I am trying to offer on a fully occupied duplex. Trying to do FHA but my realtor says there may be problems doing it because of the lease and for me to need to move in right away due to it needing to be owner occupied. Any advice? Can I do FHA or does it have to be conventional?
Are you trying to apply for a primary residence home loan? I hope so because FHA loans are not allowed for anything other than your primary house be it a single family, a duplex or even up to quadruplex as long as you occupy one unit within 60 days of closing. Also, you must stay at that residence for a minimum of 1 year I think before moving out.
I you apply for a conventional loan and do not intend to live in the house, you must apply for a second/investment home instead of a primary residence.
Since your duplex is fully occupied I'm not sure if the bank will require at least one vacant unit prior to closing, but they will at a minimum want you to LEGALLY sign that you intend to move in within 60 days.
It sounds like you will have to do a conventional loan. FHA is for buyers intending to buy a property and move into it as their primary residence. That doesn't mean you can't buy a property, live in it, and rent out other units or bedrooms at the property for a few years and refinance the FHA into a conventional loan once you've got 20% of equity built into the home.
Additionally if you have any co-borrowers, they will also need to live at the residence. There are some exceptions to this rule, but that's for another thread.
The government takes this pretty seriously, because they consider it abusing a government aide program by misrepresenting your intentions to a lender. Don't try it, they will find out. Getting caught buying an investment property with FHA and not living in it likely involves an FBI investigation and a felony for mortgage fraud.
I'm in a similar scenario as you and would be happy to share any of my findings on the topic or send you a few comprehensive reads. As always, take any advice from this forum or your mortgage lender with a grain of salt and do your due diligence. Nobody wants to be a felon after their first real estate investment!
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