New and Easier Guidelines for FHA Approval of Homeowner Associations

The fallout rate for FHA approved homeowner associations has been huge over the last 2 years. FHA-approved condominiums are often one of the best entry level paths for first time buyers into homeownership.  But the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) just eased some of its restrictive guidelines, bringing their rules into the sphere of the current economic market, and bringing more opportunity to sellers and buyers.

One example of change is the acceptance of FHA loans in complexes which included commercial units--often located on the first floor, such as the Lafayette in downtown Long Beach or one of the newer loft projects in San Pedro.  The revised rules changed from allowing 25% to now allowing 35% of the project to be retail or commercial, and possibly more.

Another difficult requirement concerning the personal legal liability for condo board officers for being responsible for certain knowledge that could be well beyond their actual ability to know, with a penalty up to 30 years in prison, has now been changed to "less scary language."

And, significant in these economic times, the requirements concerning delinquent dues and length of time delinquent has been expanded to 15% of owners may be up to 60 days late (not the previous 30 days) to meet FHA approval for the project. 

While these may not seem like significant changes to some, by checking the list of FHA approved projects in Long Beach, compared to the far greater number that were FHA approved for many years, it's not difficult to see the impact on buyers, sellers, and the lending market.  See the complete article by Kenneth Harney.

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