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Some People With FHA Loans Being Shut Out Of Housing Market

for sale sign

(Jill Sheridan)

One of the hottest housing markets in recent years is shutting out some people using federal housing loans. 

When would-be homebuyer Shay Morris qualified for a Federal Housing Administration insured loan earlier this year and began her home search, she quickly found out how difficult it would be. 

“Every day I would see a home but then I would just get discouraged because I know I really don’t have a fighting chance when you talk to realtors and other listing agents,” Morris said.

With the demand for homes in Indianapolis skyrocketing it’s not unusual for dozens of offers to be made as soon as a house is listed. As a result, some sellers are asking for cash or conventional loans only.

Central Indiana Fair Housing Center Executive Director Amy Nelson said some sellers are also prioritizing buyers that can pay additional costs, creating disparity.

“Unfortunately to them the best offer is somebody who is not going to require them to have to do a whole lot more on their end and they make the maximum amount of money with the least restriction,” Nelson said.

Nelson said she has seen upwards of 200 listings in Marion County that specify conventional loans over federal programs. 

FHA loans were created to increase home ownership by allowing buyers to have lower down payments and credit scores. Nelson said historically the loans have been beneficial.

“Overwhelmingly benefits black and brown communities who are often shut out of that home buying process because of the loss of that generational wealth,”

In this market people with FHA and VA loans are finding drawbacks. FHA loans have appraisal and inspection requirements to ensure safe housing. Often buyers with conventional loans can cover additional costs and offer larger down payments that buyers with FHA loans can not. Morris experienced this.

“I just don’t have that kind of cash,” Morris said, “as a first time home buyer, sitting in the bank. Nor do I have a current home that I could use as equity as well.”

Morris has suspended her search for now, losing the equity she is trying to build.

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