This week VA made an important announcement regarding Condo Approval's that will have a positive effect for Orange County, CA VA loan borrowers. Although the VA is calling this a "clarification", it seems to be an actual rule change for the better. In a nutshell, VA financing is allowed on FHA approved condo projects. For those who have not kept up with the recent condo approval guidelines set forth by FHA, and how VA felt about it, this may not seem like anything.
Prior to the recent FHA condo approval guidelines changes, VA had allowed financing on condo projects even if they were not on the VA approved list. This changed when FHA changed their condo approval guidelines. VA, while not being very clear about their position on this, said they no longer would accept FHA approved condo's. This meant the project had to be on the VA Condo approved list, which in Orange County is fairly limited.
How VA Circular Letter 26-09-19 - (5-17-10) Affects VA Loans in Orange County
This latest VA Circular (a VA Circular is similar to an FHA Mortgagee Letter) announced, or "clarified" their position on FHA approved condo projects.
- VA can accept HUD/FHA/USDA condominium approvals if the project approval was dated prior to December 7, 2009.
- VA cannot accept HUD/FHA/USDA condominium approvals if the project approval was dated on or after December 7, 2009.
- VA cannot accept phases annexed into the project approved by HUD/FHA/USDA if the annexation occurred on or after December 7, 2009...If this is the case, a full review of the legal documents for the entire project must be performed by VA.
This really opens the door for Orange County Veterans looking for condo's who are planning to use the VA loan eligibility. The VA loan program, which does not require a down payment up to a purchase price of $593,750, and has no Monthly Mortgage Insurance like FHA does, is a great program that helps those who served our country.
Both FHA and VA have websites that allow for searching for approved condo projects. Unfortunately it is not as easy as typing an address in and getting a result. And the condo names shown on the VA and FHA websites do not list the address. But it is fairly easy type in a zip code and get a list of the approved projects within that zip code. This is where the help of an experienced Orange County real estate agent and/or Orange County VA lender can really come in handy.
Orange County VA loan eligible home buyers should talk to an Orange County VA loan expert before looking for a home. The lender can get the VA loan home buyer Prequalified and PreApproved (including help with obtaining the Certificate of Eligibility). Once PreApproved, the home buyer can confidently know they are ready to make an offer on a home.
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