New Online Center Powered by Proven FHA 203k Training Resource REbuildUSA
Renovation Loans Available for Purchase or Refinance with as Little as 3.5 Percent Down

IRVINE, Calif. – June 27, 2013 – RealtyTrac™ (, a leading online marketplace for real estate data, has announced the launch of a new Renovation Loan Center powered by proven renovation loan specialist REbuildUSA to help buyers and homeowners more conveniently take advantage of one of real estate’s best kept secrets: the Federal Housing Administration’s 203k renovation loan program.

The new RealtyTrac Renovation Loan Center is online at

Whether the consumer is purchasing a new home, or refinancing an existing one, both stand to benefit from the power of the longstanding but underutilized FHA 203k loan. Established in 1978 to improve housing conditions and ownership opportunities, the 203k program provides hope for homebuyers who want to purchase a home and make improvements at the same time — all wrapped up in one loan. The program also allows homeowners to refinance their existing home and make improvements with a new single loan — even if the homeowners have as little as 5 percent equity in the home.

Both homebuyers and homeowners can secure a 203k loan with as little as 3.5 percent down and for a loan amount that is up to 110 percent of the after-repair value of the home.

“Much of the nation’s housing inventory is in need of at least some revitalization, whether that be vacant foreclosures that have fallen into disrepair or non-distressed homes with deferred maintenance keeping the home off the market,” said Jamie Moyle, CEO of RealtyTrac. “This partnership with REbuildUSA allows RealtyTrac to conveniently connect the dots between purchase and cost-effective property rehab for the millions of users searching our website for the best real estate deals each month, as well as for homeowners who want to improve their home and their home’s market value and finance that improvement with today’s low interest rates.”

”All across America there are families and individuals bringing their dream of home ownership to life leveraging the power of the FHA 203k Renovation Loan Program,” said Dennis Walsh, co-founder of REbuildUSA. “At the same time, there are many more who have no idea this opportunity exists. That’s why we describe it as ‘Real Estate’s Best Kept Secret.’”

“All of us at REbuildUSA are excited to be partnering with the dynamic team at RealtyTrac to help more Americans take advantage of this opportunity to improve their lives and financial future,” Walsh added.

More about the 203k loan
Depending on the extent of the improvements the homebuyer/owner wishes to make, the FHA 203(k) loan program is available in two forms:

  • The Standard 203k is intended for more complicated projects that involve structural changes such as room additions, exterior grading and landscaping, or renovation that would prohibit the buyer/owner from occupying the residence. A Standard 203k is also used if your project requires engineering or architectural drawings and inspections. Under this program a single family property may be converted into a two-, three- or four-unit dwelling or vice versa so long as the owner occupies one of the units.
  • The Streamlined 203k is designed for less extensive improvements that are non-structural in nature and do not exceed $35,000 in total cost. This version does not require the use of a consultant, architect, and engineer or as many inspections as the Standard 203k, thus being the simpler, less costly option.

No matter whether a new purchase or a refinance, there are many benefits to using the 203k loan program, including the following:

  • Only a 3.5 percent down payment is required, which can be gifted by family members or close friends
  • Borrowers can qualify for loan amounts of up to 110 percent of the after-repair value of the home
  • Homeowners with as little as 5 percent equity based on the current value of their home can qualify for refinancing
  • More flexible qualification requirements allow buyers with less than perfect credit to purchase a home at competitive rates
  • Financing the purchase or refinance of the property can be consolidated into one loan including the improvements — saving both time and money
  • 15- and 30-year loans are available, and interest rates can be variable or fixed
  • FHA loans are assumable with no prepayment penalties
  • An FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) allows the borrower to qualify for a larger mortgage to add improvements that will lower utility expenses
  • Can be used for a variety of improvements from the most simple to very complex
  • Renovation costs are wrapped into the mortgage, allowing the borrower to pay for the improvements over time at a much lower interest rate than conventional alternatives
  • Rather than paying a premium for a home in “perfect” condition, buyers can take advantage of discounted prices available on foreclosures or other homes on the market that are in need of repair or remodeling
  • Instead of paying for a previous owner’s improvements, 203k allows the buyer to renovate the home adding the features, colors, styles, etc. that suit their tastes and needs
  • Using the program could allow a buyer to purchase more home for the money in a more desirable location

For more information about the 203k program, and to find a local expert, go to

View a recording of a webinar conducted by RealtyTrac and REbuildUSA titled Finding & Financing Fixer-Upper Bargains at

About RealtyTrac Inc.
RealtyTrac ( is the nation’s leading source of comprehensive housing information, with more than 1.5 million active default, foreclosure auction and bank-owned properties, and more than 1 million active for-sale listings on its website, which also provides essential housing information for more than 95 million homes nationwide. This information includes property characteristics, tax assessor records, bankruptcy status and sales history, along with 20 categories of key housing-related facts provided by RealtyTrac’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Homefacts®. RealtyTrac’s foreclosure reports and other housing data are relied on by the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury Department, HUD, numerous state housing and banking departments, investment funds as well as millions of real estate professionals and consumers, to help evaluate housing trends and make informed decisions about real estate.

About REbuildUSA
Founded by Dennis and Teresa Walsh, REbuildUSA™ ( was established to help open up home ownership to many more Americans, while bringing new business to lenders, real estate professionals and the home renovation industry. REbuildUSA live presentations, webinars, and designation courses have been presented to more than 150,000 real estate professionals throughout the U.S. Canada and beyond, and the Walshes recently co-authored a book titled “Real Estate’s Best Kept Secret” that incorporates their vast knowledge of the 203k loan into a comprehensive and easy-to-understand resource.


Media Contacts:
Jennifer von Pohlmann
949.502.8300, ext. 139

Ginny Walker
949.502.8300, ext. 268

Next articleElizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA, Elected 2015 AIA President