Comparing FHA Financing to Conventional Financing for Owner Occupied Homes

It was 1934, the time of the Great Depression. Franklin D. Roosevelt had been elected President 2 years earlier and he started to establish programs to help the economy and unemployment. These were referred collectively as “The New Deal”.

The U.S. Government felt that, as part of “The New Deal”, a federal program was needed to increase new home construction and thereby create jobs. This is how the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was established. This new program did create quite a few jobs and, consequently, the FHA was off and running.

During the mid 1960s the FHA started to change. They stopped being only an insuring agency for loans and broadened their scope to include the administration of an interest rate subsidy program along with other aid for the home buyer. The Civil Rights Act, also known as The Fair Housing Act of 1968, added to the FHA’s ongoing transformation away from being only a mortgage insurance program. In 1974 the Housing and Community Development Act came into effect.

This act significantly changed the Government’s role in many aspects of housing and community development. It also made significant changes to the magnitude of the FHA’s activities. Changes to this act, going forward from 1974, brought the FHA to the point where it is today. For the purposes of this article I will only be addressing the advantages of an FHA insured loan when compared to a conventional loan. The criteria for this loan example will be a single family home being owner occupied. It should be remembered that the FHA doesn’t make loans or build houses. It only insures loans offered by private lenders.

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