For those who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. military, Reserve or National Guard, as well as some surviving spouses, there is a mortgage loan available to help you buy a home. Guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VA loans can be obtained via mortgage lenders and can be used to purchase a condo unit, among other types of homes.
To find a VA-approved condo, first ensure you qualify for such a loan. Next, determine via the Department of Veterans Affairs' official website whether the condo is approved. Consider contacting a reputable mortgage lender for guidance, as well.
1) Learn if you qualify.
The VA breaks down what makes a borrower eligible for this loan via its official website. Such qualification requirements include those relating to time in service and property type.
“If you are now on active duty, eligibility can be established after 90 days of continuous active duty," states the department. "Upon discharge or release from active duty, eligibility must be reestablished.”
The VA also notes that some surviving spouses may be eligible if: They are “an unmarried spouse of a Veteran who died while in service or from a service-connected disability;” “a spouse of a Service member missing in action or a prisoner of war;” or “a surviving spouse in receipt of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits in cases where the Veteran's death was not service-connected.” However, there are some additional regulations, including the rule that “a surviving spouse who remarried before December 16, 2003, and on or after age 57, must have applied no later than December 15, 2004, to establish eligibility.”
The VA states a qualified borrower can use this loan to purchase a VA-approved house, condo unit or manufactured home/lot, update a home, or both, as well as refinance, in certain instances.
Once you’ve established candidacy for a VA loan, you’ll need to complete a Certificate of Eligibility (COE), which will prove your qualification to a mortgage lender. While you’re able to apply online via the VA’s eBenefits portal, you can also apply through your lender, or by mail. The specific information you’ll need to provide depends on the type of candidate you are (i.e., surviving spouse, veteran, active-duty service member, current National Guard or Reserve member, or discharged National Guard member, etc.).
It’s important to note there are other stipulations regarding VA loan eligibility. To learn more, click here.
2) Check the department's website for VA-approved condos.
Doing so enables you to obtain a summary or detail report.
“The Summary report lists the Condo name and ID, as well the Record Type (Condo),: explains the VA. "You may click on the Condo name to view the details of that dwelling complex,” whereas, “The Detail report lists the Condo name and ID, the address, the Status and processing dates.”
Simply fill in the requested information, including the report type, as well as condo name, regional office, state, city and county.
3) Ask a reputable mortgage lender to point you in the right direction.
While a condo report is certainly a helpful tool, borrowers can also find out whether a condominium complex is approved by the VA by contacting a mortgage lender in the area. If the property you’re inquiring about isn’t VA-approved, a lender can likely point you in the right direction and inform you about VA-approved options.
This also gives you a chance to learn more about other property requirements and VA loans in general, including the information needed to apply.
While there is standard information you’ll have to share with any lender, such as credit, employment history and bank statements, the qualifications may vary. As the VA explains, besides a COE and “sufficient income,” you need “satisfactory credit” to be a candidate for a VA loan. This isn’t a minimum credit score required by the VA—this will depend upon the lender.
Whatever your questions are about such loans, regarding qualifications, VA-approved condos and other properties, as well as any other concerns, the right lender can give you helpful, informative answers.
Contour Mortgage provides home mortgage loans, including VA loans, to buyers in various states across the country. This includes New York, Florida, Maryland, Colorado, California, Texas and Georgia, among others. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.