The Federal Housing Administration issued an update to its condominium rules, which go into effect October 15, 2019. The FHA said it expects to improve access to affordable and sustainable housing, and also will allow more borrowers to qualify for condo loans.
Some of the key changes to the guidelines include:
An individual condo unit in a building of 10 or more units may be eligible for spot approval if no more than 10% of the units are FHA insured. For units in buildings with fewer than 10 units, no more than two units can have FHA insurance.
The recertification deadline for approved condo projects is extended from two to three years.
FHA will insure more mixed-use projects, or those with more commercial space. Approved projects can now have up to 35% of their square footage dedicated to non-residential use.
The FHA loosened owner-occupancy rules, stating that eligible condo projects can now be just 50% owner-occupied.
The FHA will insure up to 50% of units in any given project.
According to the FHA, only 6.5 percent of the more than 150,000 condo projects across the country are currently approved for FHA financing. These new guidelines could significantly enhance the pool of borrowers eligible for FHA loans.
Due to their lower average price point, condominiums serve as a vital source of affordable housing, particularly as a gateway for first time home buyers entering the housing market. This change will make it possible for a much larger number of people to become homeowners.
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FHA requires a borrower to have at least a 500 credit score with a 10% down payment. If a borrower has a minimum 580 credit score the FHA will insure the loan with a 3.5% down payment.
In an effort to promote affordable and sustainable homeownership, especially among credit-worthy first-time buyers, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today published a long-awaited final regulation, and policy implementation guidance, which establish a new condominium approval process.
Designed to be flexible and responsive to market conditions, FHA’s new condo rule and the new Condominium Project Approval section of the Single Family Housing Policy Handbook, provide a comprehensive revision to FHA condominium project approval policy. In particular, the new policy will allow certain individual condominium units to be eligible for FHA mortgage insurance even if the condominium project is not FHA approved. The polices become effective October 15, 2019. Read FHA’s new condominium approval regulation.
As of October 15, FHA will insure mortgages for selected condominium units in projects that are not currently approved. An individual unit may be eligible for Single-Unit Approval under the following conditions:
The individual condominium unit is located in a completed project that is not approved;
For condominium projects with 10 or more units, no more than 10 percent of individual condo units can be FHA-insured; and projects with fewer than 10 units may have no more than two FHA-insured units.
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