Buying your first house can be one of the most exciting times in your life, but also one of the most confusing. It's hard to know where to start, and sometimes there are so many financing options for your new home that you're not sure how to pick the right one.
Most first-time home buyers in South Carolina find themselves in the same position, and many of them decide to take out a South Carolina FHA loan. Keep reading to find out why an FHA loan may be right for you.
Why Use an FHA Loan in South Carolina?
With South Carolina having a below average weekly pay of $893, residents are going to be looking for places to save money. Buying a house can drain anyone’s bank account, which is why so many South Carolina residents are using FHA loans. As of April 2019, the total value of FHA loans in South Carolina was over $225 million!
Benefits of Choosing FHA Loans in SC
- FHA loans are great for first-time homebuyers, especially those who can’t or don’t want to put down a large down payment.
- FHA mortgage rates are typically lower than conventional mortgage rates.
- FHA down payment and credit score requirements are typically lower than conventional loans
- Sellers can contribute up to 6% of the purchase price or appraised value (whichever is less) towards the buyers’ closing costs.
- FHA loans are assumable
FHA Loan Limits in South Carolina
Before you begin house hunting, it’s important to have an idea of how much you will be able to borrow. The maximum FHA loan limit is adjusted every year, and can vary depending on where in South Carolina you want to live. In most of South Carolina, the baseline limit of $498,257 applies, but in a place like Hilton Head, the limit is $546,250 and the limit in Charleston is $586,500 due to the relatively high cost of real estate in these areas. See the full list for South Carolina FHA Loan Limits at the link below.
Are You Eligible for an FHA Loan in South Carolina?
You may be eligible for an FHA loan, if you:
- Have 2 years of steady employment, preferably with the same employer.
- Have had steady income (or increasing income) in the past two years.
- Have had less than two 30-day periods of late payments on your credit report.
- Have declared bankruptcy no less than two years ago and have maintained good credit since.
- Have not been a party in a foreclosure for at least three years and have maintained good credit since.
- Anticipate your mortgage payment will be equal to or less than 30% of your gross income.
What Do You Need to Apply for an FHA Loan in SC?
Buyers must be able to provide the following information and documents as requested by lenders:
- The addresses of all your residences over the past two years.
- The names of your employers over the past two years.
- W2's for the past two years and current paycheck stubs.
- Your current gross monthly salary.
- Your Social Security Number.
- Names, addresses, and account numbers with balances on all checking and savings accounts.
- Addresses and loan information of any other real estate you owned.
- Self-employed individuals will need to provide personal tax returns for the past two years and a current income statement and balance sheet for the business.
- Students will need to provide evidence of enrollment. If you have student loans, you need to provide verification information.
Note: Facts and figures sourced from the latest statistics available at the time of this writing including data from the United States Department of Labor, United States Census Bureau and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.