VA Condo Approval Process: Securing Benefits for Veterans

Eligibility Criteria for VA-Approved Condos

As a token of our nation’s gratitude, the United States government provides mortgage guarantees to honorably discharged veterans through VA-backed mortgages. These unique benefits can offer up to 100% financing, more liberal credit standards, and reduced credit score requirements. But before this advantage can extend to a condominium community, the VA must first approve it.

  • To qualify, a condominium community must meet certain criteria.

    1. At least 50% of the units should be owner-occupied. Less than half of the units can be rented out.
    2. No more than 15% of the unit owners should be behind on their Homeowners Association (HOA) dues.
    3. For newly constructed condo developments or projects recently converted from apartments, at least 75% of the units must be sold.
    4. The project should consist of more than one unit.
    5. No single entity (individual, investor, or company) should own more than 10% of the units in the development.
  • The HOA must allow leasing in the community.
  • No “Seasoning Clauses” (restrictions that require a unit owner to occupy the unit for a specified time period before they can lease) are allowed, except in certain circumstances with hardship clauses.
  • The Board of Directors cannot have the power to approve or deny leases, and cannot impose background checks, credit checks, or any other type of screening for prospective tenants. The unit owner may impose these checks, but not the HOA or Board of Directors.
  • If the association has non-compliant leasing restrictions or a right of first refusal clause, an exception may be available which would allow the loan to proceed.
  • In the event of rejection, the veteran can apply for a special “waiver” which would allow their loan to proceed, provided the condo is otherwise acceptable.

Navigating the VA Approval Process

The VA’s approval process requires a comprehensive review, forbidding “spot approvals”. The application checklist may necessitate up to 27 items, depending on the nature of the submission—pre-construction approval, new construction approval, or an existing complex’s approval. This approval, which takes about 30-45 days, comes at no charge, and once a community is approved, no recertification is required.

It’s paramount to have an expert who understands the VA’s guidelines to ensure the community’s governing documents are compliant. American Condo Approvals can help you navigate the VA condo approval process and circumvent common obstacles. Contact us today to learn more.

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