Do you know how to find VA-approved condos for sale in Orange County, CA? There is a hard method: how most VA loan buyers and their agents go. But there is an easy method. The difference between the hard and easy ways is so drastic that you would think everyone would use the easy method. Why don’t they?
Why is it Important that the Condo be in a VA-approved Condo Project?
If you plan to use VA financing to purchase a condo, then VA requires the condo project to be approved before closing the loan. The condo approval process is tedious, an expense, and takes time. Most sellers are unwilling to wait anywhere from 30 to 90 days to find out if the VA will even allow a loan to close on their home. Therefore, if you are searching for a Condo to buy and using VA financing, you will want to limit your search to only those already in a VA-approved condo complex.
If the condo project is approved, VA has reviewed the association’s budget, CCR’s, Articles of Incorporation, insurance, and ownership percentages (investor versus owner-occupants). If it is not approved, then either the VA reviewed and rejected the condo association, or the project has not been submitted for approval.
The Hard Method for Finding VA-Approved Condos
First, here is a quick summary of what most Veterans and their agents do to find VA-approved condos. The real estate agent or Veteran will look at ALL condos that meet their parameters, sometimes sorting through hundreds of properties. They will carefully view each property and narrow the list to the 5 or 10 properties they like. Then, the real estate agent will try to determine if any of the properties are eligible for VA financing. Since most condo projects are NOT VA-approved, this is a frustrating process and a waste of time. So now let’s show you the easy way.
The Easy Method for Finding VA-Approved Condos
First, work with a real estate agent and a lender who specializes in working with Veterans and understand how to quickly narrow the VA-approved condo search to only those condo projects that are already VA-approved. An experienced real estate agent will already have a list of the VA-approved condo projects and will quickly be able to provide a list of VA-approved condos for sale in whatever city the Veteran is interested in. Instead of sending the Veteran a list of 100’s of condos, most of which are not VA-approved, the EASY METHOD involves the Veteran receiving a list of VA VA-approved condos to choose from. This saves the frustration of finding out that 5 of the properties you are interested in are not eligible for VA financing.
Of course, using www.OrangeCountyVeteransHomes.com is a great way to find what VA-approved condos are for sale. Click on the city you are interested in and check out the results. The results are listed in order of highest prices to lowest price. It is still important to have an experienced VA specialist real estate agent double-check to ensure the condo you are interested in is still on the VA-approved list. Sometimes the VA has reason to suspend an approval.
VA Loan Limit for 100% Financing is Unlimited.
The VA Loan limit for 100% financing in Orange County in 2023 is unlimited. As a VA loan-eligible Veteran, you can buy a VA-approved condo or single-family home for $679,650 with no down payment. Still, closing costs and prepaid expenses are involved in every purchase, and having a solid estimate of those costs before making an offer is a critical step in purchasing a home. The closing costs and prepaid expenses of purchasing a $650,000 property can easily be more than $10,000 and cannot be financed into the loan. There are ways to use “Lender Credit” to cover the costs by adjusting your interest rate higher. At times, and depending on if the market is a “sellers” market or a “buyers” market, it is possible to negotiate to have the seller pay some or all of the closing costs. In a seller’s market, which is what Orange County has been in for the first half of 2018 (and since 2012), it is difficult to get a seller to pay closing costs. Think about it. If there are multiple offers on a home, what are the chances of a seller accepting an offer where they have to pay for the buyer’s closing costs? Know your numbers before you make an offer. Get a solid estimate as part of your VA loan pre-approval before you start looking at homes.
Do you Know What Price You Should Be Searching For?
The biggest disconnect that most home buyers have at the beginning of the home-buying process is understanding the connection between payment and purchase price. If your income is $40,000 per year, then you shouldn’t be looking at homes in the $650,000 price range.
Understanding the numbers early in the process is critical, and to do that, you should be working with a VA loan specialist. A loan officer specializing in financing can prepare custom loan scenarios based on your qualifications and payment comfort range. You’ll also be able to get pre-approved for your VA loan before you begin making offers. PreApproval for a VA loan is Free, whether you are ready to buy now or need to wait 12 to 24 months.
Authored by Tim Storm, an Orange County VA Loan Officer specializing in the VA Loan program. MLO 223456. – Please contact my office at Arbor Financial Group. My direct line is 949-829-1846. www.OrangeCountyVALoans.com. I will prepare custom VA loan scenarios that match your financial goals, both long and short-term. I also prepare a Video Explanation of your scenarios so that you can fully understand the numbers BEFORE starting the loan process.