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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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For the week of March 6 - 12, 2002


HUD raises income limits for loans

Express Staff Writer

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has raised the income limits on home loans it provides through the Federal Housing Administration.

The increase could make it easier for working families to become homeowners.

In Blaine County, the maximum that a one- or two-person household can make and still qualify for an FHA loan is now $52,500. Households with three or more people can qualify at up to $54,600.

Last year, the maximums were $50,000 and $52,000 respectively.

Maximums in other South Central Idaho counties increased also.

The income changes follow increases in mortgage limits FHA announced in January. FHA now insures mortgages for single-family homes of up to $255,550 in Blaine County.

Loan limits for two-to-four-unit dwellings also increased in January.

FHA-insured loans help low- to middle-income and first-time home-buyers because the agency requires only a three-percent down payment and allows family and friends to contribute to the initial expense of buying a home. Also, the agency has relaxed standards and allows borrowers to carry more debt than private mortgage insurers usually allow.

One drawback to HUD loans is they have income limits, which means borrowers might need to have a large down payment to qualify for a $255,550 loan, said Gates Kellett, director of the Blaine County Housing Authority.

The income limit increases will help ease that.

Participating lenders in South Central Idaho include D.L. Evans Bank, First Federal Savings Bank, Magic Valley Bank, Republic Mortgage and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

Last year, 143 loans were financed through FHA in South Central Idaho.

In the past, the loans have helped buyers of price-restricted affordable housing, such as the two-bedroom River Glenn condominiums in Ketchum, which sold for $120,000.

Kellett expects the FHA increases will allow more home-buyers to use HUD loans to buy market-rate homes.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.