VA Loan Condo Purchase Guidelines
One advantage of the VA loan is the various types of purchases you can make with a VA loan. A VA loan can be used to purchase a single-family home, manufactured home, condominium, a multi-unit property, and even a new build. However, not all types of purchases are the same with a VA loan.
This article breaks down the VA loan condominium purchase and everything that is involved and required to purchase a condo with a VA loan.
VA Condominium “Condo” Definition
A condominium, or “condo” for short, is a privately-owned unit that is a part of a community of units. A condo can be either attached or detached. An attached condo is what people typically think of when thinking of a condo. An attached condo is a unit within a building development of several condos.
The VA defines a condominium complex or planned unit development as a common interest community, which means everyone living in the shared land or building equally shares the common areas, like playgrounds, pools, fitness centers, and parking lots.
A detached condo will be a house, sometimes a manufactured home, that is actually part of a condominium development. Detached condos are sometimes mistaken for regular single-family homes or manufactured homes since they don’t look like the traditionally attached condo.
Benefits of Purchasing a Condo
There are many advantages to purchasing a condo, including the following:
- Overall more affordable than a single-family home.
- Extra benefits and amenities, like pools, playgrounds, and gyms.
- Homeowners associations (HOA) typically oversee most maintenance, providing more freedom and flexibility for residents.
Purchase a Condo with a VA Loan
You can purchase a condo with a VA loan. However, the condominium complex must first be approved by the VA. If a condo is not already VA-approved, it can sometimes take months to get it approved so it is important that you determine a condo’s eligibility status before going under contract.
You can look up a condo’s approval status online by submitting a request for a customized condo report on the VA website. A VA-approved lender can also help you retrieve this report.
If you don’t have a specific condo development in mind, but know where you want to purchase a condo using your VA loan, you can use the condo report form to look up the city and state where you want to purchase a condo and this will generate a list of VA-approved condominium developments in the area where you want to purchase a condo with your VA loan.
VA Requirements for a Condo Development
For a condo to be VA-approved, its development or HOA has to meet certain requirements:
- At least 50% of the units in the condo development must be occupied by individual owners. In other words, less than half of the units can be rented out to tenants.
- Less than 15% of the unit owners are behind on HOA dues payments.
- For new condo developments or recent conversion projects from apartments to condos, at least 75% of all units must be sold to individual owners.
- The project must be more than one unit.
- No single entity (individual, investor, or company) can own more than 10% of the units in the development.
- HOA bylaws must not give the HOA authority over who you can sell the condo to and when (also known as Right of First Refusal).
VA Condo Approval Types
There are several approval statuses that a condo may have.
- Accepted Without Conditions – Complex meets the VA’s requirements for a mortgage loan.
- Accepted With Conditions – This will not stop you from financing your condo purchase with a VA loan, but you may be required to sign a form stating you understand the VA’s concerns and still want to proceed.
- HUD Accepted – Prior to 2010, the VA accepted all condo developments approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This is no longer the case, but condos approved by the HUD prior to December of 2009 are still considered approved by the VA as well.
- Unaccepted – If a VA condo is “unaccepted” it is not eligible for financing with a VA loan.
VA Approval Process for Condos
If a condo development is not already VA-approved, a VA-approved lender can submit an inquiry to determine if the property meets the VA approval requirements. Your VA-approved lender would also need to work with the condo development’s HOA to see if they are open to completing the VA approval process.
The responsibility of getting a condo development VA-approved ultimately comes down to the HOA completing the process. The approval process for a condo development can take a couple of months if not longer. And even if the condo HOA agrees to undergo the VA approval process, there is no guarantee it will get approved.
If a condo is not VA-approved, the best course of action is for the homebuyer to move on to other options.
Contact a VA Loan Specialist
Interested in purchasing a condo with your VA loan benefit? Our VA loan specialists at VeteransLoans.com can help you find a VA-approved condo perfect for you and get you pre-qualified for a VA loan. Check your VA loan eligibility – call 1 (888) 232-1428 to speak with a loan specialist today!