by: Gaye Jones ~ AnnieMac Home Mortgage

As you’ve no doubt discovered if you’ve shopped for a home lately, this isn’t just a seller’s market — it’s a seller’s market on steroids.

You can take your pick of theories for why housing inventory is so low nationwide. As a practical matter, you’ll likely scramble to find a place that fits your needs and compete with many other potential buyers when you do.

It’s frustrating because plenty of good housing stock exists, needing just a little work to make it suitable. But most lenders won’t provide a mortgage for properties that need repairs, and you can’t make those repairs until you’ve already bought the property.

Fortunately, even in this market, you have more options than you might realize

Though government-backed renovation loans have been around for more than 30 years, the current housing situation is making them increasingly popular. Renovation loans not only finance the purchase of a home that needs repair work, but also finance the repair work itself. Handling the two processes in one transaction saves time and financing costs.

That work can include virtually any improvement project, from a fresh coat of paint, to elevating a property that’s flooded in the past.

Renovation loans give you far more options when you are home shopping. They also allow you to afford a better-quality home that you might have thought possible, since you’re upgrading the home as you purchase it.

They’re very versatile products, available as conventional loans, FHA loans for people who’ve experienced credit problems in the past, or no-down-payment VA loans for veterans. And yes, they’re also available for people looking to simultaneously renovate and refinance their existing homes.

There’s no need to despair. Your perfect home is out there. It may just require a little bit of TLC.