Platinum Mortgage, Inc. - FHA Loans

FHA energy efficient mortgage program provides mortgage insurance for a person to purchase or refinance a principal residence and incorporate the cost of energy efficient improvements into the mortgage. The mortgage loan is funded by a lending institution, such as a mortgage company, bank, savings and loan association and the mortgage is insured by HUD.

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • Borrowers are eligible for approximately 97% financing. Borrowers are able to finance closing costs and the up front mortgage insurance premium into the mortgage. Borrowers are also responsible for paying an annual premium.
  • Eligible properties are one to two existing units and new construction.
  • The cost of the energy efficient improvements that may be eligible for financing into the mortgage is the greater of 5% percent of the property's value (not to exceed $8,000) or $4,000.
  • To be eligible for inclusion in the mortgage, the energy efficient improvements must be cost effective, meaning that the total cost of the improvements is less than the total present value of the energy saved over the useful life of the energy improvement.
  • The cost of the energy improvements and estimate of the energy savings must be determined by a home energy rating system (HERS) or energy consultant.

FHA has permitted streamline refinances on insured mortgages since the early 1980's. The word streamline refers only to the amount of documentation and underwriting that needs to be performed by the mortgage company, and does not mean that there are no costs involved in the transaction.

The basic requirements of a streamline refinance are:

  • The mortgage to be refinanced must already be FHA insured.
  • The mortgage to be refinanced should be current (not delinquent).
  • The refinance is to result in a lowering of the borrower's monthly principal and interest payments.
  • No cash may be taken out on mortgages refinanced using the streamline refinance process.

Companies may offer streamline refinances in several ways. Some companies offer "no cost" refinances (actually, no out of pocket expenses to the borrower) by charging a higher rate of interest on the new loan than if the borrower financed or paid the closing costs in cash. From this premium, the company pays any closing costs that are incurred on the transaction.

Companies may offer streamline refinances and include the closing costs into the new mortgage amount. This can only be done if there is sufficient equity in the property, as determined by an appraisal. Streamline refinances can also be done without appraisals, but the new loan amount cannot exceed what is currently owed, i.e., closing costs may not be added to the new mortgage with those costs either paid in cash or through the premium rate as described above. Investment properties (properties in which the borrower does not reside in as his or her principal residence) may only be refinanced without an appraisal and, thus, closing costs may not be included in the new mortgage amount.

There may be closing costs customary or unique to a certain locality, but closing costs are usually made up of the following:

  • Attorney's or escrow fees (yours and your lender's if applicable)
  • Property taxes (to cover tax period to date)
  • Interest (paid from date of closing to 30 days before first monthly payment)
  • Loan origination fee (covers lender's administrative costs)
  • Recording fees
  • Survey fee
  • First premium of mortgage insurance (if applicable)
  • Title insurance (yours and your lender's)
  • Loan discount points
  • First payment to escrow account for future real estate taxes and insurance
  • Paid receipt for homeowner's insurance policy (and fire and flood insurance if applicable)
  • Any documentation preparation fees

The down payment for an FHA mortgage can be 100% gift funds. This is one of the key benefits to the FHA program.

Verification of the source of gift money is not required. However, it is necessary that the gift funds be deposited in the borrower's bank or savings account, or in an escrow account, prior to underwriting approval. Proof of deposit is required.

Gift donors are restricted primarily to a relative of the borrower. They can also be certain organizations, such as a labor union or charitable organization. Contact your local branch for complete information.