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Tips for Getting Your Community FHA Approved

March 17, 2014

Starting the FHA Approval Process:
Starting the FHA Approval process is not difficult, but it does differ depending on your role in the community.

Property Managers/Board Members:
The first step is to have the community pre-qualified. A professional FHA approval consultant/submission service will be able to assess the eligibility of your community prior to submitting. You will need to fill out a questionnaire and submit a few documents, but they should be able to assess the eligibility of the community and advise whether or not FHA Approval is an option.

Not being FHA approved can cause major headaches and cause a lot of stress for your homeowners. Nationwide, FHA insured loans make up anywhere from 40 – 70 percent of the market. It is highly advised to either get your community FHA Approved, or at a minimum, get the eligibility reviewed.

Homeowners:
The best way to start the process is to contact the Property Manager or Board of Directors and ask if they are aware of the FHA Status. Sometimes they are aware of issues that may preclude the community from becoming FHA Approved. This can save you a lot of time, money, and stress.

How to get started:

  1. Contact the Property Manager or Board of Directors
  2. Let the Manager/Board know that FHA Approval would help your situation.
  3. Each Management Company and Board has different procedures. Ask the best way to proceed.
  4. Be aware that this process can take quite a bit of time (30-60 days).  If you plan on selling your unit, refinancing, or obtaining a reverse mortgage – start the process immediately!


Prospective Buyers/Realtors/Lenders
Contact the management company. If you are not a member of the community or representing a current owner, it can be more difficult to gather the required documents. Be prepared to pay management company document fees; there are many documents that you will need to get a condo FHA certified, and it is customary for a management company to charge a fee.

Working through the process:
There are two ways to approach the submission process. The community can either submit the paperwork themselves, or hire a professional submission service. Submitting on your own does have potential liability issues and can result in a considerable amount of additional time.

If you have contracted with a professional consultant they will send you a list of documents that are needed. Once the documents are reviewed there is a good chance some additional information will be required and some documents or policies might need to be signed or changed to meet FHA standards.

Dealing with rejection:
Being rejected is common. Most often, the FHA wants to see some additional information or has some questions. The submission service you have contracted with should help you work through a rejection.  A rejection may be as simple as a missing signature; more challenging issues include revising governing documents or increasing insurance coverage to comply with FHA guidelines.


FAQ’s
Q: My Condo Project just needs to Re-Certify – there must be an expedited procedure?
A: No. There is not an “expedited” procedure. However, if you have been recertified in the past two years it is likely that most of your paperwork is in order and it will be easier.

Q: We’ve been FHA Certified before, so there should be no problem getting certified again…right?
A: The guidelines have changed several times over the past few years. Prior approval will give virtually no indication of current eligibility.

Q: We just found out our FHA Certification was expired. Why weren’t we notified?
A: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) does not send out any notification of expiration. This is something that the Board should be aware of. If you use a professional submission service, notification of the expiration date should be included in the service.

Q: Do we need an attorney for anything?
A: Most likely – no.  However if you have pending litigation (this does not include collections) or need to amend your governing documents this will require an attorney.

Q: Can you expedite the process?
A: Using a submission service will most likely expedite the process, however there is no way to get it through HUD any faster.

Q: How much does HUD charge?
A: HUD does not charge any fees. A submission service will have a fee, however none of that is paid to HUD.

Q: How long does the process take?
A: The process usually takes between 30 and 60 days once the application is submitted to HUD. FHA Review by a|v|s is a professional submission service that specializes in the FHA condo approval process. With over a decade of experience in the HOA industry we thoroughly understand the documents involved and our main goal is to get your community approved quickly and efficiently.

Visit our website www.fhareview.com to check the status of your community, see more Frequently Asked Questions, learn the Pro’s and Con’s of being FHA approved, and view a full list of documents needed for FHA approval.  We are here to help, contact us today for a free eligibility review!

For more information:
CAI-CLAC has compiled a number of resources for community associations to learn about the importance of being a FHA Approved Community and how management can go about submitting for approval. Check out these resources here.

Written by Natalie Stewart with a|v|s. Please feel free to contact Natalie with questions at (714) 274-9888 or natalie@fhareview.com.

Natalie Stewart Photo

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