VA home loan benefits are accessible to veterans and military members. These benefits extend to condo units. However, the loan process when applying to buy a condo is different from the process for other properties. If you think the process is nailed down because you have experience with properties other than condos, think again.
We’ve put together important pieces of information for you to know. We’ve also added some tips and ideas to make your life easier. The VA has a specific definition for condos. A condominium, according to the VA, is a common interest community. One of the main differences between a home and a condo is responsibility. When you own a home, you’re the only person responsible for its maintenance. Alternatively, you share the responsibility for common areas with other condo owners.
Buying a Condo with a VA Loan
The first step is to contact your lender. Your loan officer will tell you whether the condo you have in mind is on the approved list of the VA. Don’t panic if it’s not on the approved list, as it’s often possible to get it added. The benefits of condo loans include no down payment, more forgiving credit qualification guidelines, and no VA-required mortgage insurance premiums.
The main catch in applying for a VA condo loan is that the condo must be in a VA-approved project. This makes it different from townhomes, suburban homes, and mixed-use property VA loans. The person to make the distinction for you will be your lender. You can also check the VA website to see a list of condo projects approved by the VA. As mentioned earlier, you can try to add a condo project to the list, but the process will take time.
Condo projects that waive the right of first refusal clauses on veteran buyers’ contracts are the only ones that the VA can accept. This protects veterans as it allows them to transfer their units when they want to or dispose of them.
Your lender will also look at occupancy rates. A condo project with a very low occupancy rate can be a red flag, and the same applies to condo projects with very high occupancy rates. Your lender, for protection, can cap HOA dues.
Looking to buy a condo is easier than it seems. You just need to find a place that you like that also complies with the rules we mentioned. You should try to plan ahead instead of waiting until the last second. This will be especially wise if the condo project you want to buy in isn’t on the VA’s list of approved projects. If it’s not on the list, it’s not necessarily the end of the road. You can have it added if it’s what you really want and you’re ready to go through the process. For more advice, you can contact us, and we’ll be happy to help.