counties may be eligible for FHA insurance on their mortgages and home improvement loans under new mortgage limits released October 12 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

FHA loan limits were increased in Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Deschutes, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Multnomah, and Yamhill counties in Oregon and Clark and Skamania counties in Washington. Increases ranged from a low of 1 percent in Lincoln to a high of 16 percent in Clatsop. Counties in the Portland-Vancouver area increased 15 percent. See table below for details.

FHA insured loans can be used to purchase or refinance one to four-unit homes, condos and manufactured homes. Many homebuyers are attracted to FHA-insured loans because of the program’s benefits: a three-percent down payment, which can be 100 percent gifted from an acceptable source, liberal underwriting criteria, market rate interest, and consumer protections. FHA loans are not restricted to first-time homebuyers.

Also, under a special mortgage program, called Section 203(h), FHA will insure mortgages with zero downpayment for individuals or families in a Presidentially-declared disaster area whose residences were destroyed or damaged to such an extent that reconstruction or replacement is necessary. Victims of Hurricane Katrina or Rita can use this program to purchase a home anywhere they wish in the United States.

“These higher loan limits, which are in response to recent rapid increases in the average price of housing in these 12 counties, will help more people become homeowners or refinance homes using FHA mortgage insurance,” said Portland Field Office Director Tom Cusack.

Native Americans choosing to use HUD’s Section 184 Indian housing guaranteed loan program, which is available throughout most of Oregon and Washington, will benefit as well because the loan limit for this program is 150 percent of the FHA mortgage insurance limit. Members of any federally recognized tribe could use the 184-loan program to purchase a home on or off reservation or trust lands. For more information go to: www.hud.gov/local/wa/community/indiansec184prog.cfm.

The increases will also benefit senior citizens who qualify for FHA-insured reverse mortgages. Reverse mortgages allow homeowners age 62 and older to borrow against the value of their homes without selling them. Homeowners can select a lump-sum payment, monthly payments or tap into a line of credit. No repayment is required as long as a homeowner lives in a home with a reverse mortgage. The reverse mortgage is repaid, with interest, when a homeowner sells the home or dies.

The new loan limits are part of a regular adjustment HUD makes to account for rising home prices. The higher FHA loan limits will not cost the government because the FHA Insurance Fund is fully supported by premiums paid by borrowers who receive FHA insurance.

HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov or espanol.hud.gov.


[Image: FHA Mortgage Limit Table]


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