Home Buying in Albany>Question Details

Tigercub, Home Buyer in San Francisco, CA

FHA loan Question - High Rise Condo

Asked by Tigercub, San Francisco, CA Mon Jul 6, 2009

I am approved for an FHA loan and I have been told by different agents that the condo that I am looking at that it is FHA eligible and the other that it is not. How do I make sure that it is eligble? Is there any rules that say that High Rise Condos are not FHA approved - if so what makes it unqualified?

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Ok..I finally have an answer for you. Unfortunately, it's not one you are going to be happy with. First, I checked with several different lenders specializing in the Albany area regarding FHA loans and condos. They all said the loan would be impossible if the condos are not FHA approved. Then I checked with FHA DIRECTLY, and I"m sorry to say, this particular condo project is NOT approved as of 7/2009. The only way you can have a sure chance at it is if you go conventional and I understand that's not an option for you at this time. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions...Hopefully, it wont take me this long to get the answer for you next time but I just wanted to make sure I got all the information before I answered.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 7, 2009
Tiger, there is a process called "spot certification" that will give an HOA a short cut path to getting certified. This is an option if the problem is simply that the HOA never applied. However, it will not help if the community is not certified because it cannot meet FHA criteria, e.g. insufficient reserves. Even conventional loan programs have tighter requirements. Beautiful units out in Marina Bay are sitting on the market because of the lack of financing. For many developments the only options are all cash or seller financing. The latter option cannot work in a bank owned or short sale situation, and that is what we are seeing with many of these units. Consider turning your attention to a small bungalow or ranch house in Richmond, San Pablo, or El Sobrante. You will be making a better investment and have less problem with financing.
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.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 12, 2009
Hey there, I'm still looking for someone who can help you out. Just wanted to let you know I have not forgotten about you. I want to be able to give you someone who can give you a concrete answer and is knowledgable JUST about the Albany area and lending rules. Dont give up hope. Feel free to call me if you just want to vent..maybe we can come up with a solution.

Kamal Randhawa
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 7, 2009
I have asked both the listing agent and the HOA regarding eligibity. I have also asked my Lender. I have also asked another listing agent that has another unit up for sale in the same complex. All have different answers for me. Both Yes and No.

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.

Thanks again!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 7, 2009

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.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 6, 2009
The address is 555 Pierce Street, Albany, Ca

Thank you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 6, 2009
I'll make some phone calls for you soon. What is the address of the condo? I'll be away from my computer for rest of the day, feel free to call me on my cell listed below.

Kamal Randhawa
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 6, 2009
I have asked my lender, but she is telling me that I need copies of the HOA docs. This property is not on the approved FHA condo list. I would just like to know if I am wasting my Agent's time or my own by continuing to press on this matter if the condo wont even be approved. Names of lenders that have done FHA loans in Albany would be great! Thanks~
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 6, 2009
Hi there!!

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

Kamal Randhawa
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 6, 2009
Have you called the Homeowner Association or the management company managing this complex?

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.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 6, 2009
I do not know of any FHA restrictions due to "high rise" or too many units condos. Let me suggest you call the Mtg Broker I do business with, who does FHA loans, Chet Gohd, RPM Mortgage. tell him where you are considering buying and he can give you good information. All the best. 510-647-5320
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 6, 2009
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