Selling Guide

Published October 2, 2018

  • Selling Guide: Main Page
    • Part B: Origination Through Closing
      • B5: Unique Eligibility and Underwriting Considerations
        • B5-3: Construction and Energy Financing
          • B5-3.1: Conversion of Construction-to-Permanent Financing
            • B5-3.1-02: Conversion of Construction-to-Permanent Financing: Single-Closing Transactions (04/03/2018)

Single-Closing Transaction Overview

Single-closing transactions may be used for both the construction loan and the permanent financing if the borrower wants to close on both the construction loan and the permanent financing at the same time. When a single-closing transaction is used, the lender will be responsible for managing the disbursement of the loan proceeds to the builder, contractor, or other authorized suppliers.

Because the loan documents specify the terms of the permanent financing, the construction loan will automatically convert to a permanent long-term mortgage upon completion of the construction.

Loans that combine construction and permanent financing into a single transaction cannot be pooled or delivered to Fannie Mae until the construction is completed and the terms of the construction loan have converted to the permanent financing. Lenders must use SFC 151 when delivering single-closing construction-to-permanent mortgage loans to Fannie Mae.

Terms of Construction Loan Period for Single-Closing Construction-to-Permanent Mortgages

For all single-closing construction-to-permanent transactions, the construction loan must be structured as a temporary loan exempt from the ability to repay requirements under Regulation Z. The construction loan period for single-closing construction-to-permanent transactions may have no single period of more than 12 months and the total period may not exceed 18 months. Lenders may, when needed to complete the construction, provide an extension to the original period to total no more than 18 months but the documents may not indicate an initial construction period or subsequent extension of more than 12 months. After conversion to permanent financing, the loan must have a loan term not exceeding 30 years (disregarding the construction period).

As examples, lenders may structure the construction loan period as follows:

  • three 6–month periods,

  • one 12–month period and one 6–month period, or

  • six 3–month periods.

Exceptions to the 12-month and 18-month periods will not be granted. The above construction period requirements do not apply to two-closing construction-to-permanent transactions. If the construction loan period exceeds the requirements above, the lender must process the loan as a two-closing construction-to-permanent transaction in order for the loan to be eligible for sale to Fannie Mae (see B5-3.1-03, Conversion of Construction-to-Permanent Financing: Two-Closing Transactions).

Eligible Loan Purposes for Single-Closing Construction-to-Permanent Mortgages

A single-closing construction-to-permanent mortgage loan may be closed as:

  • a purchase transaction, or

  • a limited cash-out refinance transaction.

When a purchase transaction is used, the borrower is not the owner of the lot at the time of the first advance of interim construction financing, and the borrower is using the proceeds from the interim construction financing to purchase the lot and finance the construction of the property.

When a limited cash-out refinance transaction is used, the borrower must have held legal title to the lot before he or she receives the first advance of interim construction financing. The borrower is using the proceeds from the construction financing to pay off any existing liens on the lot and finance the construction of the property. This type of transaction is not a “true” limited cash-out refinance whereby the borrower refinances a loan(s) that was used to purchase a completed property; however, all other requirements for limited cash-out refinances apply. See B2-1.2-02, Limited Cash-Out Refinance Transactions.

Note: Cash-out refinance transactions are not eligible for single-closing construction-to-permanent mortgages.

Calculating the LTV Ratio for Single-Closing Construction-to-Permanent Mortgages

Single-closing construction-to-permanent mortgages are subject to the purchase and limited cash-out refinance maximum LTV, CLTV, and HCLTV ratios provided in the Eligibility Matrix, as applicable.

The LTV ratio calculation differs depending on whether the transaction is a purchase or a limited cash-out refinance, as shown in the table below.

Transaction Type Lot Ownership Requirement LTV Ratio Calculation
Purchase The borrower is not the owner of record of the lot at the time of the first advance of interim construction financing. Divide the loan amount of the construction-to-permanent financing by the lesser of:
  • the purchase price (sum of the cost of construction and the sales price of the lot), or

  • the “as completed” appraised value of the property (the lot and improvements).

Limited Cash-out Refinance The borrower is the owner of record of the lot at the time of the first advance of interim construction financing. Divide the loan amount of the construction-to-permanent financing by the “as completed” appraised value of the property (the lot and improvements).

Down Payment Requirements for Single-Closing Purchase Transactions

The borrower must use his or her own funds to make the minimum borrower contribution unless:

Modifications of Single-Closing Construction-to-Permanent Mortgages

If the terms of the permanent financing change after the original closing date of the construction loan, the loan may be modified to reflect the new terms if it meets all of the following criteria:

  • The modification must take place prior to or at the time of conversion.

  • Only the following loan terms may be modified in a single-closing transaction:

    • interest rate,

    • loan amount,

    • loan term, and

    • amortization type.

    The only amortization change permitted is from an adjustable-rate amortization to a fixed-rate amortization.

    Changes made to any other loan terms will require a two-closing construction-to-permanent transaction.

  • The loan must be underwritten based on the terms of the loan as modified and delivered to Fannie Mae. If the final (modified) terms of the loan do not match the last submission to DU, the loan must be re-submitted to DU (subject to the re-submission tolerances described in the table below).

  • Increases to the loan amount are permitted only as necessary to cover documented increased costs of construction of the property.

  • If the modification results in an increase in the original loan amount, the lender remains responsible for all standard title insurance requirements. In addition, the lender must obtain an endorsement to the title insurance policy that

    • extends the effective date of the coverage to the date of the recording of the modification agreement;

    • increases the amount of the policy to the original loan amount, as increased; and

    • confirms that the lien of the mortgage, as modified, continues to be a first lien.

    Note: Both the original construction loan amount at closing and the final modified loan amount delivered to Fannie Mae must meet the loan limits currently in effect.

  • The original construction loan must be documented on Fannie Mae uniform instruments or substantially similar documents, subject to the non-standard document representations and warranties.

  • The modification must be documented on one of the following:

    • Loan Modification Agreement (Providing for Fixed Interest Rate) (Fannie Mae Form 3179);

    • Loan Modification Agreement (Providing for Adjustable Interest Rate) (Fannie Mae Form 3161); or

    • A substantially similar document, subject to the non-standard document representations and warranties.

Underwriting Single-Closing Construction-to-Permanent Mortgages

The lender must underwrite a single-closing construction-to-permanent loan based on the terms of the permanent financing. If the permanent financing terms are modified, and no longer reflect the terms on which the underwriting was based, the loan must be re-underwritten, subject to certain re-underwriting tolerances. The loan data at delivery must match the data in the final submission of the loan casefile to DU.

As described in the table below, re-underwriting tolerances may be applied if the interest rate or loan amount was modified. (All other modifications require re-underwriting.)

Loan Term Modified Re-underwriting Tolerances
Interest Rate
Loan Amount See the permitted re-underwriting tolerances in DU Tolerances for Refinance Transaction Loan Amount Changes in B3-2-10, Accuracy of DU Data, DU Tolerances, and Errors in the Credit Report.

Age of Credit and Appraisal Documents

Single-closing transactions with credit and appraisal documents dated more than 4 months but not exceeding 18 months old at the time of the conversion to permanent financing are eligible for delivery if all of the following conditions were met at the time of the original closing of the construction loan:

  • The documents were dated within 120 days of the original closing date of the construction loan.

  • The LTV, CLTV, and HCLTV ratios do not exceed 70%.

  • The borrower has a minimum credit score of 700.

  • The loan casefile was underwritten through DU and received an Approve/Eligible recommendation. Manual underwriting is not permitted.

If any one of the above conditions was not met or an eligible loan term was modified subsequent to the last DU submission, the lender must

  • obtain updated credit documents and an appraisal update completed on an Appraisal Update and/or Completion Report (Form 1004D), and

  • re-qualify the borrowers before the mortgage loan is delivered to Fannie Mae.

See B1-1-03, Allowable Age of Credit Documents and Federal Income Tax Returns and B4-1.2-02, Appraisal Age and Use Requirements, for additional information.

Loan Conversion Documentation Options

The construction loan may be converted into a permanent mortgage loan in either of the following ways:

  • Option 1: A construction loan rider must be used to modify Fannie Mae’s uniform instrument that will be used for the permanent mortgage. The rider must state the construction loan terms, and the construction-related provisions of the rider must become null and void at the end of the construction period and before the permanent mortgage is sold to Fannie Mae. Because the permanent mortgage cannot be sold before it is scheduled to begin amortizing, a lender will need to amend the construction loan rider, and the accompanying uniform instrument, if the construction is completed sooner or later than originally anticipated. The amendment(s) should provide the new dates on which amortization for the permanent mortgage will begin and end. The lender also will need to record the amended documents before the permanent mortgage is sold.

  • Option 2: A separate modification agreement must be used to convert the construction loan into permanent financing. This agreement must be executed and recorded in the applicable jurisdiction before the permanent mortgage is delivered to Fannie Mae.

The lender must include the applicable conversion document in its loan submission package. When amended documents are recorded in connection with a construction loan rider, the lender also must include a copy of the original documentation that the borrower signed.

Related Announcements

The table below provides references to the Announcements that have been issued that are related to this topic.

Announcements Issue Date
Announcement SEL-2018-03 April 03, 2018
Announcement SEL-2016–04 May 31, 2016
Announcement SEL-2013–07 September 24, 2013
Announcement SEL-2013–06 August 20, 2013
Announcement SEL-2012–01 January 31, 2012
Announcement SEL-2011–03 March 31, 2011
Announcement SEL–2010–16 December 01, 2010
Announcement SEL–2010–07 May 27, 2010
Announcement 09–28 August 21, 2009
Announcement 09–19 June 8, 2009