Buying a condominium (condo) or a cooperative (co-op) unit is different than buying a house. For example, residents of condos and co-ops share ownership of common areas, such as building exteriors and amenities, or own a corporate interest in the building. Because condos and co-ops need to meet certain lender requirements, the buildings themselves may need to be reviewed and approved on top of your application before you can qualify for a mortgage.
As part of your application, we'll conduct a project review to make sure the building complies with our lending guidelines. This lets us know what the building's insurance coverage is like, if there's any legal action against it and if there's adequate budgeting for shared expenses - like elevator maintenance and common area upkeep.
Condo and co-op owners share many expenses in their buildings, from security and service contracts to maintenance and upgrades. Because these amounts can change, you'll want to review your budget on a regular basis.
Projects are considered warrantable when they meet Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines, and non-warrantable when they don't. Non-warrantable properties are often considered high risk and pose a challenge for financing. For example, condo and co-op units may be non-warrantable if construction isn't finished or if more than 50% of the building's units are rentals. But don't worry - Citi has financing options for non-warrantable properties that may be available to you.
We have financing options that may be available to you for units in existing and newly constructed buildings, as well as recent conversions. A building is generally considered a new construction if less than 80% of its units have been sold and closed and the developer is still in control of the HOA - otherwise, it's considered an existing building. Conversions, on the other hand, are apartment or office buildings that have been renovated for residential ownership. Because these property types are reviewed differently, documentation requirements can vary.
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