Revisiting FHA – Increased Loan Limits for 2016

December 10, 2015

2000px-US-FederalHousingAdmin-Logo.svgYesterday, FHA announced the increase of their loan limits beginning on January 1, 2016 to $437,000 for single family residences in the following Tennessee counties: Cannon, Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Hickman, Macon, Maury, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, Williamson, and Wilson.  The increase of the FHA loan limits will likely enable increased home-ownership opportunities in these 14 Tennessee counties for many reasons – some of which might be overlooked by the casual observer.

The obvious additional opportunities for those desiring to buy or refinance houses is possibly obvious.  Now home buyers wanting to buy a house up to $452,000 can do so with only a 3.5% down payment!  Buying a $452,000 anywhere in these counties with only a $15,800 down payment is an amazing option for many to consider.  This down payment can come as a gift from a family member and all of the closing costs for this purchase can be paid by the seller or the lender.  This arrangement can be a life-changing opportunity for many who have desire to live in an area where the safety, convenience or educational benefits could reap returns for many generations to come.

Happy Family

Many growing families may find the increased FHA Loan Limits in 2016 to be a lifesaver when considering their need for additional space, improved local schools or safer neighborhoods.

Others many need to refinance their homes or consolidate 1st and 2nd mortgages or other overwhelming debts and need the benefit of refinancing their home with an FHA loan up to 85% of the appraised value.  A borrower using an FHA loan to refinance their home is allowed to draw out this cash with no questions asked for paying off these high payment debt accounts or for making home improvements to their existing house.  The $11,500 increase in the FHA loan limit on January 1 might give those in need the extra breathing room to cause this new refinance loan to make sense for them to accomplish these financial goals to set them up for success for decades to come.

And finally, what many may not be aware of, the uniqueness of FHA underwriting guidelines may allow many who desire to buy or refinance to move forward with their new loan for any of these reasons:

  1. FHA allows for a “non-occupying, co-borrower” to be added to the loan where those who are planning to live in the house might not qualify on their own merits.  Lenders can add a parent, sibling, child, grandparent, aunt, uncle or cousin to the loan application and include their income, assets and credit profile to strengthen the quality of the loan to increase the possibility of loan approval.
  2. FHA allows for financing of mixed-use properties with residential interest rates and guidelines.  This would give a buyer the opportunity to purchase a property designed for use as a business AND a residence to purchase the entire property using FHA qualifying guidelines and still use part of the house for business use.
  3. FHA allows for property owners and home buyers to buy or refinance their homes setting aside additional money for repairs, upgrades, remodeling and rebuilding of the house – all in one loan.  This renovation loan called the FHA 203K is an amazing loan which enables home buyers to buy a distressed house and make it a dream house with all of the features that the new home buyer needs to make this home an investment they will enjoy for decades to come and to improve the entire neighborhood.

FHA loan increases on January 1, 2016 may seem like something that only mortgage geeks like this author might get excited about when really other industry partners and home owners and future home buyers should also welcome as we ring in the New Year!

(Please contact this author for additional details about any of the uses of the FHA Mortgage and how it might be of help to you or those you know.)


Renovation Loans that You can Finally Understand!

January 28, 2015

203K Guide coverHave you every wondered if you could make improvements on your current house in such a way as to bring the value of your house up, “BUT” didn’t have the cash or the equity in your house currently to make this happen?

Have you considering buying a “fixer-upper” to move into, “BUT” knew that 2-3 years of weekend projects would not be realistic with your work or family responsibilities and you didn’t want to pour all of your extra cash into the improvements on the house?

Have you found a house that would be perfect for your family “BUT” the kitchen….., or the master bedroom…., or the exterior (siding, roofing, windows)…., or the bathrooms…., or the heating and air conditioner……..,or the flooring…. need some changes?

Finally, any of these “BUTS” can be alleviated from the mix of your consideration by using the FHA 203K Renovation Loan to finance your desired improvements with OUR MONEY!  You keep your cash and let us roll the costs of the qualifying improvements into your new loan.  You close on your house loan (and transfer ownership into your name if its a purchase loan) and then we’ll pay the contractors as they finish up the work on your house!

This is one of the best WIN-WIN-WIN mortgage loans available in the industry today.  Want to know more? CLICK HERE to download the New 203K Guide: “Building the Bridge to Home Ownership”

Need to learn more about the FHA 203K Renovation Loan?  Try this:

Home Buying Resources for 2013

January 18, 2013

by Brian Short

Home Buyers Handbook cover1.  Brian Short’s Home Buyer’s Handbook – 81 pages, 7 chapters full of step-by-step advice on making one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make in your life.  Take this advice from a PRO.  Download this Handbook and save yourself thousands of dollars of mistakes and hours of wasted time!

Navigating HomePath Cover

2. Navigating the HomePath Mortgage with AmeriFirst & Brian Short – This 9 page booklet gives you the information and details for successfully buying one of Fannie Mae’s recently foreclosed properties in need of a buyer.  My booklet is tested and proven to be authoritative guide for helping you buy a great bargain in a neighborhood of your choice.

203k Guide Cover

3. 203k Guide: Building a Bridge to Home Ownership with Brian Short – “It’s a Jungle Our There” and my 12 page booklet with help you walk through the steps of RENOVATING your existing house or the house you have located which needs your TLC and our loan to make it all possible.

The “BUT Loan”?

July 21, 2011

By Brian Short, CMC®, CRMS®, GMA®

How many times have you gone out to look at a possible house to buy and discover that you like everything about the house BUT – the windows, the flooring, the size of the closets, the way the bonus room is finished out (or not finished out) or the number of bathrooms? How many times have you thought, “There is no reason to move? We could just stay here in this house for 5-10 more years. Everything about this house still fits our needs BUT – the age of the kitchen and bathrooms, the size or number of bedrooms, the roof and siding need replacing, or the basement still leaks.”

What many homeowners and homebuyers don’t realize is that there is a loan available which will allow for the cost of repairs or renovation to be “rolled in” to a new loan used to buy or refinance an existing home. This loan is referred to by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) as the 203k loan but I like to call it the “BUT Loan” – for those who like everything about that house – BUT…!

Just think about your current home. Would you like to update the kitchen with granite countertops, new appliances and the latest cabinets? What could you do to your master bathroom to make it more useful or roomy when you both are getting ready for the day or to make room for your Jacuzzi tub which would help you unwind at the end of a busy day? Do the kids need an extra bathroom now that they are getting older? Do you love your neighborhood and everything about your location but desire to build a new master bedroom or family room to give your growing family the space they need?

Have you been shopping to buy a new house closer to work or the schools you like but can’t find a house which has what you need? Are you hoping to move out and far away from the rush of the sprawling city but are only finding old farm houses and houses which are very dated?

The FHA 203k – or the “BUT Loan” will allow you to borrow the money you need to make the house you are considering your DREAM HOUSE since you will be allowed to have the extra money upfront to contract with skilled workmen who will come in and kick out all of the “BUTS” which are keeping you from loving your house. The appraiser will assign the value of your new loan based on the final improved condition of your house after the repairs and renovation is complete. Matter of fact, if you are buying a new home you can even roll in the mortgage payments – up to 6 months – if you are unable to live in you new house while the rehabilitation is being completed.

The down payment on the purchase of a house using the 203k would still only be 3.5% of the improved value and if you are using the this loan to update or improve your current house this entire project could likely be completed at no out-of-pocket cost to you as a home owner except for an appraisal which would cost less than $500 and could likely be refunded at the closing. All other costs could likely be rolled into the new historically low rate loan.

Do you know of family members who are hoping to buy a foreclosed house at a great low price but keep finding houses which are beat up, stripped of the appliances or in dire need of repair or updating? The FHA 203k will make their dreams come true when they find out that they can pick out their own cabinets, counter tops, appliances, flooring, siding, paint and wallpaper and not have to drag out these projects over the next 1-3 years. They can have all of these updates and repairs completed even before they move in and roll all of these costs into their low rate 30 or 15 year mortgage.

This loan takes only a couple of weeks longer to close than a normal purchase or refinance loan to make sure all of the repairs have been carefully calculated and the work has been outlined in detail. Nearly any house would qualify for this “BUT Loan” and many borrowers – even those with some credit blemishes in their past – will qualify for this loan when they might have difficulty getting a conventional loan – with no money allowed to pay for the repairs.

If this sounds like something you might want to know more about check out the website: for more details and some “before and after” photos of houses which have benefitted from the “BUT Loan”. Happy dreaming!

Brian Short (NMLS # 168856) is a nationally certified, state licensed mortgage professional with over 13 years of experience as a “Dream Maker and Problem Solver” in middle Tennessee who works for AmeriFirst Home Mortgage (NMLS # 110139). He can be contacted through his website:

Just the Facts, Ma’am, Just the Facts!

May 19, 2011


Sgt. Joe Friday (Jack Webb) from 50's & 60's hit TV show Dragnet

Buying a home has always been a big decision. But for some people today it’s a difficult decision because of all the conflicting information coming from the media. To make matters worse, that information is often outdated…or even inaccurate.

If you know anyone who is thinking of purchasing a home this year, please share the following information with them:

FACT 1. Mortgage options are still plentiful for borrowers with good credit scores and documented income. All assets & income will need to be fully documented in most all cases for the past 2 years.

FACT 2. There are still programs available, like FHA, that allow as little as 3.5% down payment, and many others that allow less than 20% down.  VA Loans still allow an eligible Veteran to buy a house up to $417,000 with $0 down payment!

FACT 3. Jumbo mortgages are still available on loan amounts even in excess of $2 million dollars.

FACT 4. Vacation/second home financing can be obtained with as little as 25% down, even with jumbo mortgages.

FACT 5. There are FHA Renovation (203k) Mortgages available which can be used to update or repair an existing home. Small projects (under $35,000) can usually be done in such a way where the homeowner or buyer can use up to one-half of this money upfront to purchase materials and then pay the contractor once the project is completed. 

FACT 6. Senior citizens can use their current equity in their home and actually relocate and buy a house and have NO MONTHLY PAYMENT on their new home for the REST OF THEIR LIVES.  The FHA Reverse (Home Equity Conversion) Mortgage can be used by those 62 years of age or older to refinance their currnet home or buy their idea retirement home.

FACT 7. As of today, rates on most mortgages are still at historically low levels when compared to the last 30 years.  Every indication is that rates will likely begin to increase before the end of 2011 – so delay if low interest rates are desired.

FACT 8. Most homes are selling at a big discount relative to 5 years ago.

Make sure your friends and family know the facts! Owning the home of their dreams may not be as hard as they think. Send your friends and family this link and let them know I would be happy to meet with them and help them determine what options are available in their personal situation.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage BEFORE speaking to a Realtor could help make them a much stronger buyer in the eyes of a seller.

If there’s anyway I can lend a hand, I’ll be happy to do so. Thanks for your help and continued support, and if you have any questions about your own situation call or email me anytime!

FHA 203k Renovation Loan – 3 Real Estate CE Classes – Nashville – May 24-26

May 9, 2011


FREE Tennessee Real Estate Commission Approved CE Class (Course # 6657)
Three Convenient Locations to Choose From:
Tuesday, May 24th – 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Office of Insphere Insurance Solutions
215 Centerview Drive Suite 100, Brentwood, TN 37027
Wednesday, May 25th – 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Rutherford county Chamber of Commerce
3050 Medical Center Parkway, Murfreesboro, TN 37129

Thursday, May 26th – 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
The Hotel Preston
733 Briley Parkway, Nashville, TN 37217

 Class Sponsors: 


  • AmeriFirst Home Mortgage (NMLS #110139/TREC TN Sponsor #1528) &
    Nashville Title Insurance Corporation

  • Cordially invite you to attend a 3-hour Continuing Education Course (6657) entitled:
    FHA 203k Renovation Loan
  • Guest Trainer:
    Joseph P. Daly, GRI – FHA 203k Lending Manager
    AmeriFirst Home Mortgage
    Branch Office: 308 Seaboard Lane, Suite 108, Franklin, TN 37067

Grow your business and make more money by learning how 203k loans can help you move your “hard to sell” listings while giving your buyers an opportunity to borrow additional monies for repairs, upgrades, and other home improvements… based on the future-value of the property.

  • This TREC Approved Course (#6657) is being offered by TREC Approved Provider (#1528): AMERIFIRST HOME MORTGAGE. For more information regarding this class please contact: E-Mail: or Call: 615-302-0809

Specializing in “BUT” Loans!

January 7, 2011


By Brian Short, CMC, CRMS, GMA

Tom and Sherry were looking for their “DREAM  HOUSE” and had been saving, planning, praying and preparing for months – even years – for this day.  Their Realtor had set-up viewing appointments on two other occasions when the three of them had spent over a half a day driving by houses and going into several on the list of their very detailed agent who was doing he could to narrow down what would be the ideal house for these seasoned home-buyers. 

This would be their third house since they were married 27 years ago and they wanted this house to be their last move.  Their kids were now on their own and this house would be the special house for the two of them for years to come.  The price of the houses available were unbelievable and the current low-interest rates allowed them to afford much more of a house than they originally expected.

Today they saw four houses and Tom and Sherry were now facing a dilemma:

1. The FIRST house was just what they were hoping for BUT the previous owner had not kept it in good shape and it needed new carpet, kitchen counter-tops and paint – inside and outside.  Now what could they do?  They didn’t have the money for these repairs in addition to their down payment and closing costs.

2. The SECOND house was in much better shape BUT they needed an additional bathroom and the kitchen appliances were dated and were a color that Sherry could not stomach.  Now what could they do?  They didn’t have the money for these improvements in addition to their down payment and closing costs.

3. The THIRD house was prefect, BUT it was older and the windows needed to be replaced with more energy-efficient windows and some additional insulation was needed in the attic to help make this home more energy-efficient.  Now what could they do?  They didn’t have the money for these energy-efficient improvements in addition to their down payment and closing costs.

4. The FINAL house they saw was just what they wanted BUT the bonus room would need to finished in order for them to have the space they needed to for their home-office and study they needed for Tom and Sherry’s desks and work spaces.  Now what could they do?  They didn’t have the money for this bonus room build-out in addition to their down payment and closing costs.

We are now offering the FHA 203k Rehabilitation Loan Program which would make ANY of these “BUT” HOUSES become the “DREAM HOUSE” for Tom and Sherry because they could borrow the money they need to make any of these updates or improvements – even before they move into their new house.  One half of the money they need to complete these projects would be fronted to the contractor so he could purchase materials and supplies and then he would receive the balance upon completion of the project. 

Any of these projects would qualify – all the way up to $35,000 and this extra money would simply be added to their loan balance at about $6 per month per $1,000.  Therefore, if their project cost them $20,000 to complete, their monthly payment would only increase by $120.  A small price to pay in order to have their “DREAM HOUSE”!  This could all be completed with one loan, one loan transaction and one smooth closing!

Get out there and find YOUR next DREAM HOUSE and don’t let a few “BUT’s” get in your way jumping in on these historically low-interest rates and an abundance of great inventory!

Contact Brian Short at or CLICK HERE for more information.