The HUD Finder can help you find FHA approved condominium complexes. However, you can also get an FHA loan on a condo that is not in an approved development.
A Federal Housing Administration-approved home can be a great alternative if you don’t want to find or downsize an affordable, FHA-approved home (and want someone else to do the gardening!) In a competitive market.
Here are some shortcuts to get you started on your FHA approved apartment search.
Find FHA Approved Condos with the HUD Finder
The FHA is a program of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. FHA loans are often particularly attractive to first-time buyers because they offer low down payments and more forgiving credit scores. and debt income requirements compared to traditional mortgages.
HUD’s condo finder allows you to quickly view a list of FHA approved condos for your area. Searching the database is fairly straightforward, but here are some tips:
First, enter a zip code to restrict the listing to condos in the desired area. If you just hit submit without filling in any fields, you will get results for the whole country.
Filter by status to broaden your search. When you enter the name of a city, county, or even a condo (i.e. the name of the development), you will also be prompted to select a state.
To view, only FHA approved condominium complexes, set the Status drop-down list to Approved. This way you know you are looking at developments where units are eligible for an FHA condominium loan. “Expired” means your license has expired (complexes must be reapplied every three years). “Withdrawn” may indicate a duplicate registration or that the FHA has withdrawn its approval (this is not a good sign).
After selecting the appropriate fields, click the small Submit button to display a list of FHA condos. Are you not crazy about the results? Press the Back button on your browser to perform a new search.
Why are some condos not approved by the FHA?
Many condos are not FHA approved, as FHA loans were only available for condos located in FHA approved developments until October 2019. This meant that out of over 150,000 condominium complexes in the United States, only 6.5% – about 9,750 in total – were eligible for FHA funding.
This does not mean that 93.5% of condo projects in the United States are obsolete. There are likely many resorts in your area whose developers simply did not seek FHA approval and therefore are not listed in the search tool.
The good news: Borrowers can now get FHA approval for individual units in non-FHA-approved condominium complexes. The FHA says that individual permits could increase the number of FHA-approved condos from 20,000 to 60,000 units per year.
A condominium that is not part of an FHA approved complex may still be eligible for an FHA loan.
Here’s another way to use HUD’s condo finder to find more potential options:
Select the same state, city, or zip code that you entered previously. However, choose Rejected from the Status drop-down menu and choose Rejected. Rejected complexes can still be approved for individual units.
Click “Submit” and you will see another list of condo developments.
In some cases, you can find information that development is probably not where you want to live. For example, advice on issues with homeowners associations. But you are likely to come across developments where the lack of approval is due to a lack of documentation. HUD tries to make the FHA condominium approval process easier for developers, although on some smaller complexes the cost of an application can still be an issue.