Ask the Expert

I've found a great as-is home that is actually in pretty good shape. The problem is it needs the roof replaced. Is it possible to get a loan that will cover the new roof?

	There is a loan that certainly would cover a new roof. 
	The Federal Housing Administration offers a loan called the 203(k) that allows you to include your renovation costs in your mortgage. So, you borrow the price of your home and the estimated cost of repairs. You then must pay a down payment that is based on the full amount.
	To qualify for this loan you need a credit score of 640 or higher and a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 43 percent. That includes the new monthly payment you'll be making. The loan also has to be at or below the maximum limit for FHA loans in your area. This varies but can be up to $417,500.
	If you are looking at just repairing the roof, you might qualify for a streamlined 203(k) loan. These loans cap the cost of repairs at $35,000.
	If you want to make more complicated repairs to structure or even room additions, a regular 203(k) loan might be for you. It won't cover fancy items like a swimming pool, though.
	Like all FHA loans, these require you to pay mortgage insurance for 11 years or even the entire length of the loan.  That means higher payments than a conventional loan. You'll get a higher interest rate and be hit with some extra fees.
	These are also not quick deals. The paperwork takes time and you will be required to detail the work that needs to be done, sometimes even with architectural drawings.
	Your best bet for this kind of loan is to have reasonable repairs that can be started within 30 days of your loan closing and finished within six months.