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FHA Financing and Condos

Portland's South Waterfrom from the Willamette RiverPerhaps the biggest advantage of FHA financing over conventional financing is the ability to put as little as 3.5% down.  Compare that to a “standard” 20% conventional loan and it is easy to see how the buyer pool changes.  The rates are typically a little higher and you have to carry mortgage insurance with an FHA loan so talk to you mortgage broker about the finer details when comparing loans.

Single family homes qualify for FHA loans individually.  Condos qualify as an HOA/entire complex.  Spot approvals, where a single unit could be approved have gone away with stricter lending rules.  That approval needs to be in place before a buyer writes an offer.

Of the local condo towers, a surprising few are currently approved.  You can use the HUD website to look up whether a specific condos is FHA approved.   Atwater Place sent out and email yesterday with news of their approval.  In the Pearl (I used “Oregon” & “97209” as the search criteria) there are 12 condos listed:

  • Atwater Place- wait, Atwater Place is in the South Waterfront 97239 zip code.  Yes it is.  This highlights the fact that the HUD list is not always accurate and that if you are looking for a specific building try searching different ways if you are not finding it.
  • Avenue Lofts
  • Carlton Court
  • Civic Condominiums
  • Elizabeth Lofts Condominiums
  • Flanders Lofts
  • Lexis Condominiums
  • North Park Lofts
  • Old Town Lofts Condominiums
  • Royal Arms
  • The Encore Condominiums
  • Vintage Rose Condominiums (eight units on NW Overton)

The John Ross shows in the 97239 search but Atwater Place is missing.  The Meriwether is not listed.  All 105 units of the Westerly in Northwest Portland’s 97210 are FHA approved.  When running the search for “Portland” there are 133 buildings on the FHA approved list.

If you live in a condo and your building is not on the list it behooves you and your neighbors to find out why.  Start with your HOA and management company.  There are some condos that have fallen of the list because they did not meet requirements.

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