10 Steps You Should Take to Find and Buy VA Approved Condos
Are you a veteran looking to purchase a new home? If so, you are likely eligible for loans from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to pay for your mortgage. These loans are used to pay for either townhouses or condominiums.
As a veteran, you would definitely benefit from a VA loan.
So if you’re interested in living in a condo or townhouse, there are specific steps you’ll need to follow to buy a VA approved condo. Below we outline the 10 steps you should take to find and purchase VA approved condos.
1) Find housing and property that meets VA requirements
Veterans who want to purchase a condominium with a VA loan will need to look for property that meet standards required by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The first step in obtaining a VA loan will be to understand these standards and find housing that meet the requirements. These requirements are meant to ensure veterans and their families have safe, structurally sound, and clean housing.
There are minimum property requirements that VA appraisers look for such as heating and cooling systems, sufficient water supply capabilities, hot water system, and safe sewage disposal methods.
Different systems like solar or wood heating systems need to meet certain standards and may even need backup capabilities. There are also roofing and ventilation requirements.
Depending on the climate, there may be a handful of townhouses or condos that do not need a heating system. This will depend on the VA appraisal.
Any issues with meeting minimum property requirements will need to be fixed before a VA loan is approved. If the property and housing fails the minimum property requirements, it will likely not receive financing or loans from the VA.
Veterans viewing a home and considering purchase should also be aware that meeting these minimum property requirements does not replace a thorough home inspection.
You will need to have a home inspection before move-in day to better understand any and all problems with a property. Once you have a list of VA housing requirements, you can start using the VA website to search for approved condos.
Additionally, choosing a family member for a realtor may not work out unless they are specialists in the neighborhood you’re looking to buy a home. A real estate agent who doesn’t know your area is also problematic.
Along with these particular red flags, a realtor that doesn’t usually sell condos or townhouses may be the wrong choice for you. Make sure your realtor knows the market for buying condos.
4) Look into the Department of Housing and Urban Development
Along with the help of a real estate agent, veterans may also benefit from contacting the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The majority of HUD-approved condominiums are also eligible for VA mortgage loans.
Veterans can use the HUD website to search for condos that are eligible for VA loans. This HUD.gov page provides a streamlined way to find condominiums based on location, status, or name.
The first action to take on the website page is to choose whether to sort condos based on ID number, name, city, state, county, or zip code. Next, you can pick a state in which you wish to live. You can also enter in the ID number, condo name, city, county, or zip code.
Additionally, the website page allows you to enter in the housing status (approved, expired, rejected, or withdrawn) and the beginning or ending dates.
Once you hit enter, you’ll find a list of available condos in your region. You’ll find information on condo names, ID numbers, and addresses.
You will also want to use the VA Amendatory Clause when purchasing HUD homes with a VA mortgage loan. The HUD’s Management and Marketing (M&M) Contractor will need to see this clause if a VA loan is used.
This contractor can adjust the sales price based on the VA appraisal value only if the VA appraisal is equal or higher than the second offer HUD was given as a bid.
After you have picked a real estate agent, be sure to take a look at the HUD website and reach out to HUD representatives. This may help you find condos that are both HUD-approved and eligible for VA mortgage loans.
5) Veterans need a Certificate of Eligibility to qualify for VA loans
In order to get a mortgage loan from the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans need to provide their VA Home Loan Certificate of Eligibility. This certificate will prove whether a veteran qualifies for a VA-approved condo loan. You will need to first go to this website page to start the process of obtaining this certificate.
On this website page, you will need to go to the eBenefits portal. If you have login information including username and password for this website, click the login box in the top right corner.
If you need to obtain a password and username to log into the portal, you have to click the register box next to the login box in the top right corner. Once you’re there, follow the instructions on the page.
If you come across some issues, you can call 1-800-983-0937 for the eBenefits customer service Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm EST.
You can also apply for a VA Home Loan Certificate of Eligibility through your lender. The majority of lenders have access to the Web LGY system, which is an Internet-based application platform.
Figure out how many bedrooms you’ll need and how large of a home will sustain your family. Take a look at the size of closets, cupboards, and other storage facilities at each condo.
Take a look at different styles of homes including ones with gym facilities, explains the publication Style at Home. Be sure to purchase homes on the larger side based on your finances since bigger condos are easier to resell.
Pick out a condo with an attractive view both for everyday life and resale value. Ask the condo association about visitor parking since you may have friends or family popping in for a visit. Check out the condition of the lobby and common areas as well.
You will want to work with an experienced real estate agent because multiple counter offers can become tricky and overly complex. As the buyer, be aware that counter offers often have an expiration date.
If you are satisfied with the counter offer, you should accept the offer and quickly deliver your acceptance back to the designated party.
You’ll also want to be aware that sellers can accept another offer while you are trying to decide whether or not to move forward with your counter offer. So you’ll want to accept a counter offer in a timely manner.
If the seller did accept an offer from another buyer, your counter offer will be withdrawn. On the other hand, if a seller tells you that they are looking at someone’s counter offer, you can submit a list price offer to obtain your home.
Often when a seller is looking at other bids, a list price offer will bring the seller to accept your bid. Once you have accepted the counter offer, you’ll want to meet with your lawyer to sign the contract.
10) Meet sign the contract for sale
After you accept the counter offer on your condo, you realtor will draft an offer to purchase. Around this time, you will want to get a real estate lawyer involved if your state requires it.
Getting a lawyer makes the process easier as they’ll be responsible for ensuring you receive a clear title. They’ll conduct a title search to find all pertinent information and records about the property you’re buying.
The lawyer will hold all documents needed for the transaction between the buyer and seller. Your lawyer will be there to represent your interests with the seller and their representation.
Make sure you have a home inspection completed before you sign the contract for sale. Your attorney would then begin preparing closing documents. You will need to have all the paperwork you’ve gathered throughout the home buying process.
Be sure you have mortgage documents, proof of title search, the sales contract, and proof of homeowner’s insurance. You’ll need picture identification to complete your purchase. You may want to do a final walk-through of the property.
Approximately one week before the closing date, you will need to meet with your attorney to sign purchase documents and mortgage documents to close the sale. You’ll need to bring the down payment funds with you to this meeting.
Once that’s done, you can receive the house keys and start moving in! By following these 10 steps, you will be able to successfully find and purchase a condominium with the help of a VA mortgage loan.