The Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) is more commonly known as Fannie Mae. It is a federally-backed loan company that was chartered by Congress with the intent to help securitize mortgages. Fannie Mae helps ensure that lending institutions are able to loan money to persons who are interested in purchasing a home or a condo. 

I’ve Heard of Special Approval Designation Loans for Miami Condos. How Can they Help Me with a Condo Mortgage?

Previously, obtaining a loan for a mortgage in Miami was somewhat difficult because of heavy restrictions imposed by the Fannie Mae program. For instance, previously purchasers of condos could not qualify under Fannie Mae unless they were able to make a full payment or a down payment of at least 20%. 
However, in response to the hardships that the Miami condo market has recently been undergoing, Fannie Mae recently created a “Special Approval” designation specifically for certain condominiums in the Miami area. A special team has been created to determine if a condo unit is eligible for special approval designation. This means that condos that previously did not qualify under Fannie Mae may once again be eligible for loan backing from the program. The previous strict requirements will be waived if the unit qualifies.   

What are the Qualification Criteria for the Special Approval Loan Program?

First, the Special Approval program only applies to condominiums. The seller’s loan must already be securitized or owned by Fannie Mae. Also, the program team will be considering qualification on a case-by-case basis, but they will be using the following basic criteria to determine eligibility:
  • The size and nature of the condo, such as occupancy capacity and the age of the building.
  • Financial stability of the condominium project
  • Associated costs and fees such as homeowner’s association dues
  • Condition of the property and habitability
The Fannie Mae team has composed a list of condominium projects that are already qualified for Special Approval. Regular updates are made to the complete list of approved condo projects 

Do I Need a Lawyer to Obtain a Mortgage on a Miami Condo?

The Special Approval program will hopefully make it easier for individuals and families to access the Miami condominium market, but the process is still going to involve many details and procedures. For this reason, it is advisable to contact a real estate attorney if you plan on purchasing or selling a condo unit, or if you have a dispute regarding a condo project. A lawyer will be able to inform you on your options and course of action under the Special Approval program. They will also keep you updated so you can keep pace with ever-changing condo market in Miami.