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Many home buyers fall in love with a house that needs some TLC, but then realize they can’t afford to buy the house and also update it. Or if the house has major damage, they’re told it won’t qualify for a loan because it’s unlivable.

That’s where renovation loans come in handy. MortgageDepot is a leading expert on helping home buyers qualify for renovation loans, which allow buyers to roll the cost of home repairs into their mortgage.

Two renovation loans we recommend are the FHA 203K Full and the FHA 203K Streamline.


  • Are intended for owner-occupied properties
  • Are available for 1 to 4-unit properties, as long as one unit is owner-occupied
  • Offer a maximum loan-to-value of 96.5%
  • Allow for toxic remediation and septic repairs
  • Require PMI


  • Allows a relationship between the borrower and the intended contractor
  • Allows for luxury upgrades, such as the addition of a putting green

The difference between the 2 loans is that the 203K Full is intended for structural repairs, while the 203K Streamline is intended for cosmetic fixes. If the house you want to buy needs a new roof or new wiring, the 203K Full would be your renovation loan of choice. If it needs fresh paint and a new refrigerator, the 203K Streamline is the right option.

There are also some other differences between these 2 loans:

The 203K Full:

  • Has no maximum repair escrow limit, except for FHA loan limits
  • Has a minimum repair base of $5,000
  • Is available for mixed-use properties
  • Is available for foundation work
  • Can be used for a tear-down and rebuild
  • Allows both structural and cosmetic repairs

The 203K Streamline:

  • Has a maximum repair escrow amount of $35,000
  • Has no minimum repair amount
  • Cannot be used on mixed-use properties
  • Cannot be used for foundation work
  • Cannot be used for a tear-down and rebuild
  • Is ONLY allowed for cosmetic repairs and upgrades

MortgageDepot is a leading expert on both 203K Full and Streamline loans. If you need to finance the purchase of a fixer-upper or refinance a home in need of TLC, contact us at MortgageDepot today.

Contact us today for a FREE consultation at (800) 535-0270 or email us here.

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