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FHA 203k Loan in DeSoto County, Florida

The Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, offers mortgages in DeSoto County, Florida, to buyers who might not otherwise qualify for a mortgage loan because of the borrowers' credit rating, income level, or down payment.

203k loan is one of the popular FHA loan types, allowing buyers to purchase homes and renovate them to their liking while staying under a certain amount.

These 203K loans are only available through approved HUD-approved FHA 203k lenders, and you must meet specific eligibility requirements to qualify.

If you're interested in taking advantage of these renovation loans, it'd be helpful to explore the program's ins and outs to understand what you're getting into.

This article will walk you through everything you need to know about FHA 203K program, including the various types, eligibility requirements, application process, and how to use them to transform your existing home.

We'll also discuss the top five decadent desserts in DeSoto County, Florida, and where to get them. Keep reading to discover more.

The Basics of FHA 203K Loans

FHA 203K loans are government-backed mortgages used by homeowners to make repairs or renovations on their current home or purchase a home requiring repairs and make improvements to enhance its liveability, functionality, and value.

The FHA loan guarantees up to 95% of the costs, and rehabilitation projects can go up to $35,000. The number one reason homeowners get these types of loans is when they need funds for renovations due to age or damage done during storms like Hurricane Irma or Maria.

This loan covers various home repairs, so you don't have to worry about failing to cover your project's total cost. It covers everything from new roofs to landscaping, replacing plumbing systems, wiring, and insulation. Generally, anything that would bring your house up to code and make it more valuable will be covered.

Types of FHA 203K Loans

Though it may seem like all FHA 203K loans are the same, there are three different types of FHA 203K loans, each with its specific purpose and characteristics. Knowing their differences can help you decide which one works best in your case.

The following guide will help you understand these different types of loans to let you choose the excellent option based on your financial situation and the specifics of your home.

FHA Standard 203K Loan

FHA's Standard 203K Loan is an excellent option if you want to borrow money to cover the repairs or improvements to your new or existing home. With an FHA Standard 203K loan, you may qualify for over $35,000 in financing for all repair costs. The home must be single-family and located in a qualified census tract.

Typically, this loan will be used when the home needs structural repairs, landscaping that isn't safety-related, or renovation costs are over $35,000, but the minimum amount for repairs is $5,000. Although renovation budgets aren't capped, the FHA maximum mortgage limitations will apply.

You'll need a contractor and a HUD consultant to qualify for this loan. The HUD consultant will ensure the property meets all minimum property standards and that your contractor completes the work described under the contract.

Here are the home improvement projects eligible for FHA Standard 203K loans in DeSoto County, Florida:

  • Repair the pool.

  • Fix foundational issues.

  • Refinish an attic or basement.

  • Demolish walls to expand the floor plan.

  • Build a retaining wall to curb flooding.

  • Build an addition to expand square footage.

  • Build a separated garage if your home doesn't have one.

  • Expand the size of windows to enhance the home interior lighting.

  • Increase the size of your kitchen by stretching into the dining room.

FHA Limited 203K Loans

Limited 203K loans are perfect if you need just a few repairs to your home, typically inexpensive projects such as painting, minor home remodeling, or cosmetic improvements. These loans don't require HUD-approved consultants to be approved.

You'll only need to prepare a written work plan to present your awareness of the contractor's bid. No matter what you borrow the money for, it cannot be used to make payments on your mortgage.

The repairs must cost less than $35,000 but not below $5,000. You can't use these loans for major expensive structural repair projects. Below are the eligible projects in DeSoto County, Florida:

  • Repair the septic.

  • Replace or repair the siding.

  • Replace the tub and showers.

  • Paint the home interior and exterior.

  • Repair or replace the roof, gutters, and downspouts.

  • Replace windows and doors to boost energy efficiency.

  • Improve the house accessibility for people with a disability.

  • Minor kitchen remodels that don't involve structural repairs.

The HomeStyle Renovation Loan

You can apply for a HomeStyle Renovation Loan to cover the cost of repairs to improve the appearance of your home. HomeStyle loans allow you to perform any rehabilitation attached to your home, including structural and non-structural repairs.

In addition to landscaping and adding site amenities may also be eligible. Below is a list of projects eligible for this 203K loan in DeSoto County, Florida:

  • Build a pool.

  • Restore a well.

  • Put on a new carpet.

  • Modernize all fixtures.

  • Build an on-suite bath.

  • Create an open-plan floor.

  • Remedy the lead-based paint.

  • Build an attic and add dormer windows.

  • Recast the fascia of your home to improve curb appeal.

Eligibility Requirements for the FHA 203K Loan Program in DeSoto County, Florida

As with every government loan program, there are specific eligibility requirements you need to meet to qualify for an FHA 203K loan. Below we'll discuss the primary eligibility criteria you must meet to be eligible for one of the types of FHA 203K loans in DeSoto County.

Minimum Credit Score

Your credit score is a critical aspect of eligibility for an FHA 203k loan. To qualify for these loans, your credit score must be 620 or higher, and you must not have missed any payments in the last six months.

Those with a lower credit score may still be eligible if they can meet other requirements or put down a sizeable down payment. You can do a few things to build and improve your credit score and increase your eligibility chances.

Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)

The debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI) calculates how much of your monthly income goes towards paying debts and housing expenses. Your DTI will be used to help determine whether or not you will qualify for an FHA 203K loan. The maximum allowable DTI for most applicants is 43%.

If your DTI exceeds 43%, it will be challenging to qualify, but there are exceptions based on credit history, debt load, and other factors. To figure out your DTI, divide all your monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income.

Additional Product Requirements

Additional FHA requirements apply to the 203K loan program and can vary from FHA minimum property requirements to other loan restrictions.

Below are more additional product requirements to keep in mind when applying for an FHA 203K loan in DeSoto County, Florida:

  • Qualifying properties are required to have amenities such as bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms with running water.

  • An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is only allowed when a property has one unit (a single-family home) but not over two units.

  • You must have sound financial health with no bankruptcy or foreclosure history.

  • 203K loans cannot be used to buy or renovate rental properties.

  • The 203K loan isn't intended to refinance your existing mortgage.

  • You occupy the property as your primary residence.

A person hand hold wrench and money for renovation

A Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for an FHA 203K Loan in DeSoto County, Florida

Applying for an FHA 203K loan can seem like a confusing process, especially if you've never done it before, but it doesn't have to be if you understand what to expect throughout the process.

We've put together the following step-by-step guide to applying for an FHA 203K loan to help make your renovation dreams a reality.

Find a Loan Officer

This may seem obvious, but you will need a qualified Loan Officer to help you determine if you're eligible and work through all the paperwork. Find someone with experience in 203K financing and research their qualifications.

Get Pre-approved

One of the first steps in the process is getting pre-approved by your lender. You'll need an excellent credit score, a down payment, and provide documentation like proof of income, W2s, bank statements, and more. This will help you pinpoint your budget and increase your credibility when you start shopping for homes.


You'll be required to hire a HUD consultant. A HUD consultant will inspect and appraise any rehabilitation work, investigate the necessary permits for reconstruction, ensure that hazardous substances are adequately removed, and ensures your project complies with applicable environmental laws. The final report will help determine if your property and required renovations qualify for a 203K loan.

Submit Specs and Plans

You'll submit detailed project specifications and plans, especially if you consider changing the floor plan. A construction professional, like a contractor, engineer, or architect, can help you develop precise project specs and plans.

The report should include a complete cost analysis, including labor and materials. Your lender will review this information before issuing a letter of approval or turndown.


After completing the final appraisal review, the file will be submitted to the lender for underwriting. If everything checks out, the lender will send you a decision letter meaning you're almost done and approaching the closing stage.


Once the mortgage is closed, the contractor can begin work. After the contractor has completed the necessary work, the lender's appraiser will inspect the property to ensure it meets the HUD minimum property standards.

Create Your Dream Home with an FHA 203K Loan in DeSoto County, Florida

Before considering selling your outdated home and buying a new one, why not consider what an FHA 203K loan could do for you? With this loan, you can make all the renovations to your current home that you've ever dreamed of without moving out to excuse the renovation work.

The following is a list of home improvements to help breathe a new life into your existing home while living there throughout the project:

  • Building a pool to create a residential spring.

  • Removing debris, replacing fixtures, and painting.

  • Making restorative touches to develop a contemporary feel.

  • Constructing a second bathroom to evade sharing one with your family.

  • Expanding your living space by adding square footage when your family gets bigger.

5 Desserts in DeSoto County, Florida and Where to Find Them

DeSoto County, Florida, has plenty of delicious sweet spots to satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you craving for more. From cakes and pastries to ice cream and donuts, here are five decadent desserts you can't miss in DeSoto County, Florida.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Caramel Apple Cheesecake is one of the best fall desserts you can have in DeSoto County. It's a buttery graham cracker crust and cheesecake filling topped with caramel sauce, cinnamon, and diced apples.

Served chilled or warm, this decadent dessert will satisfy your sweet tooth any time of year. Stop by one of the following famous spots in DeSoto to grab your Caramel Apple Cheesecake:

  • Publix Super Market at Arcadia Crossings Shopping Center
  • The Yellow Deli Restaurant & Bakery
  • Martin's Country Market
  • Rosé Café and Bakery
  • Wheeler's Cafe Inc.

Chocolate Bon Bon Cake

This dessert is perfect for all of your chocoholic needs. You can't go wrong with chocolate, after all. The cake has an oreo crust and is filled with chocolate ganache. It's topped with whipped cream and decorated with strawberries.

If you're looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, this cake will do the trick. Grab one of these mouthwatering desserts in one of the following spots in DeSoto County:

  • Chili's Grill & Bar
  • Winn-Dixie
  • Slim's Bar-B-Q
  • Oak Street Deli
  • Myshelly's Kitchen

Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding is an all-time Southern favorite that's sure to put a smile on your face. Traditional banana pudding contains layers of bananas, cream or vanilla custard or pudding, and vanilla wafers.

It's usually topped with whipped cream, but many restaurants offer an alternative like fluffernutter spread or marshmallow sauce.

Serve this dessert chilled or lightly warmed for an unforgettable taste sensation. Check out these places for the best banana pudding in DeSoto County:

  • The Yellow Deli Restaurant & Bakery
  • Rosé Café and Bakery
  • Martin's Country Market
  • Walmart Supercenter

Key Lime Pie

Delight your palate with the creamiest Key Lime Pie in The Sunshine State- an authentic Florida classic dessert. This rich-tasting dessert features Florida limes and is made from scratch by hand for perfect consistency and unbeatable flavor.

The pie includes fresh whipped cream, providing the ultimate finishing touch to this delightful treat. Stop by these DeSoto eateries to try a tasty Key Lime Pie:

  • The Pie Factory
  • Wheeler's Cafe Inc.
  • Rosé Café and Bakery
  • La Michoacana Paleteria
  • Publix Super Market at Arcadia Crossings Shopping Center

Mississippi Mud Cake

The Mississippi Mud Cake is a popular dessert found on any dessert menu in the United States, and there's no better place to try one than in DeSoto County, Florida.

The moist and rich chocolate cake has a crispy chocolate crust and can also be topped with frosting or caramel sauce to leave you craving for more. Stop by one of the below eateries in DeSoto to get your Mississippi Mud Cake:

  • Rosé Café and Bakery
  • Wheeler's Cafe Inc.
  • Chili's Grill & Bar
  • Oak Street Deli
  • Winn-Dixie

Bottom Line

The FHA 203k loan is designed to help property owners repair or renovate their homes and can be an excellent source of capital if you need funds to finance your home improvement project.

As with any loan, however, you need to consider program requirements and other essential details before getting approved.

Contact your local lender, loan officer, or a HUD-approved consultant in DeSoto County, Florida, to help you decide whether this loan will work for you and your property needs.

With over 50 years of mortgage industry experience, we are here to help you achieve the American dream of owning a home. We strive to provide the best education before, during, and after you buy a home. Our advice is based on experience with Phil Ganz and Team closing over One billion dollars and helping countless families.

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