There are a lot of good reasons to buy a condo in Florida. You may not want to maintain a yard, for example. And condos frequently come with a range of amenities, like pools, gymnasiums, or proximity to the beach. Or you may prefer to be closer to work, and condos are often located closer to cities than single-family homes.

So, it’s no wonder that some veterans who are eligible for a VA mortgage may want to purchase a condo. If you’re an eligible veteran interested in shopping for a condominium in Florida, here are some things you should know:

  • The condo must be approved. The Department of Veterans Affairs has an approval process for condos, and the homeowner’s association (HOA) of the condominium needs to submit an application and pay a fee. That means you probably shouldn’t spend any time looking at condominiums that aren’t on the approved list. If you do want to purchase a condo that isn’t already approved, you’ll need to work with your real estate agent, loan officer, and the condo’s HOA to get it approved.
  • You can search for approved condos. The VA maintains a searchable database of condominiums on its website. You can search by condo name or ID, the regional VA office that registered the condo, or its city/county and state.
  • The condo must meet VA standards. To be approved by the VA, the condominium must meet certain requirements:
    • At least 50 percent of the units must be occupied by owners, not renters.
    • Less than 15 percent of the owners can be behind on their HOA dues.
    • If the condo is new or recently converted from apartments, at least 75 percent of the units must be sold.

Investing in a condo

While you’re the only person who can decide if a condo is right for you, there are some general guidelines. If you’re planning to stay in one place for several years, the money you would normally spend on rent could be invested in your own place. As already noted, perks like pools, gyms, and clubhouses can be very attractive. Of course, you should also be aware of resale value – generally speaking, condos are more popular in areas with large amounts of young professionals or in areas with large concentrations of retirees. If you think a condo is right for you, and you’d like to see how you can use your VA mortgage benefit to buy one, talk to the experts at Embrace Home Loans at 407-733-6425. We’ll work with you to finance a condo that’s just right for you.

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