Purchase a Condominium in Florida

We are Lending 75% Loan to Value on a Fannie Mae Approved Condominium
70% on a Second Home Condominium

If you are thinking about purchasing a condominium in Florida,
 you have come to the right place.

Preston Ware
- 20 Years Experience

NMLS License # 216170

 My Direct Line (561) 329-0075 


Once again we are seeing a mass migration of northerners making the move to Florida in search of Shangri-La during the winter months and year round.

 Typically folks from New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut settle on the east coast of Florida. And Folks from the Midwest settle on the West Coast of Florida.
I used to think this was some unique phenomenon based on personality types and the need for more activity or a stress free life then someone pointed out to me a road map with Route 95 from the Northeast going down the east coast of Florida and Route 75 from the Midwest headed towards the west coast of Florida.
Isn't that a coincidence!

Maybe it has something to do with one of the worst winters on record or more likely baby boomers are retiring on a larger scale now but we are seeing a real frenzy when it comes to condominiums selling quickly.
In fact at the end of 2013 it was not uncommon to see a buyer paying a premium over appraised value for a nice unit in a nice association. 
Condominiums are once again a great investment in Florida.

Out of the last 60 years, only in 2007 and 2008 did we see more people leave the state Florida than come here. Since then home prices have appreciated 30-40% and our economy is moving in the right direction once again.
To the typical retiree purchasing a condo, all they care about is the Sun and the Fun!

There are many types of Condominiums.

  • Luxury Ocean Waterfront or Intra-Coastal Waterfront
  • Pet Friendly Condos for homeowners with pets up to 40 lbs
  • Active Adult 55 and Over Condominiums
  • Bargain Basement Condos
  • There are hardly any FHA approved condos in Florida so you will need to put some money down

The condominium that you purchase should be what is referred to as a warrantable condo which means the ownership has been passed to the Homeowners Association (HOA) for a few years. There has to be adequate reserves in the budget and the percentage of rentals cannot be too high in the community. For a better idea of warrantable condos please see below:

A Warrantable Condominium vs a Non-Warrantable Condominium: 

A condominium project with features that lenders view as favorable in terms of their risk exposure on loans secured by individual condo units. The requirements of warrant ability include such features as the following: the project (including all common areas) is fully completed and the common areas are insured, the Homeowners Association has been controlled by unit owners (as opposed to the developer) for some period, most units are owner-occupied, and no one person owns more than 10% of the units. Loans on units in warrantable condos receive better terms than loans on units in non-warrantable condos.

Please give me a call to discuss your community
During the process potential homeowners will have to get approved by the local condo board. If you have ever heard of the term condo commandoes this is where it comes into play. You will meet a representative either in person or over the phone and they will get your views on your new home purchase, trends in Florida and World peace!

In my career I have only seen a few people be denied and in one case the borrower had a criminal record. Also as part of the process my company will have a representative of the condo fill out a condo questionnaire. My bank has one of the smoothest processes around when dealing with the condo questionnaire. This is done in your best interest as well as my bank's best interest to see if there is an abnormally high amount of foreclosures or back dues owed. We will also ascertain the health of the HOA and if there are any large assessments that you should know about.

10 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Condominium:

1. How much are the monthly condo fees and what does it go towards?
2. What are the specific rules of the condominium?
3. How much is in capital reserves and how much gets funded every year?
4. Any contemplated or pending special assessments?
5. How is the association managed: professionally or self? I personally believe in purchasing in a community with professionally run management. Local "Condo Commandoes" sometimes overstep their authority or play favorites.
6. Is there any legal stuff happening that the condominium is part of?
7. How many of the units are lived in by their actual owners? If you have too many investors this makes your condo unwarrantable and creates a problem finding financing
8. What's the condominium fee delinquency rate? If too many people are not paying this will mean your homeowners dues may go up
9. Do you actually own certain common areas such as porches, decks, storage spaces and parking spaces, or are they use rights?
10. The master insurance policy, what does it cover?

Recently in 2011 the Florida legislature passed laws giving homeowners associations more power when it comes to dealing with deadbeat members. If a homeowner is not paying their dues but renting out their unit the association now has the right to collect the entire rent for that unit. (Not just the homeowners dues owed)

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