About the 203k Contractor Program
The 203k Contractor Directory enables 203k mortgage lenders, 203k Consultants, Realtors® and 203k borrowers/customers to locate the Certified 203k Contractors for their FHA 203k loan needs. Through the 203k Contractor Certification Program, even the most experienced contractors receive their education/validation on the FHA 203k loan, the process through which they become a Certified 203k Contractor.
While almost any contractor may be willing to do work under the FHA 203k Renovation Loan program, not all contractors have the financial stability necessary to participate because of the compensation structure designed by HUD or have the appropriate understanding of HUD’s 203k Loan Guidelines. Additionally, contractors who do not have extensive 203k experience or proper education on the 203k, will get lost in the paperwork, requirements, guidelines, lender overlays and critical time-lines involved. As a result, many of these contractors who attempt a 203k project actually walk off the job out of frustration and leave the homebuyer/borrower and lender in a challenging situation that can be difficult to correct.
The FHA 203k Loan is not a typical remodeling/renovation process because of the contractor compensation structure, unique rules, time lines, procedures, paperwork, and specific government guidelines, which means that very few contractors are qualified to be a 203k Contractor. The success of the 203k depends on working with a contractor who has validated 203k education/experience, such as a Certified 203k Contractor.
The contractors listed here in the 203k Contractor Directory are Certified 203k Contractors, having completed an extensive education-based program on the FHA 203k loan, consisting primarily of a completing a comprehensive 203k education course, reading the 172-page 203k Contractor Manual, listening to the 3-hour Education Session, watching the 2.5 hour HUD Webinar and passing a 70 Question 203k test, demonstrating comprehension of HUD’s guidelines regarding the 203k loan. Additionally, the certification process includes verifying customer and business references, license, insurance and the contractor’s financial stability and ability to afford the start-up costs and ongoing expenses of a 203k project. These Certified 203k Contractors are validated by being listed in the 203k Contractor Directory and should display the Certified 203k Contractor logo on their Websites. Upon request, their Certificate of Approval can be provided.
While HUD/FHA approves FHA lenders, appraisers and 203k Consultants, HUD/FHA does not approve, certify or endorse remodeling or general contractors or builders and has not done so since 1995 (Mortgagee Letter 95-57). The 203k Contractor Program serves this need by educating contractors on the FHA 203k Loan program and providing to consumers, lenders and Realtors®, a method of validation of a contractor’s understanding, competency and experience with the FHA 203k loan. The Certified 203k Contractors listed in the 203k Contractor Directory are vital to the success of the FHA 203k loan. (continued below)
Until 1996, HUD maintained a database of HUD approved builders/contractors. However, in 1995, HUD started the process of dismantling their approval process for builders and contractor, and in 1996, the dismantling was completed when HUD deleted the database of HUD approved builders and contractors (Mortgagee Letter 95-57).
Ten years later in 2006, the FHA Section 203(k) Rehabilitation Loan started to become necessary and more popular, because of the high number of properties in distressed conditions and the limited availability of mortgage loan options for these distressed properties. This need led the mortgage and Real Estate industries to develop the 203k Contractor Program … because FHA 203k Lenders, Real Estate Agents, 203k borrowers and 203k Consultants needed to connect and work with contractors who knew and understood the intricate, unique and complex 203k process.
The Metro Phoenix, Arizona area was selected as the BETA testing location because of the high number of distressed properties in this area. In 2007, the 203k Contractor Program passed the BETA phase and expanded nationwide in order to more efficiently serve the needs of the entire country. As of March 2016, there are Certified 203k Contractors in ~40,000 cities in 40 states.
The 203k Contractor Program is the standardized process by which contractors become educated on the 203k and the only process by which contractors become Certified 203k Contractors. Since the creation of the 203k Contractor Program, Lenders, Realtors, borrowers and Consultants have partnered with Certified 203k Contractors to help increase the use of the FHA 203k Loan almost 700%.
The 203k Contractor Program has been reviewed by HUD and is also recognized and used by many sources, including but not limited to:
- The New York Times
- Academy Mortgage
- AnnieMac Home Mortgage,
- Citywide Home Loans
- Gateway Mortgage,
- HUD approved 203k Consultants,
- USA Mortgage,
- Waterstone Mortgage,
- Wells Fargo,
- Memphis Area Home Builder’s Association,
- California Association of Realtors® (October 21, 2011 edition of their Market Matters).
- Haciendas Magazine – Home | Design | Remodel Guide
Click here to Recommend a contractor to be Certified for the FHA 203k Loan (click for pop-up form).
Contractors who would like to become Certified 203k Contractors and listed in the 203k Contractor Directory, should proceed to the Certification page.
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