Wouldn’t it be great to get a $35,000 Home Depot gift card in the mail? Wouldn’t it be incredible if it was the government that was the one who sent it? According to a new program sponsored by the FHA, one can receive benefits that would be akin to receiving such a gift card. With the FHA’s new Streamlined (k) Limited Repair Program, designed as a supplement to the existing Section 203(k) rehabilitation program, greater repairs and renovation is now possible, all at the government’s dime.
So what’s the catch?
It’s complicated! It must be a time-consuming, complex process, you say. Not exactly. First of all, the FHA 203k Streamline was designed to reduce complications, not add to it. For instance, it was designed especially for simple renovation projects, one in which plans, consultants, engineers and/or architects are not required.
However, the benefits are plentiful and generous, as the limit is now up to $35,000.00.
I can’t qualify! Oh, it’s probably only for the wealthy, the group always benefiting from loopholes in the tax code or the latest Congressional acts.
Qualification is simple but applies to all demographic and socio-economic groups. Like the regular Section 203(k) program, the Streamlined (k) can be used for HUD single-family housing REO properties that have been designated by FHA’s Management and Marketing contractor (M&M) as “insurable” with repair escrow ($5,000 or less in required repairs) or “uninsurable” (with more than 5,000 but no more than $35,000 in required repairs) are eligible for the Streamlined (k) program. Actually, the real qualification comes in the type of repairs that will be submitted as eligible work items:
- Repair/Replacement of roofs, gutters and downspouts
- Repair/Replacement/upgrade of existing HVAC systems
- Repair/Replacement/upgrade of plumbing and electrical systems
- Repair/Replacement of flooring
- Minor remodeling, such as kitchens, which does not involve structural repairs
- Painting, both exterior and interior
- Weatherization, including storm windows and doors, insulation, weather stripping, etc
- Purchase and installation of appliances, including free-standing ranges, refrigerators, washers/dryers, dishwashers and microwave ovens
- Accessibility improvements for persons with disabilities
- Lead-based paint stabilization or abatement of lead-based paint hazards
- Repair/replace/add exterior decks, patios, porches
- Basement finishing and remodeling, which does not involve structural repairs
- Basement waterproofing
- Window and door replacements and exterior wall re-siding
- Septic system and/or well repair or replacement
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