Ready to buy a home in Ohio? Maybe you’re dreaming of a condominium in the bustling Cleveland-Elyria, or a quaint little house in Washington Court House. Either way, you’ll need a solid $221,100—this year’s median Ohio house price, up 10.3% from last year. So, you might be curious what the FHA loan limits are in Ohio.
Here at The Home Loan Expert, we’ve helped many Ohio residents purchase their first (or second, or third) homes with affordable Ohio home loans and refinancing options paired with local home loan expertise–all supported by our national reach. Whether you get a private loan or a Type A loan, you’ll want to get up to speed on FHA loans; specifically, the FHA loan limits in Ohio.
Quick recap: FHA stands for the Federal Housing Administration, a government body that insures mortgage loans for US residents. The appeal? Lenders can offer lower interest rates and better financing options. But FHA Loan requirements and limits always apply, including in Ohio.
By the end of this article, you’ll know precisely how Ohio’s FHA loan limits vary across each county in Ohio and everything you need to know about FHA Loans to help you become more informed in the purchase process.
What is the FHA?
The Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, is a government agency operating within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The goal of the FHA is to make mortgages accessible and affordable for lower-income and first-time homebuyers, multi-family rental properties, hospitals, and residential care facilities. They do this by insuring the loan, thereby protecting the mortgage lenders from potential losses.
The Federal Housing Administration was established in 1934 during the Great Depression, when the housing market drastically decreased as a result of the banks failing. Large down payment requirements of 30-50%, and short mortgage periods of five to 10 years meant that home ownership was out of reach for working class families.
Once the FHA was established, and with the granting of FHA-secured loans, down payment requirements went down, and the mortgage lifespan grew to 20-30 years. Since 1934, the FHA has insured over 50 million mortgages throughout the U.S., and is the largest mortgage insurer in the world.
What is an FHA Loan?
FHA Loans are mortgages from private lenders that are insured by the government. If you are a first-time homebuyer, or have a low to moderate-income, an FHA loan may be just what you need to become a homeowner.
Banks and other lenders are willing to work with “higher risk borrowers,” knowing that the Federal Government is backing them.
FHA Loans vs. Conventional Loans
FHA loans have much to offer over conventional loans, such as:
- Lower qualifying credit scores
- Lower down payment requirements with more flexibility regarding the origin of the down payment (personal savings, gift, or even grants).
- Candidates can have a higher debt-to-income ratio
While these benefits make FHA loans appealing, there are some conditions to be aware of:
- FHA loans are only available for certain types of properties
- Some loans may require closing costs that don’t exist with conventional loans
- Every FHA loan requires mortgage insurance built into the loan
- Lenders may have their own rates, fees and approval processes separate to the FHA, so research is needed
- FHA loan limits restrict your borrowing power
What is an FHA Loan Limit?
An FHA Loan limit is the maximum loan amount you can borrow while still having the FHA insure that loan. FHA Loans have been a success for many homeowners, and offer many people greater affordability and access to credit that they otherwise might not be eligible for with a regular bank.
How are FHA Loan Limits Determined?
The FHA determines loan limits based on the region, cost of living, average construction costs, and the average home sale price for a particular area. Every year, the FHA updates the FHA Loan limit depending on changes in all the above factors for different states and counties.
Areas with lower costs have a “floor” limit which is lower than average, while higher-cost areas have a “ceiling” limit that is higher than average. Otherwise, the FHA Loan limit is typically 115% of the median price of a state or city’s average home, provided the amount is before the area’s ceiling and floor limits.
Some regions are considered “special exceptions,” where the FHA allows for higher loan limits due to increased construction costs.
Types of FHA Loans
Traditional Mortgage Loan: This is a regular mortgage loan that applicants can use for their primary residence.
203(k) Mortgage Program: This is a traditional mortgage with extra money added for home repairs and renovations. If you purchase a home that needs some TLC, this is the loan for you.
Section 245(a) Loan: Maybe you started a business and need a few months to get the profits flowing. Or, you’re promised a promotion in the next few months at your current corporate job. This Graduated Mortgage Payment (GPM) loan starts with monthly payments at a certain amount that increases over time. You can also opt for the Graduated Equity Mortgage (GEM) loan, which increases monthly principal payments specifically over time to gain more equity in your home faster.
FHA Energy-Efficient Mortgage: Interested in making environmentally friendly home upgrades to save energy? This loan includes extra funds to do so. Examples of eligible upgrades include new solar panels or insulation to retain heat.
Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM): If you’re a senior, you might struggle to find retirement options if you don’t have a solid pension plan. The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is a reverse mortgage that offers mortgage payments to the applicant in exchange for equity in their home. You can receive the payments every month or withdraw them at your discretion through a line of credit. You might consider a combination of these two options.
Now that you’re up to speed on FHA Loans, let’s explore the FHA Loan Limits Ohio offers.
FHA Loan Limits in Ohio by County
FHA Loan Limits vary in Ohio by county, as well as on the type of residence (single-family dwellings vs. duplexes, triplexes, etc.).
Ohio has two sets of FHA Loan limits: one for Columbus counties, and one for everywhere else.
Here are the FHA conventional loan limits 2022 for Ohio homes:
|Adams, Allen, Ashtabula, Auglaize, Belmont, Brown, Butler, Carroll, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Columbiana, Coshocton, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Dark, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Galia, Geauga, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Henry, Holmes, Huron, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Lake, Lawrence, Logan, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Marion, Medina, Meigs, Mercer, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Mortgan, Muskingum, Noble, Ottawa, Paulding, Pike, Portage, Preble, Putnam, Richland, Ross, Sandusky, Scioto, Seneca, Shelby, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Van Wert, Vinton, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Williams, Wood, Wyandot||$420,680||$538,650||$651,050||$809,150|
|Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Hocking, Licking, Madison County, Morrow, Perry, Pickaway, Union, (Columbus, Ohio)||$439,300||$562,350||$679,800||$844,800|
Now, let’s take a look at FHA Loan requirements.
How to Qualify for an FHA Loan in Ohio
Individual lenders might have some variation in their FHA Loan requirements, but the basics are the same. Before anything else, you’ll need:
- Valid Social Security number
- Proof of residence in the United States
- Legal age according to your state
After you meet these qualifications, an FHA Loan is easier to obtain than a traditional mortgage. Here are some more specific FHA Loan requirements:
- Minimum credit score: 500
- Loan term length: 15 or 30 years
- Minimum down payment: 3.5% for credit scores over 580; 10% for credit scores between 500-579
- Down payment gift: Entire down payment can be a gift
- Down payment assistance: Programs available
- Mortgage insurance: Upfront and every year for the life of the loan or 11 years
- Mortgage insurance premiums: 1.75% up front; 0.45%-1.05% annually
If your credit score is less than 500, consider lowering your debt-to-income ratio, setting alarms to avoid late payments, or delaying your mortgage application until your credit score is a bit higher.
Important FHA Loan Terms
As you learn more about FHA Loan requirements, limits, and more, it’s essential to keep track of some standard terms that might pop up. Here are some important FHA Loan terms for your reference:
FHA: Federal Housing Administration
Ceiling: Higher FHA Loan limit than usual for higher-cost living areas
Floor: Lower FHA Loan limit than usual for lower-cost living areas
Mortgage Insurance: Insurance you must pay every month to protect yourself in case you default on loan payments. Having this insurance is often a requirement for many FHA Loans.
203(k) Mortgage Loan: FHA Loan for people that need to make major renovations to their new home
Home Equity Conversion Mortgage: Reverse mortgage FHA Loan for seniors aged 62+
Section 245(a) Loan: Graduated Mortgage Payment (GPM) with increased monthly payments over time; Graduated Equity Payments with increased principal monthly payments over time.
FHA Energy-Efficient Mortgage: FHA Loan that accounts for costs to make energy-efficiency upgrades to a new home, like solar panel installation
Conclusion: Do you need an FHA Loan in Ohio?
FHA Loans in Ohio make mortgages more attainable for first-time homebuyers and other prospective buyers that struggle to meet traditional bank loan requirements. Consequently, FHA Loan requirements are easier to fulfill and offer better affordability.
The FHA Loan limits Ohio offers make homeownership more than accessible for many people in Ohio state. If you’re considering an FHA Loan in Ohio, you might need an experienced team to help guide your application. At The Home Loan Expert, we’re always happy to sit down with our clients and offer them personalized support to make their homeownership dreams come true.
Ready to breeze through FHA Loan requirements and finally buy that dream Ohio home? Contact us today for a consultation!