VA Loans February 9, 2023

Condos and the VA Loan

Condos and the VA Loan


(Based on experience & much trial and error)


The VA will allow the purchase of Condos.

The VA condo approval process;

In order to secure VA loans for a condominium, the condo needs to

be on the VA approved list.  To see if the condo you are interested in is

listed on the VA approved list, go to the VA condo portal & type in the town

and Homeowner Association (HOA) name.  Also, check the HUD list for

FHA approval, they follow a similar process and requirements, and if on

one list, they will usually get onto the other list.



Below is the list of documents the Cleveland VA Home Center will need;

To approve the condo HOA & issue a VA number. Processing time can be

8-30 days. As of 2020, it seems to average less than 3 weeks, per request.  2021-2023 it is about 12 business days.

Documents that the Cleveland VA RLC might require for New and Existing Projects

  1. Master Deed
  2. Unit Deed
  3. Declaration of Trust
  4. Any amendments made to the Declaration of Trust
  5. VA Condo Survey
  6. Budget & Reserves
  7. HOA Master Insurance
  8. Last two meeting minutes
  9. Pending Litigation Statement (A couple sentences, stating if there is,

or is not pending litigation)

  1. Special Assessment Statement (A couple sentences, stating if there

is, or is not any special assessments)

  1. Management Company contact info
  2. Trustee contact info
  3. Map/floor plan/ survey
  4. New Projects, the developer’s attorney will have everything.

(Your agent will work with the lender handling the uploading of documents for the VA)


A home inspection for a Condo, can run $400-$700+/-

Condos need to be, move in ready condition.


Be aware of the Co-ops & Condexes

Cooperative apartments (“co-ops”) differ from condominiums (“condos”) in

several ways.  When you buy a coop, you buy stock in the corporation that owns

the apartment building.  The building then “leases” the coop to the buyer under a

long-term proprietary lease.  The VA will not do Co-ops, as they impact the

owners to sell and rent the unit, as they wish.


A Condex is a duplex style condominium development consisting of only 2 units. ..

Lower prices, and no condo fees are the top benefits of a Condex.  You also have your

own yard with all it’s maintenance too!  Sounds very similar to owning your own single

family property, other than each unit shares a wall.  The VA is usually fine, with Condexes.


Read the remarks in the MLS listing carefully, if the words,

contractors, developers, investors, repairs, ‘as-is’, TLC, or there is a

negotiation fee of $1000-$10,000 beware these are tells, that the property

will not work with a VA loan.

Also if there are no pictures, then there is likely nothing good, to take

a picture of!

(This is why you need an agent, if it were easy, you would not need



  1. The roof of the condo needs to have 3-5 Years worth, of roof life left. 3-5 Years

of life is in itself, is hard to determine.  Asphalt shingle roofs can last

20-30 years.  Rubber roofs about 20 years.

Clues in determine the viability and life of a roof are; look for ceiling stains & leaks, and missing shingles, damaged or missing seals around any vents and chimneys,

warped sheathing, chimneys that need repointing (cement) between

the bricks, or missing bricks.  Moss happens to roofs that are under or near tree limbs. Thisis not such a big deal.  There are sprays that will kill the moss, and it

will come off on it’s own.  Also, make sure the bathroom fans are vent

out of the attic, the accumulation of moisture

can lead to mold in your attic.  (see mold below)


  1. Pest inspection. The Wood Destroying Insect Inspection

Report (Form NPMA-33) is required by the VA.  This report is necessary for any VA

loan, on any property MF, SF, or condos.  Insects like termites,

powder post beetles, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, ect., can

be an issue.  However, so long as the damage is minor, and

not structural, it is remediated, by treatment, by a pest company.

Usually $200-$1500+/-, the VA will want invoices, and the

treatment documentation (chemicals used).  If the damage is

structural, then a structural engineer is needed to assess the

damage, and advice on the proper repairs.  Many sellers and

buyers will not want to deal with this due to the expense.

($300+ for the engineer, and a lot more money to repair)


  1. Basements & Foundations. Some condos are converted

multi-families, and are quite old, some over 100+ years old.  Building

practices a century ago, were not as good as today.  Often the

foundations are lacking the proper footings, beams and

supports.  This leads to uneven floors & settling.  Foundations

in time need to be repointed, the gaps, provide access to

pests, to enter the property.  Dirt floors can allow moisture to enter

the basement, and termites love wet/moist wood.  Every basement should have a dehumidifier!


  1. Electrical Systems. I have seen lovely Victorian properties.

that have what appears to be modern circuit breaker 200amp,

electrical systems.  However, buried inside the walls is knob

and tube wiring or aluminum wiring, both pose a hazard that

could cause shorts and possible electrical fires.  Other

potential issues are items like the Federal Pacific electrical

box, they had a fire issue, and had a lawsuit over said issues in the 1970’s.

  1. Plumbing Issues. Some condos can have cast iron

plumbing. This has a service life of about 100 years.  It rusts

from the inside out, so by the time it starts to leak, it will need

replacing asap.


  1. Paint Issues. Since 1978 lead paint has been banned. It

causes health issues, especially in children under six.  Paint

chips, and dust created from opening painted wood window

sills, that can be inhaled, by children and adults.  The

mandatory form associated with lead paint is, THE PROPERTY

TRANSFER NOTICE.  Many owners do not test for lead.  It is

expensive to de-lead, and once you test, you have to disclose

the results.  Whether this is right or wrong, many sellers prefer

to remain ignorant, than have to test for the presence of lead.


  1. Mold is another thing to look out for. There are thousands of

types of mold.  A small percentage can cause health effects.

Mold tests cost about $600-$1000.  Mold can grow on wood

and paper, in the presence of moisture.  If the bathroom vents

are vented into the attic, or there is a dirt floor in the

basement, then the conditions for mold, might exist.  Inspectors are not mold

experts, they will say there is, ‘an unknown substance or growth,’ or

something similar.


  1. Asbestos. Some older properties may have asbestos tiles,

or insulation on the pipes.  While a good insulator, and

harmless, if not airborne.  It is harmful if airborne.


  1. Wells. Many Condos are in towns and cities, with municipal

water & sewer.  Municipal water & sewer is ok for VA.  However,

if they have a well, the water needs to be tested by a 3rd party

(often the home inspector), for Nitrites, Nitrates, Ecoli, &

Coliform.  Essentially the runoff from fertilizers, and bacteria.


10.Septic Systems, if present.  Otherwise known as a Title V

inspection.  New systems have what is called a Certificate of

Compliance.  These can be found at the town or city Board of

Health (BOH).  These certify the septic system is operational,

safe, and in good condition.  If you have city sewer, then this

is not a problem or concern.


  1. Heat, Hot Water Systems & Utilities. There should be separate

Utilities, to all the condo units.  Make sure they are in good condition.

Look for leaks, corrosion on the pipes and the age of the

systems.  Tank water heaters only have a limited life of about

10+ years.


  1. Radon. If there is a basement & a basement unit, you can

request the inspector to do a radon test.  Radon is a

radiological naturally occurring gas that comes up from rocks (granite)

in the ground.  If detected in higher concentrations, a radon

mitigation system can fix it, easy enough.  It is essentially a

fan that transfers air, under the foundation, to outside the

house and costs about $1000-$2000+/-.


  1. Appraising. An appraiser will do a VA appraisal report. They

will look for safety items, like broken stairs, missing handrails,

& balusters, chipping paint, ect. Important!  Make sure all the

bedrooms have a window (that exits to the outside), door,

closet, heat, and is more than about 7×7 feet.  Otherwise, it will

not count as a bedroom and will not appraise as high.


  1. Garages & Sheds. The home inspector will have to include

them on a pest inspection.  The appraiser may include any out

buildings, as well, as well as check safety items, as mentioned



Read the MLS listings carefully, if there is a seller’s disclosure, read that carefully as well.


“A sale is not something you pursue, It’s what happens to you, while you are immersed in servicing your customers”


James Burton

CENTURY 21 Marathon


Licensed in MA, RI, & NH



77 West M St Ste 1 Hopkinton MA 01748