Contact Patty Raymo at mortgage master 508.850.4114. Her company does FHA apprvoals for a fee. There are aloso other cmpanies that do them.
Just an FYI...our board won't even apply because they know they can't meet the budget/insurance/reserves guidelines. Your board may have done it for the same reason...
The best source of free information would be the FHA office in your state.
As a management agent in Michigan, we have been using attorneys to do the FHA certification. Ihave a checklist of what FHA requires.
1. Condominium Documents (master deed, bylaws, subdivision plan);
2. 2011 Budget;
3. Transitional Control Date (approximation is fine);
4. Date construction of condominium/apartment completed ; (Can be obtained from your local building department)
5. Unit addresses/roster confirming that no one person owns more than 10% of the units;
6. Certificates of insurance evidencing the Association's casualty, liability and fidelity coverage (fidelity coverage must be in the minimal amount of 3 months of assessments plus reserves on hand - the insurance certificate must also have a specific reference to "fidelity");
7. Documentation showing current reserves on hand (e.g. balance sheet);
8. Balance Sheet dated within 90 days of submittal to FHA;
9. Financial statement showing 2010 year-end results (income/expense statement);
10. Delinquency report (can't have more than 15% of co-owners delinquent - delinquencies are defined as those co-owners over 30 days late in payment - your current delinquencies of 13 fall under the 15% requirement so you are good there);
11. Signed Management Agreement (if you work with a management company);
12. Any pending additional or special assessments;
13. Number of tenant occupied units (must be under 50%);
14. Number of bank-owned units; and
15. Number of vacant units (including those which may be bank-owned).
The typical cost is anywhere from $800 - $2,000.
You can find companies online that offer this service, mortgage companies that offer this service and attorney's that offer this service. You should ask how many they have done, what the success rate is and ask them for a checklist of what is required. You can compare to this checklist (which I created after obtaining two similar checklists from two different attorneys) and then the board can decide who to use.
If anyone doesn't like the cost, well, thank the new regulations and the government, which for some reason has come down really hard on condominiums.
After reading some posts, I have to comment that things still move fast and change often. THe biggest items are insurance, delinquencies and reserves. However, the reserve item has changed multiple times. In the last three months, I have seen an association with almost no reserves but they have budgeted 10% of their income to reserves pass, and one with very healthy reserves and a reserve study that the board decided not to fund reserves that year NOT pass because they did not have the 10% budgeted.
It makes no sense, but you have government entities with checklists making decisions. It all depends on the person assigned to review.
Orest is good as well. Problem is if association does not want to apply. But if question is they are not sure if they qualify, they should call someone like ORest Tomaselli or Patty Raymo or Phil Sutcliffe.
Personally, I thought it was a painful process. As treasurer of a tiny condo association, I tried to get the approve myself to save the cost ($1K+) of paying someone else to do it. In the end, I feel it is very much worth the price to have someone else work on the approval for you. The question is: Can your association afford it and do the benefits outweigh the cost? For a large association, I think so. However, my association is small and the cost would have take too large of a bite out of our budget. That's why I tried myself.
At HUD.gov, I was able to muddle my way through the checklist and submit all the paperwork for our FHA application packet. We were denied 8 times. We met the qualifications, but my paperwork was never right. We finally got an approval after 6 months. The probably was our budget. A HUD rep told me it was too lengthly and they didn't have time to read through it. I sent in a shorter, simplified budget and I was told by the same rep that it was too short. When I tried to find out exactly how long or what format they would like to see the budget, I was told "we are not allowed to tell you how to submit your paperwork and if you keep getting it wrong, we will deny you for wasting our time". I am not trying to add drama, but that is what I was told.
Again, in the end, we got our approval. However, I have no desire to do this again each year to renew our approved status. It was the worst experience in red tape and paperwork that I have ever experienced. It's a shame it has to be so difficult.
Joe Schuirmann's post stated that the Association's delinquency report can't have more than 15% of co-owners delinquent over 30 days late in payment, but FHA guidelines regarding condominiums have been revised. Under the new guidelines, condominium Associations that exceed that 15% threshold can still qualify for FHA approval if they:
1) Have no more 20% of units that are more than 30 days delinquent;
2) Provide a report showing the past 6 months of assessments charged and collected;
3) Provide a report showing current reserve fund balances and operating accounts that exceed the amount of outstanding delinquencies;
4) Provide a showing that the association has budgeted for delinquencies;
5) Provide a reserve study less than 24 months old demonstrating that the association can meet replacement needs; and
6) Provide evidence of collection efforts, including legal actions and payment plans.
If your Association is interested in obtaining FHA approval, I would strongly advise your Association to contact an experienced professional that works in that area because unfortunately many property managers are not up to date.
Our Association was extremely lucky because a bank's loan processing agent decided to hold our hand through the process "pro bono" - We never hired an attorney and did that awful paperwork ourselves (tough)without the assistant of an editor or proof reader, and the FHA agents also decided to "hold our hands" too and held their breaths through the days and days of delays...until we did it, much to my surprise. The down side is the FHA certificate only last 2 years, upon which case, you (the Association) must reapply. We had 90% residents, one foreclosure, and excellent credit, so we passed with flying colors. Good to knew that we can be considered "privileged" to have received all of this attention for free. Hope this answer helps those who have good credit and only 1% in foreclosure, with 90% occupancy of resident owners. Amen.
Good luck. Hire a real estate lawyer and go that route. We spent a lot of time and those of us on the board have masters degrees... It turned out that there was one amendment we should have had on our Declarations and FHA was not approving us due to that. Now we have the amendment filed and noted and are on our way. We worked on this from November 2010 until just 2 months ago.
We are in Missouri.
Ours lapsed without us knowing until it was too late. Troy - are you saying that after going thru this awful process it has to be renewed annually? OMG!
Is renewing easier than the original approval?
@Jane I feel your pain. We met all requirements, but I promise you we were once denied for not having documents placed in the envelope in the right order. Maybe we had a difficult case worker assigned to our request.
@Linda I thought it was annually, but after a quick search, it believe it is bi-annually. I still dread having to do that again... if I do at all. I am wondering if the renewal process is perhaps easier than the initial approval.
My husband is president of our board...a 52 unit complex in Ohio. We are an older complex with less than $30,000 in reserves! Thankfully we have realized the importance of reserves in past couple years so have included the 10% in our budget. It seems that is the key to approval IF you can comply with the other requirements.
I am a Realtor & my office has their own mortgage company affiliated with a large bank. One of the loan officers wanted to learn the process and offered to oversee through the bank at no cost! I took care of supplying the paperwork. A few things had to be re-done but for the most part all went well & we were approved!
My Broker recently checked to see how many complexes were approved in our south suburb & was shocked to see we were one of maybe three! I have heard that management companies have refused to handle this and boards are not up to snuff on the importance of this financing. It is truly not that difficult if you have good records...and someone to guide you.
And you must re-apply every 2 years...as of present rules!
I've read all the emails and think I understand all the input. We too have had out FHA Approval lapse. Now the questions become: 1) what to do - and from the replies I think I know, but (and this seems more important) what are the real advantages to FHA Approval. Beyond owners being able to sell via FHA are there any advantages? Thanks.
Benefit of NOT being FHA approved: Most of the time, a condo buyer would only be able to get a conventional loan, which usually means 20% cash down. The benefit is that you are getting a condo owner who is most likely financially stable.
Benefit of being FHA approved: Most people do not have 20% cash down. This really restricts the amount of potential buyers. Therefore, condos for sale may sit empty longer, sell for less, and reduce property values for all in the complex.
Overall, it probably is a better thing to have the almight FHA approved status. I just wish the "processing" was a little easier for the whole process. If a complex does not meet the guidelines, that is one thing; but if it does meet the guideless, it shouldn't be so difficult. Those who receive assistance through the process were very lucky. I receive no assistance... in fact, what I received was worse... it was "anti-assistance". Silly word, huh?
Our application was turned down because our bylaws said only four people could occupy a rental unit and apparently this is discriminatory against larger families. Does anyone know what the language in bylaws should say about rental occupancy in order to get approval?
I live in a condo that requires that one resident of each unit must be age 55 or over. Anyone can buy a unit but can't live in it until he or she attains that age. Will FHA deem this discriminatory and deny us certification?
If a condo association receives certification, and in 6 months it is no longer in compliance with a qualification, such as rental % exceeds 50%, would the buyer still be eligible for an FHA loan?