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Rates subject to change without notice
The Standard VA loan limit in Florida for 2023 is $726,200 for most counties | Monroe County VA Loan Limits are higher at $847,000
VA Loan Limits are based on data from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Check to See Florida VA loan limits here
Fidelity Home Group offers VA Condo Loans for VA approved condos. VA Approved Condos are one that a veteran can finance using the VA Loan, after having been approved under a set of guidelines set by Department of Veterans Affairs. Our VA Mortgage Experts can check to see if your condo development is currently available for a conventional mortgage.
The VA Condo Approval list is a list of condominiums that have been approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs for VA financing. In order for a condominium to be approved, it must meet certain criteria established by the VA, such as being a certain percentage owner-occupied and being financially stable. This list is important because VA loans can only be used to purchase or refinance condos that are on the VA Condo Approval list.
Condominiums are defined differently than Single Family Homes
Condominiums are a single, individually-owned housing unit in a multi-unit building. The condominium owner holds sole title to the unit, but owns land and common property (elevators, halls, roof, stairs, etc.) jointly with other unit owners, and shares the upkeep expenses on the common-property with them. Unit owner pays property taxes only on his or her unit, and may mortgage, rent, or sell it just like any other personal property.
Low or no down payment
A VA loan requires little or no money down at closing – a valuable benefit that’s unique to the VA home loan program.
Lower monthly payments
Because the VA guarantees a portion of your loan, you won’t need to pay mortgage insurance premiums – a significant monthly savings.
Simplified approval process
VA loans were designed to offset common financial challenges faced by military families and veterans, and to simplify the approval process.
Military members – To be eligible for a VA loan, you must be an active-duty or former member of the armed forces with at least:
Surviving spouses – Spouses of service members who died in the line of duty or as the result of a service-related disability.
The VA funding fee is a one-time fee that is required for all VA loans. The amount of the fee varies depending on the size of the down payment and whether it’s the borrower’s first or subsequent use of a VA loan. For first-time VA loan borrowers, the funding fee ranges from 2.3% to 1.4% of the home’s purchase price, depending on the size of the down payment. If the down payment is less than 5%, the fee is 2.3%, if it’s 5% or more, the fee is 1.65%, and if it’s 10% or more, the fee is 1.4%. The fee can also be waived in certain cases, such as if the borrower is receiving disability compensation from the VA.
The funding fee for a cash-out refinance is actually higher than a purchase loan or a Streamline/ IRRRL. The VA funding fee for cash-out refinance loans is typically 2.30% for first-time use borrowers, and 3.6% for repeat use borrowers, regardless of the size of the down payment or equity in the property. This is because cash-out refinance loans are considered to be higher risk for the lender, and the increased funding fee helps to offset that risk.
Condo mortgages come with slightly higher rates than single-family homes
Some condos are “Warrantable” and some are “Non-Warrantable”
*as defined by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the two Government Sponsored Enterprises who purchase and sell mortgages on the secondary market)
*A high number of vacancies can also negatively affect the condo’s status
When buying a condo, ask your real estate agent to inquire about the building’s warrantability before you go any further.
On January 1, 2022, the updated Fannie Mae condominium lending guidelines went into effect. Fannie Mae Lender Letter (LL-2021-14) specifically states that new guidelines are necessary to combat aging infrastructure and significant deferred maintenance in condominiums in the wake of the tragic collapse of the Champlain South Tower in Surfside, Florida. The new condominium requirements, as outlined below, will apply to all loans in attached condominiums with 5 or more units. Specifically, condominium associations must be aware of the following changes:
Loans secured by units in a condominium with significant deferred maintenance or that have received a directive from a regulatory authority or inspection agency to make repairs due to unsafe conditions will no longer be eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae. Significant deferred maintenance is defined as any one of the following:
In order to determine whether significant deferred maintenance exists, Fannie Mae has indicated that its best practice for lenders is to review the past six months of a condominium association’s meeting minutes and obtain information about any maintenance or construction that may have significant safety, soundness, structural integrity, or habitability impacts on the unit or the project. References to items such as improvements, renovations, inadequate reserve funding, budget deficits, and negative cash-flows should be researched to determine if these items are related to deferred maintenance or other conditions that impact the safety, soundness, structural integrity, or habitability. Fannie Mae has also recommended that lenders review any available inspection, engineering, or other certification reports completed within the past five years to identify deferred maintenance that may need to be addressed.
Fannie Mae will now require all condo lenders to determine whether the condominium association has imposed any special assessments. The lender must document the loan file with the following:
If the special assessment is related to safety, soundness, structural integrity, or habitability, all related repairs must be fully completed, or the project is not eligible. Additionally, if the lender or appraiser is unable to determine that there is no adverse impact, the project is ineligible.
In Fannie Mae Lender Letter (LL-2021-14), Fannie Mae clarified that not every defect in a condominium will prevent a potential purchaser from obtaining a loan. Specifically, the following types of issues will not make a condominium project ineligible:
On December 15, 2021, Freddie Mac issued Bulletin 2021-38: Temporary Condominium and Cooperative Project Requirements and Topic 5600 Reorganization – CRC – Single Family – Freddie Mac. The requirements contained in Bulletin 2021-31 will become effective on February 28, 2022. Similar to the Fannie Mae Bulletin, Bulletin 2021-31 states that the purposes of tightening the lending requirements is due to increased risk after the Champlain Towers South collapse in Surfside, Florida. The Freddie Mac requirements apply to all condominium loans in in projects with five or more attached units.
Bulletin 2021-38 is similar to the Fannie Mae lending guidelines, but speaks in terms of not lending in condominiums that have “significant critical repairs”, which are defined as follows:
Repairs and replacements that significantly impact the safety, soundness, structural integrity or habitability of the project’s building(s) and/or that impact unit values, financial viability or marketability of the project. These repairs and replacements include:
Freddie Mac has indicated the following forms of documentation are acceptable in determining that a condominium does not have any significant critical repairs:
Similar to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac will now require all condo lenders to determine whether the condominium association has imposed any special assessments. The lender must review the following with respect to each special assessment:
When your ready to get started on your VA loan, we are experts to guide you through the entire process, the first step is getting you pre-approved. You can apply online or you prefer to speak with one of our VA Mortgage Experts, we would be happy to speak with you. Call or text us at 407-955-4575.
Fidelity Home Group
4700 Millenia Blvd Suite 175, Orlando, FL 32839
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday 8am to 7pm EST
Saturday - Sunday 10am to 6 pm EST