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Can I Get an FHA 203k for a Multi-Family Building?

iStock-871126428Some home buyers in today's housing market want to buy a duplex (or multi-family residence) in order to have the renters pay part of the mortgage. But the problem buyers are running into right now, is that many of these multi-family buildings have been left vacant and need work, or simply need upgrades and remodeling. This is the scenario that prompted one borrower to ask us "Can I get an FHA 203k for a multi-family building?"

Yes, multi-family housing that needs work can be financed with the FHA 203k. The key to this is that the owner of the home (the mortgage holder) must also live there. It must also be the owners primary residence. So a duplex is fine. You can have up to 4 units - 3 of which could be rented out.


So if you're looking at this, you probably know what the 203k loan already is. Let's dive into required and eligible home improvements for the Full 203k.

Required FHA 203k Improvements

  • Additions to existing structure
  • Rehabilitation of existing structure (weather-stripping, caulking, insulation, etc)
  • Replacement systems (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems)
  • Smoke detectors

Eligible FHA 203k Improvements

  • Elimination of health and safety hazards
  • Structural alterations and reconstruction
  • Changes for improved functions and modernization
  • Changes for aesthetic appeal
  • Reconditioning or replacement of plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical systems
  • Installation of well and/or septic system
  • Roofing, gutters and downspouts
  • Flooring, tiling and carpeting
  • Energy conservation improvements
  • Major landscape work and site improvement
  • Improvements for accessibility to the handicapped

Learn more about the FHA 203k with this short video: What is the FHA 203k


In short, FHA 203k rehabilitation loans provide financing for the purchase or refinance of the borrower's property, as well as for the rehabilitation or improvement of the property all rolled into one convenient mortgage. The costs of the rehabilitation, repairs, or renovations are distributed through a series of draws as the work is completed and inspected by independent third parties.

Program Benefits

  1. Cash reserves are not necessarily required, but are encouraged. (3-4 unit properties require reserves)
  2. Financing contributions by the seller are allowed up to 6% of the property's sales price toward the buyer's actual and allowable closing costs, prepaid expenses, and/or discount points
  3. The general credit score requirement is 640 for the FHA 203k with Amerifirst Home Mortgage. 620 -640 credit scores will be considered, however, compensating factors should be documented
  4. Non-Occupant co-borrowers are allowed. Owner-occupants must have acceptable and sufficient credit per FHA guidelines.

Download "The Ultimate Guide to Renovation Loans" for a more in-depth look at this home improvement loan. You'll learn more about draws (how the contractor/builder gets paid), Full vs Streamline 203k loans and more.

Ultimate Guide to Renovation Loans


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