FHA Sweat Equity – Alternative to FHA Down Payment Assistance 411

FHA Sweat Equity

FHA Sweat Equity

Labor performed or materials furnished by borrower before closing may be considered as the equivalent of a cash investment.
Believe it or not FHA Sweat Equity Program has been around forever.  The idea behind Sweat Equity is a way to have the Seller Credit for Purchaser’s Down Payment through Labor or Materials being put forth into the house.
Sweat equity may be gifted subject to both gift requirements and additional requirements. 
  • Existing construction – only the repairs or improvements listed on the appraisal are eligible for sweat equity. Any work completed or materials provided prior to the appraisal are not eligible.
  • Proposed construction – the sales contract must indicate the tasks to be performed by the borrower during construction.
  • Borrower’s labor may be considered as the equivalent of cash if the borrower can demonstrate his/her ability to complete the work in a satisfactory manner.
  • Lender must document the value of the labor through either the appraiser’s estimate or through a cost estimating service. 
  • Delayed work (on-site escrow), clean up, debris removal, and other general maintenance cannot be included as sweat equity.
  • There can be no cash back to the borrower in sweat equity transactions.
  • Sweat equity on a property other than the subject property being purchase is not acceptable. Compensation for work performed on other properties must be in cash and properly documented.
  • Sweat equity credit cannot exceed the estimated cost of the work or the materials.
  • Verification of source of funds used to purchase materials and market value of materials must be provided on any materials furnished by borrower.
  • Paid receipts for the materials should be obtained. 
  1. Buyers to get with the Contractors after an appraisal is done to lend “LABOR” to compensate for “Credit” towards down-payment.
  2. Buyers to paint the house or do some side jobs to help earn “Credit” for the “Labor”
  3. The Sellers will pay for the credit and can raise the sales price in order to compensate for the credit.

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