Housing communities and developments with age restrictions have been around for decades. These are often gated developments or retirement communities with clubhouses, pools and other communal facilities, and typically at least one person in the household must be at least 55 years old.
Prospective buyers may be able to use a VA home loan to purchase in an age-restricted community. But guidelines on this will often vary by lender. Some developments may be a better fit than others.
For lenders, fair lending and future marketability of the property tend to be the two biggest concerns. At the outset, lenders will often want to get a closer look at the community’s organizational documents.
While these types of communities are focused on serving older Americans, they still must follow fair housing laws and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), which prohibit age-based discrimination.
Some lenders might look through a community’s organizational documents for policies, guidelines and verbiage that make clear the community is legally compliant.
For example, lenders may raise a red flag if the community says all members must be 55 and older, or that all mortgages must be made to people 55 and older.
Those types of restrictions might raise not just fair housing concerns but also marketability ones. Lenders may have issues with any type of restriction that might affect a homeowner’s ability to later sell their home.
At Veterans United, we need to confirm that the age-restricted community is compliant with the Fair Housing Act. The often entails getting a specific form or similar documentation from the homeowners association certifying they're compliant with the act.
Lenders will evaluate age-restricted communities on a case-by-case basis. Remember, too, that different lenders may have different guidelines and standards.
If you’re considering purchasing a home in an age-restricted community, be sure to let your loan officer know. That’ll help ensure lenders can give you a clear sense of expectations from the outset.
Talk with a Veterans United loan specialist at 855-259-6455 if you have questions about buying in an age-restricted community.