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Alta Lofts project qualifies for FHA financing

December 10, 2010 |  1:30 pm


Ever since the private mortgage market ground to a near halt, the Federal Housing Administration has been a key provider of home loans to buyers.

Now, the sheek, new Alta Lofts project in Los Angeles' Lincolon Heights neighborhood is offering this kind of government-backed financing.

The designation is a coup, of sorts, for the converted warehouse's developer, Jeff Lee, of Lee Homes, a premier builder around town responsible for the Flower Lofts, situated down the street from Staples Center, the Grand Lofts at East 11th Street and Grand Avenue and the Sky Lofts at 8th and Grand.

The ability to give potential buyers the option of FHA financing for Alta Lofts, which is the product of a long-awaited renovation of the 1920s-era Fuller Paint warehouse on San Fernando Road, will likely help boost sales, Lee said in an interview this week. Getting the financing required making changes to the city's seminal adaptive reuse ordinance.

"We always knew that getting FHA financing was important," Lee said. "When the market fell apart ... it became obvious to us that FHA was an important part of getting stuff done."

FHA loans allow borrowers to put down payments of only 3.5% on properties and generally require lower credit scores than other loans. The loans are insured by the U.S. government, and have become a major source of funding for home purchases since the private market for mortgages dried up during the housing bust and credit crunch.

In Southern California, for instance, government-insured FHA loans accounted for 35.8% of all mortgages used to purchase homes in October, according to San Diego research firm MDA DataQuick.



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Photo: A streetscape view of the Alta Lofts building in Lincoln Heights.

(Lee Homes)