Buy and Sell Homes in Lewisville-Clemmons, NC

Are Assumable FHA Loans Right for Lewisville-Clemmons Buyers/Sellers?

Are Assumable FHA Loans Right for Lewisville-Clemmons Buyers/Sellers?

What is an Assumable FHA Loan

What is an assumable loan with briefcase full of money and a lady in red with glasses

If you are looking for a way to save money and time when buying a Lewisville-Clemmons home, you may want to consider an assumable FHA loan.  An assumable FHA mortgage loan allows you to take over the existing loan terms from the seller, instead of applying for a new Lewisville-Clemmons loan. This can be a great option for buyers who want to take advantage of a lower interest rate or a shorter loan term.

However, not all FHA loans are assumable, and not all buyers are eligible to assume them. In this blog post, we will explain what an assumable FHA loan is, how it works, and what are the benefits for Lewisville-Clemmons buyers and sellers as well as drawbacks of assuming an FHA loan. We will also provide some tips on how to find and negotiate assumable loans in the market.

What You Need to Know About Assumable FHA Loans

An assumable FHA loan is a type of mortgage that can be transferred from the original borrower to the next homeowner. This can benefit sellers in some situations, especially when the interest rate on the existing loan is lower than the current market rate. But there are obvious benefits to the buyer as well.  Let’s explore more about assumable FHA loans.

An assumable FHA loan is a home loan that can be transferred from the original borrower to the next homeowner. The interest rate and payment period stay the same. For example, if a 30-year mortgage is three years old, the person assuming the loan has 27 years to pay it off. Essentially, only the name on the mortgage documentation changes; everything else remains the same.

An FHA loan is a mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a government agency that provides mortgage insurance to lenders who offer loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers. FHA loans have more lenient credit and income requirements than conventional loans, and they also allow for a lower down payment (as low as 3.5% of the purchase price).

Which FHA loans are assumable?

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), all FHA-insured loans are assumable if the new borrower can qualify for the loan and the existing loan has no restrictions placed on it. However, the assumability of FHA loans depends on when they were originated, as different rules apply to different time periods.  Mortgages originated on or after December 15, 1989, which are virtually all outstanding FHA loans today, require that the lender approve the assumption and that the new borrower pass a credit and income check, similar to applying for a new loan. These requirements apply for the life of the loan, regardless of how many times it is assumed.

What are the benefits of assuming an FHA loan?

Assuming an FHA loan can have several benefits for both the buyer and the seller, especially when the interest rate on the existing loan is lower than the current market rate. Let’s consider the examples below.
Assumable FHA Loan Scenario
Example 1: $300,000 purchase at 6.5% market interest rate – 3.5% down payment – 30 year mortgage payment (principal & interest) = $1,831.29
Example 2: $300,000 purchase with $250,000 mortgage balance at 3.5% assumable rate – 30 year mortgage payment (principal & interest) = $1,122.61

Some of the benefits include:

  • Lower interest rate: The buyer can enjoy a lower interest rate than what they would get with a new loan, which can save them thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan. For example, if the existing loan has a 3.5% interest rate and the market rate is 6.5%, the buyer can save about $700 per month on a $300,000 loan. That can really add up over the life of the loan
  • Lower closing costs: The buyer can avoid some of the closing costs and fees associated with a new loan, such as origination fees, appraisal fees, title fees, and mortgage insurance premiums. The buyer may only have to pay a small assumption fee to the lender, which is usually about 0.5% of the loan balance.
  • Faster closing: The buyer can close the deal faster than with a new loan, as they do not have to go through the entire loan application and underwriting process. The buyer may only have to submit a few documents to the lender, such as an assumption agreement, a credit report, and an income verification.
  • Faster Sale: An assumable loan can attract more buyers, especially when the interest rate is lower than the market rate. This can help the seller sell the home faster and avoid paying extra mortgage payments.  If the seller can offer a 3.5% assumable rate when the market rate is 6.5%, this can be a huge incentive for the buyer, as they can save thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan.
  • Higher Sales Price: The seller may be able to increase the price of their home by offering an assumable loan to the buyer, as the lower interest rate can make the home more attractive and affordable. The seller can also ask for a higher price for the home, as they can negotiate with the buyer based on the difference between the existing rate and the market rate.
  • Release from liability: The seller can be released from the liability of the loan, as the buyer assumes the responsibility of repaying the debt. The seller can avoid the risk of default or foreclosure, and improve their credit score by reducing their debt-to-income ratio.

home keys by a calculator on mortgage papers

What are the drawbacks of assuming an FHA loan?

Assuming an FHA loan can also have some drawbacks for both the buyer and the seller, depending on the situation. Some of the drawbacks include:

  • Higher loan balance: The buyer may have to assume a higher loan balance than the current value of the home, especially if the home has depreciated or the seller has not paid down much of the principal. This can result in a higher loan-to-value ratio and a higher monthly payment for the buyer. However, that is usually not the case in today’s Lewisville-Clemmons real estate market.
  • Buyer must pay the difference in the sales price and current balance:  A more likely scenario in today’s market than the previous drawback, is the buyer may also have to pay the difference between the loan balance and the home value in cash or with a second mortgage. Most Lewisville-Clemmons home sellers have more equity due to inflationary home values over the last few years.
  • Lender approval: The seller may have to obtain the lender’s approval before transferring the loan to the buyer, which can take time and involve additional paperwork. The lender may also impose certain conditions or fees on the assumption, such as requiring the seller to pay a prepayment penalty or a transfer fee.

How to find and negotiate assumable FHA loans?

If you are interested in assuming or offering an assumable FHA loan, here are some tips on how to find and negotiate them:

  • Do your research: Before you assume or offer an assumable loan, you should do your research on the loan terms, the home value, and the market conditions. You should also check your credit score, your income, and your debt-to-income ratio to see if you qualify for the loan. You should also compare the costs and benefits of assuming the loan versus getting a new loan.
  • Find a real estate agent: A knowledgeable Lewisville-Clemmons real estate agent can help you find and negotiate assumable loans, as they have access to the multiple listing service (MLS) and other databases that can indicate whether a home has an assumable loan or not. A real estate agent can also help you with the paperwork and the communication with the lender and the seller.
  • Get a home inspection: A home inspection can help you assess the condition and the value of the home, and identify any potential issues or repairs that may affect the deal. A home inspection can also help you negotiate the price and the terms of the assumption, as you can ask for a lower price or a repair credit if the home has any defects or damages.
  • Get a home appraisal: In many instances, the appraisal is optional with an assumable FHA loan.  But a prudent buyer will get one anyway.  A home appraisal can help you determine the fair market value of the home, and compare it with the loan balance and the asking price. A home appraisal can also help you negotiate the price and the terms of the assumption, as you can ask for a lower price or a seller concession if the home is overpriced or undervalued.
  • Get a loan estimate: A loan estimate by the loan provider can help you understand the costs and fees associated with the assumption, such as the assumption fee, the closing costs, the escrow account, and the mortgage insurance premiums. A loan estimate can also help you compare the costs and benefits of assuming the loan versus getting a new loan.

Conclusion

An assumable FHA loan can be a great option for buyers who want to save money when buying a home. However, buyers must meet minimum credit requirments to assume them. Therefore, it is important to do your research, find a trustworthy real estate agent, and get a home inspection, a home appraisal, and a loan estimate before you assume or offer an assumable loan. You should also compare the costs and benefits of assuming the loan versus getting a new loan, and negotiate the price and the terms of the assumption with the lender and the seller.

 

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