HUD Rehabilitation Part 2

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This story is part of a series on the US Housing and Urban Development 203(k) mortgages for home rehabilitation.
>> Back to Part 1, General information about 203(k)  >> To Questions and Answers

houseMortgage proceeds from a HUD 203(k) loan must be used in part for rehabilitation and/or improvements to a property. There is a minimum $5,000 requirement for the eligible improvements on the existing structure(s) on the property. Rehabilitation or improvements to a detached garage, a new detached garage, or the addition of an attached unit(s) (if allowed by the local zoning ordinances) can also be included in this first $5000. Properties with separate detached units are acceptable, however, a newly constructed unit must be attached to an existing unit to be eligible under 203(k).

Any repair is acceptable in the first $5000 requirement that may affect the health and safety of the occupants. Minor-or cosmetic repairs by themselves cannot be included in the first $5000, but may be added after the $5000 threshold is reached.

Examples of eligible improvements are listed below. (This list is not all inclusive.)

Structural alterations and reconstruction (e.g., repair or replacement of structural damage, chimney repair, additions to the structure, installation of an additional bath(s), skylights, finished attics and/or basements, repair of termite damage and the treatment against termites or other insect infestation, etc.).

Changes for improved functions and modernization (e.g., remodeled bathrooms and kitchens, including permanently installed appliances, i.e., built-in range and/or oven, range hood, microwave, dishwasher).

Elimination of health and safety hazards (including the resolution of defective paint surfaces or lead-based paint problems on homes built prior to 1978).

Changes for aesthetic appeal and elimination of obsolescence (e.g., new exterior siding, adding a second story to the home, covered porch, stair railings, attached carport).

houseReconditioning or replacement of plumbing (including connecting to public water and/or sewer system), heating, air conditioning and electrical systems. Installation of new plumbing fixtures is acceptable, including interior whirlpool bathtubs.

Installation of Well and/or Septic System. The well or septic system must be installed or repaired prior to beginning any other repairs to the property. A property less than 1/2 acre with a separate well or septic system is not acceptable; also, a property less than one acre with both a well and a septic system is unacceptable. Lots smaller than these sizes usually have problems in the future; however, the local HUD Field Office can approve smaller lot size requirements where the local health authority can justify smaller lots. The installation of a new well or the repair of an existing well (used for the primary water source to the property) can be allowed provided there is adequate documentation to show there is reason to believe the well will produce a sufficient amount of potable water for the occupants. (A well log of surrounding properties from the local health authority is acceptable documentation.) Refer to HUD Handbook 4910.1, Appendix K, for additional information. HUD Handbooks may be ordered online from The HUD Compendium or from HUDCLIPS.

Roofing, gutters and downspouts. Flooring, tiling and carpeting. Energy conservation improvements (e.g., new double pane windows, steel insulated exterior doors, insulation, solar domestic hot water systems, caulking and weatherstripping, etc.).

Major landscape work and site improvement (e.g., patios, decks and terraces that improve the value of the property equal to the dollar amount spent on the improvements or required to preserve the property from erosion). The correction of grading and drainage problems is also acceptable. Tree removal is acceptable if the tree is a safety hazard to the property. Repair of existing walks and driveway is acceptable if it may affect the safety of the property. Fencing, new walks and driveways, and general landscape work (i.e., trees, shrubs, seeding or sodding) cannot be in the first $5,000 requirement.

houseImprovements for accessibility to a Disabled Person (e.g., remodeling kitchens and baths for wheelchair access, lowering kitchen cabinets, installing wider doors and exterior ramps, etc.).

When basic improvements are involved, the following costs can be included in addition to the minimum $5,000 requirement:

  • New free standing range, refrigerator, washer and dryer, trash compactor and other appurtenances (used appliances are not eligible).
  • Interior and exterior painting.
  • The repair of a swimming pool, not to exceed $1,500. Repair costs exceeding the $1,500 limit must be paid into the contingency reserve fund by the borrower. The installation of a new swimming pool is not allowed.

Luxury items and improvements that do not become a permanent part of the real property are not eligible as a cost of rehabilitation. The items listed below (not limited to this list) are not acceptable under the 203(k) program, including the repair of any of the following:

  • Barbecue pit; bathhouse; dumbwaiter; exterior hot tub; sauna, spa and whirlpool bath; outdoor fireplace or hearth; photo mural; installation of a new swimming pool; gazebo; television antenna; satellite dish; tennis court; tree surgery. Additions or alterations to provide for commercial use are not eligible.

Required Improvements

All rehabilitation construction and/or additions financed with Section 203(k) mortgage proceeds must comply with the following:

houseCost Effective Energy Conservation Standards

  • Addition to Existing Structure. New construction must conform with local codes and HUD Minimum Property Standards in 24 CFR 200.926d.
  • Rehabilitation of Existing Structure. To improve the thermal efficiency of the dwelling, the following are required:

a) Weatherstrip all doors and windows to reduce infiltration of air when existing weatherstripping is inadequate or nonexistent.

b) Caulk or seal all openings, cracks or joints in the building envelope to reduce air infiltration.

c) Insulate all openings in exterior walls where the cavity has been exposed as a result of the rehabilitation. Insulate ceiling areas where necessary

d) Adequately ventilate attic and crawl space areas. For additional information and requirements, refer to 24 CFR Part 39.

  • Replacement Systems.

a) Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system supply and return pipes and ducts must be insulated whenever they run through unconditioned spaces.

b) Heating systems, burners, and air conditioning systems must be carefully sized to be no greater than 15 percent oversized for the critical design, heating or cooling, except to satisfy the manufacturer's next closest nominal size.

Smoke Detectors

  • Each sleeping area must be provided with a minimum of one (1) approved, listed and labeled smoke detector installed adjacent to the sleeping area.

>> Back to Part 1, General Information about 203(k) loans  >>To Part 3: Questions and Answers

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