The VA home loan is a well-deserved benefit available to everyone who qualifies for a VA mortgage. Fortunately, the maximum guaranty loan limits for these mortgages is higher in 2017, which means veterans can qualify for a larger home loan than in previous years without a down payment.
What is a VA Home Loan?
A VA home loan is a mortgage loan that is backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, better known as the VA. It is only for those who have served in the U.S. Military or those who are currently serving. In some cases, military spouses also qualify.
The VA home loan is not money that is sent to a veteran. Rather, it’s a home loan from a private lender that is guaranteed by the government that does not require a down payment or mortgage insurance.
The three major types of VA home loans are:
- Purchase loan.
- Interest rate reduction refinance loan.
- Cash-out refinance loan.
To qualify for a VA home loan, a veteran must meet income and credit qualifications, have a Certificate of Eligibility, and use the home for personal occupancy.
Related: VA Home Loans
2017 VA Mortgage Limits
The VA does not limit how much a veteran can borrow to finance a home, rather it limits how much it will guarantee. So, veterans who buy a home that costs more than the VA will guarantee typically must pay a down payment (see below).
In 2017, the standard VA home loan limits were raised to $424,100 – $ 721,050, which matches Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conventional loan limits. The limit for a specific VA home loan is based on location, so look up your county on this page to see the maximum limit for your area.
When comparing the VA loan limits with median home prices, the VA home loan limits are about twice as high as a median home in the U.S., giving veterans a lot of options when buying a home.
VA Jumbo Home Loans
A VA Jumbo Home Loan is any loan that is over the VA guaranteed limit for the county in which the home is located.
For homes over the VA limit, lenders typically expect the borrower to pay a 25% down payment for the amount that is over the limit. So, if a veteran purchases a home that is $40,000 over the limit, the lender will probably require a $10,000 down payment.
How to Apply for a VA Home Loan
People who may be eligible for a VA home loan include:
- Active-duty personnel.
- Reserve members.
- National Guard members.
- Some surviving spouses.
If you think you may be eligible to receive a VA home loan, follow these steps:
- Review the requirements and secure your Certificate of Eligibility.
- Contact your mortgage broker and get pre-approved for a home loan.
- Find a home and sign a purchase agreement.
- Apply for your VA home loan.
- The lender processes the home loan application.
Marimark Mortgage serves the mortgage needs of homebuyers, homeowners, and investors in Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
We specialize in conventional home mortgages, FHA, VA and USDA mortgage options, refinance loans, and reverse mortgages. We’ve worked extensively with cash-out refinancing, and help clients with HARP refinancing to lower their monthly mortgage payments.