Borrowers are typically not allowed more than one FHA loan since the loan program is reserved for owner-occupants. This rule prevents borrowers from using an FHA loan as a way to acquire investment properties. There are, however, four circumstances under which borrowers can qualify for another FHA loan.
1. Relocations. If the borrower is relocating and re-establishing residency in another area not within reasonable commuting distance from the current principal residence, the borrower may obtain another mortgage using FHA insured financing and is not required to sell the existing property covered by an FHA-insured mortgage. The relocation need not be employer mandated to qualify for this exception. Further, if the borrower returns to an area where he or she owns a property with an FHA-insured mortgage, it is not required that the borrower re-establish primary residency in that property in order to be eligible for another FHA insured mortgage.
2. Increase in Family Size. The borrower may be permitted to obtain another home with an FHA-insured mortgage if the number of legal dependents increases to the point that the present house no longer meets the family’s needs. The borrower must provide satisfactory evidence of the increase in dependents and the property’s failure to meet the family’s needs. The borrower also must pay down the outstanding FHA mortgage (secondary liens do not need to be paid off or paid down) on the present property to a 75 percent or lower loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. A current residential appraisal must be used to determine LTV compliance. Tax assessments, market analyses by real estate brokers, etc., are not acceptable as proof of LTV compliance.
3. Vacating a Jointly Owned Property. If the borrower is vacating a residence that will remain occupied by a co-borrower, the borrower is permitted to obtain another FHA-insured mortgage. Acceptable situations include instances of divorce, after which the vacating ex-spouse will purchase a new home, or one of the co-borrowers will vacate the existing property.
4. Non-Occupying Co-Borrower. A non-occupying co-borrower on property being purchased with an FHA-insured mortgage as a principal residence by other family members may have a joint interest in that property as well as in a principal residence of their own with an FHA-insured mortgage. (See HUD Handbook 4155.1 for additional information). Under no circumstances may investors use the exceptions described above to circumvent FHA’s ban on loans to private investors and acquire rental properties through purportedly purchasing “principal residences.”
Handbook 4155.1: 4.B.2.c-d
If you are interested in purchasing or refinancing in one of the following states, I will be happy to connect you with a licensed loan officer in your state: Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Washington D.C., or West Virginia.