Skip to main content. Skip to contact links. Skip to navigation. If you wish for the loan officer to reach out to you, click to skip to their contact form. If you have questions for this loan officer, click to call them. If you need loan servicing, click to call our loan servicing department at 855-979-1084 Skip to footer navigation.
Leanne Crist

Leanne Crist

Senior Loan Officer
Movement Mortgage
NMLS ID # 453197
11815 Fountain Way, Ste 300, Newport News, VA 23606
Dial Phone Number
p: (757) 718-6789
f: (877) 834-2293
Send E-mail to

Your dream home might just be a renovation loan away

By: Movement Team
January 17, 2024
Does it feel like you’ve been house hunting forever, but you just can’t find the perfect home? Don’t give up hope yet!

What if we told you that there’s actually a loan option that can help you turn an average house into your dream home? Well, a renovation loan might just be able to help!

What is a renovation loan?

First, let’s talk about what a renovation loan even is.

When you can’t find a home that feels just right, this kind of loan helps you finance the necessary or desired renovations to make your new home more YOU.

This means that even if you don’t find the perfect house, you can use a renovation loan to secure one that you can then make into your dream home! (Pretty cool, right?)

Why consider a renovation loan when buying?

But why should you really be considering this type of loan when house hunting?

Well, there are plenty of reasons, so let’s break them down*:

  • Favorable terms: Some renovation loans even have no down payment requirement at all! That means more money for a cool new couch or even an extra upgrade for your new home!
  • Two for one: When you get a renovation loan, there’s no need for a separate loan to buy your home. You can handle the cost of your new home AND the renovation costs all with one loan!
  • Expand your search: Utilizing a renovation loan and looking for a fixer-upper can actually expand your housing options. Now, you can look at even more places that may not have been perfect at the start but can now be turned into your dream home.
  • Make the home your own: You definitely want your home to feel like you, not the people you bought it from. By choosing a renovation loan, you get to really put your own style into your new place so it’s perfect for your personal needs.

*For qualified borrowers.

What’s the process of buying with a renovation loan?

If you’ve decided you want to go with a renovation loan, it’s important to know how that process is going to work. Here are six steps that can lead you to your dream home:

  1. Pre-approval: First, you need to get preapproved for a renovation loan. This will help determine the kind of budget you have for this renovation and how much money you can actually borrow.
  2. Make an Offer: Once you find the right home for you, with the help of your real estate agent, it’s time to make an offer on it!
  3. Get Contractor Bid & Appraisal: After your offer is accepted, it’s time to start focusing on the renovations. You’ll want to find a contractor and schedule an appraisal for your new home and the renovations you want. The appraiser will assess the home's future value after your improvements.
  4. Submit Bid to your Loan Officer: Once you receive a bid from your contractor, submit it to your lender for approval. This way, you know it aligns with your loan program and the amount you can spend on renovations.
  5. Close on the Home: Once your lender approves, you can now close on your home and receive the keys and ownership rights! Yay!
  6. Renovate: Now for the fun part! Renovations can now begin, and the funds will be released to the contractor at certain building milestones as you start to see your dream home come to life.

It is important to also remember that these steps may not be exactly the same for every program. These are more general steps to getting a renovation loan and can vary from program to program. Be sure to talk with your loan officer to learn more!

Types of renovation loans to consider

When considering a renovation loan, it is also important to know the different types. All three of these loans fall under the general renovation loan description, but here are some more specifics on each type.

USDA Renovation*

This kind of renovation loan can help you finance a home PLUS up to $75K in renovation upgrades, all with NO down payment required1!

Eligible borrowers can finance up to $35K of non-structural work (things like kitchen upgrades, HVAC replacement and rewiring/replumbing) and $35K-$75K of structural work (things like foundation work and major roof repairs).

USDA-eligible homes also include more than just farms and fieldlands; 97% of the country is actually eligible, including small towns and some suburbs**.

This loan also requires a 620 minimum FICO score, and the property must be a primary residence.

*For qualified borrowers. Additional restrictions apply. **Housing Assistance Council, "what is "rural"? Working towards a better programmatic definition", July 2008.

FHA 203k*

This loan, backed by the federal government, is available for either purchasing a new home or refinancing your current home. Amounts can be up to 110% of the home’s after-improved appraisal value, AND you can roll six months of payments into the loan.

This loan also comes with a down payment of just 3.5% and a minimum 620 FICO score requirement.

There is also a standard 203(k) and a limited 203(k) available to accommodate different home improvements. The standard 203(k) is often used for major renovations and repairs like remodeling your full kitchen or structural work. Meanwhile, the limited 203(k) often covers more minor property improvements like painting or replacing windows in the home.

*For qualified borrowers.

HomeStyle Renovation*

Are you a homebuyer looking for an easy way to renovate, make repairs and improve your home? OR, are you an investor wanting to tap into some renovation financing? Then, a Homestyle renovation loan may be the right one for you!

The Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation mortgage includes financing for home improvements in a purchase or refi for qualified homebuyers AND qualified investors.

It also comes with benefits such as:

  • Down payments as low as 3% on a primary home that may need value added repairs
  • Competitive rates from potential waivers on standard loan level price adjustments
  • Lower than standard Mortgage Insurance coverage requirements (for LTVs greater than 90%)

*For qualified borrowers.

Ready to take on a Renovation loan?

We know renovations can seem complicated, and so can picking out the right loan for the job! But Movement is here to help you find the right loan and program for your situation.

Contact a Movement loan officer near you to learn more about your financing options!

Movement Mortgage "MM" red logo
Author: Movement Team

About Movement Mortgage, LLC (“Movement”)

Movement is not just a mortgage company – they’re an Impact Lender and force for positive change. With more than 4,000 teammates across all 50 states, they reinvest the majority of our profits back into the communities they serve. Movement is the 10th ranked top-producing residential mortgage company in the U.S., funding more than $20 billion in residential mortgages annually. The company has contributed nearly $400 million to the Movement Foundation since 2012, funding the Movement Schools network, affordable housing projects and global outreach efforts. For more information on Movement and Impact Lending, visit .


Leanne Crist
Leanne Crist
Senior Loan Officer
Wondering how much home you can afford? Let’s talk about your next move!
11815 Fountain Way, Ste 300, Newport News, VA 23606
(opens in a new tab)
NMLS # 453197

State License #VA-MLO-39105VA