Should Your HOA Be FHA Approved? I recently dealt with an HOA where the HOA board debated on whether or not to renew their FHA approval. FHA will not make a loan on a building that isn’t approved. VA usually follow FHA. The approval process is in depth. FHA reviews the financial condition, the number of rentals, is in in a floor plain, is it properly insured, etc.
The approval must be updated and is good for two years. The board can start the renewal process six months prior to expiration and can go back within six months of expiration.
My efforts to persuade the board was based on the benefits to buyers:
There are two reasons that buyers use FHA: 1- to do a reverse mortgage 2- to have more lenient
mortgage underwriting. The prices in CRT and the size of the monthly dues virtually eliminates any FHA
buyers from using a typical 30 year mortgage to purchase here.
Benefit of FHA reverse mortgages to the HOA: STABILITY. People have to buy with about 50% down.
Using conventional financing it can be as low as 5%. With a reverse mortgage the lender will foreclose
on them if the HOA notifies the owner is delinquent on their HOA dues. The 50% down rule virtually
assures that you have an owner with a great deal at stake. The underwriting process gives reasonable
security that the buyer/borrower can pay their taxes and HOA dues with verifiable income.
FHA condo project requirements: The Building must be primarily residential, contain at least two
dwelling units – No more than 25% of the property’s total floor space in a project or unit can be used for
non-residential or commercial usage – No more than 10% can be owned by one investor or entity – no
more than 15% can be more than 60 days past due on their HOA dues – at least 75% of the units must
be owner occupied.
RE benefits for the building: 1- Demand – The more in demand a property is the more the value. Eliminating a source of financing
reduces the potential value. Mike Kline asked me to prove that FHA was a positive not a negative to CRT.
To me the way to measure that is value. The more in demand a property is the more the value.
Eliminating a source of financing reduces the potential value.
2- Restricting rentals: FHA does not encourage rental owners. The borrowers on reverse mortgages
must commit to owner occupancy. The HOA must account for the rental percent numbers which is one
of the main reasons for the two-year renewal process. Some of the buildings denied FHA have received
a denial because of too many rentals. Zion Summit and American Towers as an example.
3- Endorsement: Many knowledgeable buyers and/or their agents understand the FHA approval means
that important issues have been reviewed buy HUD. These would include too many rentals, a law suit on
the HOA, poor reserves, issues that might arise from the HOA meetings minutes, and any item they
consider a red flag.
The vote went 3 to 2 to renew. A homeowner and the HOA attorney made a different point that swayed the yes voters. That is, when times are tough having the ability for you to sell your home FHA may be critical.