FHA Loans

What Size Loan Works For You?

  • 30-yr fixed
  • 25-yr fixed
  • 15-yr fixed

FHA LOAN LIMITS (Los Angeles County & San Francisco Bay Area – look here for other counties)

1-unit $679,650 | 2-units $870,225| 3-units $1,051,875 | 4-units $1,307,175
An FHA loan is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Because the loan is insured against default this enables lenders to offer more liberal guidelines to prospective home buyers. These loans are offered as an alternative to Fannie Mae and/or Freddie Mac conventional loans, and have some real advantages for the right person.

Why Choose an FHA Loan?

An FHA loan is frequently chosen when a buyer/borrower doesn’t have at least a 2-year credit history or has other credit challenges. When a buyer doesn’t have sufficient funds for the 3.5% down payment and/or closing costs, 100% of the down payment may be “gifted“.

To qualify for an FHA loan, the property being purchased must be for the buyer’s primary residence, but may be up to 4-units.

A likely applicant would have:

  • only a 3.5% down payment and little or no cash reserves in savings
  • a borrower with a debt-to-income ratio between 45-55%
  • a credit score potentially as low as 580
  • access to gift funds for the purpose of buying a primary residence


  • Smaller down payment required (as low as 3.5%)
  • Gift funds may be used for the down payment. Often the costs to obtain the loan are covered by the loan itself or may be credited from the seller.
  • It’s easier to qualify for an FHA insured loan as debt-to-income ratios up to 55% may be allowable (compared to Fannie 43%)
  • Credit is less an issue than with a Conventional loan.
  • Rates are generally lower than on a Conventional loan.
  • The time to wait after a bankruptcy is 2 years, which is shorter than for Conventional loans.
  • For a shortsale or foreclosure the waiting period is 2-3 years depending on payment history.


  • Part of the Mortgage Insurance, called Up-Front Mortgage Insurance, is either paid out of pocket by the buyer or may be added to the loan balance.
  • Mortgage insurance is also paid monthly with raises the monthly payment.
  • With less than 10% down payment, the mortgage insurance is permanent. (However, as property values rise, a buyer can refinance out of the FHA loan)
  • Condominiums must be FHA approved.

FHA Loan Checklist

When you’re applying for an FHA loan, the following list of documents will help expedite the process. We can help you understand any part of the FHA loan process so don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Employment Info

  • Past two years’ completed tax returns.
  • Past two years’ W-2s, 1099s, and any other necessary tax forms.
  • Most recent 30-day’s pay stubs.
  • Self-employed borrowers may need three years’ tax returns and YTD Profit & Loss Statement.

Savings Info

  • Past two months’ full bank statements (all pages) for all accounts.
  • Most recent statements from investment accounts (retirement, 410k, mutual funds, etc.).

Personal Info

  • Driver’s License or other official state identification.
  • Social Security Card.
  • Any Divorce, Palimony, Alimony documents.
  • Green card or work-permit (if/as applicable).