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FHA 203k Loan in Franklin County, Florida

If you want to do some extensive home renovations and improvements in Franklin County, Florida, the FHA 203k loan could be an excellent choice. The 203k loan allows homeowners to purchase, repair, and renovate their existing homes to improve liveability, functionality, and value. The 203k loan was created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of its National Homeownership Strategy.

However, obtaining an FHA 203k loan can be confusing and stressful sometimes, primarily if you have never dealt with it before. This article will provide all the information you need to know about the FHA 203k loan in Franklin County, from various types to eligibility requirements, application, and how to use the loan to create your dream home.

We'll also discuss the five best desserts to enjoy with your family while living in Franklin County, Florida. Keep reading to find out more.

Basics of FHA 203K Loans

The FHA 203K loan program is a government-backed home renovation program designed to help you rehabilitate your home to make it more marketable, livable, and functional.

The renovation projects include anything from flooring and installing gutters to adding new siding and making structural updates.

An FHA 203K loan provides several benefits for qualified borrowers.

  • First, it's one of the few options for people with little to no down payment who want to buy a home.

  • Second, a 203K loan offers flexible underwriting requirements that may allow you more options if you're self-employed or have income that fluctuates monthly.

  • Third, mortgage insurance costs on an FHA loan are lower than most traditional mortgages.

Types of FHA 203K Loans

You can take advantage of three FHA 203K loan types: Standard, Limited, and HomeStyle. Each type is unique and will be different depending on what you're looking to accomplish with the loan and your financial situation.

Here are some basic facts about each type of FHA 203K loan to help you determine which one works best for you.

FHA Standard 203K Loan

The most common type is the FHA Standard 203K loan. This may be the best option for financing a renovation project if you have a good credit score, an excellent employment history, and sufficient funds for a down payment and closing costs.

These loans are designed to address your specific needs in major residential rehabilitation projects, including structural changes, non-safety-related landscaping, and any renovation project that exceeds $35,000. However, the total project costs can be below $5,000.

While there's no cap on the renovation budget, FHA lending limits will apply. You'll need a HUD-approved consultant and a contractor. The consultant will help comply with all property standards and ensure your contractor has completed the job described under the contract.

The following home improvement projects are eligible for an FHA Standard 203K loan in Franklin County, Florida:

  • Make repairs to the pool
  • Finish a basement or attic
  • Correct foundational issues
  • Add a retaining wall to prevent flooding
  • Add square footage by making an addition
  • Knock down walls to open up the floor plan
  • Add light by increasing the size of the windows
  • Add a detached garage when one does not exist
  • Increase the size of the kitchen by expanding into the dining room

FHA Limited 203K Loans

Limited 203K loans are for homeowners with minor projects like a porch, kitchen, bath repairs, or cosmetic improvements. This loan allows the homeowner to complete these improvements as long as the total renovation cost doesn't exceed $35,000. You can't finance an existing mortgage with this loan.

The limited home improvement loan does not require the approval of a HUD consultant. As the borrower, you'll submit a written work plan indicating your understanding of the contractor's bid. The following home improvements are eligible for a Limited 203K loan in Franklin County, Florida:

  • Paint
  • Repair roof
  • Repair septic
  • Replace siding
  • Refinish flooring
  • Replace tub and showers
  • Add gutters and downspouts.
  • Update HVAC, electrical, and plumbing
  • Replace countertops in kitchen and baths
  • Replace windows to increase energy efficiencies

The HomeStyle Renovation Loan

HomeStyle renovation loans are conventional mortgages that allow the borrower to make permanent property repairs, including structural and non-structural repairs.

The program has flexible guidelines for homeowners who want to update their homes with particular renovations, like a new kitchen or bathroom but may not have enough cash for such improvements. You are permitted to landscape and install site amenities.

The following is a list of home improvements projects that qualify for a HomeStyle Renovation loan in Franklin County, Florida:

  • Build a pool
  • Repair a well
  • Add a new carpet
  • Update all fixtures
  • Add an on-suite bath
  • Create an open floor plan
  • Add new kitchen appliances
  • Remediate lead-based paint
  • Build out the attic and put in dormer windows
  • Create curb appeal by changing the fascia of the home

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

While FHA 203K loan program is one of the most popular renovation loans available, not every homeowner who wants to improve their home is eligible for this program. There are specific eligibility criteria to meet to qualify for an FHA 203K loan.

Fortunately, the requirements of the FHA 203k loan program are not as stringent as those imposed by many banks. Here are the basic eligibility requirements of the FHA 203K loan program you need to know before getting started.

Minimum Credit Score

To be eligible for a 203K home loan, you must have a minimum credit score of 620. Lenders will look at your credit report and consider the risk they believe you represent.

Those with lower scores may have fewer options when it comes to programs. If you want to get financing, work on improving your credit score before applying for a mortgage.

Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)

The Debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is determined by dividing your monthly housing costs by your gross monthly income. The maximum allowable DTI for the FHA 203K loan program is 43%.

The total debt obligations, including mortgage payments, car loans, credit cards, and other debts, must not exceed 43% of your monthly income. If you're below that threshold, then you are eligible to apply for a 203k loan.

Additional Product Information

You'll have to meet more eligibility criteria when applying for an FHA 203K loan, from FHA property requirements and loan usage restrictions. So, consider the following additional product conditions before getting started:

  • During and after rehabilitation, you must occupy the home as your primary residence and avoid using the property as collateral for a loan from another source.

  • Qualifying properties should have bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms with running water.

  • 203K loans cannot be used to purchase rental properties or refinance existing mortgages.

  • Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are only allowed on owner-occupied, one-unit residences.

  • An applicant cannot have had a bankruptcy or foreclosure within the last two years.

Cheerful young couple in protective helmet holding keys and ready for home renovation

How to Apply for an FHA 203K Loan in Franklin County, Florida

An FHA 203K loan can be the ideal way to upgrade your home, but applying for one isn't necessarily as simple as going online and filling out an application form.

You need to take several steps, from finding and speaking with a loan officer supporting FHA 203K loans to closing your loan and getting ready to move into your dream home.

This guide will walk you through the five critical steps of applying for an FHA 203K loan to make the process easier.

Find a Loan Officer

To determine if you are eligible for the loan and discuss which renovation product best suits your needs, you need to find a loan officer specializing in FHA 203K loans.

You'll be given some items to submit to your contractor once you have decided on the right product for your situation.

Get Pre-Approved For a Loan

Once you know the 203K loan product you want, get pre-approved or pre-qualified by a lender and apply. The pre-approval process can take a week or two.

A suitable lender will ask you questions about your credit score, debts, and finances, including your income and expenses.

So, you'll need plenty of documentation, like pay stubs and statements from your bank or credit union.

Find a Contractor

Getting bids from several HUD-approved contractors before making a decision can save you time and money in the long run. Make sure that any contractor you hire is licensed, bonded, and insured before you hire them.

This will give you peace of mind knowing that your investment will be protected if anything should happen during construction.


Hire a HUD-approved consultant to appraise the property to determine if it's eligible for an FHA 203K loan. If you're buying a fixer-upper or plan on extensively renovating before moving in, the HUD consultant will help you with the following:

  • Know how much renovation work needs to be done on your property.

  • Understand how much you'll increase property value.

  • Confirm if your renovation project complies with HUD standards and environmental laws.

Submit Specs and Plans

Submit specs and plans, especially if you want to change the current floor plan. The HUD consultant or your contractor will visit your home and provide a written estimate of what it would cost to bring it up to code using standard construction techniques.

Also, you may be requested to submit a cost estimate sheet, including labor and building materials.


Once the final appraisal review is complete, the file will be sent to your lender for underwriting. If the report is approved, you'll receive a decision letter indicating that you are ready for closing.


The loan will close after completing everything, and the contractor will begin the job. A lender's appraiser or HUD-approved consultant will inspect the property after the renovation work is done to confirm if the property complies with HUD minimum standards.

How to Create Your Dream Home with an FHA 203K Loan in Franklin County, Florida

When creating your dream home, you may feel like you have no choice but to move out and buy something from scratch. Fortunately, there's an easier option than you might think—the FHA 203K loan.

With this loan, you can finance the repairs to transform your home while staying put to watch your dream become a reality. You can accomplish the following home improvements to convert your existing old home into your dream home:

  • Add a pool to create a home oasis.

  • Make tonic remodels to create a stylish feel.

  • Add an extra bathroom to evade sharing one with your family.

  • Get rid of junk, modernize all fixtures, and paint the property's interior and exterior.

  • Extend your living space by adding square footage to suit your family as it gets bigger.

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

No matter what your favorite desserts are, whether cakes, pastries, cookies, pies, or anything else under the sun, you'll find something that suits your palate and satisfies your sweet tooth in Franklin County, Florida.

Read on to discover the top five delicious desserts in Franklin County and where to find them.

Baked Alaska

Created in 1867, Baked Alaska, also known as Bombe Alaska, is the showstopper of a formal dinner party. Roasted ice cream or iced custard is piled into a pie crust made with a sweet shortbread dough that's been chilled until firm.

A meringue is baked on top, and just before serving, the whole thing is finished with whipped cream flavored with rum or fruit puree and flamed to create a dramatic effect.

Try a Baked Alaska in one of the following eateries in Franklin County, Florida:

  • Apalachicola Chocolate & Coffee Company
  • Get the Scoop
  • Dolore's Sweet Shoppe
  • The Station Raw Bar


Buckeyes are small balls of chocolate-flavored cake or ice cream covered with a hard candy shell and rolled in a creamy topping such as peanut butter or marshmallow cream. Buckeyes are typically made from cake batter or fudge.

Their flavor is often enhanced by the addition of butter or another oil. Stop by one of the below spots in Franklin County to grab your Buckeye:

  • Piggly Wiggly Apalachicola Grocery Store
  • Bite Me! Deli & Catering
  • The Owl Tap Room
  • Up The Stairs

Indiana Sugar Cream Pie

Indiana Sugar Cream Pie has a signature pie crust made from shortening and a biscuit-like dough. The filling is a combination of egg yolks, sugar, and cream. A few more traditional ingredients that many people use to make this type of pie include sour cream and cornstarch.

This dessert is best served cold with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top. Try a delicious Indiana Sugar Cream Pie in one of the following eateries in Franklin County:

  • Up The Creek Raw Bar
  • The Station Raw Bar
  • The Franklin Café
  • Hole In The Wall Seafood LLC

Coca-Cola Cake

Coca-Cola Cake is a moist chocolate cake with the flavors of Coca-Cola, and it's perfect for any occasion. It's no wonder this delectable dessert has been one of America's favorite desserts since 1933.

This cake will quickly become your new favorite, topped with whipped cream and served as an individual serving or as a shared dessert. You can get this dessert in any eatery in Franklin, but here are the famous spots:

  • Apalachicola Chocolate & Coffee Company
  • Half Shell Dockside
  • Carrabelle Junction
  • Lynn's Quality Oysters
  • The Station Raw Bar

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie is a delightful dessert that has quickly become one of the most famous desserts in Florida. A graham cracker crust and heavy cream are typically used to give this dessert the right amount of thickness and richness.

One taste of its creamy, citrusy filling over a firm tart crust will make you fall in love with it forever. Plus, you can serve your Key Lime Pie as a pie or an ice cream flavor!

If you want to experience it at its best, visit the following eateries in Franklin County:

  • Hole In The Wall Seafood LLC
  • Red Pirate Family Grill & Oyster Bar
  • The Fisherman's Wife, Carrabelle
  • The Station Raw Bar
  • Apalachicola Seafood Grill
  • Marine Street Grill

Bottom Line

If you have an outdated home and want to make it habitable or want to buy a house that needs some repairs or renovations in Franklin County, Florida, you can use the FHA 203k loan program to achieve your homeownership dream.

Contact a local HUD-approved consultant, approved FHA lender, or a loan officer specializing in the 203K program to help confirm your eligibility. Understanding the program will help you prepare adequately for a smooth and quick application process.

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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