The article referenced below addresses the issue of spot certification and problems faced by first time home buyers.
Good luck and please contact me if you think that I can be of any further assistance.
I do not have the cash on hand to get a conventional loan and have looked into other loans.
I have written and offer for the place and it has not been accepted due to the confusion.
My lender is the one that states that I would just need to get a spot approval but it might take a long time for it to get approved, and to work out the information to make sure that the HOA is within the qualifications.
As this is my first home it just adds more difficulty to the process.
Have you asked your agent to contact the listing agent AND the HOA for info about FHA eligibility?
And...have you also looked into getting a different kind of loan besides an FHA?
Have you already written an offer on this condo? And was your offer accepted?
If your lender has a list of approved FHA condos, then perhaps you should limit yourself to properties for sale in those complexes. Otherwise, you may be spending more time researching a condo that you are unsure about, and miss the opportunity to buy a condo at one that meets your FHA lender's underwriting requirements.
Since you are looking at condos at 555 Pierce in Albany, it is managed by Gateview at 510 527 6725.
I can give you three lenders (two banks, one independent broker) who do FHA loans. Let me know if you need help in that direction, if your agent hasn't already provided you this info.
Unfortunately, in todays tight lending market, FHAs are difficult to get on any condos..probably not just the one you are looking at. The best person the assist you with this is your lender. If you are not working with a lender, I can give you numbers and names of 3 people I work with. I think it's always best to get 3 opinions to make sure you're getting the best rates. Good Luck
Your lender may also be able to check the list of approved FHA buildings. Some condo developers may have simply not bothered to get the building FHA approved, but there may be an on-the-spot approval process your lender can institute to determine FHA eligibility.