Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act

In early February the house passed the HR 3700 Bill putting homeownership in reach for more families. This is a huge victory for the National Association of Realtors as well as the Real Estate community at large.

One area is the process of purchasing a condominium. Condominiums happen to be one of the most affordable options for first time homebuyers however there have been many road blocks and barriers to mortgage credit. HR 3700 takes a number of measures to address these areas of concern.

There are also efforts to make the Federal Housing Administration re-certification process better. Currently once certified, the process must be repeated every 24 months. The process itself is a cumbersome one as it requires obtaining information from Condo Associations and quite possibly their lawyers. Many mortgage companies putting in countless hours to obtain the certification without having a loan on the line can be stopped in their tracks before completing the process. However, this may delay quick closings and will certainly stop completely some buyers from even trying to work with a non-FHA approved building. Another area that has been tough for some buildings to accomplish is the current owner-occupancy requirements. HR 3700 will lower the requirement from 50 percent to 35 percent. Exemptions will also be streamlined such as commercial space limited to 25 percent.

Currently the Bill is in the Senate and will need to pass there before it hits the desk of the President before it can become law. Real Estate and lending services patiently wait to hear what will come as we see we a definitive stall out in the market this year. Currently there are more units for sale than can be absorbed in a 12 month period. Typically our inventory is at a 6 month absorption rate. That means there are more listings than units selling. What will make our community and real estate market more appealing is FHA approval for downtown condominiums. More loans will be written, higher sales prices can be afforded, and condo’s will be fuller. Better opportunities. Better community. Better, healthier downtown economy.

Lets see what happens to HR 3700 as it moves among the Senate floor. In the meantime if you’re looking to purchase or sell in downtown West Palm Beach, Call James N Brown PA for all of your Real Estate questions ad concerns. 561-838-9595 or email [email protected]