Are you looking at FHA loans for condos? Then, the first thing you will want to do is determine whether you qualify for a conventional loan or not. If you do, you have more options than if you do not.
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Because, if you can only get an FHA loan, the condo unit you will purchase has to be in a project that the FHA has already approved, or your loan officer will have to be willing to get it approved.
The latter means that it will take a while to get the closing. Which means, the seller must be willing to wait. (And the association must be willing to cooperate: the FHA requires quite a few documents. Also, someone must pay for it.)
Some cities (like Auburn, Alabama or Decatur, Alabama) have no associations approved by FHA. So, if you really, truly want to live in a condo unit in such a city, you must start early.
You start early to make sure you qualify for a conventional loan. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have mortgage loans with low down payments (3%) but they do not go as low with credit scores as FHA does nor are they as relaxed about trade lines as FHA.
By the way, to see if a condo association is approved by FHA, you visit: https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/condlook.cfm.
Some associations, like Asbury Hills Condominiums (2428 E. University Drive, Auburn, AL 36830)) or Creekside of Auburn (650 Dekalb Street, Auburn, AL 36830) were approved but allowed the approval to expire. Expired approvals is quite common.
By the way, just because an association is approved by FHA does not mean that a particular lender will approve a loan against a unit in that particular association. Some lenders have overlays, which means that they’re rules are more stringent than those of FHA.
For those really interested in FHA loans for condos, starting early is key.
More on getting an FHA loan on a condo.