HUD RAISES FHA MORTGAGE INSURANCE LIMIT
IN KING, PIERCE AND SNOHOMISH COUNTIES
SEATTLE -- More homebuyers in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties may be eligible for FHA insurance on their mortgages and home improvement loans under new mortgage limits effective August 16 announced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The new FHA mortgage limit for a single-family unit is $360,950, which allows for purchase of a home costing $372,113 with the required 3 percent downpayment. Higher loan limits apply for two to four-unit dwellings.
The increase is the third increase in 2006 for these three counties. In January 2006, the limit was raised to $335,800. In May, the limit was raised to $356,250. For a complete list by county, go to https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/hicost1.cfm. For information about FHA insured mortgages, go to www.fha.gov or call 1-800-CALL FHA (800-225-5342).
These increases may allow more prospective homebuyers to qualify for FHA insured mortgages and home improvement loans to purchase or refinance one to four-unit residences including condos and manufactured homes. The higher limits will help seniors, age 62 or older, seeking FHA insured reverse mortgages (Home Equity Conversion Mortgages) to potentially access more equity from their homes.
"This increase in FHA loan limits is in response to the continuing rapid increases in the average price of housing in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties and will help more people purchase or refinance homes using FHA mortgage insurance," said HUD Regional Director John W. Meyers.
Many homebuyers are attracted to FHA insured loans because of the program's benefits: a 3 percent down payment, which can be 100 percent gifted from an acceptable source, such as gifts from family or a downpayment assistance program, liberal underwriting criteria, fair interest rates, and consumer protections. FHA loans are not restricted to first-time homebuyers.
Recent changes in FHA loan processing make it easier for REALTORS®, lenders and consumers to process and qualify for FHA loans.
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.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.