HOA Certification, or Home Owner's Association Certification, is designed to protect buyers and lenders based on the current status of a particular area. The certification provides the buyer with all the information about the Home Owner's Association involved with the property the person is acquiring. It provides a significant amount of information including the likelihood of future assessments and the type of accounting associated with the group. HOAs can also be certified via the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which allows for buyers with modified loans to be able to work within condo complexes. This type of certification is beneficial to a HOA in order to be able to work with all types of buyers.
HOA Certification for Buyer
Contact your Home Owner's Association or logon to the website. Find out what paperwork must be filed.
Ask the association what the expected turnaround time is on such paperwork. If you are serious about selling you might wish to start this process prior to putting your home on the market to ensure the paperwork is complete.
Fill out all forms and paperwork associated with certification. This is often just a simple request form for your particular association.
Pay any fees associated with the certification. Sometimes these fees are considered part of your yearly dues while other associations choose to charge a separate fee.
Follow-up with the office to ensure the certification is completed.
HOA Certification by FHA
Locate local certification vendors. These vendors will be able to walk you through the certification process including the inspection.
Interview multiple vendors in order to determine what services are provided and at what fees.
Examine the track record of the vendors. All certification organizations provide you with information regarding the approval rating of the applicants submitted by the company upon your request. Pay close attention to condo complexes like the one you are trying to certify and the success rate of the company.
Hire a vendor to handle the application process. This will include providing significant financial information about the HOA as well as the members.
Pay all fees associated with certification, which can be more than $5000.
File any amendments as necessary if fixes are required in order to complete the certification process. The process is known to take a month though no standard is officially set.
Tips & Warnings
- Contact the seller or have your real estate agent or loan broker do so. The seller is responsible for applying for the HOA certification prior to or during escrow. Many loans require such a certification as it protects the investment especially in a condo situation given the potential damage and liability of other tenants.
- For HOA certification from FHA, check with local banks. Some offer a no-cost alternative in getting FHA certified.
- Sometimes the general form by your association is not what the lenders want for the buyer. The lender could have additional questions. Ask the loan company to provide the certification required to be filled out and submit it to your HOA.
- As a buyer, verify with your broker about assessments during the selling process. You should be sure all assessments on the property have been paid so that you are not responsible for any leftover costs from the previous owner.
- California Condo & HOA Law: FHA Certification for Condos is Harder Now
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- California Condo & HOA Law: FHA Certification-Must Condo Boards Apply? Renew?
- Florida Condo & HOA Law Blog: FHA Approval Huge Factor in Marketability of Units
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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