Potential homebuyers have a lot to contend with from tight credit and low inventory to rising prices. But for buyers who are able to muscle past these hurdles, Realtors® know that deals can still fall apart when needlessly high regulatory burdens get in the way. That point was made clear by Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who told REALTORS at a recent meeting that HUD is working to make improvements with the goal of ushering in a new era of homeownership. NAR for years has pushed for reforms at the Federal Housing Administration – a program office under HUD’s jurisdiction – that would make it easier for homebuyers to utilize FHA’s low-down payment financing options to purchase condos. One example is NAR’s call for FHA to address current restrictions on the treatment of condominiums. The new rules would make it easier to buy a condo with FHA financing. NAR President William E. Brown, said, “Condominiums are an affordable option that many young and first-time buyers look to when they start their home search, but using an FHA loan to buy a condo is still a real challenge,” said Brown. “Finishing work on the condo rules would offer some much-needed clarity and relief.” In addition to condo rules and life of loan mortgage insurance, Brown raised another Realtor® priority: reinstating a cut to the mortgage interest premium FHA charges for its loans. FHA announced that it was cutting annual premiums consumers pay for mortgage insurance from 0.85 percent to 0.60 percent, but the cut was rescinded under the new administration just a few weeks later. FHA has said that the decision to reinstate the cut is still under review.