VA Approved Condos: Everything You Need to Know
As a veteran seeking to become a condo owner, it’s vital to understand the VA condo approval process. Not all condominium projects are automatically eligible for a VA purchase loan. Specific requirements need to be met in order for condo project approval.
The condo you wish to purchase needs to be on the VA-approved condo list to use a VA loan. This ensures compliance with criteria set in place to ensure a standard of quality and financial stability.
In this blog post, we’ll cover the VA condo eligibility requirements and how to navigate the process of buying a condo with a VA Loan. We’ll provide insights into the importance of working with HOA management and VA-approved lenders to ensure you’re well-informed and equipped to purchase your condo using your benefits.
- You can use your VA loan to purchase a condo if the property meets specific requirements outlined by the VA, including those regarding occupancy, financial stability, and more.
- VA-approved condos are compiled on an official list to help streamline the homebuying process.
- If a condo project is not currently on the approved list, there is a designated process for obtaining approval. However, it can be a long process, depending on the status of the project.
Are You Allowed to Buy Condos with VA Loans?
Yes, you can buy VA-approved condos with your VA loan. Although it is more common to buy single-family homes, VA loans offer flexibility regarding the types of properties you can purchase.
In addition to single-family homes and condos, you can use a VA loan to purchase a townhouse and even multi-unit properties (up to 4 units) as long as one of the units is your primary residence.
With this in mind, it’s important to verify that the condo you’re interested in is VA-approved because not all condos meet VA loan eligibility criteria.
What Are the VA Condo Approval Requirements?
VA condo approval is dependent on several requirements. Specific criteria must be met in order to attain VA loan financing eligibility. These conditions are in place to ensure that condos are financially stable and suitable for veterans.
These are the key VA condo approval conditions:
- Occupancy requirements: At least 50% of the units in the condo community must be owner-occupied, meaning the majority of residents live in the condos they own.
- Financial stability: The condo project must be financially stable with a well-managed homeowners association (HOA), fitting in the VA loan limits. Additionally, at least 85% of residents must be up-to-date on their HOA dues.
- No litigation: The condo association cannot be involved in any sort of ongoing litigation.
- VA appraisal: The specific unit you’re interested in must meet condition and value appraisal standards as determined by the VA.
- Legal compliance: Condominiums must comply with all local, state, and federal laws.
- HOA fees: All HOA fees need to be within the range that a VA borrower can afford in addition to their mortgage payments.
Does the VA Have an Approved Condo List?
Yes, the VA has an approved condo list. The VA implements a thorough review process to determine eligibility of condos for VA financing. You can check the VA’s official website for a list of pre-approved condos.
The VA maintains this list of condo projects that have already met the eligibility criteria needed for VA loan financing. Prospective homeowners should follow these steps for using the VA-approved condo list:
- Verify eligibility: Prospective homeowners can search for specific condo projects or browse through the list to explore options.
- Select properties: After finding a VA-approved condo, homebuyers can choose a property that is eligible.
- Leverage streamlined processes: When a condo is already on the VA condo approval list, the VA loan process will be much simpler. This leads to quicker and smoother closing.
- Check ongoing updates: The list is periodically updated. Projects may be added or removed based on compliance with criteria.
Overall, the VA-approved condo list is a valuable resource for active-duty service members and veterans for simplifying the homebuying process. It makes it easier to facilitate loan approval and purchase a suitable condo.
What Do the VA Condo Approval Statuses Mean?
You’ll likely encounter numerous statuses when checking VA condo approval. Approval status helps prospective homeowners and lenders alike understand the current standing of a condo project in relation to VA loan eligibility.
This list outlines the various statuses and what they mean:
- “Accepted Without Conditions” – All VA requirements have been met. There are no additional conditions needed for the condo to receive VA financing.
- “HUD Accepted” – The project is approved by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This means the condo meets the basic eligibility requirements for VA financing.
- “Accepted Subject to Review of Legal Documents” – The project is conditionally approved pending review of legal documents related to VA compliance.
- “Accepted Subject to Recertification” – The condo was previously approved but requires recertification to ensure ongoing compliance.
- “Unaccepted” – VA requirements were not met. This means VA financing is not available for units within this condo project.
- “Withdrawn” – A condo project previously on the VA condo approval list was removed due to changes or problems associated with eligibility.
- “Expired” – Approval has lapsed. The project needs to go through the approval process again to regain eligibility status.
What If a Condo Isn’t on the List?
You have several options to consider if you have your heart set on a condo but can’t find it on the VA-approved list.
If you want to use your VA loan benefits to purchase a condo that’s not on the list, you can work with the condo’s HOA or management to request VA approval. If all eligibility criteria as outlined above are met, your condo can be submitted for VA approval.
Another option is to seek lender assistance. Many lenders have prior experience with VA loan rates and the condo approval process. If they are willing to assist with getting the project approved, they can guide you through the process and documentation required.
You can also check the approved list periodically to see if the condo you’re considering has gained VA approval.
While you are working on getting approval, it may be worthwhile to explore other properties. Condos that are already on the list are easier to purchase with VA financing, so if you’re looking to speed up the process, then opt for a unit already on the list.
What Is the VA Condo Approval Process?
First off, it’s important to keep in mind that the condo approval process can be time-consuming due to the detailed procedure. The process often involves multiple parties, and approval isn’t guaranteed.
Here’s a closer look at what to expect throughout the process:
- Eligibility review: The condominium management or HOA submits a formal request to initiate the process for VA condo approval.
- Documentation submission: The HOA or management provides comprehensive documentation, including financial statements, governance documents, insurance information, and more.
- VA review: The VA looks into the documentation provided to assess when the project meets all outlined requirements.
- Legal compliance check: The VA then conducts a legal review of the condo’s governing documents. This includes HOA bylaws, conditions, and restrictions.
- Appraisal: After passing the initial review, individual units within the condo project may undergo VA appraisals. This helps determine if the condition and value of individual units meet VA standards.
- Conditional approval: If minor changes or documentation updates are required for a condo that meets all other VA criteria, it will receive conditional approval. Required changes or conditions must be met to obtain full approval.
- Full approval: Condo projects receive full approval after meeting all specifications and are added to the approved list. This means units within the project are now authorized for VA loan financing.
- Periodic recertification: Over time, approved projects may need to undergo recertification to ensure ongoing adherence to VA standards.
Secure a VA Condo Loan Today
Understanding the VA loan criteria and approval process can help you fulfill your dream of purchasing property in a condominium community. Once you’re ready to move forward, you’ll need a lender who can help you get a VA purchase loan. That’s where we come in.
Griffin Funding specializes in VA loans, and our team is committed to assisting veterans throughout the entire loan approval process. Take the first step towards owning your ideal condo by applying for a VA loan with Griffin Funding today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will VA condo approval take?
After the VA receives all required documentation, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months for initial review. Depending on conditional approval or recertification needs, the entire process generally ranges from a few months to over a year.
How often is the VA-approved condo list updated?
How do you get approved for a VA loan?
To get approved for a VA loan, you’ll also need to apply through a VA-approved lender such as Griffin Funding to assess your qualifications and help throughout the process. Learn more about the VA loan pre-approval process.
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