Am I required to spend time in a property to FHA qualufy?

8 Replies

I own a fishing boat. I fish Alaskan water for salmon. This years season is over so I plan on wintering in the harbor town of Anacortes Wa. I stay on my boat. Moorage must be paid on the vessel when in port whether or not I'm on it so I just find it easier to stay on it year round. I like Anacortes and so I want to buy an SFR here. Is it possible to get an FHA loan calling this place "my home"even though I'm fishing in Alaska half the year and just staying on the boat the other half. This is my particular plan to house hack. Possibly akin to buying a home, renting it out, and living in the tent or tiny house in the yard.

Thanks Ingrid. Scary thought,transparency, but something I will do as a last resort.  Thankyou. I had not even considered that option. First lets see if someone in biggerpockets already has the info. Stay tuned.

FHA loans on residential properties are for owner-occupants. Sounds like you'd be buying the property with the intention of renting it out and not actually living there. If that's the case, no it wouldn't qualify for FHA.

Here's an excerpt from the below article which explains further: 

"A principal residence is the dwelling you occupy for a majority of the calendar year, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which sets FHA guidelines. At least one borrower who signs the security instrument and the loan note must live in the home to fulfill the owner occupancy requirement."

Source: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/fha-occupancy-guideli...

FHA loans are for owner occupied. Check out other loan programs, but are probably more money down. You could rent out the boat and rent out rooms in the house while you live in the house? They like to see that you live in the house for a year, then you can do what you please. There are not a lot of home on the market in Anacortes right now, and no small multifamily (which make great house hacking options). Good luck and let me know if you need any help in the Anacortes market, my husband and I live here in town.

Hi Julie great to meet you. Fantastic. I spoke with Kara at Skagit bank. She's sweet. She sold me on a conventional loan that looks to be way better than FHA. No strings or conditions. 4.37% Only 3% down. I'm driving out towards Sedro-Wooley tomorrow for a look around. BTW I would never ever rent out my boat its my lively hood. My idea of a hack is to live here at 325/month, that I have to pay, whether or not I'm onboard (fixed unavoidable cost). All utilities paid. Buy a house to rent out at its full rental potential. I may have to expand my search to out lying areas. That is ok. I really love this town. So much to offer. So beautiful. Great people.

Hi Kyle. Thank you for finding that article. The bank loan officer was not even able to do that in such short order.

 A principal residence is the dwelling you occupy for a majority of the calendar year, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which sets FHA guidelines. At least one borrower who signs the security instrument and the loan note must live in the home to fulfill the owner occupancy requirement       

The above would disqualify me whether or not I rented out the property as I am spending so much of my time(up to 8 months some years) on the fishing grounds

As you have, I would consider conventional first. HomeStreet is a great local lender, Theresa Sundance is a good resource. Finding something that will rent or break even can be tough in Anacortes, Mount Vernon or Sedro-Woolley will give you more options.