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FHA Loan Articles for California Home Buyers

California home buyers often have questions about the FHA loan program. We’ve addressed many of those questions in previous blog posts.

On this page, you’ll find links to some of our best articles relating to California FHA loans (what they are, how they work, and who can benefit from using them).

At a glance: The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan program allows borrowers to buy a house with as little as 3.5% down. The lenders that offer these loans receive insurance protection from the federal government, which means they can be more flexible in terms of qualification criteria.

FHA Loan Articles on Our Blog

If you have a question that’s not answered below, be sure to use the search tool located above. Our blog contains several hundred articles geared toward home buyers in California. So you’re bound to find the information you need.

FHA vs. Conventional: Pros and Cons
In some ways, conventional and FHA loans are very similar. But they also have some key differences, especially when it comes to qualification requirements. In this article, we explore both the similarities and differences between California FHA loans and their conventional or “regular” mortgage counterparts.

How the Process Works
How does the FHA loan process work? What steps are involved, and what can you expect along the way? This article will walk you through the FHA loan process from start to finish. It covers all of the important steps, including application, pre-approval, underwriting and more.

Timeline from Application to Approval
How long does it take to get approved for an FHA loan? This is another frequently asked question we encounter from clients. Statistics show that the process can take about 45 days from application to closing, on average. But there are several variables that can affect that timeline, and we will examine them in this article.

How to Apply for an FHA Loan
The first step in the FHA loan process is to submit a standard loan application. This is the same form used for other types of mortgage programs. It requires information about you, as a borrower, and also the property that you are purchasing. In this article, we will explore the FHA loan application process, covering key points every home buyer should know.

Minimum Qualification Requirements
At a minimum, home buyers in California seeking an FHA loan need a credit score of 580 or higher and a down payment of 3.5%. In fact, the 580 credit score is what qualifies you for the 3.5% down payment option. But there are some other qualification requirements you should know about as well.

Minimum Credit Scores
The official minimum credit score for an FHA loan in California is 500. That’s based on the guidelines and requirements established by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. But if you want to qualify for the relatively low 3.5% down payment option, you’ll need a credit score of 580 or higher.

Down Payment Requirements
As mentioned above, borrowers who want to use the FHA loan program have to put down at least 3.5% of the purchase price or appraised value. That’s the minimum down payment required by HUD. Fortunately, this money doesn’t necessarily have to come out of your own pocket. Borrowers can use gift money provided by an approved third-party donor, such as a family member.

Documents Needed
When you apply for an FHA loan in California, you will need to provide a variety of documents relating to your employment, income and assets. At a minimum, you will probably have to submit bank statements for the past couple of months, along with tax records for the past two years. These requirements are similar to those used for conventional mortgage loans.

Home Inspection Process
The FHA does not require a standard home inspection for borrowers using an FHA loan. But the property will have to undergo an appraisal to determine its value. The appraiser will also check to see if the property meets the minimum requirements established by HUD. So it’s sort of like an inspection and an appraisal, all rolled into one.

How FHA Mortgage Insurance Works
Borrowers seeking an FHA loan have to pay for mortgage insurance, which can increase the size of the monthly payments. There are actually two types of mortgage insurance premiums — upfront and annual. In most cases, the annual premium has to be paid for the life of the loan. This article explains the mortgage insurance requirements that go along with the FHA loan program.

Buying Your First Home With FHA
First-time buyers in California often rely on FHA mortgage financing. While this program is not limited to first-time buyers, it is well suited for this particular group. Among other things, FHA loans offer a relatively low down payment which appeals to first-time buyers with limited funds. In this article, we will explore some of the other benefits for first-time buyers.

Have a Question About This Program?

We’ve provided these articles to help you learn more about the FHA loan program, including its main features and benefits. If you have questions that are not covered above, or if you’d like to apply for a loan, please contact our staff.

Bridgepoint Funding is located in the Bay Area and serves the entire state of California. We offer a wide range of home loan options, including Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. We look forward to helping you!

Mike Trejo

Mike Trejo is a Bay Area mortgage broker with 20+ years of knowledge and experience.

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