Being able to buy a house with less than 10% down. Specifically, as little as 3.5%.
Maximum debt-to-income allowed in 41%, which may or may not be better than what you can get at a bank.
Paying Mortgage insurance out the wazoo. Nobody thinks about it this way, but FHA loans are actually quite expensive because of this.
You'll pay two Mortgage insurances:
- 1% one time fee at closing
- 1.15% per year ongoing
Plus, it's harder to get out of down the road that regular PMI. With regular PMI, you can stop paying it when your loan to value drops below 80%. With FHA, you a) must have been paying for at least 5 years, and b) it's 78% loan to value where "value" is the initial appraised value at closing, NOT the current value.
In other words, the equity you get from your home rising in value does not count, whereas it does with regular bank PMI. I've calculated that if you don't make extra payments, you'll be paying PMI for about 14 years.
Note that for all practical purposes, you'd have to get a interest rate of less than 4.85% for your effective interest rate (interest+pmi) to drop below 6%. That's not counting the effect of that additional 1% up front.