Can I apply FHA 3.5% down payment loan?

Asked by Priscilla Yuen, Daly City, CA Sun Jan 6, 2013

I am going to move to USA to stay with my husband in San Francisco. He has been working in San Francisco for 1 year. We are going to buy a house or condo in san francisco or nearby cities. Do we qualify for applying the 3.5% down payment loan?

Is there any price range set on the property we can buy?

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Sun Jan 6, 2013
P: in the SF Bay Area the max loan amount for FHA is $729k.
You state you are moving to the US and he has been here a year. Is he a foreign national? Does he have a VIsA or green card?
These questions need to be addressed.
Has he been with the same company for 2 years or in the same industry?
More later with those answers!!
0 votes
he is citizen, im holding visa

he's been working in banking industry nearly a year
Flag Mon Jan 7, 2013
Rebecca White, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Sun Jan 6, 2013
Hello Priscilla,

Welcome to San Francisco! I hope that you and your husband will be happy here.

Applying for an FHA loan is similar to applying for any other loan, just that the lending criteria are a little easier.

The 2 main problems are the price as there is a loan maximum below $630,000 (I believe, a lender can confirm the amount) and a property that will qualify. With single-family home inventory being down about 75%, there aren't many houses available and no reason for a seller to sell to you when there will likely be an appraisal issue.

Your best bet would be a condo and many of the places that were FHA-approved, Axis and Esprit Park for example, are sold out.

I did sell a lovely condo in the $600,000 range a few months ago and the buyer went with FHA financing as he wanted to just put a little down. We did have an appraisal issue and had to get a second appraisal. My client did get the home of his dreams but it took a little longer and cost several thousand more due to delays and additional expenses.

Bottom line, it is very tough but do-able and I have a great lender team, Bill Mattle and Miles Grant, with Opes Advisors who can do the loan for you. An important first step would be talking to them. Feel free to email Miles at or let me know if you would like his phone number.

Good Luck and Happy New Year!!!
0 votes
Kevin Ho, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Sun Jan 6, 2013
There are a lot of considerations and factors that will impact FHA eligibility both on your end as borrowers and those concerning the property itself. Ones that stick out immediately, are credit history (or lack thereof) and which properties are eligible. One option you may want to consider are so-called census tract loans that allow similar terms but also lack the requirement that you pay mortgage insurances. These loans are only allowed in specific designated areas of the city, which happens to include the South of Market area. In any case, it's best to speak with a mortgage or bank representative. If you need references to some folks who are able to help you further.
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