MIAMI Association of REALTORS




Changing Communities: MIAMI Realtors Partners to Host Condo Financing Programs

by | Jan 10, 2018

MIAMI REALTORS® partnered with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) to host two 2017 “Condo Financing is Back!” programs, which discussed the FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac qualifying guidelines for condominium loans.

Federal guidelines, including requiring condo buildings to have 10 percent reserves, are inhibiting more South Florida condo buildings from having access to FHA loans.

“FHA loans have helped millions of Americans reach the dream of homeownership, but in South Florida there are only nine condo buildings approved for FHA loans,” said Danielle Blake, MIAMI’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs & Housing. “Until FHA guidelines are changed, things will not improve. MIAMI met with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson earlier this year and we have a commitment from him to review the current guidelines.”

Blake, who leads the MIAMI Realtors Condo Task Force, presented the latest condo financing market information at the seventh-annual NAHREP South Florida Business Rally.

MIAMI organized its condo task force in late 2014 to increase financing options for condominiums. FHA insured condo loans are a great option for home buyers with loans up to $345,000 and a down payment of 3.5 percent.

However, the entire condo complex must meet many FHA guidelines in order for any buyers to receive FHA financing. The two biggest obstacles in the South Florida condo building approval process are for a 10 percent requirement in reserves and insurance requirements.

The MIAMI Realtors Condo Task Force — a group of 17 local business professionals — suggested to HUD to use a three-year budget history for condo buildings instead of a 10 percent reserve requirement. A budget analysis is a strong indicator of the state of a condo building.

Federal officials eased condo insurance requirements in November 2015. Six months after MIAMI brought the issues of reserves and co-insurance to Washington, D.C., HUD issued a new FHA Condo Guidance from HUD Mortgagee Letter on November 13, 2015.

Mortgagee Letter 2015-27 modified the requirements for condominium project recertification, revised the calculation of FHA's required owner-occupancy percentage and expanded eligible condominium project insurance coverages.

The insurance rule change was a major victory for Florida condo buyers. FHA, which previously didn’t accept pooled or state-run insurance companies, now accepts Citizens Property Insurance coverage – the Florida-owned company and largest condo insurer in the state. FHA also changed the way it views co-insurance clauses, which exist with most Florida condos.

About MIAMI Realtors Changing Communities

REALTORS® don’t just sell properties, we invest in communities. In 2017, MIAMI REALTORS® invested more than $100,000 in grant funds from the National Association of REALTORS(R) (NAR) to improve our South Florida communities. 

Through member engagement and feedback, MIAMI developed a list of local community projects that could have the most impact. MIAMI invited its 46,000-plus membership for a brainstorming session and more than 200 members contributed ideas and volunteered to help. 

In 2017, MIAMI hosted more than 10 local community initiatives, from helping create a new Miami Shores community destination to re-painting Miami Gardens commercial buildings. Each project was led by the Realtor who proposed it and supported by a team of fellow Realtor volunteers and a Realtor partner (usually an elected official).

More MIAMI Realtors Changing Communities initiatives are planned for 2018. 

MIAMI members can register to volunteer at our upcoming community events at:

To learn more about how the MIAMI REALTORS® are using REALTOR® Party resources to improve their communities, contact Danielle Blake, MIAMI Senior Vice President of Housing & Government Affairs, at 305-468-7015 or

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