Temporary waiver of 90-day ‘anti-flipping’ rule extended through 2014!
This notice of waiver extension announces that FHA is extending the availability of the temporary waiver of its regulation that prohibits the use of FHA financing to purchase single family properties that are being resold within 90 days of the previous acquisition, until December 31, 2014. This waiver, which was first issued in January 2010, took effect for all sales contracts executed on or after February 1, 2010. On January 28, 2011, FHA extended the waiver through calendar 2011. On December 28, 2011, FHA extended the waiver through calendar 2012. Prior to the waiver, a mortgage was not eligible for FHA insurance if the contract of sale for the purchase of the property that secured the mortgage was executed within 90 days of the prior acquisition by the seller, and the seller did not come under any of the exemptions to this 90-day period specified in the regulation.
Through the regulatory waiver, FHA encourages investors that specialize in acquiring and renovating properties to renovate foreclosed and abandoned homes, with the objective of increasing the availability of affordable homes for first-time and other purchasers, helping to stabilize real estate prices as well as neighborhoods and communities where foreclosure activity has been high. The waiver is applicable to all single family properties being resold within the 90-day period after prior acquisition, and is not limited to foreclosed properties. Additionally, the waiver is subject to certain conditions, and mortgages must meet these conditions to be eligible for the waiver. The waiver is not applicable to mortgages insured under HUD’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Program.
Among the key requirements that will continue during the latest waiver:
- All transactions must be arm’s-length, with no identity of interest between the buyer and seller or other participants. Lenders are required to ensure that the seller actually holds title to the property. (In earlier flipping schemes, buy-sell transactions sometimes moved so fast that the seller never acquired legal title.) There should be no “pattern” of previous flips of the property during the 12 months preceding the transaction.
- In cases where the sales price of the resold property is more than 20 percent more than what the seller paid for it, there must be documentation showing the renovations and repairs that justify the markedly higher resale price. A second appraisal may be used to substantiate the increase in value, but the second appraiser must be selected from FHA’s roster. When no significant renovations occur and the price is 20 percent higher than acquisition, the appraiser must provide “appropriate explanation” for the sudden increase.
- Inspections are required of all the key components of the building structure and systems when price jumps exceed 20 percent. The inspection report must be provided to the purchaser before closing. If the inspection reveals structural or “health and safety” defects, repairs must be completed before the closing and a final inspection performed to ensure that the repairs have been made.
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