For rehab loans, I focus strictly on FHA's 203k program therefore I can't tell you if there is a conventional type of rehab loan or not. However, below is a description of how the 203k program works. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions.
The first step is to have your 203k lender walk thru the property with you and determine with you what work has to be done, and then what addtional work you want done. We recommend you use an FHA licensed Cost Consultant as well. They will charge you between $500 - $700 for this. The cost consultant we always use charges $550 on jobs under $35,000. It is not absolutely necessary on jobs under $35,000, but it is required on jobs over that amount. If you will not be using a cost consultant, then I recommend a walk thru with the contractor and lender together. If you are doing the work yourself, then just you and the lender. You should do this before you make an offer on the home. You want to be sure the financing will not be an issue.
Assuming the deal is accepted by the selling side and the scope of the project is determined between you and your contractor, you both would sign a bid/contract detailing what work is being done, what the cost of the materials are, and what the cost of the labor will be. It has to be spelled out. The 203k program also allows the homeowner to allocate money for appliances - including washer/dryer etc. If you are getting appliances you would need a detailed printout from the retail store where you would be purchasing those appliances. At this time there are some other forms signed by the borrower and contractor basically saying the same thing - I'm using you as my contractor and my contractor is charging me this amount.
While all this is going on the appaisals need to be ordered. The appraiser has to complete two appraisals - the as is value at purchase and then the value of the property once the work is completed. The appraiser we order from charges $600 combined for both appraisals. This also includes his reinspections determining that the work has been completed.
Please note in all FHA 203k transactions (regular or streamline) it could be up to 30 days after the closing before the contractor receives the first dispursement to start on the project! The contractor would not receive the last dispursement until the work has been approved by the homeowner and the investor.
If you need our help, please don't hesitate to contact me. We are in your area all the time and would be delighted to serve as your 203k lender.
Senior Vice President
3933 75th St
Aurora, IL 60504