FHA Condominium Project Approval
FHA Guideline Update: Thought about purchasing a condominium in the past? FHA has just announced that is will be changing its rules to make it easier for buyers to get federally insured financing. This is good news because traditionally condos have been a great way for first time home owners to step into a house. Under new FHA guidelines second homes are no longer considered “investment property” for determining the owner-occupancy ratio of a condominium project. Looking back before the change if someone had owned a unit in a condo project, and used the unit as a second home, that unit doesn’t count as part of the project’s 50-percent owner-occupancy threshold, which is required by FHA. This meant that if someone wanted to own a unit in that project and fewer than half the units where owner occupied the borrower couldn’t get FHA-backed financing. Today the FHA has widened its guidelines. Below are the new guidelines provided by FHA: The procedure for calculating the required owner-occupancy percentage is modified to allow units that are not investor-owned to be considered owner occupied for the purpose of Condominium Project approval. For the purpose of Condominium Project approval, a unit is considered to be investor-owned if the unit is: • Tenant Occupied; • Vacant and listed for rent; • Existing (previously occupied), vacant and listed for sale; or • Under contract to a purchaser that does not intend to occupy the unit as a Principal Residence or Secondary Residence. The term Principal Residence and Secondary Residence have the same meaning as defined in Handbook 4000.1. For purposes of calculating the owner-occupancy percentage: • on multi-phased projects, the owner-occupancy percentage is calculated on the total number of units in the first declared phase and cumulatively on subsequent phases; or • for single-phase condominium project approval requests, all units are used in the denominator when calculating the required owneroccupancy percentage.
Streamline Condominium Re-certification:
FHA-approved condominium projects require re-certification after two years to ensure that the project is still in compliance with FHA’s eligibility requirements and that no conditions currently exist which would present an unacceptable risk to FHA. For existing condominium projects seeking re-certification, FHA will now only require applicants to submit documents reflecting any substantive changes since the project’s prior approval.
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