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Condominium Financing

Find our how the VA home loan program works with Condos.


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What is a condo?

Condominiums, also commonly referred to as condos, are an increasingly popular type of housing option. This type of living arrangement typically involves individuals owning their own self-contained units within a larger multi-unit building or complex. Condos are akin to apartments, but differ in that the units are individually owned as opposed to being rented out. These types of properties vary in size and layout, ranging from compact studio apartments to spacious multi-bedroom units. Condos are often thought to be an ideal living option for urban or suburban dwellers, primarily due to their accessibility to popular amenities and facilities. These facilities can include but are not limited to swimming pools, fitness centres, and common living areas. Additionally, they are great for those seeking a low-maintenance, lock-and-leave lifestyle.


  • Low-maintenance living: Condos are a great option for those who want a low-maintenance lifestyle. The Homeowners Association (HOA) is responsible for maintaining the common areas and amenities, which means you do not have to worry about mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, or maintaining the exterior of the building.
  • Amenities: Many condos come with a variety of amenities such as a swimming pool, fitness center, and common areas that can be used by all residents. These amenities can provide a great way to socialize and make new friends.
  • Location: Condos are often found in desirable locations such as urban centers or popular tourist destinations, which can provide easy access to a wide range of amenities and services.
  • Security: Condos often have security measures in place such as gated entrances, security cameras, and on-site security personnel, which can provide a sense of security for residents.
  • Cost-effective: Condos are often more affordable than single-family homes, making them a great option for first-time homebuyers or those looking to downsize.
  • Potential for appreciation: Condos can appreciate in value over time, which can provide a good return on investment for buyers.
  • Sense of community: Condos often have a sense of community among residents, which can provide a great way to meet new people and make lasting friendships.
  • Pet-friendly: Many condos are pet-friendly and provide amenities such as dog parks and walking trails that are perfect for pet owners.


  • Expensive condo dues: Becoming a condo owner comes with some responsibility when it comes to maintaining your property. Aside from the upkeep of your own unit, you may also be responsible for contributing to the upkeep of the shared areas and facilities. For this purpose, a homeowners association (HOA) usually manages the collective maintenance and administration of the common areas. The cost of doing so is usually covered by a monthly or annual fee, commonly referred to as the HOA fee.

    Before proceeding with purchasing a condo, it is important to familiarize oneself with the rules and regulations set by the HOA, to ensure that you are in compliance with them. Even though condos can offer a more convenient and low-maintenance living, the HOA fee can be quite considerable. It is important to take note that as an owner, you are bound to the associations rules, which can become quite restrictive. Finally, the value of your condo can be affected by the condition of the building and the financial stability of the association, adding an additional layer of consideration when purchasing.

  • Privacy: It’s arguably the least private type of property since you could have multiples owners that live around you.
  • No land ownership: You don’t own the land the structure is one. Why this means you don’t have to maintain the land it also means that you don’t get to enjoy your own private yard.
  • Extra insurance required: Even though the condo fee will include the cost to insure the exterior of the dwelling you will still need to purchase a condo insurance policy. This is called an HO6 policy and covers the interior walls and your personal property.  This policy falls somewhere in the middle of full dwelling coverage and a renters insurance policy. 

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Must be VA approved prior to closing

As you consider purchasing a condominium, it’s important to understand that every major mortgage program has a unique set of guidelines to approved each individual condominium for financing. The VA loan program is no different and they require condo approval prior to closing. You’ll often come across terms such as warrantable or nonwarrantable condos.

Warrantable condos are a type of condominium that goes through a strict approval process with the two government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These condos are scrutinized and evaluated to ensure that they meet certain standards and requirements. Once approved, they are considered to be less risky for lenders, therefore banks and financial institutions may be more willing to finance them. This inevitably means that financing a warrantable condo could potentially be less of a hassle than other types of properties. The thorough scrutiny and approval process serves as a measure of quality assurance, making warrantable condos a popular choice for many homebuyers and lenders alike.

Typically, the condo association or management company must supply the necessary documentation on each individual transaction to the lender for certification of warrentability. This is not only a time-consuming process but can be very costly. The great news for the VA loan program is that if the condominium has already been approved by the Department of Veteran Affairs, then a new review isn’t necessary. The list of prior approved VA condos can be found on the VA’s public website.


Condos that don't have prior VA approval

If the condominium that you are interested in has not yet been approved by the VA, there are a few documents that would need to be provided to the VA for review. This is a necessary step in order for the VA to confirm the eligibility of the property for a VA loan. Once all of the required documentation has been collected, we will submit it to the VA for their review. Please note that the VA has informed us that this process typically takes up to 30 days, although in most cases we see approvals within 7-10 business days. Be assured that we will be with you every step of the way in this process and will do everything we can to make it as efficient and straightforward as possible.

Documentation needed for approval

Required DocumentNew ProjectExisting Resales
Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and RestrictionsYesYes
Bylaws for HOAYesYes
Articles of Incorporation for HOAIf applicableIf applicable
“Umbrella” projects, Declaration, Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation, as aboveIf applicableIf applicable
Plat, map and/or air lot survey of projectYesYes
Plat, map and/or air lot survey of unit(s)If applicableIf applicable
Development plan and scheduleYesIf declarant controls
Information or Public Offering StatementYesIf declarant controls
Grant/deed/leasehold agreement formYesIf declarant controls
State reviewing agency’s reportIf applicableIf applicable
Annexation documentsIf applicableIf applicable
Cross-easement(s)If applicableIf applicable
Facility LeasesIf applicableIf applicable
Management agreementIf applicableIf applicable
Service contract(s) (either form of or actual)If applicableIf applicable
HOA budget (existing or proposed)YesYes
Current financial statements and reserves of projectIf applicableIf applicable
Special assessments/litigation statementYesYes
Minutes of last two HOA meetingsYesYes
Registered architect/engineer statement on project condition (conversions only)If declarant controlsIf declarant controls
Recorded documentsYesYes
Recorded annexation document for subject phase (expandable projects only)YesYes
Evidence recreational facilities completed and common area conveyed to HOAYesYes
Statement on adequacy of utilities serving site (conversions only)If declarant controlsIf declarant controls
Evidence common area title free of financial encumbrancesYesIf applicable
Evidence of final local authority approval and final VA inspection (Low/High Rises and Conversions only)YesNo
Lender’s certification that pre-sale requirement metYesYes

Rejected Condos

Through our extensive experience in dealing with VA condos, we have come to recognize that a majority of the rejected condos stem from issues pertaining to deed restrictions. It is important to understand that a deed restricted community is a type of development where all properties are subject to certain conditions that have been put in place and are enforced by a HOA. These conditions are referred to as deed restrictions and they specify or limit the ways in which homeowners are allowed to use their property based on the official property records. The two most common deed restrictions are the right of first refusal and the right to lease or rent a property.

The right of first refusal is an provision in a property restriction that affords a preferred, vested party the opportunity to submit an initial offer on a house prior to the owner engaging with any other potential purchasers. Usually, preferred parties are the owners of the other condo units who get the opportunity to purchase the property before its listed on the open market. Leasing restrictions on the other had deal with ability to rent the property on a short or long term basis.

Either way such restrictions may affect the marketability of the property which is the primary concern for the VA.


If the VA rejects a condo due to a deed restriction, you shouldn’t lose hope as the VA understands that every situation is unique. They offer a one-time waiver that can be considered on a case-by-case basis. In order to be considered for this waiver, the Veteran will need to submit a letter to the VA acknowledging the specific deed restrictions and include a hold harmless waiver. If the VA approves the waiver, it will only be applicable to that specific Veteran and that specific condo, ensuring that the process is tailored to the individual requirements of each Veteran.

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