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Previously, if a condo building had not already been pre-approved by FHA, the FHA buyer would have to go through a "spot approval" process, wherein the particular unit the buyer wished to purchase would be cleared for FHA financing. Recently, FHA did away with the spot approval process, causing many buyers (and even agents) to think that if a building is not already pre-approved with FHA, then a buyer cannot use FHA financing to purchase within it. That is incorrect, however, and the new process may even be MORE beneficial to FHA buyers. Here are the new guidelines:
There are two ways to approve a condominium for FHA financing that is not already approved on the FHA web site
HRAP - go through HUD for condo approval -- this can take 4 to 6 weeks.
DELRAP - go through a direct endorsement lender who has authority to approve the condo. For example: Wells Fargo's project approval team can approve a project in 7-9 business days (some lenders may take over 30 days to approve a condo).
The cost to get an existing condo approved is $300
The cost of getting a new condominium approved is $1,000, which the developer normally will cover
Once a condo is approved, it is posted to HUD's web page and added to the Approved List. Once a condo is added to the approved list, any lender can use the approval.
Scenario 1 - The condo is already approved - go to the FHA condo approval web site (https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/condlook.cfm) to see if the condo is already on the approved list. If it is, only ONE additional item is needed -- the FHA condo checklist (attached). As you'll see, this checklist is only seven questions and is used to make sure that the condominium remains sound and still conforms to FHA's approval criteria. If a building is on the approved list, but the checklist reveals an item that no longer conforms to FHA's guidelines, the condo will not be eligible for FHA financing.
Example: A condo is on the approved list, but the FHA checklist reveals a 60% investor ratio
This form should be completed as soon as you get a condo listing and as soon as you write an offer on a condo (and before the appraisal is ordered). Since the checklist is only seven questions, the Management Company should be able to answer them rather quickly.
Scenario 2 - The condo is NOT Approved - if after checking the FHA condo approval website you learn that the project is not approved, the loan officer will need to start the approval process. The necessary documentation varies depending on the "Property Classification", or whether the condo is existing, new construction, or conversion. The loan officer will work with the management company/developer to get the required documentation for the full FHA approval. This information includes the condo questionnaire, HOA budget, recorded declarations, condo/plat map, flood certification, insurance, etc.
I know this is a lot of information, so here is a quick rundown of the important points
always check the FHA Approval website as soon as you get a condo listing or get a condo buyer
the appraisal should not be ordered until the condo has been approved AND the FHA checklist has been received
if the condo is not on the approved list, the lender will need to approve the project, which will take extra time
even if the condo is on the list, the FHA checklist is still required to ensure that it's still within FHA's guidelines
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.