It only makes sense that those who have served the country get some perks and benefits to make life easier. A VA home loan is one of those benefits. It is the best kind of mortgage available, since it requires no down payment (up to a certain limit), no mortgage insurance, has low interest rates, low closing costs and is easier to qualify for than any other loan out there. Veterans can use their VA home loan to finance a condo, townhome, or single-family home. However, financing a condo comes with a little twist.
Since you can only use your VA home loan to finance a VA approved condo, here are a couple of things you should know:
We’ve included a complete list of VA approved condos in Miami at the end of this article to give you a jumpstart on your home owning process. If you want to see a list of VA approved condos in Miami, jump down here 🙂
What is a VA Approved Condo?
A condo development submitted to and approved by the Department of Veteran Affairs features VA approved condos. This approval is given to entire condo projects, so veterans can choose to finance any condo unit from within the complex.
As of the writing of this article, you will only be able to buy into a condo using a VA loan if the condo has been VA approved.
How Can You Get a Condo VA Approved?
Previously, spot approvals for condos used to be allowed, wherein even a single condo from a project could be VA approved. However, this was recently cancelled by the HUD (although proposals have been submitted by the Federal Housing Administration to bring the system back). So, for now, approvals are only given to entire complexes. And the condo association will need to take an active role in submitting all the documents required for VA condo approval.
See a list of VA approved condos in Miami at the bottom of this blog.
Basic VA Condo Approval Guidelines
A complex must meet the following criteria, among others, to have its condos approved by the VA:
- It should have at least 35% owner occupied units
- There should not be more than 10% units that are 60 days delinquent on their HOA
- The complex/building must have 20% of its condo budget in reserves for maintenance
- All units must be covered by flood, hazard, liability plus any other insurance dictated by the State Law and acceptable by the HUD
- There should be three years of acceptable financial documents
Types of VA Approved Condos
Accepted without Conditions – This means that the condo complex has been reviewed by the VA and is eligible for VA financing.
HUD Accepted – Before December 2009, condo projects approved by the HUD/FHA did not require a separate VA approval. However, post this change, it was declared that a condo development with such a prior approval would be “grandfathered” in and accepted as a VA approved condo project. In other words, an already HUD-approved project before December 2009 would not need to go through the VA approval process again. However, it is still advisable to verify the status of such a complex.
Unaccepted – This means that units in the condo complex are not eligible for VA financing. There could be three reasons for such a status:
- The condo community has never undergone the VA approval process
- It does not have a pre-2009 HUD accepted status
- It was submitted for review, but was denied by the VA
What is the VA Loan Limit in Miami, Florida and South Florida?
The VA home loan program, much like other zero down programs, has a set loan limit, beyond which you will need to put some money down. The VA loan limit in Miami-Dade for 2019 is $484,350, with a maximum guarantee of $1,000,000. This means that if you are planning to purchase a higher-priced condo in Miami, you will be required to make a down payment on top of your existing VA entitlement.
Can I Get a VA Loan for a Condo Not on The Approved List?
If the condo you like is not currently VA approved, your lender will have to get it passed before you can finance it with a VA home mortgage. For this, your lender will need to get the requisite documentation from the condo association (which it is not liable to share) and submit it to the VA. Also, do remember that this is a long process and could take a few months. So, we highly recommend looking at already approved condo projects.
Why Aren’t There More VA Approved Condos in Miami and South Florida (and in General)?
There are two main reasons why there aren’t more VA approved condos in South Florida. Many condo buildings vote down fully funding the reserves fund (essentially a savings account for future major repairs/replacements) in order to keep their monthly association fees lower. This goes against the reserves requirements required for VA condo approval. Second, many condo associations do not take the initiative to go through the VA approval process.
What are my alternatives to a VA home loan?
At times, it could be beneficial for a military borrower to look at options besides a VA home loan. This could be because they didn’t qualify, want to buy a second home or rental property, want to buy an expensive property, can afford putting 10-20% down, are looking to undertake renovations and need a flexible program, etc. In such cases, your options include:
- FHA mortgages
- USDA mortgages
- Conventional mortgages
This article gives you detailed insight into the above options and how they compare to a VA home loan.
List of VA Approved Condos in Miami
We’ve put together this handy checklist of Miami’s VA approved condos to help you on your journey to becoming a condo owner:
|CONDO NAME||ADDRESS||NEIGHBORHOOD||City||Zip Code||Year built||Price Ranges||Area (sq ft)|
|1060 Brickell||1050 Brickell Ave & 1060 Brickell Avenue||Brickell||Miami||33131||2013||250,000-999,500||551-2,238|
|107 Mendoza||107 Mendoza Ave||Coral Gables||Coral Gables||33134||2008||N/A||N/A|
|50 Biscayne||50 Biscayne Blvd||Downtown Miami||Miami||33132||2008||229,000-1,000,000||436-1,789|
|Brickell on the River South||41 SE 5th Street||Brickell||Miami||33131||2008||265,000-520,000||981-1,510|
|Cite||2000 N Bayshore Dr and 2001 Biscayne Blvd||Edgewater||Miami||33137||2007||235,000-705,000||707-1,453|
|Grove Garden Residences||3225 Franklin Ave||Coconut Grove||Coconut Grove||33133||2006||N/A||N/A|
|Infinity at Brickell||60 SW 13th Street||Brickell||Miami||33130||2008||230,000-950,000||673-2,734|
|Loft Downtown I||234 NE 3rd Street||Downtown Miami||Miami||33132||2006||199,000-299,900||625-1,185|
|Loft Downtown II||133 NE 2nd Ave||Downtown Miami||Miami||33132||2008||190,000-350,000||620-1,153|
|Madison Downtown||800 & 850 N Miami Ave||Downtown Miami||Miami||33136||1998||189,900-320,000||575-927|
|Millennium||18671 Collins Avenue||Sunny Isles Beach||Miami||33160||2000||699,000-1,999,000||1,680-2,230|
|Mirador North||1200 West Ave||South Beach||Miami Beach||33139||1968||170,000-679,000||552-1,071|
|Nautica||5970 Indian Creek Drive||Mid-Beach||Miami||33140||2004||332,000-649,000||950-1,715|
|Nevis Condo||2650 37 Ave||Coral Gables||Miami||33133||2007||335,000-335,000||1057|
|NIRVANA||680, 700, 750, 777 64 Street||Upper East Side||Miami||33138||1972||179,900-350,000||723-1,089|
|Parc Central East||3300 NE 192 St||Aventura||Aventura||33180||1990||220,000-385,000||910-1,181|
|Parc Central South||3300 NE 191 St, Aventura||Aventura||Aventura||33180||1990||196,400-435,000||1,065-1,302|
|Ponce Tower||1805 Ponce De Leon Blvd||Coral Gables||Miami||33134||2013||270,000-1,299,000||708-2,201|
|Quantum on the Bay||1900 N Bayshore Dr||Edgewater||Miami||33132||2008||229,000-950,000||594-1,970|
|Sail on Brickell||170 SE 14th Street||Brickell||Miami||33131||2006||215,000-420,000||630-1,090|
|The Charter Club||600 Northeast 36th Street||Edgewater||Miami||33137||1973||254,800-580,000||757-1,850|
|The Yacht Club at Aventura||19501 – 19999 E Country Club Drive||Aventura||Aventura||33180||1994||224,900-499,000||730-1,500|
|Toscano||7350 and 7355 SW 89th St,||Dadeland||Miami||33156||2007||240,000-450,000||759-1,428|
|Yacht Club at Portofino||90 Alton Road||South Beach||Miami Beach||33139||1999||458,000-2,200,000||740-1,480|