3 Helpful FHA Search Tools
In working with condominium projects to help them get approved with FHA, I am constantly using the FHA search tools. I hope that these will be of use to all of you. You can click the pictures to lead you to the sites.
This is the one that I use most frequently, for obvious reasons. It can be a little tempermental if you don't input the name of the condominium exactly as it appears in HUD's system. For example, the legal name of Cromwell Hills Condominium Phase II is actually "Cromwell Development Condominium Association (#1) Corp." If you look it up by either of these names, you won't find it. For whatever reason, it's labeled as "Cromwell Condominium*".
I find that the best practice is to look up condominiums by city/state and scroll through them.
This will provide information as to whether or not the condominium project is approved, when it was approved, when its approval expires, the address of the project, its FHA Condo ID and any notes specific to the project such as if there are Affordable Housing Units.
FHA Condominium Package Logging Search Tool
This search tool was added when FHA implemented their overhaul of the condominium approval guidelines and processing. It has been modified in the past couple of months (I can't remember when) because it used to contain the name of the person who submitted the package. [This is kind of a bummer for me because my name was everywhere!]
When FHA receives a condominium approval package, the mailroom randomly assigns it to a project reviewer. Once the reviewer receives it, it is "logged" into the system and that date is noted here. FHA says to allow up to 30 days from this date to process a file and will not accept communications about the status prior to 30 days or the review of the file, whichever comes first.
I use this site to track processing times and whether or not a submission was received. If a package is received by FHA and not logged within 5 business days, FHA says to contact them.
The site is not always accurate as to the file's status. For example, below is the current status for 84 Skyview Condominiums in Cromwell, CT. It shows as being "Received" on 10/22/13 but it should read that it was Approved on 10/31/2013 (this was one of mine).
This one sort of speaks for itself. I don't use this one as much as I would if I were a real estate agent or a mortgage broker/lender. But it does come in handy when I field phone calls. It allows me to speak intelligently about the FHA loan limits in an area.
The searches are done by State, County, County Code or MSA. There is no option to search by city or town.
Two weeks ago I received a call from a property manager in Dallas, TX, inquiring about an FHA approval for one of her projects. I went through the standard question and answer session about owner-occupancy rate, financial status, insurance coverage, etc. It came out that the values of the vast majority of the units were above $450,000 so I looked up the maximum loan amounts in the Dallas MSA. It turns out that the maximum loan amount for a single-family in this area is $271,050.
I presented to her all of the information and drafted a proposal about which she could speak with the Board of Directors. They may not move forward with the approval but at least they are armed with the proper information to make an informed decision.
I hope that these prove to be 3 Helpful FHA Search Tools for you!