Eligible borrowers can use their VA loan benefits to purchase a condominium rather than a single-family home. For first time homebuyers, a condo or townhome can have multiple benefits compared to a standalone house. However, to use your VA loan on a condo property, the property must be within a VA-approved development. Here's a guide to the basics of buying a VA-approved condo as a first-time homebuyer:
It's common for condo communities to advertise or clearly state their VA-approval status. However, if you're unsure, there are resources you can use to find out. The official website for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has a search function you can use to view a list of approved condos in a given area. Searching the list is a great way to find out about other properties you might not have discovered yet in your home search.
If your dream condo is not listed as a VA-approved property, there is still a possibility of using your VA loan to purchase it. To do so, the development would need to gain approval from the VA. The approval process requires official documentation from the development like homeowner association information, occupancy and vacancy reports, financial statements and lot surveys.
A major downside of trying to get your choice of condo approved by the VA is the amount of time required for the process. If you're wanting to close on a home quickly, it would be better to go with a property that is already approved.
There are some different types of approval a property can have from the VA. One of the most important terms to know is "accepted with conditions." If a condo property is "accepted with conditions," it means there is at least one thing in the property's application the VA has lasting concerns about. You may need to fill out an additional form stating you understand the conditions before you're able to move forward.
For first-time homebuyers, buying a condo with a VA loan is a smart choice. However, it's important to understand the process. Keep these things in mind when considering your plans for home ownership.