NATIONAL – Condominium Ownership Is Becoming the American Nightmare

The Motley Fool:  Condominium Ownership Is Becoming the American Nightmare
By Amanda Alix
June 15, 2014
Many homeowners who have bought into the American dream by purchasing a condominium are now regretting that decision, as some find themselves unable to sell or rent their units, while others face court battles with investors trying to force them out of their homes.

Condo boom gone bust
Like other types of housing, condos experienced buyer popularity during the housing boom. But the housing crash put an end to that party, too, and numerous condominium owners are still being negatively affected by the housing crisis. Many are finding themselves stuck as stringent lending regulations make selling nearly impossible – even as condo rules stop them from renting their homes as a stopgap measure.

Part of the problem concerns changes made by the Federal Housing Administration over the past few years. In an effort to protect taxpayers from risk, the FHA has tightened condo lending rules to the point where obtaining a mortgage for such a purchase is almost impossible.

Because the FHA rules apply to the entire development, even buyers who would qualify for such a loan won’t be able to get one. FHA loans are often used by first-time homebuyers, a group particularly apt to buy less-expensive condo units as a starter home. Though other types of credit are available, these potential buyers may not qualify.  Read more:

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