Can I refinance out of an fha before a year?

5 Replies

Hello BP, I am looking to buy a property using an FHA loan since I do not have much money to put down. IM looking to buy and rent out an undervalued property and force appreciate through sweat equity. My question is, if I were to buy a property for 70k with an fha loan ( 2.45k down) spend about 10k in repairs, increase its value to 100,000 would I be able to refinance out of the fha loan to a conventional loan without having to live in it for a year? Thanks, RJ

Yes, but you want to wait at least 6 months. If the loan is paid off in 6 months or under, the lender will get a big fine from Fannie Mae. Also you want to wait 6 months as if it is under that, the best comp any appraiser will use for your property is your own property and that sale price.

@RJ McCoy Your strategy is feasible as far as it goes but a big part of making that work is finding a deal where someone is willing to sell you a property that only needs $10k in work for 70% of it's market value. Under current market conditions in that price range for most parts of the country there is a huge amount of competition for distressed properties sub $100k. 

It's also important to understand that FHA has pretty strict condition requirements and so a distressed property is likely not going to qualify for FHA financing depending on what repairs are needed. This is important for the possibility of your loan getting approved but also a major factor in a seller's decision to accept an FHA financed offer over an investor who is paying cash or financing with a conventional or commercial loan.

I would suggest taking a different approach with your FHA loan and looking for a property that you would want to live in for an extended period of time but also would cash flow if leased it after satisfying your FHA owner-occupancy time requirements.

The house we are currently living in was purchased with that strategy in mind. It's in a neighborhood that we love and the house is a great fit for us personally but we leveraged FHA financing and the local state housing authority grant program to get into the property for no money down and a PITI payment of $950/month. The property will currently rent for $1300 (at the time of purchase was closer to $1200). Not going to make huge returns at those numbers but if you maintain it well while you live there it can be a great way to start building your portfolio without a huge out of pocket cost. Additionally, because we bought in a popular owner-occupied area, we've seen the property's value appreciate over %9 in the past 3 years.

Food for thought. Best of luck with your investing!

@Jon Deavers

Thanks for the reply! I agree with you that finding a property with those specs will be difficult. I am glad i now know i can in fact move out of the property before a year and i will also be able to refinance after 6 months given there is enough equity in the home. My mother has worked with a couple distressed properties in a couple parts of Richmond , VA and manages a few others, some flips being in warzones which she made decent returns. I love the house hack strategy and would love to implement it for my first deal but being as i am living in expensive San Diego it looks like the only way i would be able to use this stategy is to buy a 2/1 apt and rent out one bedroom through airbnb to help pay for the mortgage haha. I am going to message you this evening!