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HOUSING: Feds suspend anti-flipping rule....GREAT news for investors and buyers!!

FHA recently announced a temporary (1 yr) relaxation of its "90-day" anti-flipping rule, which prohibits the use of FHA insured financing if the contract for sale was executed within 90 days of the seller's acquisition of the property.  What this rule said is that if an investor purchased a rehab home, remodeled it and wanted to resell it, they could not use FHA funds until a 90 day period had expired from the time the investor took title.

This waiver, which takes effect on February 1, 2010 and is for one year is limited to those sales meeting the following criteria:

1. All transactions must be arms-length, with no identity of interest between the buyer and the seller or other parties participating in the sales transaction. Some ways that the lender can insure that there is no inappropriate collusion or agreements between the parties is to assess and determine the following:

  • The seller holds title to the property;
  • LLC's, corporations, or trusts that are serving as sellers were established and are operated in accordance with applicable state and federal laws;
  • No pattern of previous flipping activity exists for the subject property, as evidenced by multiple title transfers within a 12-month time frame (chain of title information for the subject property can be found in the appraisal report.
  • The property was marketed openly and fairly, via MLS, auction, For Sale by Owner offering, or developer marketing (any sales contracts that refer to an "assignment of contact of sale," which represents a special arrangement between seller and buyer may be a red flag).

2. In cases in which the sales price of the property is 20 percent or more over and above the seller's acquisition cost, the waiver will only apply if the lender:

  • Justifies the increase in value by retaining in the loan file supporting documentation and/or a second appraisal which verifies that the seller has completed sufficient legitimate renovation, repair, and rehabilitation work on the subject property to substantiate the increase in value or, in cases where no such work is performed, the appraiser provides appropriate explanation of the increase in property value since the prior title transfer; and
  • Orders a property inspection and provides the inspection report to the purchaser before closing. FHA-approved inspectors or 203(k) consultants is not required. The inspector must have no interest in the property or relationship with the seller, and must not receive compensation for the inspection from any party other than the lender. Also, the inspector may not compensate anyone for the referral of the inspection. Additionally, the inspector may not receive any compensation for referring or recommending contractors to perform any repairs recommended by the inspection, and may not be involved with performing any repairs recommended by the inspection.

FHA finds that by eliminating the 90 day resale restriction for buyers it will give FHA a greater opportunity to dispose of it's single family REO properties in a way that maximizes return to the FHA's mortgage insurance fund; also, permitting buyers to use FHA-insured financing to purchase other bank-owned properties, or properties sold through private sales for resale, will help create market conditions that will allow homes to resell as quickly as possible, thus helping to stabilize real estate prices as well as helping to stabilize neighborhoods and communities where foreclosure activity has been high.(read more)

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