Q/A: Best Time to Hire a 203(k) Contractor
Hi all! I have a question for contractors… As a soon to be 203K buyer, I’m wondering about the process of making an offer without yet knowing the cost of repairs or if they’ll be in my budget.
Do you give estimates at this stage? Do you charge for estimates? Is it typical to be contacted multiple times by the same buyer through their home searching process?
Thanks in advance. – Abigail
Hi Abigail – – that’s an excellent question!
When considering working with the 203(k) loan, if you haven’t established a budget and created a specification of repairs, it’s not the right time to speak with a contractor.
You should attempt to know more about the following before you consider having a contractor give you a cost estimate:
- (potential) value of the finished product/project
- minimum repairs that will be mandated by FHA
- loan qualification(s)
One of the main reasons for waiting is simply this: by the time you hire a contractor – you want to be prepared to give ALL contractors the exact same info.Gary Smith – Professional 203(k) Consultant
Never call a contractor and ask them to price “something”.
You are in charge of the project. For the best result of your efforts you want to”tell” them what you want priced in a fairly detailed breakdown. Collecting more information will allow you to get at least 3 contractors to price the work – – – at that point you have the options to compare their price, personality, work history, etc.
Because working with the 203(k) Loan is a team approach – you’ll want to contact each team member.
Contact a lender now. Remember – think of FHA as an insurance company. The mortgagee will actually qualify you and lend you the money – FHA will insure the loan. It’s important to speak with a lender them about your idea very early in the process. Some lenders/mortgagees don’t offer the K Loan – here’s a list: https://www.hud.gov/program…/housing/sfh/lender/lenderlist
Ask a real estate professional for a “broker opinion” on value (ask about the “repaired value vs the as is value”). The broker will consider similar homes in the area and help you determine if the finished project will be “overbuilt” for the area you’re considering.
Contact and hire a 203(k) Consultant.
He/She should visit the job and speak with you about the job’s feasibility. You will want to share the broker opinion with the consultant to help them obtain a good idea about the home’s value.
Based on your remodeling ideas and plans the consultant should help you detail potential repairs. Because the consultant understands Minimum Property Requirements you and the contractor may not consider, the consultant’s repair list will help you understand cost and fit the cost into an overall idea about the value of the finished project.
The consultant will be able to help you determine if the project is feasible and should offer you a detailed list of repair items and specifications.
It’s now time to hire a contractor.
Finally – it’s a good idea to begin setting up a budget for the entire project. Include the cost to hire the right professional at the right time so you don’t back-track over steps you’ve already taken.
You’re ready to create a clean path to a successful remodel.
Reach out to us in our Facebook Group with your progress and let us help guide you in the right direction.
Fantastic! This might be a better alternative than contacting a lender at the onset of a renovation. Generally a HUD Consultant and a 203k contractor would be more helpful in explaining the process and discuss the most important things with the borrower..the renovation itself.