How do I get a loan for a fixer upper?

Asked by Stacy, Colorado Tue Jun 10, 2008

Found "the one" it needs a new roof and has broken windows, How would I go about getting a loan that isnt FHA 203k? I am a fist time home buyer in colorado, good credit (680 i think). We can prove we have the money to make repairs and dont want to roll them into our loan. We also want to do the work ourself and want a fixed mortgage? Any advice?

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Richard Gree…, , Boulder, CO
Mon Aug 18, 2008
I know its outdated now but for future reference and for anyone who may read the question... I would explore alternatives prior to applying for a loan etc Call it naive but is it too late to try and negotiate upfront the roof etc as term of sale - ie taking the stance upfront "Sure, I'll buy your house provided that... xyz." Can the existing homeowner's insurance kick in at all to replace the roof? A deductable is cheaper than replacing it. Can one Escrow funds to replace items immediately upon closing?? As I said - just trying to explore alternatives and thinking outload... questions to find the answer to. For every problem there usually is a solution. Don't overlook a permit for the roof; an insurance company may have issue with that!

If one has no alternative than to look for a loan, make sure to talk to various lenders to compare apples to apples etc.
1 vote
Stefan Geyer, Agent, Aurora, CO
Sun Aug 17, 2008
Hi Stacy,
Ben's answer below is very good, and he is one of the best resources for mortgages in Colorado that I know. Buying a fixer-upper that will equate to profit in the existing market is rare, but if you have the right Realtor and Appraiser on board, it can be done. I am a Certified Appraiser and Realtor and reguarly work with investors...adding money to their bank accounts. Let me know if I can help you make some money. All the best.
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1 vote
The Dixon Gr…, Agent, Denver, CO
Mon Feb 24, 2014
The 203K program is a wonderful program, but it can be difficult to complete. Have you already looked into the financing for this product or are you just getting started? My team would love to help you!

Daniel Dixon
KW Team PowerHouse
0 votes
Robert Finger, Agent, Irvine, CA
Wed Nov 13, 2013
Hello Stacy
Most recently more lenders are allowing escrow holdbacks for repairs to be done soon after close of escrow on some of there conventional loans. A combination of lender credit for your closing cost to save you the out of pocket expenses and an escrow hold back combo could work well as well. Make sure your Realtor and Lenders understand the application of such angles. Otherwise as you know Fha has the 203 K Standard and 203 k streamline loans in which are getting better depending on the lending insitution being there are a lot more properties in need of such applications. Good Luck!
Thank You
Robert Finger
0 votes
Dana Lindberg, Both Buyer And Seller, Phoenix, AZ
Sun Sep 22, 2013
203k is a very good program however, getting it is not the easiest process. You have to team up with a great lender who is knowledgeable about it. A good team on your side shortens the closing time by weeks. For more details about 203k loan, visit

Dana Lindberg
CFS Mortgage -
0 votes
Certified Am…, Home Buyer, Orlando, FL
Sat Apr 6, 2013
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0 votes
Kristal Kraft, Agent, Greenwood Village, CO
Wed Jun 18, 2008
You should be able to get a loan and fix up the home on your own by using conventional financing. FHA requires homes have a minimum standard of condition, so they won't work. Hopefully you have saved an additional amount for the down payment.
If I were you, I'd talk to a reliable lender who can ask the right questions and provide you with the proper advice. If you would like a suggestion, call Frances and Rusty Wehner at CTX. They are terrific loan officers and investors themselves. They won't steer you wrong. 303-589-4694. Good luck!
0 votes
Ben Edgson, , Indiana
Tue Jun 10, 2008
Hi Stacey,

There are a few options. Much of it depends on your timeframe, and your ideas of financing. If you're hoping to do the long term financing upfront and then completing the repairs after you’ve moved in, you may run into issues with finding a lender to offer you the financing -- unless, of course, an appraisal waiver is granted. Many traditional lenders will require the repairs be completed before you move into the home. Their thought process behind this, is they don't want deal with a home in disrepair should you go into default. There decision is usually based on the amount of disrepair that is currently in the home.

Another option would be to look for short-term financing. Short-term financing would allow you to purchase the home, and then after the repairs are made, you could refinance into a Conforming loan and lock it in at a low interest rate. Short-term financing can be pricy, but it can get you into your home and give you the time you need to make the repairs.

If you'd like to discuss different financing options, feel free to give me a call at 720.280.0441 or e-mail me at

Take care, and good luck,

Ben Edgson
Mortgage Broker
0 votes
Karlene Grim…, Agent, Orlando, FL
Tue Jun 10, 2008
You can ask for any of the downpayment assistance programs out there like Ameridream or Genesis. This allows the lender to give you back a gift towards closing. This way you do not have to pay your closing costs and the money that you may have in reserve can be used to fix up the place
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