Renovation Purchase Loans – Are they for real?

Jennifer Engelsen

Jennifer Engelsen

Jennifer Engelsen

Senior Loan Officer, American Liberty Mortgage - Lakeland, FL

NMLS# 769934 / FL License# LO30053

Work Phone: (863) 940-3488
Cell Phone: (863) 255-9097
Work Fax: (888) 627-0926



If you are like me you have succumbed to watching the home renovation shows. Yep, we are all hooked on the idea of making our homes look like the dream spaces we see on tv. HGTV is not suffering from a lack of viewership.  Ahh, so you have seen a few. 


Addicted yet?

Me too! Upgrades add value, which in turn, increases purchase prices. So you can pay more for the move-in ready home OR you might consider a bit of a fixer-upper requiring some TLC. Not all of us are handy and many want to avoid the prospect of a “honey-do” list we could suffer with for years. So what’s a Honey to do? There’s a handy resolution that can come without the aforementioned sticker shock or the prospect of saying “good-bye” to all of your free time and money.

May I introduce you to the Homestyle (Conventional) and FHA 203k Renovation Purchase programs!

Here’s the skinny:

Renovations that are needed AND desired can be considered in a purchase transaction.  Those costs get rolled into the loan (roof, a/c, flooring, kitchen upgrade, new bathroom, and even a pool? You bet!).

You can make this a reality with as little as 3.5%-5% down based on the purchase price, property type and renovations to be done.


  • Out of pocket, you can close with as little as 3.5%-5% of the purchase price
  • You can be considered for a renovation loan even if your credit is less than the traditional bank requirement of 680. Psst, the rates won’t scare you either! Ask your lender for more information.
  • The primary residence, second homes, and investment properties are allowed (FHA 203k Program only allows primary, but a Conventional HomeStyle Loan is offered for all three types.)
  • Licensed contractors must do the work, but a general contractor may not be necessary to oversee it depending on the scope of the project(s) involved. Just know if one is, his/her job is to ensure the work is done properly and efficiently. He works to protect you!
  • You choose your people! Meaning, you select the companies/contractors you want to work with. Pick who best shares your vision for what you want and meets your budget. Just like choosing your realtor and your loan originator, the people working on your new home need to be a good fit for your goals. (Referrals are available through your realtor or through your lender. Contractor approval is required in the transaction prior to closing.)

Renovation purchases are still generally underestimated and underutilized. The projects you are seeing in those fun-to-watch shows get facilitated by financial institutions, contractors and detailed planning by more than just the show producers.

You don’t need to win your own episode to make dreams your reality.

Choose a great realtor, the right lender and let’s get started!

Jennifer Engelsen

Jennifer Engelsen

Sr. Loan Advisor| NMLS# 769934 / FL License# LO30053

Lakeland FL 33801

Work Phone: (863) 940-3488
Cell Phone: (863) 255-9097
Work Fax: (888) 627-0926

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