FHA Loan Increase Makes Grand Valley Homes More Affordable

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As housing prices soar, many in the Grand Valley are having trouble affording homes. One loan program, however, is trying to change that.

Local realtor Duane Krula has spent months sending housing market data to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Now, he has been able to convince them to increase the amount they can give for FHA loans.

An FHA loan helps buyers who may not qualify for conventional loans because of income and credit reasons. Unlike high risk sub-prime loans, however, FHA loans have a low, fixed interest rate.

"Buyers can feel comfortable," said Krula. "Once they have obtained the loan they're not going to be in for any surprises two, three, four, five years down the road."

The increase will allow people who qualify for the loans to afford houses that cost up to $230 thousand.

Many Grand Valley residents who have bought homes using these loans, say it's changed their lives.

"It only cost me nineteen dollars more a month to own a house that was bigger than renting one that gave me no equity," said Richard Lyon, who used an FHA loan to purchase his house.

Wendy Massy says if it wasn't for FHA loans, she and her family would never have been able to afford the home they're getting ready to move into.

"It's just amazing to know that we've made this step two years sooner than we thought we would be able to," said Massy. "That we're actually going to own a piece of land in Grand Junction is really exciting for us."

At the end of the day, buyers who used FHA loans say there's no better feeling than living in a place they can call their own.

"I'm really excited," said Lyon. "This is the first time in my life I didn't have to pay rent."

"The moving itself isn't that fun," said Massy. "But being in our home is really going to be exciting."

Mortgage lenders say homeowners can refinance with an FHA loan, as long as they qualify for one.